Question

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computer boots to black screen with blinking white cursor

By lamentofking ·
Ok. I have a dell inspiron 600m. I was trying to allocate free space to my xp partition. It kept saying it was the max size it could be but beefore it was bigger. I had reduced it because I was trying to install linux. I gave up on that and installed a persistent version to my usb stick. Now I wanted to put the free space back but the programs wouldnt let me. One program I wwas using said I had errors on the partition so I let it fix them. When I reboot i get to black screen with white cursor. I try to shutdown and start it back up same thing. I don't wanna format and reinstall windows. Is there a disk that can fix this so my windows partition can be like it was before? (Bootable)

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Reformat and do a clean reinstallation of the OS

by nepenthe0 In reply to computer boots to black ...

At this point, there is so much potential corruption that you should reformat the entire HD as a single drive.

Once you have a tweaked working configuration with all your applications reinstalled and data files replaced, image the HD to an external hard drive with a reputable utility such as Norton Ghost:

http://www.symantec.com/norton/products/overview.jsp?pcid=br&pvid=ghost14

Now that you have a working configuration safely archived, you can repartition the HD with a user-friendly utility such as Partition Magic:

http://www.symantec.com/norton/products/overview.jsp?pcid=sp&pvid=pm80

If you create two primary (bootable) partitions, Windows will assign the MBR (master boot record) to one of the partitions. Ghost can restore the MBR with your archived image should this kind of thing ever recur.

There are a number of things you could do at this point, but I suspect it's a matter of too little, too late. So I recommend that you bite the bullet, do it right, and hopefully you'll never have to do it again.

I am not particularly expert at command line repairs, but you might consider the following options:

Replace the Boot Sector -

1) Boot computer from installation/recovery CD
2) Press R to repair
3) At the command prompt, type: fixboot [drive]

Repair the Master Boot Record -

1) Boot the computer from the installation/repair CD

2) When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts. Press the R key to repair a Windows XP Pro installation.

3) To replace the Master Boot Record (MBR), at the Recovery Console commant prompt, type fixmbr

4) Verify whethe you want to proceed. Depending upon the location and the cause of the corruption within a damaged MBR, this operation can cause the data on the hard disk to become inaccessible.

Alternatively, use DiskProbe to replace the MBR and Partition Table. If you have backed up the MBR by using DiskProbe, you can use it to restore the MBR on any disk that is not used to start the computer. Restoring the backup MBR rewrites the entire sector, including the partition table.

For more infomration about restoring backed up MBRs by using DiskProbe, click Tools in Help and Support Center and then click Windows Support Tools.

[The preceding was transcribed from the Windows XP Professional Resource Kit (Microsoft Press, 3rd ed., 2005), ch. 28 (Troubleshooting Disks and File Systems), pp 1146-1150].

Rick/Portland, OR

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I have to agree reformat and reinstall

by OH Smeg In reply to computer boots to black ...

But I would probably go one step further and say wipe the drive so that you remove the Non Windows Partitions that you created and then format the drive with the Windows Installer.

You can get Boot & Nuke to wipe the drive from here

http://tinyurl.com/4rfur

If you don't have a current backup you can use a Live Linux to boot from the Optical Drive and copy your data. I would suggest Knoppix but any will do

http://tinyurl.com/23nmq

Post back if you still have problems.

Col

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well....

by lamentofking In reply to I have to agree reformat ...

disk utility partition programs can still see the partition. I tried Acronis and got this error when I viewed properties:

file system error: index corupted

so i can fix this without formatting right?

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Depends on what was removed by the software

by OH Smeg In reply to well....

When it fixed the Errors.

Instead of just thinking that 1 file was removed it is much more likely that several thousand files where or the MBR was erased or anything in between those 2 extremes.

If you are a glutton for punishment and have unlimited time to waste use the Emergency Boot Cd to rebuild the HDD and replace missing/corrupted files. If you have the M$ Install Disc you could try a Repair In Place Install but you need the M$ Disc not a Makers Recovery Disc.

http://tinyurl.com/g4bv8

I've seen cases where Not Much has been done to a computer and that meant that any files not directly created by the owner was deleted so there was more space available to use. Or so called Fixing Programs deleting thousands of Duplicate Files that are not really Duplicate files.

Col

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Thanks, OH Smeg

by nepenthe0 In reply to computer boots to black ...

Until your post, I didn't know about Darik's Boot and Nuke. This will be a valuable resource. I'll burn it to a CD, and hopefully never use it...

Appreciatively,

Rick/Portland, OR

P.S. - Did you notice the neat avatar created by our fearless pirate CaptBilly1Eye?

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Yep.

by OH Smeg In reply to Thanks, OH Smeg

I like it but I may scare you and revert to my eye some time latter. I used to use that with the main account and it scared people. It was cut off a picture of my face after I dropped a car on myself a few years ago now. Apparently being purple from the chest up looked Impressive. My eyes where not Blood Shot there where no Whites left and they where a deep Blood Red. :^0

Col ]:)

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ok.

by lamentofking In reply to Yep. :D

ok well i just installed windows on another partition and i can access my original files. They seem to have been damaged though. I think I know why. I tried to defrag my original partition from a cd and it was taking forever so i canceled it. My partition was ntfs too. Is this the reason why most of my files say they are 0 kb?

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Could be the problem

by OH Smeg In reply to ok.

But depending on what it was that you used to attempt the Defrag it could have been deleting the files as well. Well not actually deleting them just removing the contents of the file. Or it could be that because the process was stopped the Defrag was not completed and the affected files where going to be moved and now only have the headers left.

Col

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ok.

by lamentofking In reply to Yep. :D

ok well i just installed windows on another partition and i can access my original files. They seem to have been damaged though. I think I know why. I tried to defrag my original partition from a cd and it was taking forever so i canceled it. My partition was ntfs too. Is this the reason why most of my files say they are 0 kb?

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