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How to recognize C: drive from floppy DOS backup

By craigjunkmail ·
I need to get into my C drive to rename a corrupted Windows file. When I open windows, my PC crashes before I have time for options.

Through research, the easiest way to do this seems to be to format a floppy disk and make a DOS backup. I did that. A summary of my experience is below. In short, I can get the A: prompt, but I cannot get it to recognize my C drive. I'm 99% there...I just need to get over this one last hurdle!

I made the backup DOS boot disk two nights ago, but when I got home and tried to load it I got the following error:

Disk I/O error
Replace the disk, and then press any key

I figured the DOS program wasn't being recognized on my Dell for some reason, so I went back to my work PC today and recreated the boot disk. Afterwards, I renamed mode.com to mode.exe.

I tried loading that new boot disk and I had success...the PC gave me a A> prompt. I thought I was in the clear. I typed "cd C:/windows/system32" and received "Invalid drive specification". I tried "cd C:" and received the same error.

How can I get my PC to recognize my C drive through the MS-DOS floppy backup?

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Follow these instructions to create the Boot Disk

by Jacky Howe In reply to How to recognize C: drive ...

Create a Boot Floppy Disk with a Windows XP-Based Computer
1. Format a floppy disk by using the Windows XP format utility. For example, with the floppy disk in the floppy disk drive, type format a: at a command prompt, and then press ENTER.
2. Copy the Ntldr and the Ntdetect.com files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP Setup CD-ROM, Windows XP Setup floppy disk, or from a computer that is running the same version of Windows XP as the computer that you want to access with the boot floppy.
3. Create a Boot.ini file (or copy one from a computer that is running Windows XP), and then modify it to match the computer that you are trying to access. The following example works for a single-partition IDE drive with Windows XP installed in the \Windows folder, but the exact value in the [operating systems] section depends on the configuration of the Windows XP computer that you are trying to access: [boot loader]
timeout=30
Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows

[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Windows XP"

If your computer boots from a SCSI hard drive, you may need to replace the multi(0) entry with scsi(0). If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller in use on the computer to the root of the Setup disk, and then rename it Ntbootdd.sys. Change the disk(0) number to represent the SCSI-ID of the hard drive you want to boot to. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not need to do this.
4. Start your computer by using the floppy disk, and then log on to Windows XP.


Create a Boot Floppy Disk Without a Windows XP-Based Computer
1. Refer to the article Q310994 for directions to download and create the Windows XP Setup disks by using a computer that is running Microsoft Windows 95, Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition (SE), or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me):
310994 (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310994/EN-US/) Obtaining Windows XP Setup Boot Disks
2. Delete all the files from the newly created Setup disk 1.
3. Copy the Ntdetect.com and the Ntldr files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP CD-ROM to the new disk.
4. Rename the Ntldr file to Setupldr.bin.
5. Create a Boot.ini file. The following example works for a single-partition IDE drive with Windows XP installed in the \Windows folder, but the exact value in the [operating systems] section depends on the configuration of the Windows XP computer that you want to start: [boot loader]
timeout=30
Default= multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows

[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\windows="Windows XP"

If your computer starts from a SCSI hard drive, you may need to replace the multi(0) entry with scsi(0). If you are using scsi(x) in the Boot.ini file, copy the correct device driver for the SCSI controller in use on the computer to the root of the setup disk, and then rename it Ntbootdd.sys. Change the disk(0) number to represent the SCSI-ID of the hard drive you want to start to. If you are using multi(x) in the Boot.ini file, you do not need to do this.
6. Start your computer by using the floppy disk, and then log on to Windows XP.


Troubleshooting
If the path that points to the system files is incorrect or includes the drive letter, you may receive the following error message:
Windows XP could not start because of the following ARC firmware boot configuration problem:
Did not properly generate ARC name for HAL and system paths. Please check the Windows XP (TM) documentation about ARC configuration options and your hardware reference manuals for additional information. Boot Failed.
If an incorrect SCSI driver has been selected or the Ntbootdd.sys file does not exist, you may receive the following error message:
Windows XP could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows XP (TM) documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information. Boot Failed.


Resolving Boot Issues with a Boot Floppy Disk
You may be able to use a Windows XP bootable disk to start the operating system on a computer running Windows XP. Use the procedures in this article to work around the following boot issues: ? Damaged boot sector.
? Damaged master boot record (MBR).
? Virus infections.
? Missing or damaged Ntldr or Ntdetect.com files.
? Incorrect Ntbootdd.sys driver.
? To boot from the shadow of a broken mirror. Please note that you may need to modify the Boot.ini file to do this.
You cannot use the Windows XP boot disk to help resolve the following issues: ? Incorrect or damaged device drivers that are installed in the System folder.
? Boot issues that occur after you see the Windows XP startup (Osloader) screen

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Not sure if that will work

by craigjunkmail In reply to Follow these instructions ...

Thanks for the help, but my issue is that I CAN'T start windows due to a corrupted csrss.exe file that I stupidly renamed csrss.exe1. All I need to do is get to a command prompt in C: BEFORE windows tries to start. If I try to log into windows XP, before I rename the file, the PC will crash.

Is there a way for the DOS program on the floppy to recognize my C drive without involving Windows?

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It

by Jacky Howe In reply to Not sure if that will wor ...

should in theory let you access the PC from the Command Line. The other alternative is to use the Ultimate Boot CD to boot up the PC and rename the file.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/faq.html

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OK

by Jacky Howe In reply to It

my Non DOS Bootdisk will not give you access under these circumstances. It does normally work though. The file that you renamed is critical to the display element of the OS.

As the Chas suggested the Recovery Console will give you the access that you need. Press the first R to get into the Recovery Console. Press 1 for Windows. You will be at the Command prompt in the Windows directory. Type in cd system32 and press enter. Rename your file and you will be up and running. :)

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soooo close

by craigjunkmail In reply to OK

I'm in the recovery console, but now it's asking for an administrator password. What would the default one be, because I don't remember ever creating one.

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The answer is no

by ComputerCookie In reply to Not sure if that will wor ...

DOS cannot recognise an NTFS file format,
get a copy of the WIN XP boot disk set (6 floppy's) if you like http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310994

But I would suggest you use this method;
How to perform an in-place upgrade (reinstallation) of Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/315341/en-us

Use method 2.

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NTFS versus DOS

by TheChas In reply to How to recognize C: drive ...

The core of your problem is that a standard DOS boot disk cannot read a NTFS volume.

In order to use DOS with a NTFS volume, you need NTFS support. Make sure you get full file functions and not just a reader.

For your specific problem, you should be able to boot from your Windows CD and use the recovery console to rename the file.

Chas

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Will that wipe out my files?

by craigjunkmail In reply to NTFS versus DOS

If I boot from myWindows CD and use the recovery console to rename the file, what's the risk that I'd lose my documents folder?

Also, does anyone know what the likelihood of getting this fixed without losing my personal files if I had a computer technician come over (ie: similar to Geek Squad)?

Thanks for all your help so far!

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No it won't

by ComputerCookie In reply to Will that wipe out my fil ...

it also won't if you use an inplace reinstallation, otherwise we would not have made these suggestions!!!

Any other questions please post back, nothing wrong with checking.

Jeff

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IT WORKED

by craigjunkmail In reply to No it won't

I figured out the admin password & it worked. Thanks so much guys...that's a load off my back...now my wife won't kill me for losing our baby pictures!

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