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Unsuccessful Windows XP Repair Install

By Bingchudie ·
I've recently been stopped cold with the "Unmountable Boot Volume" error blue screen. Safe mode doesn't work.
First phase of my problem is I can't get my BIOS to boot from the CD-ROM.
I've worked around that with the set up floppies and have run /fixboot in the Recovery Console. That did not fix the problem. I then used the aforementioned floppies to do a repair install using my OEM recovery CD. I have run this 3 times and each time I get messages that various (& different each time) .sys & .dll files could not be copied.

Now the computer hangs at the Windows Start-up splash screen.

Shame on me but I don't have a usable image but need all the data on the drive and therefore really don't want to have to resort to a complete reinstall...

Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated!

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by ReWrite In reply to Unsuccessful Windows XP R ...

When you did the repair install which option did you choose. You should be installing xp over the top of itself. You can do this by following these steps:

1. Boot to the xp CD.
2. You receive the following message on the Welcome to Setup screen that appears:
This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
Press ENTER to set up Windows XP.
3. On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
4. Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.
5. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to reinstall Windows XP. After you repair Windows XP, you may have to reactivate your copy of Windows XP.

This will reinstall xp and retain all of your previous settings. If you have already used this method (not the R option from the boot screen) then if you have data to save you might want to get a data recovery program or put the drive in another pc as a slave, save the data and then wipe the drive and do a complete fresh install



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by willcomp In reply to Unsuccessful Windows XP R ...

Root cause could be a faulty hard drive (HDD) or memory. Before you go any further, most important step is to retrieve data from drive.

Remove HDD and connect it to another PC running XP or 2000 Pro as only drive on secondary IDE channel.

Copy critical data files to HDD on that computer. Remove suspect HDD, reconnect optical drive(s) and write data to CDs.

After re-installing suspect HDD, swap memory (if possible) and try another repair installation of XP.

I'm concerned about not being able to boot from CD. Have you checked boot order in BIOS? Need to have CD ROM drive prior to HDD in boot order.

Is recovery CD an XP CD or an image of disk as shipped? You really need a OEM copy of XP for repair install.


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by Bingchudie In reply to

Thanks for the response willcomp but it is not an issue with my memory or HDD.

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by Bingchudie In reply to Unsuccessful Windows XP R ...

I have a second install of XP now in a /windows2 file on my c: drive and have access to 'most' of the data from the original (accept of course to my girlfriends profile... who needs her data more than I need mine...)

I still would rather repair the original installation rather that save data and start over. However, even after finding a worm on the original windows and fixing it, the repair install still doesn't work completely. Could it be old .dll files? I've read that can cause it not to work.

The recovery disk is a Magnell (for Windows XP) that came with my ABS computer when I bought it in 2002. (Not an Image)

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by razz2 In reply to Unsuccessful Windows XP R ...

Now that you have a parallel install can you edit the boot.ini to use the original install?

f so what is the result? Can you (after the boot.ini edit) get into the old system at all, Safe Mode etc? It would be interesting to see, if you get in, what a system restore would do. You might consider going to and getting the emergency download of ERD. It creates a Boot CD that is a WinXP system with custom tools. It would boot from the CD but give you access to YOUR windows System Restore. I have used this method MANY times to recover systems.

You might also from the 2nd install try copying the CD to the HDD and then running the repair install from there.

As always thyese days do a full scan for virus' and spy/adware.

Good Luck,


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by p.j.hutchison In reply to Unsuccessful Windows XP R ...

You can get access to your girlfriends profile by getting ownership of the directory via the Security tab on the properties of the folder.

Sounds like you have either a duff IDE setup (check cables and Master/Slave settings).
Also I would clean the CDROM drive and CD as dirt can prevent files from being copied (or scratches etc).

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by Bingchudie In reply to Unsuccessful Windows XP R ...

Seems I should add another caveat...

I have 2 HHD that are RAID. The drive is corrupted and not accessable. I assume this is definitely causing a problem with the original OS on C: not repairing correctly?

I hate that I could easily fix this if I had money to throw at it... Unfortunately it has already been thrown at the holidays! :)

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