XP won't boot; no trick works

By easternmedia ·
I have a pc where XP won't boot. Not only won't it boot but safe mode won't work, last known won't work, etc etc. None will. Not even an XP emergency start up on floppy will.

I get this messege with the emergency floppy: "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information."

First off, I have no manuals for anything. I do have an XP disk but I get the same result with it. It just keeps going back to the options, none of which work.

I need to know a back door to a dos prompt. If I can get to a dos prompt I will be able to fix it from there. Any ideas? Thanks in advance.


This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Time for a new drive?

by -Q-240248 In reply to XP won't boot; no trick w ...

You get the boot screen? Looks like it, since you stated you could select safe mode. I would invest in a new hard drive, install XP on it and then use it to look at the other drive for your data you may want to salvage.

Collapse -

not looking to dump money into it

by easternmedia In reply to Time for a new drive?

Thanks for your quick reply. Yes I can select safe mode but I can't get into it. I can select any of the options but it will not get me there. I just continue to return to the options screen.

I did just receive this error when fiddling with it. "A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. If this is the first time you've recieved this stop error screen, restart your computer (not the first time). If this screen appears again, follow these steps: Disable or uninstall any anti-virus, disk defragmentation or backup utilities. Check your hard drive configuration and check for updated drivers. Run chkdsk /f to check for hard drive corruption and then restart.

technical information *** stop: 0x00000024 (0x001902f8, 0xf7b92704, 0xf7b92404, 0xf73a0411) ***ntfs.sys - address f73a0411 base at f7332000, datestamp 3b7dc5d0

All that info is great if I could get to a dos prompt but I still can't.

I'm not interested in saving any info off this hard drive. It's not important. If the consensus is the hard drive is junk then the whole tower gets tossed. All I want to do is get a fresh start with it if that's possible.



Collapse -

Use the XP CD

by IC-IT In reply to XP won't boot; no trick w ...

to boot to the Recovery Console (First R for Repair).
Once in run Chkdsk /R
if problems are detected and repaired run it again.
If problems could not be repaired, download either the bootable ISO for UBCD or MHDD.
Run the MHDD program overnight with the loop and Repair options enabled.

Collapse -


by easternmedia In reply to Use the XP CD

ok...I'm an engineering tech...not a computer guru. The XP disk doesn't work. Repair only brings me to an error screen.

Could you kindly explain the latter to me in terms a monkey would understand



Collapse -

Here is a link

by IC-IT In reply to greek?

to the MHDD program. You will want to click the CDROM ISO image link to download the zip file. Then unzip the image to your desktop. Double clicking the ISO image will open up your CD Burning program and create a self-booting CD.
Allow the CD to start the (bad) computer.
Choose the affected hard drive by number.
Press F4 to open the menu.
Use the arrow keys to select the Loop option, and pres the space bar to change to Yes. Do this with the Repair option also.
Press F4 again to initiate the test.


XP CD normally after it loads you can press the R for a Repair using the Recovery Console option. What type of error are you receiving?

Collapse -


by easternmedia In reply to Here is a link

I'm getting two different errors depending on the route I take while attempting to rectify the problem, both of which are located in this thread somewhere.

I will try the option you have given me. It's new and sounds promising. Thanks.

Collapse -

run time on test

by easternmedia In reply to errors

This test has been running all night and it's still going like the energizer bunny. How long should I expect it to run?

Collapse -

You can stop it now

by IC-IT In reply to run time on test

Test it; Hopefully this has cleared the problem. You may still need to use the XP CD to expand the NTFS.SYS into the C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers or take it from the c:\windows\system32\dll folder and replace the copy in the driver folder.

Collapse -


by easternmedia In reply to You can stop it now

it appears I only have 2 directories on the hard drive.

1. Command com


I copied all the necessary files from my clean running pc to a floppy and copied them to the problem pc. Have about a dozen files on it now which looks correct from what I've seen in the past but I'm still getting the same error (located in this thread somewhere). AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Reboooting does nothing but bring me to the options screen. All of those selections do nothing but bring me right back.

Looks as though everything has been wiped out....which isn't a bad thing. But I know I'm missing some system files or something because the windows CD won't boot and I get an error referring to ntst.sys or something. Is it possible to load this somehow? If so how?

Before you answer the emergency boot floppy does nothing either. I do have a nice working system with XP I could copy files from. I also have a Gateway MT6459 Notebook running Vista but I'm sure that does nothing for me. I don't think this system I'm trying to fix can handle Vista anyway.

Thanks for all your help for far.


Collapse -

First things first

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to XP won't boot; no trick w ...

Replace the BIOS Battery as if the unit has a few years on it this is likely to be flat and cause all sorts of screwy problems like the things you are listing.

If that doesn't work most times the problem revolves around a Bad Power Supply so replace the PS with a quality Brand Name Unit of at least 350 W or bigger.

If the problem still persists the M'Board is damaged by a faulty Power Supply and at that point if you need to save any data you remove the HDD fit it to a USB Caddy and recover everything that you can from there on another computer running some form of XP.

Lets know how you go.


Related Discussions

Related Forums