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Boot disk failed, setup failed, I'm out of ideas. HELP!

Discussion in 'Windows XP Help' started by chris1729, Jun 26, 2006.

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  1. chris1729

    chris1729 Techie7 New Member

    I’m not sure how to handle this situation. I’ll explain in as much detail as possible my computer’s bahavior and what I’ve tried so far.

    Turning on the computer, it gives one BEEP, shows some lines of text that disappear quickly (something about “Diskette drive A: 1.44 MB…PCI device listing…” and so on), then the Windows XP splash screen comes. It has the Windows XP Home Edition logo, and the little bar underneath with three colored squares that travel across as Windows loads. But Windows doesn’t load. The squares travel a bit, then freeze, then travel a bit, than freeze again, and will continue this for hours if not stopped. Effectively, start-up has frozen.

    My first reaction was to boot in safe mode. I restarted the computer, tapped F8 as the BIOS loaded, and came to the screen with different start-up options. I chose the start in safe mode. After that, it asked me which OS I wanted to start, even though there is only one operating system on the computer and there was only one option to choose: Windows XP Home Edition. I hit enter. Instead of booting, it displayed a long list (25? 30?) of files. Each one begins [multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS]. Most of the files then continue under system32 or System32, but one of them is in FONTS and one is in a folder called AppPatch (drvmain.sdb).

    Next, I tried making a boot disk from another WinXP Home computer and loading with that. I made a floppy with boot.ini, NTDETECT, and NTLDR. The computer didn’t like my boot disk. It said “Non-System disk or disk error…Replace and strike any key when ready” I have no idea why this happened.

    Finally, I thought I’d run the “repair” option from Windows XP setup. I hunted around my office until I found a Windows XP Home disk (I have no idea what computer this came with. It has a hologram printed on it, but it has the “For distribution with a new PC…yadda, yadda” warning.) I changed the BIOS to load from the CD-ROM first. It said something about ATAPI CD-ROM and “No Emulation” and “Press any key to load from CD”, so I pressed the any key.

    I made it to the blue Windows Setup screen, and I watched setup load files on the grey bar at the bottom of the screen. When it was finished loading files, it welcomed me to Setup, and presented me with the three bulleted options: to set up Windows XP, press ENTER; to repair a Windows XP installation with Recovery Console (yes!), press R; to exit, press F3.

    I tried to repair. I pressed R, the grey bar said “Examining disk configuration” then it said “Examining 28624 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi…” including the ellipsis at the end. It stayed like this for about three hours before I decided that it was frozen. I tried again—same thing. I said, “Screw it. I’m fixing this thing as a favor to my sister, and she probably has backups of important files. I’ll just reinstall Windows.” But choosing the install option produced the same effect.

    My amateurish computer knowledge is exhausted at this point. I need help. I hope that my explanation was clear, and that its length didn’t scare anybody away.

    Any help or information is sincerely appreciated.
  2. jephree

    jephree ¨*·.¸ «.·°·..·°·.» ¸.·*¨

    To either Repair Install or Clean Install XP you will need a full version XP CD with the original Product Key.

    Good guides here:



    Microsoft supplies floppy boot disks to get up to insert CD or the Recovery Console:

    How to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks

    Basically you need the original XP CD and Product Key for this computer.

    If you can access the Recovery Console this might work:

    If you cannot boot into any aspect of Safe Mode options then you will need a boot disk.

    If you have a retail versin of XP CD then:

    If you cannot boot into Windows I would suggest first trying the Recovery Console:


    To try to fix the boot:

    Assuming that your XP is on C: then:



    then enter. After that completes type:


    then enter. After that completes type:

    BOOTCFG /rebuild

    then enter. After that completes type:


    then reboot.

    If in the process you are asked to run chkdsk say YES.

    Also after the BOOTCFG /rebuild you will be prompted to:

    1. Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All):
    2. Enter Load Identifier: (Custom description for an operating system loading from the Boot menu)
    3. Enter Operating System Load Options: (that is: /fastdetect)

    1. Yes
    2. XP
    3. /fastdetect

    If this fails you can run a Repair Install that will leave your data intact:


    If your XP was OEM (pre installed) you will need to check with your manufacturer or manual for their specific Recovery Options.

    Do you have Recovery CDs? What is the exact make and model of the computer? The manufacturer's web site will have their process.
  3. chris1729

    chris1729 Techie7 New Member

    Thank you for your advice, but all of those suggestions involve being able to run install or reach the recovery console, neither of which this computer seems able to do.

    Unfortunately, I've already tried the 6-disk boot up system from Microsoft. I didn't bother to mention it because, once I choose either Repair or Install, the computer freezes on "Examining 28624 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi..." just as with the setup program on the CD.

    Maybe I should also mention this: the computer's manufacturer is my cousin who built the thing for my sister out of parts from an old Gateway and newer, better parts (including the motherboard, hard drive, and pretty much everything else except for the disk drives and power supply).

    Thanks anyway.
  4. jephree

    jephree ¨*·.¸ «.·°·..·°·.» ¸.·*¨

    Assuming that you have a full version XP CD your best bet is to Format the hard drive first then try a Clean install.

    The manufacturer of your hard drive should have formatting as well as diagnostic tools available on their web site.
  5. chris1729

    chris1729 Techie7 New Member

    That's the direction I think I was headed in, but I have no idea where the product key is for the copy of Windows XP that's installed. Actually, I don't even know if the CD I have is the one that was used to install Windows. The "For distribution with a new PC..." warning makes me think that it's from my mother's VAIO laptop.

    Will Microsoft issue a new product key? Can this one be "recovered"? Is there anything to be done other than purchasing a new copy of Windows off the shelf?
  6. jephree

    jephree ¨*·.¸ «.·°·..·°·.» ¸.·*¨

    The simple answer to your question is no. :eek:

    Recovery CD's only work on the original computer.

    A full version can only be used on one computer at a time. You can only transfer as a hardware upgrade by calling Microsoft and confirming your changes with the proper key.
  7. sameer.fundu

    sameer.fundu Techie7 New Member

    Helli Chris,
    I am facing the same problem . examining 76294 MB disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi...

    I googled but could not find a solution . Have u ever resolved the issue ?

  8. Dan Penny

    Dan Penny Staff Techie7 Moderator

    You are replying to a thread that dates back to 2006.

    Please start a new thread in the appropriate forum.

    Thread closed.
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