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3 Simplified Ways To Fix Your Broken Windows XP (When it Fails to Load)
Posted by Andre V. on 07 September 2011 12:37 AM

This guide is meant to simplify how to fix your broken Windows XP. That's when you can't load into Windows at all. When you're left starting a blue screen — a blank screen — a stuck screen — when you can't load 'Safe Mode' — or anything that doesn't get you into Windows anymore.

Firstly, remember to think positively! It's all about having good mental attitude. Sorry, let's skip onto the meat...

You'll have 3 choices of repair:

  1. Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)
  2. Windows Recovery Console (needs your Windows XP CD)
  3. Windows Repair (needs your Windows XP CD)
1) Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)

Step 1:

Reboot your computer. And keep pressing F8 Key until you see this screen...

Step 2:

Choose: Last Known Good Configuration

 

2) Windows Recovery Console (needs your Windows XP CD)

Recovery Console is a set of tools which run from a Command prompt. These commands are used to fix your computer. But we'll tell you the most common copy-paste commands to type in.

Step 1:

Insert your Windows XP CD and restart your computer. Let it boot from the CD.

(If it doesn't boot from the CD, click here on how.)

Step 2:

When you see this screen...

...press: R

Step 3:

The screen will switch to black (as you see in below pic) and you will be asked which installation to log on to. If you only have one installation you will press "1".

Step 4:

Next you'll be prompted to enter your Admin password. By default it is created blank so just press Enter.

Step 5:

At the "C:\Windows" command prompt type "Help" for a list of commands you can use.

 

List of Recovery Console Commands: (for Advanced-Users)...

  • Attrib changes attributes on one file or subdirectory.
  • Batch executes commands that you specify in the text file, Inputfile. Outputfile holds the output of the commands. If you omit the Outputfile parameter, output appears on the screen.
  • Bootcfg modifies the Boot.ini file for boot configuration and recovery.
  • CD (Chdir) operates only in the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
  • Chkdsk The /p switch runs Chkdsk even if the drive is not flagged as dirty. The /r switch locates bad sectors and recovers readable information. This switch implies /p. Chkdsk requires Autochk. Chkdsk automatically looks for Autochk.exe in the startup folder. If Chkdsk cannot find the file in the startup folder, it looks for the Windows 2000 Setup CD-ROM. If Chkdsk cannot find the installation CD-ROM, Chkdsk prompts the user for the location of Autochk.exe.
  • Cls clears the screen.
  • Copy copies one file to a target location. By default, the target cannot be removable media, and you cannot use wildcard characters. Copying a compressed file from the Windows 2000 Setup CD-ROM automatically decompresses the file.
  • Del (Delete) deletes one file. Operates within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources. By default, you cannot use wildcard characters.
  • Dir displays a list of all files, including hidden and system files.
  • Disable disables a Windows system service or driver. The variable service_or_driver is the name of the service or driver that you want to disable. When you use this command to disable a service, the command displays the service's original startup type before it changes the type to SERVICE_DISABLED. Note the original startup type so that you can use the enable command to restart the service.
  • Diskpart manages partitions on hard disk volumes. The /add option creates a new partition. The /delete option deletes an existing partition. The variable device is the device name for a new partition (such as \device\harddisk0). The variable drive is the drive letter for a partition that you are deleting (for example, D). Partition is the partition-based name for a partition that you are deleting, (for example: \device\harddisk0\partition1) and can be used instead of the drive variable. The variable size is the size, in megabytes, of a new partition.
  • Enable enables a Windows system service or driver. The variable service_or_driver is the name of the service or driver that you want to enable, and start_type is the startup type for an enabled service. The startup type uses one of the following formats:
    SERVICE_BOOT_START
    SERVICE_SYSTEM_START
    SERVICE_AUTO_START
    SERVICE_DEMAND_START
  • Exit quits the Recovery Console, and then restarts the computer.
  • Expand expands a compressed file. The variable source is the file that you want to expand. By default, you cannot use wildcard characters. The variable destination is the directory for the new file. By default, the destination cannot be removable media and cannot be read-only. You can use the attrib command to remove the read-only attribute from the destination directory. The option /f:filespec is required if the source contains more than one file. This option permits wildcard characters. The /y switch disables the overwrite confirmation prompt. The /d switch specifies that the files will not be expanded and displays a directory of the files in the source.
  • Fixboot writes a new startup sector on the system partition.
  • Fixmbr repairs the startup partition's master boot code. The variable device is an optional name that specifies the device that requires a new Master Boot Record. Omit this variable when the target is the startup device.
  • Format formats a disk. The /q switch performs a quick format. The /fs switch specifies the file system.
  • Help If you do not use the command variable to specify a command, help lists all the commands that the Recovery Console supports.
  • Listsvc displays all available services and drivers on the computer.
  • Logon displays detected installations of Windows and requests the local Administrator password for those installations. Use this command to move to another installation or subdirectory.
  • Map displays currently active device mappings. Include the arc option to specify the use of Advanced RISC Computing (ARC) paths (the format for Boot.ini) instead of Windows device paths.
  • MD (Mkdir) operates only within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
  • More/Type displays the specified text file on screen.
  • Rd (Rmdir) operates only within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources.
  • Ren (Rename) operates only within the system directories of the current Windows installation, removable media, the root directory of any hard disk partition, or the local installation sources. You cannot specify a new drive or path as the target.
  • Set displays and sets the Recovery Console environment variables.
  • Systemroot sets the current directory to %SystemRoot%.

 

Step 6:

How to Repair the Boot Sector — Commonly associated with errors: (1) NTLDR is missing (2) NTDETECT failed

Type the following (where "X" is your CD-Rom drive letter — most likely "D"):

COPY X:\i386\NTLDR C:
COPY X:\i386\NTDETECT.COM C:

That's it! Problem solved. Now type "EXIT". Restart the computer. Eject the Windows XP CD. And let it load normally.

How to Repair a DAMAGED Boot Sector — If above fails, then do this...

Type in:

FIXBOOT

Then press Enter. Then press "Y".

Now type "EXIT". Restart the computer. Eject the Windows XP CD. And let it load normally.

How to Delete or Create a Partition — For Advanced Users...

Type in:

DISKPART

 

3) Windows Repair (needs your Windows XP CD)

To answer the obvious: No, this WILL NOT erase your existing data, programs or settings. It'll all be retained as-is. Nothing will be deleted.

What "Windows Repair" does is simply installs a fresh copy of original files.

This means, as soon as you've done this and you're back in Windows — your immediate job is to (1) Turn on the Windows Firewall (2) Do a Windows Update.

Because some files will be out of date.

In summary: This process is safe. It won't destroy your important data or settings.

 

Step 1:

Insert your Windows XP CD and restart your computer. Let it boot from the CD.

(If it doesn't boot from the CD, click here on how.)

Step 2:

When you see this screen...

Press Enter.

Step 3:

You will be taken to the Windows XP Licensing Agreement. After reading the agreement press F8 to proceed.

Step 4:

The next screen gives you the option to do a fresh (clean) install or to repair the selected Windows XP installation.

You want to press: R

Step 5:

Windows XP will copy the necessary files to your Hard Drive to begin the installation and will then reboot.

You will see the message that informs you to "Press any key to boot the CD". Do not press any keys this time just wait a few seconds and the Windows Startup Screen will be displayed.

Following this you will be greeted by the Windows XP Setup Screens.

When Setup has completed you should find all of your previously installed apps and settings are intact.

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