XP Hangs at Windows Logo - just before Welcome Screen

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by trones, May 23, 2008.

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  1. trones

    trones Registered Member


    I'm new to this forum - I found it while googling the title of this thread. I had this problem, and found no answers anywhere - then figured it out, so I thought I'd share my experience.

    I've seen this a few times, but had never found a fix or seen the cause before now. This time around, I cloned an IDE drive over to an SATA and removed an add-on IDE controller. When I booted the SATA drive, it got through the initial loading screen, then stopped just before the welcome screen where it's just the blue background with the small Windows logo and name. The mouse and keyboard still responded - it just stops there as if it can't load the next step in the login process.

    After running a chkdsk and making sure the drive order and whatnot were right, I was kinda at a loss.

    I dinked around a bit - and stumbled upon the answer -

    Either boot the machine with BartPE, Winternals, or some other "live cd" windows environment, or attach the drive to a machine with a running copy of XP.

    Load the hive "C:\WINDOWS\system32\config\system" either with regedit or loadhive.exe, and navigate to "MountedDevices"

    Export the key to a file (for backup purposes) then delete all the entries located in the "MountedDevices" key -- do not delete the key itself.

    Unload the hive, and boot the machine - should run like a champ
  2. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist


    An even faster way is to boot to a Win 98 floppy and enter fdisk /mbr. This zeroes the DiskID. It can be done from a fxdisk CD too. Your way is fine, it just takes much longer.
  3. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

    Yep Brian, in the past I've had to use a 98 boot floppy or XP instal cd with the fixmbr command in order to get a clone to boot using ghost 2003.

    What I have found is that instead of cloning disk to disk use an image to restore to another disk instead and they always seem to boot.

    As my images are quite small I can copy and paste one to a usb drive, boot from a ghost floppy and restore that image to any ide/sata drive that I hook up.
    Best Ghost Image Forum
  4. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist


    Would you mind outlining your technique for creating the clone? What software did you use? How was the new HD partitioned prior to the cloning process? What did you do with the HDs after the clone completed? Anything else you can think of?

    Unfortunately, this error is "always" operator induced. Let's see if we can discover what went wrong. I used to get this error frequently until I sorted out my problems.
  5. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

    Some further info on cloning and why they might not boot.
    Stolen From Here
  6. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist

  7. Franklin

    Franklin Registered Member

    Thanks for the info Brian and I ain't gonna argue with a Demigod from Rad's forum.:D

    I checked an old post of mine over there and it seems I was wrong in that using an XP's install cd fixmbr will get a clone to boot.

    I've given up cloning altogether preferring to use images to restore which seem to work fine.

    Image sizes using fast compression for XP are around 600 meg and Vista around 2 gig.
  8. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist


    I'm with you. I only use clones in tests.
  9. benv

    benv Registered Member

    Can this be done from within Windows or does it require loadhive or winternals?

    I feel really dumb. I bought a new hard drive for my desktop and assumed I could copy my old one onto it using Apricorn EZ Gig II (I've recently done this w/ 3 different laptops w/o any problems), but all I get is the problem you describe.

    Any help for a non-expert? What's the simplest/cheapest way to accomplish this simple hard drive upgrade task?

    Thanks in advance.
  10. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    This problem occurs when restoring windows xp, no matter what imaging software you use.

    First you need to veriify which of the 2 drive letters are wrong. You have the "mounted devices" mentioned above, and the "partition ID" drive letter. Both must match to have a proper boot of windows xp. Every single incident I have encountered was always cause by the "partition ID" drive letter being wrong.

    For the "mounted devices" all you need is a bartpe bootcd to repair it. The bartpe will allow you to edit the registry of the non-booting drive.
    For the "partition ID" you need either a "boot corrector" or to perform a sector by sector clone.

    Also if you are restoring a laptop, you come up with the "chs geometry" hard drive problem (that produces the symptoms that you describe also) , the "chs geometry" problem is the easiest to fix, all that is required is to do a reverse clone.

    see these 2 links for similar problems you describe.


    Once the source windows xp has the ID of the restored drive in the registry it usually always causes problems which are next to impossible to fix. If you try to restore to a new hard drive straight out of the box it might work because it has no ID. But for me I don't like wasting time and just use a "boot corrector" it has never let me down. A 5 minute fix to me is preferable to spending hours doing another clone etc.

    You can use a bartpe bootcd with savepart plugin to verify your drive letters. There is a standalone savepart bootcd but it won't display all the information of the plugin.
  11. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist


    Simple. Do it properly. There will not be an error.

    Obey these "two general rules for successful cloning."


  12. benv

    benv Registered Member

    Thank you so much for the replies.

    If you'll further indulge me (I don't blame you if you won't), what if one breaks both of the cardinal rules, allowing XP to see the new drive before cloning, and the old drive after cloning? Could I format the new hard drive or somehow blank it out so XP won't recognize it as the same drive, then do it over the "right" way? Or is the registry editing the only option? I booted with BartPE but in my naivety I couldn't figure out how to inspect drive letters or anything else mentioned. I'll try it again but at this point I need to figure out the "once you've already been a dummy" procedure, not the "don't be a dummy" procedure. :(

    Again I very much appreciate the replies.
  13. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    There are only 2 things that I have seen that will fix a "partition ID" drive letter problem.
    1. a sector by sector clone (this was succesful with paragon drive backup but failed with true image, haven't tried with other softwares)
    2. a boot corrector

    to fix a "mounted devices" drive letter requires
    1. a win98 floppy disk and typing the fdisk/ mbr command
    2. manually edit the registry using a bartpe bootcd.

    As far as reformatting the drive etc, that won't work because the registry will still remember the hard drive. Many people have tried it including me and still got the same results. Also the following won't work.
    1. windows repair installation
    2. fixmbr
    3. fixboot

    It's important to verify which of the 2 drive letters is wrong, so that you don't waste time repairing the wrong one. For that you need to use a bartpe with the savepart plugin, it's the only utility that I've tested that can verify both the mounted and partition ID drive letters.

    I violate both these cardinal rules all the time when using true image and easy-image backup software and both produce the same results a non-booting restored drive. But I have a "boot corrector" and that allows me to change the "partition ID" to match my "mounted devices" , a quick 5 minute fix.

    When your hard drive crashes, you might be in a hurry to restore that you miss a step or don't do everything correctly, most of the times the restore goes succesfully but it won't boot because of something simple. I always prefer to fix the problem afterwards than to redo everything again, drive letters are an easy fix if you have all the right utilitys.

    When restoring windows xp (it doesn't matter what software you use) you need the following utilitys to have the ability to repair the restored drive. I have both of these utilitys and have a 100 percent success rate in getting my restored drive to boot up. Some people new to backing up and restoring hard drives reach a point where they give up and do a clean install of windows xp, when all they needed was a simple 5 minute fix.
    1. bartpe with savepart plugin
    2. boot corrector (latest build)
  14. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist


    Good question. I tried to cover most scenarios in this thread...(Reply #1 onwards)

  15. twl845

    twl845 Registered Member

    Trones - Welcome to Wilders! :D
  16. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    Update on how to change "partition ID" drive letter without using a "boot corrector".

    If you boot up your xp computer (after a restoration) and windows xp hangs at the logon screen, and resetting the "mounted devices"drive letters doesn't fix it. Do the following.

    Make a bartpe bootcd with the "driveimage xml" plugin. Next boot your computer with this cd. Start the driveimage xml program go to tools/set new disk ID/choose the hard drive with the windows installation/press "set new disk ID". Reboot. This should do the trick.

    I've tested this on my test computer (where I modify the partition ID drive letters) and it works like a champ. The computer will boot up, windows will "declare" it has found and installed new hardware (a new hard drive since it has a different ID) and requires a reboot.

    Anyone who backups and restores XP should have a bartpe with the savepart and driveimage xml plugins. It can save hours of troubleshooting, resetting the partition ID can be a simple 5 minute fix.
  17. grumpa22

    grumpa22 Registered Member

    trones, you are a lifesaver! I have spent several hours during the past 2 or 3 days chasing the same problem after using HDclone. Your solution using loadhive.exe was right on the money. Fortunately, I had a dual boot sys with 2 HD's (XP & Vista) so I was able to do the reg manipulation from the Vista drive. It worked flawlessly! I let out a yell, Eureka! My wife thought I was going bonkers. Beyond me how you came up with the fix "just dinking around", but I can only offer my heartfelt thanks for doing so....
  18. dpollock

    dpollock Registered Member

    I think this thread is great, and am getting most of it. BUT, how do I make a bartpe boot cd. Is it the same as the normal boot cd that TI offers to make when you install it
  19. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    to make a bartpe you just need to is download the free PE Builder software. All you need is your windows installation cd, the bartpe software will get the necessary files it needs from your installation cd.

    Make sure you have the necessary plugins ready, and you will browse to where you have your plugins and it will incorporate them on the bartpe. It will create an ISO that you can burn to a cd.

    It looks complicated but you can make a bartpe in 10-15 minutes. It's a very useful tool.

    Also the "boot corrector" is now available as a free download. To me it's more useful than a bartpe for fixing "partition ID drive letter" problems.
  20. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist


    Could I ask if you tried fdisk /mbr before you used the registry method? They do the same thing in two different ways. They both cause Windows to recalculate partition signatures.
  21. dpollock

    dpollock Registered Member

    Maybe I'm missing the point? I have a boot CD with TI and Disk Director. Do I still have a need for bartpe - has it similar functions to DD for fiddling with disk boot sectors and mbr's?
  22. tweakerxp

    tweakerxp Registered Member

    Alright, so I just cloned an old disk to a new one using Acronis True Image and get the hang at the welcome screen (or before it.) I have already tried fdisk /mbr from a Windows 98 startup disk, loading the registry hive and removing all entries in MountedDevice, and resetting the disk ID with DriveImage XML as per jonyjoe81's suggestion.

    However, it's STILL hanging at the welcome screen. Any more ideas?
  23. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    you can try the free "boot corrector" (inside the rescue kit boot cd) it has more powerful tools. With the "boot corrector", you can verify that you do have a drive letter problem also you can check your boot.ini file.


    Though the bartpe with xml plugin can fix the problem in some situations, it is comparable to using a hammer to fix a problem, the "boot corrector" is more specialized. If it can bootup your computer it can usually fix it.
  24. tipstir

    tipstir Registered Member

    Press F8 - Safe Mode only can you get into that...
  25. Brian K

    Brian K Imaging Specialist


    Could you describe the screen where it hangs? Colour? Text? Logos? Scrolling dots?

    Edit... Did you disconnect the old HD before the first boot from the new HD?
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2009
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