The Unbootable Windows of Doom

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by razorboy, Aug 15, 2011.

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  1. razorboy

    razorboy Registered Member

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    My Acer netbook is unbootable. (WinXP) My office sent me a huge PDF, and it
    crashed while Eudora was trying to download it. Eventually, the
    computer went into maintenance mode, did chkdsc and some file
    cleanup, moved some bad clusters, and I thought it would be OK,
    but when it boots, it goes halfway into Wndows and a blue screen
    flahes for a half second, allowing me time enough only to read a
    bit about "physical memory dump" and "registry can't...." then starts to
    reboot. F8 gives me the Safe mode menu, but no matter what I tell it to do,
    it tries but then gives me that same blue screen and tries to reboot.

    So; is there anything I can load onto a memory stick and boot
    from that so as to be able to access safe mode or otherwise do
    some repair? I'm not all that techy, so the repair shop seems a
    distinct possibility.

    Thanks for any suggestions

    o_O
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2011
  2. Woody777

    Woody777 Registered Member

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    See if you can load System Restore & if it will work for you. Do you have an imaging program if you do its time to restore a good backup image. Short of that you can try a boot disc utility like Active @ boot disc or Wondershare. If you are not comfortable with that sort of thing yes you should try the Repair Shop Route.
     
  3. razorboy

    razorboy Registered Member

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    Thank you.

    By disabling the "automatic reboot on failure" feature. I am able to see the error message in full:

    STOP: C0000218 {Registry file failure}
    The registry cannot load the hive (file)
    or its log or alternative.
    It is corrupt, absent, or not writeable.

    Beginning dump of physical memory.
    Physical memory dump complete.
    Contact your system administrator
    or technical support group for further assistance.
     
  4. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Chkdsk c: /f is usually all you need, maybe in your case it didn't finished completely. If chkdsk C: /f doesn't fix it, your next step would be testdisk.
    Download the gparted ISO, use the "universal usb installer' to put it on a flashdrive.
    When you bootup your netbook with gparted go to the terminal and type testdisk. Testdisk uses a doslike gui and will lead you step by step on how to recover a lost partition (corrupt partition).
    As long as you don't reformat your drive theres a good chance you can recover xp to a bootable condition. I have always recovered from a corrupt system drive.
     
  5. Sully

    Sully Registered Member

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    It might be too late by now, but you should try the F8 key during boot, then when you get to the text screen that normally lets you start in "safe mode", you want to try the option "last known good configuration".

    When XP successfully boots, it creates a copy of the registry. It does this so that when a registry failure happens, there is another good config. If it is only a registry error, this is the quick fix. If you boot it too many times though with a corrupt registry, you can say goodbye to the backup it made.

    If that fails, you have to take more drastic measures.

    Sul.
     
  6. andyman35

    andyman35 Registered Member

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    If the above suggestions are unsuccessful,have you checked if the system recovery offers a non-destructive restore function,ie. reinstall Windows but leaves all your files intact?

    If all else fails a Bartpe disc such as UBCD4Win will allow you to access your system/registry and attempt repairs.At the very least it'll allow you to back up all your important data if a reinstall is needed.

    One thing that I'd be concerned about is the discovery of bad clusters,which could be a sign that your hard drive is on the way to failure.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  7. DVD+R

    DVD+R Registered Member

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    Sorry about this, but your going to have to reinstall Windows, whatever program/ etc you were installing, has corrupted the Registry, as mentioned in the Error, this means Windows wont boot as it cant find that registry file anymore needed to boot into Windows, As mentioned by another poster, a disk image of your drive is essential in instances like this. The same thing happened to me several years ago, and I tried everything but to no avail. I strongly sugest not going to a repair store as they will only charge you for reinstalling Windows, which you can do yourself.
     
  8. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    There are options to try and restore the registry, Windows XP should make backups that are re-storable.
    If you are unable to complete this, the issue is not with the registry but something else (e.g. memory or drive error or seriously bad luck).

    There is a thorough guide on how to restore the registry:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

    Cheers, Nick
     
  9. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    I have read that if a Windows XP PC won't boot normally and won't boot into Safe Mode GUI, that you can use the Safe Mode with Command Prompt option. I have never done this, but here is the command that you enter at the Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

    %systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
     
  10. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Is there any chance that the pdf file could have contained Malware. It would not hurt to run a scan with one of the bootable Antivirus Rescue CD's. A simple and fast Antivirus Rescue CD is the Avira Rescue System CD.
     
  11. Spysnake

    Spysnake Registered Member

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    Bad clusters? I think your hard disk has failed. If none of the above suggestions help, the only way is to use a bootable disk, like Ubuntu Live CD, to move your important files to the another media. Prepare to lose some of the files.

    After that, you can further diagnose the problem by looking up your hard drive manufacturer in BIOS. If it for example shows something like "WDC990032...", that would be a Western Digital drive. Once you've found out the manufacturer, head to their website and grab a copy of their disk diagnostics software. In the Western Digital case, this would be it:

    http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=702&sid=30&lang=en

    Should this test find any problems with your hard drive, you need to replace it, either by yourself or in the repair shop. There are some weird problems with older Acer laptops when changing the HD though; you'd have to "format" it with a Acer supplied CD which isn't easily found as an image. But Google is your friend then. Whatever you do, you can't use your computer for sensitive work if the HD is broken. You can't even reinstall, as then Windows files get corrupted in the progress.
     
  12. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    reinstallation of windows is the last thing you want to do, that's a non-fix.
    Bad clusters is no big deal, it shows up when the drive is corrupted I've seen it before and won't affect anything once you got the corruption fix, the drive will run like nothing ever happen.
    You shouldn't have to do any manual fix of the registry, the chkdsk will usually fix all that automatically.
    I forgot to mention as long as you are using the NTFS file system you shouldn't have any problems recovering XP.
     
  13. TheKid7

    TheKid7 Registered Member

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    Of all of the different hard drive manufacturer's bootable diagnostics disks, only the IBM/Hitachi bootable diagnostics will test hard drives that are not IBM/Hitachi hard drives.

    However, the Parted Magic bootable CD has a complete hard drive diagnostics program which is fairly easy to use. It will run tests on all of the different brands of hard drive.
     
  14. razorboy

    razorboy Registered Member

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    I've just now had a chance to read all those replies, but have not had a chance to do anything with it yet. Thanks very much.

    I should add that when it goes [briefly]
    to Recovery mode, it checks the disk, says:
    WINDOWS HAS FINISHED CHECKING THE DISK. THE VOLUME IS CLEAN.
    and then goes back to the error message about registry, etc..
     
  15. ABee

    ABee Registered Member

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    Then it would appear there's been no hard drive corruption, just registry corruption.

    The instructions for doing a 'repair' install of XP are here, under "Windows Installation CD - Repair Current Installation":

    http://www.theeldergeek.com/repairing_windows_xp.htm

    Once you have your system up and running normally again, you may want to make occasional use of this XP tool, ERUNT:

    http://www.larshederer.homepage.t-online.de/erunt/
     
  16. razorboy

    razorboy Registered Member

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    Finally figuring that there may be help from the manufacturer, I went to the Acer site:
    http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2631/related/1/session/L2F2LzEvc2lkL2NXblQ5TUJr

    Select models, with Microsoft Windows, have the ability to have the Operating System reinstalled from a hidden partition built into the computer.

    Note: During the process, all data stored on your computer will be overwritten. This means all your files, such as email and photos, will be erased. Therefore, we recommend making a backup of all personal data before starting the recovery process.


    and etc..
    :ouch:
     
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