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My computer has died

Posted on 2002-05-08
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Hi, I need some help.

My laptop (running windows 2000) fails to start up properly.  I think that formating the hard drive and re-installing windows will solve the problem, however I need to copy certain files over before I can do this.
When I boot from the windows 2000 CD I can get to the "recovery console" which seems similar to dos, but does not allow me into my "my documents" folder (It just shows an Access Denied message)
I also tried using a win 98 start up disk, but of course it does not support NTFS.

Could someone direct me to a website where I can download a more suitable boot disk, or suggest what I am doing wrong.

Thank you


p.s My computer could be connected to a network.  Would I be able to access the documents that I have shared, when the computer is booted from the win 2000 CD.
Question by:andrewsmith
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Expert Comment

ID: 6997361
You want to get NTFS/DOS utility, you can get it several places try:


Expert Comment

ID: 6997482
Hey, Andrew...

sorry to hear about the crash.  I'm reinstalling my desktop & had to go through the same headache you're having right now.

before reinstalling, what's going on with the boot?  what happens when you try to boot to the HD?

LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 6998251
The console cannot read files which are compressed or encrypted, and I think that the NTFS drivers mentionned also do not have this abilty. Therefore, this is likely not going to solve your problem. Make sure to check the file contents after copying!

Start Setup from your CD. During the setup process, choose not to change the partitions, not to format, and choose to install to a new directory (for instance, WINNT2). Then you will get to a clean new installation on your existing partition and then you can copy the files as needed.
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LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 6998707
Yeah the console has built-in limits to which folders can be accessed, unfortunately. Perhaps you could describe to us what happens in terms of errors reported or what the machine does when Win2000 tries to start. Otherwise I think Avon has an excellent solution to get you back into the system so you can backup the files you want to save.

Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console

...Restrictions and Limitations of the Command Console
From the Recovery Console you can only use the following folders:
The root folder.

The %SystemRoot% folder and the subfolders of the Windows 2000 installation you are currently logged in to.

The Cmdcons folder.

Removable media drives such as CD-ROM drives.

NOTE: If you try to obtain access to other folders, you receive an "Access Denied" error message. Also, while in the Recovery Console you cannot copy a file from the local hard disk to a floppy disk. You can copy a file from a floppy disk or CD-ROM to a hard disk, and from one hard disk to another hard disk...

The Crazy One

Expert Comment

ID: 6999914
You haven't mentioned why your 2000 Pro is failing to boot. If it could be a HDD problem I dont think it would be wise to install extra software onto it. You may lose everything.

Have you tried the NTFS/DOS utility. If the files are small enough (floppy size) you WILL be able to access them and download them onto a floppy.


Author Comment

ID: 6999971
Thank you for all the input, I will try the NTFS/DOS utility at the weekend (The current network I am using has blocked downloads).

After lots of requests to find out what happend when I boot my machine:

1. Computer Boots from the Hard Drive and the loading Win2000 screen is displayed
2. It takes a long time for the status bar to complete, but when it does the screen goes blue, and some white text is displayed, however the computer re-sets before I can read any of the text (I managed to pick out the word "warning" and "dump" - memory dump prehaps?)

Anyway I am not sure what is going on.

The computer is a laptop, and the problem first occured when It had been moved and had had a car journey, but I do not think that there is any Physical damage.

Thank you

Expert Comment

ID: 7001088
try to install windown 2000. System will detect an existing version of windown 2000.
Donot select for repair.
Select to  overwrite an existing installation. This will delete all of your system files and directories but all your directories will be in tact.There by you can keep your personal directories in tact and reload the OS.
At any point of time never select for formatting the disk.

Author Comment

ID: 7001129
I tried that, but it says that I do not have enough available disk space.  If I could free up a bit of space on my hard drive then I would be able to do this, however I think that the NTFS DOS Utility is read only.

I will fiddle around with it this weekend, and tell you what happens

LVL 44

Accepted Solution

CrazyOne earned 800 total points
ID: 7001340
>>>2. It takes a long time for the status bar to complete, but when it does the screen goes blue, and some white text is displayed, however the computer re-sets before I can read any of the text (I managed to pick out the word "warning" and "dump" - memory dump prehaps?)

Ok here are a few things to try.

As soon as you see when you are booting Win2000 is starting hit the F8 key and then from the menu select "Last known good configuration". Reboot. If this does work then try the following.

Note the following approcah will not replace any system files.

Can you boot to your Win2000 CD? If so then when it finally boots to the CD choose "Repair Console" this will allow you to use the command line. From here do something like this. Or if the file system is FAT32 you can use a Win98 bootdisk to do this. www.bootdisk.com

COPY /Y C:\WINNT\repair\RegBack\*.* C:\WINNT\system32\config\*.*

This will replace the registry to the last time the registry was backuped. Hopefully you didn't backup the registry at the time the problems started to happen.

Also if you desire not to copy over the entire registry you can do it one hive at a time. Following is a list of the files that are the registry hives. I would suggest starting with the System hive and then reboot and if the problem still persists do the Software hive next. Note these files don't have a file extension on them


I would suggest to first backup these hives from the C:\WINNT\system32\config\ to folder of your making or choice just don't back them up to the C:\WINNT\repair\RegBack\ folder.  

You will probably need to reapply any services patches that you have previously installed.

Author Comment

ID: 7003748
Thanks a lot, I am sending this message from my now working computer.

LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 7003801
You are welcome. :>)

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