Why does my Windows XP Laptop have a "HPFS" file system?

I was shutting down my laptop yesterday afternoon and as it was going down a pop-up appeared that windows was going to apply some updates. OK, no problem. This morning the PC will not start as it keeps cycling through the boot-up, reboot sequence. It will not load last configuration, or go into safe mode. I stuck a dos diskette in to get a prompt and went into FDISK and looked at the partition information and for the main (and only) partition it says, "HPFS". Never having seen that one before, I looked to Microsoft and found the following article about HPFS:


down in the article I found the following:

Disadvantages of HPFS
Because of the overhead involved in HPFS, it is not a very efficient choice for a volume of under approximately 200 MB. In addition, with volumes larger than about 400 MB, there will be some performance degradation. You cannot set security on HPFS under Windows NT.

HPFS is only supported under Windows NT versions 3.1, 3.5, and 3.51. Windows NT 4.0 cannot access HPFS partitions.

This is an XP PC. Does anyone know if this is supposed to be, or is there something weird going on, or am I misreading the Fdisk?

The laptop is a Toshiba Sattelite A40.
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brady1408Connect With a Mentor Commented:
I'm not sure why it would be running hpfs but maybe that's what toshiba installed it as, as far as not being about to boot your machine have you tried doing a repair or a system restore?

If you can't boot into windows you can still run a system restore using these instructions

Restore the computer to a previous date manually. Though steps look complicated, its worth trying.

Restart the system.

Press f12 when you see the Dell logo. This shud get you one time boot screen.

Insert CD to the top most drive (if u have 2 drives) and press enter. Make sure you see "Press any key to boot from CD...". This is the indication that you are booting from CD. Press any key on the keyboard to boot through CD. You will have about 4 seconds to press the key. This should start loading necessary file and may take 2-5 mins depending on the speed of your computer. On welcome to set up screen, press R and accept the license agreement by pressing f8. This shoud load the recovery console.

First rename the system file using the command below

ren c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\system32\config\system.old

Type exit at the command prompt. This will restart the system.

Boot back to recovery console again.

Type the following commands

cd \
cd system~1
cd _resto~1

Now obeserve the directory listing. You should find a lot of folders starting with RPxxx(xxx will be numbers)
Each folder will be followed by the date it got created. Locate the file with the date when your system was working. Note the folder name (eg. RP22)

Type the following commands

CD RP22 (note: susbstitute the folder you located)
cd snapshot

copy _registry_machine_system c:\windows\system32\config\system
copy _registry_machine_software c:\windows\system32\config\software
copy _registry_machine_sam c:\windows\system32\config\sam
copy _registry_machine_security c:\windows\system32\config\security
copy _registry_user_.default c:\windows\system32\config\default (note: "." before default)


This should take you to desktop

Good luck
dwielgoszAuthor Commented:
are you talking about the DELL system restore disk?
In regards to the HPFS...I'm guessing it isn't actually formatted HPFS. Most likely your DOS disk has an old version if FDISK that doesn't recognize NTFS so it interprets the file system incorrectly.

For fixing the problem....Brady's advice on the recovery console is a good place to start.
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And he's talking about using a Window XP cd, not a restore cd.
dwielgoszAuthor Commented:
OK because the dell disk ain't doing anything except wanting to take me to a reformat, etc. I'll try the win XP disk instead
dwielgoszAuthor Commented:
I tried renaming the old system to system.old and I got a return that said, "the parameter is not valid" I checked spelling and syntax and everything appears correct
Instead of
ren c:\windows\system32\config\system c:\windows\system32\config\system.old
Just do.....
ren c:\windows\system32\config\system system.old

Rename doesn't allow a path to be in the destination.
dwielgoszAuthor Commented:
I figured that out. Now I'm stuck at:

I've rebooted and reentered the recovery console and am in


when i try to do the command "cd_resto~1" it bonks out and returns the following:

"command is not recognized"
You are missing a space.
"cd _resto~1"
dwielgoszAuthor Commented:
never mind I added a space between cd and _
dwielgoszAuthor Commented:
absolutely fantastic!

Back in the desktop as if nothing had ever happened. I learned a very valuable lesson. Many thanks.
Thank you Kenneniah I was away from the desk and it was great to see an expert give him swift advice :o)
No problem :)
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