windows xp service pack 3 incomplete installation, bart pe

I attempted to install the Windows XP Service Pack 3, not realizing how much disk space was required.  My hard drive is partitioned into a smaller C drive with windows and program files, and a larger D drive for multimedia file storage.

Before I knew it, the install wizard is telling me that the space on my hard drive is dangerously low.  I tried to cancel the installation but it would not cancel.  I tried to free up space on my C drive, but could not clear space fast enough.  Suddenly the computer froze and I have not been able to restart since.

Now I am trying to use Bart PE to try to transfer my music and pictures to an external hard drive, but it does not seem to recognize the external drive.  Is there any reason why the external drive would not be recognized?  My laptop recognizes it, but my damaged desktop does not show it.

Also, can I use Bart PE to get my computer to start up in Windows again?

As you can see, I am a total novice when it comes to this kind of stuff.  A friend of a friend let me borrow this Bart PE CD, but I can't really figure out what to do with it.  Please help.  Thanks.
mpdst11Asked:
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mpdst11Connect With a Mentor Author Commented:
it is definitely the external drive that is not being mounted, because I am able to access both of my internal hard drives.  plus, if i boot in linux and don't have the external drive plugged in, that is the one that doesn't show up, the one that cannot be mounted.

as for the ultimate boot cd, it says i need a windows xp cd to create the ultimate boot cd.  is this true?
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Grizzly072000Commented:
You could try a repair install with your Windows CD. It won't affect your data on D:
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NutrientMSCommented:
Yep.  A Windows Repair should fix it for you.
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Grizzly072000Commented:
Ultimate Boot CD for Windows (http://www.ubcd4win.com/) has more tools and more drivers than BartPE
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mpdst11Author Commented:
I don't have a Windows CD.  Will the Ultimate Boot CD solve the problems of not being able to get my computer to recognize my external hard drive?  I don't know that I really need more tools or drivers.  My primary concern is just to retrieve my files.  Is there any reason why the system will not recognize the external hard drive when I am running Bart PE?
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Grizzly072000Commented:
Yes, you need to establish USB support before being able to access the drive. It's also hardware dependent.
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Grizzly072000Commented:
Try the procedure at http://tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm. It doesn't require a Windows CD (but a working computer to D/L some files).
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DMTechGrooupCommented:
Nobody has asked this.. have you tried safe mode?
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mpdst11Author Commented:
yes, sorry about that.  i have tried safe mode and last known good configuration.  none of it works.  i think what happened was the XP service pack 3 deletes old files before installing new ones.  that's what it seemed to be doing, anyway.  and my computer froze up before it was done installing some critical windows driver files or something.  so now the computer is totally messed up.

grizzly, if i make an ntldr boot disk, i will be able to access my USB drive?
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DMTechGrooupCommented:
what happens exactly when it boots?

Try a linux live CD..  http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
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mpdst11Author Commented:
when i try to start the computer, it tries to run Autocheck, but then it says it can't find Autocheck, and then it reboots and just goes over and over in a loop.
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Grizzly072000Commented:
Sorry, I can't guarantee that. But Everything I suggested shouldn't affect your D: drive unless you deliberately select it.
Since I suspect you are concerned with saving your data, a solution that I can guarantee is pulling your HDD from your machine and use a adapter (Like the Bytecc BT-100, see http://www.byteccusa.com/product/adapter/BT- 300/BT-300.htm, around $30-$40) or a 3.5" disk enclosure and connect it to another machine to which you'll also attach your present USB.
You'll transfer all your D: drive, then you'll put the HDD back in the old comp.
Reformat & perform a clean Windows install, then get your data from the USB drive.
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DMTechGrooupCommented:
when it boots,  hit f8 until the Safe mode list comes up.. one should be to not automatic restart on error.. select that and it should blue screen with more information.
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mpdst11Author Commented:
when i disable automatic restart, i get the following error message:

STOP: c000021a {Fatal System Error}
The Session Manager Initialization system process terminated unexpectedly with a status of 0xc000003a (0x00000000 0x00000000).
The system has been shut down.
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NutrientMSCommented:
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DMTechGrooupCommented:
Do you have Norton Goback? or try to use an partition resizing tools?  Everything I see on that error points to one of those.

If you just want your files and do a clean install then use the linux disk.
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Grizzly072000Commented:
I'm not sure suggesting a parallel installation of NT is going to help the OP much.
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mpdst11Author Commented:
DMTech,

I tried the linux disk that you recommended.  I am now able to see the external hard drive, but I still cannot open it.  I get the following error message:

Could not mount device.
The reported error was:
mount: I could not determine the filesystem type, and none was specified

Do you have any idea why this might be happening?
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Grizzly072000Commented:
The device that cannot be mounted is most probably your internal HDD. Older Knoppix versions have an issue with NTFS.
You could try getting/making a Ubuntu or Linux Puppy 4 bootable CD.
Did you try Ultimate boot CD like I suggested?
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Grizzly072000Commented:
Mounting USB HDD
http://www.knoppix.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9951&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=10&sid=b3c622c8ba1adca91687b0b233be89bb

Boot CD: Yes if you want to create one, but the link I gave you was for D/L'g one.
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Grizzly072000Commented:
Update: For Boot CD, I implicitly supposed the Windows installation files were not removed from the computer used to create & burn the CD. If not, I supposed you'll need the installation disk for the version of Windows installed on the computer (not yours).
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GeoffSuttonCommented:
Before following all this, have you tried:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/950249
At the bottom there is a process for manual uninstalling of SP3 from recovery console.  I don't know if it's true with 3, but SP2 you could not repair install overtop of.  You ended up with Bad DLL's all over the place and a clean install was then the only fix.

Once you get the uninstall done, you may need to follow it up  with http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545 to do a manual system restore of the registry, but hopefully not.

Good luck on this,
Geoff
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Grizzly072000Commented:
Install and Boot Ultimate Boot CD (UBCD) from a USB Thumbdrive (http://www.pendrivelinux.com/2006/03/25/install-and-boot-ultimate-boot-cd-ubcd-from-a-usb-device/) gives you a link to an UBCD.iso
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