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Unmountable Boot Volume on Windows XP

Posted on 2009-04-14
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I'm getting a blue screen with the Unmountable_Boot_Volume error message

Lots of info in the middle about "if you installed new hardware," "reboot safe mode," etc.  No new hardware or software.  Safe mode produces the same error.

Technical Info at the bottom starts with STOP: 0X000000ED and is followed by four other sets of hex numbers.  These four change when I reboot.

I installed a new HD in this laptop less than a year ago, so I'm thinking it is a Windows XP problem....MBR??

 I have an IT background but haven't dont this type of work in a while.  Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Question by:cwilliambrown
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16 Comments
 
LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:tljones00
ID: 24144006
I assume this volume was booting previously so do this; whip out your handy dandy XP install CD (any one will do) and boot off it till you get to the option for the repair console. Enter the repair console choose the installation. When you get to the prompt type: chkdsk /f This should fix you up.
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:skywalker39
ID: 24144323
Hi cwilliambrown,

I agree with tljones00, if you have your XP install CD try and boot from the CD, and select the option for the repair console. Have you tried when going into Safe Mode when you hit the F8 tab selecting Last Known Good Configuration? You can even boot your hard drive into another computer as slave, backup any important data and try to do a fresh install, if none of the above works.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:tljones00
ID: 24144546
Oh from the same repair console FIXMBR will make it bootable. If need be try this if chkdsk fails. DO NOT DO THIS unless you have backed up the data.This command will possibly destroy any corrupted data in the MBR on your HDD and make the data inaccessable. Likely your MBR is simply screwed up, but be sure to back up just in case. If it won't boot after FIXMBR you are screwed and will have to reinstall. You seriously might want to look at hardware replacement after that, either the HDD, or the motherboard (as the controller is kicking the bucket slowly).
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 24144574
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297185

Read carefully.  Note the chances of data loss.  Also note the comments of the authors above as well.
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Expert Comment

by:trustwisecomputers
ID: 24144916
I fully agree with the above comments. The chance that there is a hardware issue is very high, in order to save yourself a huge headache I would recommend just replacing the Hard Drive, Loading the OS, and transfering your data back to the new load. Taking a chance by using the old HDD might be a bad idea.
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LVL 93

Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 1600 total points
ID: 24145318
i would test the disk to know it'ds status :    http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:cwilliambrown
ID: 24147909
Thanks for all of the comments!  Only things I have tried so far are booting into safe mode and last know good configuration.  I received the same result with both.
I'm fixing this laptop for a friend.  I put a new HD in it maybe 8-9 months ago for her.  I would hate to tell her it needs to be replaced again.  If it does, it does but Im going to back up the data and try these other options first.
Will let you know how it goes very soon!
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24149167
for testing the disk, you can also download ubcd; contains all the tests you need : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:cwilliambrown
ID: 24153404
ok, I used UBCD for Windows and tested the drive with the WD utility.  It actually failed on the quick test and I thought, "oh know, I'm gonna have to tell this lady she needs another drive already."  Well, for some reason, I decided to run the extensive test.  It took about 30 minutes and found bad spots on the drive.  I let it repair the disk, rebooted, and Windows came right up!
Although, everything appears fine now, I would still like to understand what was most likely causing the problem.  Is it safe to assume that Windows was trying to use this bad section for something, while loading up, and because it was bad, it failed?
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 24153478
>> Is it safe to assume that Windows was trying to use this bad section for something, while loading up, and because it was bad, it failed?

Yep.  Also consider yourself lucky.  Sometimes the fix will write over important data areas.

Also don't trust the drive.  It's failed once.  May fail again.  Make sure she backs up her data to an external device.

I'd also examine the machine and disconnect and redisconnect all power and data cables to the drive in case they have worked slightly loose.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:cwilliambrown
ID: 24153982
It was my understanding that the WD utility would simply mark those sectors bad, so that the OS or any other software would not attempt to use the space.  Is it really possible that it could have over written other important areas?  Like I said, I havent done this specific work in a while, so let me know, if I am mistaken.  I'm the type of person that likes to know the "why's" and "how's" of the situation.  Thanks for bearing with me!
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LVL 49

Assisted Solution

by:dbrunton
dbrunton earned 400 total points
ID: 24154026
It may attempt to copy what is there to other sectors.  Then mark those sectors as bad and then direct any references to those bad sectors to those other sectors.  Thus the OS when it accesses those sectors is directed to the other sectors.  There is usually 1% (from memory) of the hard disk available for this purpose.

Now if it couldn't read those bad sectors it may have just marked them bad and made references to a clean sector.  So if the data was important in that bad sector it is now gone.

>> I'm the type of person that likes to know the "why's" and "how's" of the situation.

No problem.

Also download and install HDTune http://www.hdtune.com/ (get the free version).  It'll give you information about the state of your drive - but treat the information cautiously because all manufacturers don't necessarily implement the features in the same way.
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LVL 3

Author Comment

by:cwilliambrown
ID: 24154337
Very helpful info, DBRUNTON!  Thanks for the explanation!  
I'm almost certain that HDTune is on my UBCD for Windows!  I'll run it and see what I find!
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24154948
this can help you ttoo HDD Regenerator : http://www.dposoft.net/
verify also that S.M.A.R.T. is enabled for that drive, it will warn you when things go wrong
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24154963
as for the why : it depends on the actual fault.
if it was a bad sector on the disk surface, the redirection will help.
if the sector surface was eg. scratched, the bad surface will spread.
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LVL 3

Author Closing Comment

by:cwilliambrown
ID: 31570222
Nobus nailed it but I thought Dbrunton deserved a few points for sticking around and helping to explain.  Thanks guys!
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