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I am trying to rebuild the XP boot.ini file. When I try recovery console it reports out of memory. Any suggestions?

Posted on 2009-04-16
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Last Modified: 2013-12-01
I would like to run Combofix on the PC to clear infections (Macafee repeatedly finds and deletes a couple of files it reports as Trojans). When I try Combofix it says that it is unable to create some files...
Some months ago I installed Recovery Console on the PC but it has now disappeared!
When I boot the machine I get an error message that boot.ini is corrupt. I've tried to edit it without success so decided to rebuild it using Recovery Console.
I can't install Recovery Console on to the hard Drive because of the faulty boot.ini so I tried to run it from the CD. When I enter the command bootcfg /rebuild it says .."scanning all disks for Window... this will take some time..." After some time an eror message saying Out of memory. I unplugged all drives apart from the boot drive and tried again with the same result - out of memory.
Meanwhile th emachine boots up and runs OK with the exception that it won't do a scandisk (or run Combofix)
Any suggestions as to rectify the situation would be welcome. I think the first thing is how can I get Recovery Console + Bootcfg / rebuild to work. The other matters may then fall into place.



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Question by:aideb
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by:flubbster
flubbster earned 2000 total points
ID: 24156399
Once in the recovery console, please run a checkdisk first:

chkdsk /r

This will take some time. Then do the following two commands:

fixmbr
fixboot

Reboot and test. If still a problem, go back in again and try the bootcfg /rebuild
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by:aideb
ID: 24156454
Thanks I'll try this and get back to you.
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by:aideb
ID: 24159890
I did a chkdsk  /r which repaired some errrors.

I ran fixmbr and fixboot, rebooted and tested. PC boots OK (still with error in boot.ini)
I did another chkdsk and no errors were found. Ran console once more and it still can not finish, saying out of memory. (The PC has 4gb).

I tried Combofix and it ran. It reported that Console was not on the HD and attempted to download Console online but then after some time said there was an error and aborted the download. It then tried to do a scan but did not complete it - I cancelled after about 40 mins.

Any further suggestions would be appreciated.

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by:flubbster
flubbster earned 2000 total points
ID: 24161050
Were you able to try doing a bootcfg /rebuild??
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by:aideb
ID: 24161686
I've redone chkdsk /r and then fixmbr again followed by fixboot. When I again tried bootcfg /rebuild I once more got the memory error.
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by:flubbster
flubbster earned 2000 total points
ID: 24161871
Ok... go ahead and boot the system. Right-click My Computer and select properties.
select Advanced
Under the Starup and Recovery section, click on Settings
In the System Starup section, click on Edit

Your boot.ini file will open in Notepad. Verify that it looks just like the listing below:

[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

Pay attention to each line, including spaces, slashes, and quotation marks. If it is NOT the same as above, click on file>save as (still in Notepad), and save it somewhere as a backup.

Now close it and then go back in and select edit again, this time, edit it to look just as above. Save it (NOT SAVE AS), and close. Reboot and test.
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by:aideb
ID: 24161952
Ok... go ahead and boot the system. Right-click My Computer and select properties. [OK]
select Advanced [OK]
Under the Starup and Recovery section, click on Settings [OK]
In the System Starup section, click on Edit [as soon as I click on Settings the following error message appears The c:\boot.ini file can not be opened. Operating System and Timeout settings can not be changed.]
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by:flubbster
flubbster earned 2000 total points
ID: 24166619
Boot the system. Click on start>run and type in:

msconfig

Select the boot.ini tab
click on "Check all boot paths"

report back pls.

Also, set your view to be able to see hidden files and folders:

Open any folder, click on tools>folder options
select view
place a check in "view hidden files and folders" and remove the check from "Hide protected operating system files"

Now, go to My computer, and click on the C drive. Look for the boot.ini file. Is it there? If so, open it with notepad and compare it to the listed I posted earlier.
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aideb earned 0 total points
ID: 24215679
First can I apologise for not getting back before now.

[msconfig

Select the boot.ini tab
click on "Check all boot paths"

report back pls.] Clicking the boot.ini tab resulted in an error message that there was no boot.ini

[Also, set your view to be able to see hidden files and folders:

Open any folder, click on tools>folder options
select view
place a check in "view hidden files and folders" and remove the check from "Hide protected operating system files"

Now, go to My computer, and click on the C drive. Look for the boot.ini file. Is it there? If so, open it with notepad and compare it to the listed I posted earlier.]  There was no boot.ini file so I used Notepad, pasted in your listing of the file and saved it as boot.ini on drive c.

This solved the problem. I was then able to boot up without any error message. I tried Combofix and it reported that it could not find the Recovery Console and it tried to download it from the web then reported that there was problem with the drive.

I switched off System Restore and booted into Safe Mode and was able to do a Diskcheck which reported that it had found errors and repaired them.
I then tried Combofix again and it worked installed the Recovery Console OK. However it then failed to run properly. I did another Diskcheck (no errors) and rebooted and again ran Combofix. This time it found 3 Trojans and removed them.

At this point I was able to return to normal mode and the machine has been working properly since.

It was a very time consuming process but worth it in the end.

Thank you for your support without which I would probably have given up and re-formatted the drive.
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