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Sony Vaio Won't Boot -- Sony Tech Support Says A Full Recovery is the Only Option

Posted on 2010-01-05
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I have a ~5 year old Sony Desktop (model PCV-RS431) that won't boot.  I get the Sony splash then the Intel splash, and then it goes to a black screen and sits.  It is running Windows XP Home.  Someone gave me a Bart PE disk and it says that my hard drive is healthy - from a DOS prompt I can list the files on the C:/D: partitions.  So I think some of the boot files were corrupted.  I was fighting the virtumonde virus (so it seems) when it stopped booting.  

I paid Sony $25 for tech support (after the first fifteen free minutes she managed to extract my name and basic computer info -- when you wait for 2 minutes for her to finish typing a question it doesn't leave a lot of time for real support in 15 minutes!).  Anyway, she said since it wouldn't boot up in Safe Mode, the only option was to do a recovery with the recovery disk, which of course will overwrite all of my data.  Much of it was backed up, but some recent stuff was not, plus I have software downloaded from the Internet that I probably will have to repurchase, so I'd really like to avoid the recovery if at all possible.  

Any advice?  Thanks!

Mark
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Question by:mrjlal
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48 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26178311
FYI, I'm in the U.S. and it's past my bedtime, so I'll have to respond to any comments in another 8 hours.  Night!
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Expert Comment

by:houssam_ballout
ID: 26178337
Try windows repair:
michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Make sure that you have Windows XP Home CD
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Accepted Solution

by:
nobus earned 672 total points
ID: 26178360
for the virus, did you try this : http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/virus-removal/remove-vundo-virtumonde

is your disk drive seen in the bios?

repair install guide :  http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
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Assisted Solution

by:tmbi
tmbi earned 664 total points
ID: 26178453
First things first, can you take an image of the drive using something like Ghost or Drive Image? I would always try that first and then you can work on the copy knowing that your original disk is untouched. You could use a Linux Live CD (I've used Puppy, Ubuntu, Mint etc before) to list your files and recover them to an external disk so that you would at least have a copy of your data, although I appreciate that you wouldn't have the installed programmes.
I've generally found the XP repair to be pretty good at pulling client's PCs back from the brink, but you can never tell. Just go through it logically starting with the operation that is least likely to cause data loss, and work on the copy at all times if you can. If that works, you should be ok.
Good luck.
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Assisted Solution

by:koreansuper
koreansuper earned 664 total points
ID: 26178480
before you do windows repair, tried to use kaspersky rescue disk, all the steps and file is on the link
 http://www.techmixer.com/kaspersky-rescue-disk-load-kaspersky-antivirus-2009-using-dos/

if you still not able to boot then tried to do the windows repair.
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Expert Comment

by:Fayaz
ID: 26178908
Pls check if you have any SATA settings on the BIOS, please post if any errors on the screen, any additional info maight be helpful.
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26180949
Thanks for the comments.  I'll try to answer all the questions:

BIOS does see the hard drive - I don't see any information in the BIOS screens that indicates a problem (but I'm not an expert so if I need to provide specific feedback please instruct).  When I boot to the CD/DVD drive (in this case with a Bart PE disk), I'm able to go to a DOS prompt and list the directory of both the C and D partitions without any errors.  

As for the Windows Repair, Sony's tech support indicated that the recovery disk IS the windows installation disk, but when I boot to that disk it goes to a recovery wizard as the only optioin.  I know with the standard Windows Recovery/Repair you get the option but there is no option with the Sony recovery disk.  So once I get to that point I'm not clear how to attempt a repair -- don't really want to purchase Windows again!

I understand first that I should try to backup my hard drive and will start working on that.  Thanks for those recommendations.  I have some softward I purchase 3 or 4 years ago -- I just need to find it!  If I can find it I will post the name of it for feedback.  Would you expect that I have USB support in order to hook up my external backup drive? (I haven't tried yet).

As for error messages, the only thing I see is that when I try to boot up in Safe mode, I get a bunch of messages (white letters on a black screen) before it goes into an idle mode.  The messages start with
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS\xxxxxxx
where xxxxxx is each of the following file names:
system32\ntoskrnl.exe
system32\hal.dll
system32\KDCOM.DLL
system32\BOOTVID.dll
system32\config\system
system32\c_1252.nls
system32\c_437.nls
system32\l_intl.nls
FONTS\vgaoem.fon
system32\Drivers\sptd.sys
system32\Drivers\SCISIPORT.SYS
system32\Drivers\WMILIB.SYS
system32\DRIVERS\ACPI.sys
system32\DRIVERS\pic.sys
system32\DRIVERS\ohci1394.sys
system32\DRIVERS\1394BUS.SYS
system32\DRIVERS\isapnp.sys
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26181541
you can backup to USB when booted from the live Knoppix cd :
ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.0.1CD-2009-02-08-EN.iso
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26190623
nobus,
Thanks for the knoppix link.  It's running on my PC now -- cool screen savers!  I have networking support and can browse the Internet (something I hadn't been able to figure out with my Bart PE disk).  But I don't see how to transfer files from my hard drives.  Using the PCMan File Manager it is not able to ready my hard drive (it appears have identified them).  Do you have any tips?
Thanks!
Mark
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26190761
nobus,
an update -- I found an article http://www.ehow.com/how_4858086_screen-of-death-using-knoppix.html that describes making the drives read-write.  But the caveat is that it may cause me to lose my system drive, which is concerning.  But if I just go to step 12, maybe that's not the case -- then maybe I can attempt to do a Windows repair?
Thanks,
Mark
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26191865
trannsfer files : on the left side you see your disk (hda)  double click it, and drill down to your files and folders
copy them to other disk, or usb drives
you can also access your network, or internet !
don't bother about the rest
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26194796
nobus,
I have an external hard drive connected via USB (I rebooted to make sure it was indentified).  On the left side, if I select Directory Tree tab on the bottom left, I see under File System / media:
hda1
-- No Sub Folder
hda2
-- No Sub Folder
hda5
-- No Sub Folder
hdc
-- No Sub Folder
hdd
-- No Sub Folder
sda
-- No Sub Folder

If I select the Location tab on the lower left, I see
103 GB Volume
40 GB Volume
5 GB Volume
These are the partitions of my hard drive.  When I right click on those there is an option to "Mount File System" but I want to be 100% sure before I do that.  I don't, however, see anything that appears to be the external hard drive in the USB port.

Can you advise some more tips, please?  Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26197417
Well the fun continues -- I can't even read my external drive with another computer.  I see others having problems where the external drive shows up in device manager but Windows doesn't have a letter assigned to it and thus it can't be accessed.  But that's a different problem I have to figure out first so I can backup my data.  If I need help with that I will post a separate question on getting external drives recognized.  But now my PC's fan is whining and I posted another question about replacing fans so I'm off to do that next.  I'll post again when I'm ready to try to store my data before doing a repair.

In the meantime, if anyone has an answer as to how to do a windows repair with the Sony Recovery CD (which has Windows XP on it but it doesn't boot up with the repair option) that's probably an issue that I'm going to have.  Nobus, the michaelstevenstech.com link is great (I've come upon that before) but I'm at least one step away from using it due to this reason.

Thanks!
Mark
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26197866
i never had to mount anything; here how i do it :
i click on the little house icon in the task bar (Home) it opens a window - then i click on desktop, and it shows all disk drives hda1, 2 and 3.
if i plug in an usb disk, it opens a window asking me what it should do : open another window (i say yes to it) and other options

>>   I can't even read my external drive with another computer   <<   that looks a bad usb drive; can you open it and connect the disk directly to a sata or ide port for testing ?   that would show if the drive is bad, or the bridge circuits.

you can also try another cable

and be sure it has enough power (i always use separately powered usb disks)
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26213894
Update - I'm assuming I have a serious problem with my external hard-drive so I'm going to get that fixed first so that if Knoppix can write to it, I can actually read it!  I've opened another question (#25031922).   I might buy a external hard-drive anyway -- this is getting to be ridiculous.  My non-booting computer is having fan problems now so I need to replace those.  I'll come back after my fans and external drive are working.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26263807
you can post the link to new questions here (easier to follow)
if i see it - i'll jump in (if i can help )
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26274275
nobus,
OK - here it is:  http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/Q_25031922.html
I'm getting some great help from russell so I think I'm nearly finished on that question -- I used the knoppix cd that you referred me to - thanks!  I'm waiting for the transfer of data from my corrupted external drive to a new external drive that I purcahased.  Then I will come back here and attempt to transfer the corrupted internal hard drive to the new drive.
And did I mentioned this in all this my home laptop has a bad hard drive (chkdsk error -- that hard drive I think is really shot).  Can all this happen from malware?
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by:nobus
ID: 26276549
malware does not cause bad hardware, mostly it is caused by bad parts, design flaws, or temperature problems
just bad luck imo.
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26286392
OK, I'm back to working on THIS drive (if you are confused I have THREE HD's that failed -- this desktop, my laptop that you've also answered on, and the external drive that I referenced above - it is completely fixed).  
I know SO much more now than when we first talked.  OK, I have a new external drive which is ready to take data from my failed hard drive.  To fix my external drive, I used dd_rescue to make an image first.  Should I do that?  FYI, I cannot view the contents of my bad HD -- when I try to mount it I get the message
Error org.freedesktop.Hal.Device.Volume.UnknownFailure
When I run fdisk -l it shows this drive partitioned as follows:
Device    Boot      Start             End            Blocks        Id      System
hda1                         1              784              6297448+    12    Compaq diagnostics
hda2           *             785        6006          41945715         7   HPFS/NTFS
hda3                        6007     19457       108045157+       f    W95 Ext'd (LBA)
hda5                        6007     19457       108045156         7   HPFS/NTFS              
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26289569
Well I got impatient and did a dd_rescue which was successful.  I have an image of the drive on my new external drive.  So then I tried to write the partition table -- I don't know exactly what I'm doing but it worked on my old external drive that I just fixed -- but it just had a single partition.  This one has 3 (or 4) I'm not sure how to count the above.  
I attempted to reboot on the hard drive and the Sony Recovery Consule started up.  Well, that's more than it used to do, but it's going to restore my computer to its original state - yuck.  Since there were no physical errors is it unrealistic to expect that I can get a bootable drive out of this?  
 
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by:mrjlal
ID: 26289711
I'll just keep rambling on -- I read that someone got their drive to boot simply by running chkdsk /r so I booted up on a Bart PE disk.  Cool, I can browse my files on the hard drive - they are all there!  But when I ran chkdsk from the command prompt I got the message:
"The type of the file system is NTFS.  Cannot lock current drive.  Chkdsk cannot run because the volume is in use by another process.   Chkdsk may run if this volume is dismounted first.  ALL OPEN HANDLES TO THIS VOLUME WOULD THEN BE INVALID.  Would you like to force a dismount onf this volume?  (Y/N)
I stopped there.  
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26289780
Well I didn't stop.  I rebooted without accessing the c: drive directly and ran chkdsk c: /r.  It's going.
Nobus or anyone else, have I been deserted?
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26289899
Oh, I just read up about HDD -- apparently there is a trial version which will tell me if it can recover my data -- I'll run that.
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26289909
Oops, I meant the above post to be on my OTHER question about a failed hard drive on my Dell laptop.  I don't have physical errors on this drive (that I know of) - please ignore.
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26290007
Results of Chdksk /r:
Stages 1 through 5 were completed - that's a summary - then...
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the master file table (MFT) bitmap.  Windows has mad corrrections to the file system.
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by:nobus
ID: 26290911
no you have not been deserted, but time frames are different; i'll ALWAYS be back the following day.
for your information, this is how i troubleshoot disk drives with problems :
1- if possible, make an image (to have a backup)
2- run the diag on it, to know the status
3- if you need it running, run HDD regenerator on it (it has repaired already 3 unbootable, bad diagnosed drives for me)    --->  by running i mean you don't want it erased
4-if you don't need it running, you can format the drive, or write zeros to it to clear it completely (format does not do that)
5-to re-establish its status,  run the diag again, to ensure it comes back ok

>>  Windows has mad corrrections to the file system.  <<   good one -  i think it often does that.

here the links :
disk diags :  http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
ram diag at www.memtest.org       -->you find it also with the disk diagson the bootable UBCD :  http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      

HDD regenerator : http://www.dposoft.net/      

to be complete, here the tool i use for partition handling (the free trial is ok) : www.terabyteunlimited.com/       

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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26291010
Ok - thanks for that detailed -- it certainly helps to have a plan!  On this drive I accomplished step 1.  I'll determine the manufacturer of the drive and run the diagnostics.  
One thing I'm confused about is the difference between a situation where it won't boot due to problems caused by either mechanical problems or damage to the magnetic surface, versus problems where the boot or partition info has been corrupted.  I'm fairly convinced malware is responsible for this particular situation -- I was in the process of fighting one or more infections and rebooting when this happened.  My laptop that you're also helping me with -- that's a different story.  Anyway, in the case of a corruption that was not created by a mechanical problem, where does that fit into your steps?
Thanks!
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by:nobus
ID: 26292111
if you don't know what drive it is, run DFT -  it will tell you, and run on most drives.

>>  Anyway, in the case of a corruption that was not created by a mechanical problem, where does that fit into your steps?   <<    if you suspect malware, then you correct that first. (but you can't correct much on bad hardware, so i would still run the diag first - to be sure it is ok, and it does not change anything on the driive)

these are the tools i suggest to run then :
     Spybot :        http://www.download.com/3000-8022-10122137.html
http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam.php                         MBAM
http://download.bleepingcomputer.com/sUBs/ComboFix.exe            Combofix
http://www.spychecker.com/program/hijackthis.html                                       download
http://www.hijackthis.de/index.php?langselect=english              check the log

Mbam and combofix should correct most problems (except rootkits)
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26320568
argh.  I've only been able to work on this sporadically the last couple of days.  I'm trying to run Seagate's (that's the manufacturer) disk diagnostics -- SeaTools for DOS.  It uses FreeDOS -- it's supposed to be bootable.  But I am not able to get the machine to boot up on it.  I was able to get my Dell Laptop to boot up on it, however.  I used my Dell Laptop to burn it, and it is a CD-R.  As in my original question, my problem machine is a Sony.  I remember some time ago seeing that Sony has different compatibilities for disk types.  Does it make sense that my Sony won't boot on this?  It's boots on the Knoppix CD and the Bart PE CD (I know well by now the steps to configure the boot order!).  
If there is a different solution to burning a disk I haven't figured it out.  I have Internet access with the Knoppix CD, but that's in Windows and -- well, I haven't checked, but I don't know if I can burn a CD.  Maybe - ?  The BartPE disk isn't allowing me to access my network - maybe user error, but I haven't been able to figure it out, because it doesn't seem to support the networking card anyway.  
I can't believe this is what is stopping me but I'm stumped.  Any ideas?  Thanks!
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26321076
Oops, I mean the Knoppix is in Linux.  Also I do have another CD drive but when I boot up the Bart PE disk, it doesn't seem to recognize that hardware, either.  
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by:nobus
ID: 26321163
>>   Does it make sense that my Sony won't boot on this?  <<   no it should boot from either one
Knoppix supports  usb, lan, internet...that's why i recommend it !

what do you mean wit : " I have Internet access with the Knoppix CD, but that's in Windows "??  i can't follow you here. Knoppix is in linux -  not windows

you download the iso - then use an ISO burning tool (also called image burning) found in nero in the backup section
then you boot from the CD

make it on a KNOWN GOOD PC !
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26326314
Yes - sorry - hopefully you saw my retraction (wish EE allowed edits!).  The Windows/Knoppix comment was pretty bizarre.  I was tired.
Let me restate more clearly:
Dell laptop (good) -> boots with Seatools (Seagate disk)               [Thererfore I know I have a good, bootable disk]
Sony (bad) --> boots with Knoppix              [So the BIOS recognizes the CD drive and the CD drive and rest of the computer, sans HD, works]
Sony --> doesn not boot with Seatools.
I'm bumping to 500 because of the number of problem steps I am having.
Is there a way to run Seatools when I boot up in a Linux environment?  I can't remove the CD, and Seatools is an iso file.  
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by:nobus
ID: 26329859
i think so : if you boot from the knoppix cd, you can put seatools on an usb sticck and run it from there

there is even a linux version :  http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/seatools
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26386061
I haven't abandoned this question - just been out of town.  I've got the Linux version of Seatools on a usb drive so I'm trying that.
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by:mrjlal
ID: 26388246
I couldn't find a way to get Seatools onto a media that I could execute, so I downloaded the Ultimate Boot CD, so now I have all that stuff.  I ran Seatools, the short and long tests, and both passed without any errors.  Are there other applications on the Ultimate Boot CD that I should try?
I also download the F_Secure Rescue disk because I saw that on one of the posts -- it's running now.  
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 26388347
normally, if it tries to boot, you should get an error : disk not found, or no bootable media, like you got when booting to safe mode - those files are ok for a safe boot - let it finish, it should tell you it is entering safe mode.
 this shows it IS booting from the disk, but i don't see now why it does not boot normally.
you can try this :
Boot using the Windows XP installation disk, press R. Then type the following commands:
note : you can test after each command

      FIXMBR
      FIXBOOT
      BOOTCFG /rebuild

      cd\
      copy E:\i386\NTLDR
      ATTRIB -arsh ntldr
      copy e:\i386\NTDETECT.COM
      ATTRIB -arsh ntdetect.com

E: should be the location of your CDRom where you have the Windows install disk located.
and check if those files are in the root :   NTLDR   boot.ini     ntdetect.com

Contents of the boot.ini file :
[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" /fastdetect

check this too for more info :  http://tinyempire.com/notes/ntldrismissing.htm#What_if_none_of_the_options_worked?

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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26389143
Well, this is my problem with Sony piece of *** -- I don't have a Windows installation disk -- just the "Sony Recovery CD" which it instructed me to create when I first got it in 2004/5.  What a miracle that I actually did it and I that I still have it.  
FYI, F_Secure finished and it says the following files have been disinfected or renamed:
hda2/Documents and Settings/All Users/Application Data/Symantec/Symantec AntiVirus Corporate Edition/7.5/Quarantine/0AA00000/4FB28331.VBN:  Infected:  Joke.Rabbit [Aquarius]
hda2/Documents and Settings/Lori/Local Settings/Temporary Internet Files/Content.IE5/QXJITE63/get[1].htm:  Infected:  Trojan:W32/Hiloti.gen!C [FSE]
hda2/System Volume Information/_restore{4E7117B-18F3-4A10-B47C-105BED1BFF9B}/RP1045/A0343459.bat:  Infected Trojan.BAT.KillWin.VW [Aquarius]
hda2/System Volume Inforamtion/_restore{4E7117B-18F3-4A10-B47C-105BED1BFF9B}/RP1045/A0343457.exe:  Infected: Trojan.Generic.2936181 [Aquarius]
hda2/WINDOWS/system32/fjhdyfhsn.bat:  Infected:  Trojan.BAT.KillWin.VW [Aquarius]
hda2/WINDOWS/ajarevafidelujol.dll:  Infected:  Trojan:W32/Hiloti.gen!C [FSE]
hda2/WINDOWS/piltaldg.dll:  Infected:  Trojan:W32/Hiloti.gen!C [FSE]
I'll put in the Sony Recovery CD and see if there is any way to run those commands.  I found the following link:  http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314503  which has some similar instruction to yours -- I think -- and which requires an installation CD.  Rats.  I'm getting disheartened about all the software I've purchased via Internet and the additional hours ahead to get my machine up to 2010 standards starting with 2005 Windows XP...
 
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Author Comment

by:mrjlal
ID: 26389253
Well there's something new.  I wasn't paying attention and forgot to pull up the boot priority menu so it tried to boot (I've done that many times before -- just a black screen).  Now it says "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:  <Windows root>\system32.hal.dll.  Please reinstall a copy of the above file.
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by:mrjlal
ID: 26389288
Oops, never mind -- that was the NTDLR Boot Disk message (from your link).  I guess I did hit the boot menu...mutlitasking.  
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by:nobus
ID: 26391013
i suggest to connect this disk on a protected PC as slave, and run the tools mentioned above on that drive

   
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by:mrjlal
ID: 26391214
Yeah, I wondered if that might make things a lot easier to do.  
Here is the latest strange development.  I can't get the Sony Recovery CD to boot up anymore.  I tried making a copy of it.  I can read the files on both the original and the copy from a good computer, but neither is self booting any more.  I found a site where I can order a recovery CD to match my exact model for $30 -- might have to do that.  Any ideas why it won't boot anymore?  It tries about 5 times to read the disk -- it spins for a couple of seconds then pauses, and so on -- and eventually just goes to the black screen.  All my other self-booting disks still work.  
Anyway, I'll follow your suggestion.  Everything else I have is a laptop.  I already bouth a USB adaptor that should fit this drive, which is IDE/ATA (I used it on the laptop drive that you're also helping me with).  For the purposes of this that's the same as assigining it as a slave, right?  I'm thinking about getting a new hard-drive, but since the recovery CD doesn't even work I wouldn't have anything to load!  Please advise on whether the USB option is satisfactory.  Thanks.
 
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by:nobus
ID: 26391655
it may just be a bad burn that causes it. your cd drive can be dying - or does not work correct.
you can test if it boots from a bootable cd, by making one on a known good pc : http://www.ultimatebootcd.comyou can always use that for running diags; so it's never wasted..

if the usb is seen on a working pc, it is a good device, you must realise by now that you may have more than one problem, so make a note on what 's ok and what not..
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by:mrjlal
ID: 26400545
Oh great!  The Sony Recovery CD won't boot up on my Dell Laptop, either (I never tried it before to confirm that it's not a Sony/Dell thing).  So to summarize:
1 week ago:  Sony Recovery CD booted on bad Sony machine
Today:  Sony Recovery CD won't boot on Sony or Dell.
I can read the recovery CD, and one of the applications is a cdbuilder, but it won't run on a non-Sony machine (it gives message explaining that when I try).  I can try to create a new cd using the Sony application, but  I only have one working CD/DVD drive on the bad machine (there are two but one doesn't seem to work) so I don't know how to boot up on one CD and run applications from another.  I suppose I can move the contents of the cd over to an external hard-drive and run that application to create a clean cd, but is it that simple?  Will the application know the rest of the files are on a folder of the external drive?   I don't know much about getting CD's to act like CD's from a hard drive.    All the more reason to make the bad drive a slave which I am doing next.  
But in the meantime, I assume the Recovery CD has been damaged.  I can:
a. order one for $30
b.  buy an OEM version of XP for $99 at Micro Center (do I even consider installing Windows 7??).  
c.  use the cd creator on the readible, non-bootable recovery to create a cd that might boot (realize there is no guarantee that this would work).  If I do this on the bad sony machine, and I've removed the hard drive to make it a slave/USB, will I have problems that the hard drive isn't detected (even though I'm not using it).  
Don't give up on me -- I know I seem like a perpetual list of problems!  I appreciate the help!
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by:nobus
ID: 26405502
you can always copy the cd -if it 's readable, and try to boot from that.  can you still boot from the knoppix? that will tell you something
at this point i start with the ubcd, and test ram and disk -  just to ensure my basics are ok : boot from cd, ram and disk working...
i would concentrate on one thing though, and make sure it is ok -  only then go further.
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by:mrjlal
ID: 26408822
Yes, as previously mentioned:
-  I made a COPY of the Sony Recovery CD, and while it is readible, it does not boot from either a good machine or a bad machine.  That's why I asked about the CD builder application that comes as a .exe file on the CD.
- All my bootable CD's like knoppix still boot on the Sony (bad drive) machine.
Regarding your suggestion to test ram and disk, I have already run testdisk, chkdsk, and Seatools with everything passing.  I think we've established that the disk is mechanically fine, right?  As for the RAM, I have not tested that -- will do with UBCD.
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by:nobus
ID: 26409652
how did you make the copy? you have to use the function : copy cd, not just copy the files...
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by:mrjlal
ID: 26410213
Yes, I burned it.  There are several iso files on the original cd -- the application I used was BurnOn CD&DVD and the first step was to make a ".mds" file and then burn that to the blank CD.
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by:nobus
ID: 26415282
i don't know that application, so i can't comment on it
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