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XP Home wont Boot XP repair fails

XP fails to boot. It freezes before desktop appeaers. Cant access safe mode either.
ran chkdsk which fixed several problems. Tried repair installation but as soon as it tries to load files it freezes saying loading hivedef.inf and goes no further.
I have tried 2 different XP CDs and 2 differend DVD drives. All non required hardware has been disconected.
I have tried manually rolling it back but the windows\repair folder is empty.
I have tested the memory and the hard disk both report no errors.
Any suggestion - PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
thanks in anticipation
Gordon
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gogsck
Asked:
gogsck
1 Solution
 
marine7275Commented:
I would safely assume the os is toast at a minimum. I would try taking the drive out of the machine, making it slave, and plugging it into another machine as a secondary drive. Attempt to retrieve the data from it and then reload Winders.
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DiTOH1Commented:
I believe the hard drive has gone bad, making the primary partition unusable.
Get a new hard drive, make it a primary, install the new OS (Boot to disk by pressing F12). Once that is done, attach the second hard drive via USB (need an adapter for that) or internally.

Either way, you would have to get a new hard drive if you dont want this problems to happen in the future. I would not try to fix the drive. If you arent sure what type of hard drive you have (SCSI, SATA, IDE) grab your current drive and take it to your local IT Store.
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gogsckAuthor Commented:
IHi,

I have already imaged the drive so I can recover any data but I was hoping that a system that almost completes the boot sequence could be repaired.

Regards gordon
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gogsckAuthor Commented:
Hi DiTOH1

I have tested the drive with Seagates SeaTools and it tests perfectly. The full partition is not bad but some files have been damaged or destroyed after a crash.

Regards Gordon
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ahmad2121Commented:
Your computer might be unstable, which can be either a bad powersupply or a bad motherboard.

Can you open the side of your computer case and check the capacitors on your motherboard? This is usually a symptom of old hardware.

Read this for more information:

http://www.tecnopolis.ca/tecnopolis/leakycaps.html
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DiTOH1Commented:
I see what you are saying. If you are still unable to recover the hard drive, what I would do is install the Windows XP OS in a flash drive or a secondary storage, create a partition (Usually call it D: for data) and move all your data files (Not OS).
Once you have all your media on D: I would format the first partition and install XP from scratch. That way you have a good working copy of XP in one partition, yet youro data on a second one.

I always do that to any system I touch.

Hope that helps.
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scaliouetteCommented:
Boot the machine into setup with the CD.  Skip the first repair method and continue with installation.  Then when it asks to write system files say yes.  This will reinstall Windows system files.  Some applications may need to be reinstalled but it will save the data and be like a fresh OS.  You may need to reinstall some drivers.
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DiTOH1Commented:
Note: Even though your hard drive is not damage, the system files are. I highly doubt that it is an issue with the motherboard or power supply. Attempting to use a second hard drive would be the best way to troubleshoot this issue.
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gogsckAuthor Commented:
Hi scaliouette,
A repair installation fails. It detects the original installation the deletes lots of files then copys lot of files then freezes whilst trying to load hivedef.inf
Tried searching for this file on other PCs some have it some don't! so not sure whether this is on the cd or the files saved during the Repair Installtion.

Regards Gordon
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pmac38CDSCommented:
Do you know if system restore was turned on and monitoring your boot drive?  If so try and boot with a  BartsPE disk.  Then you can browse the files in the windows\system32\config folder.  Rename the 'system' file to 'system.old.  Next you can look in the 'system volume information' folder and then a _restore folder.  Next you will see folders like RP1 and so on that stand for restore point.  Find the restores points on the machine from a day when you know the machine was still working.  Then copy that 'system' file from that folder back to windows\system32\config folder.  Try and boot.  If that works then once windows boots up do a system restore from the GUI built in windows to put the rest of the files back. If that doesn't work you could try doing the same for the other files in the config folder.  Those are software and security.  Let me know if you have any questions.
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gogsckAuthor Commented:
Hi pmac38CDS,

This was the sort of answer I was looking for. The System Restore was turned on and I found the restore folder.
It didnt work by copying the System from the snapshot folder but I then copied System, Security, SAM, Default & software and hey presto - it worked!!!!
I am glad I didn't give up and format the drive.
There is always a solution if you look hard enough!
Many thanks, Gordon.
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gogsckAuthor Commented:
What a relief to find someone that really knows what they are talking about!
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EirmanCommented:
This question is worthy of an EE article

I didn't fully understand the solution so I'm not up to it - any takers ?
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gogsckAuthor Commented:
Hi Eirman,
Does this help?

Restore XP when not Bootable
 
If system restore was turned on and monitoring your boot drive
  Try and boot with a  BartsPE disk or put disk in another PC as a Slave.
  Then you can browse the files in the windows\system32\config folder.
  Rename the 'system' file to 'system.old.
  Next you can look in the system volume information folder and then a _restore folder (You have to have show all files and system files in Folder Options enabled and to see the System Volume Information folder. You may also need to alter the permissions (I had to) to open the System Information Folder).
  Next you will see folders like RP1 and so on that stand for restore point.   Find the restores points on the machine from a day when you know the machine was still working.
  Then copy that 'system' file (probably called _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM) from the Snapshot Folder within that folder back to windows\system32\config folder and rename as SYSTEM.
  Try and boot.
  If that works then once windows boots up do a system restore from the GUI built in windows to put the rest of the files back.
  If that doesn't work you could try doing the same for the other files in the config folder.
  Those are software, security, Sam  & Default.
  It should now boot
  Run system Restore after reboot to restore to a known working point.
 
Regards
Gordon
 
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