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Cant boot into xp after booting win7 from a USB attached drive

Posted on 2011-04-29
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a laptop running winxp sp3. I shut down the computer, connected an external HD running Win7 via USB and attempted to boot this USB attached device. It did not boot properly  (that's ok as the Win7 drive wouldn't boot in another machine and I was attempting to troubleshoot). However, after disconnecting the Win7 drive, I can no longer boot into xp. I won't boot into safe mode Though I can boot to cd.

Could the win7 hd have done something to the MBR? The boot.ini still exists but it doesn't seem to get that far upon boot.

The screen that comes up when I try to boot looks like the win7 Windows Boot Manger and it says:

Windows failed to start. A recent hardware or software change might be the cause. To fix the problem:

1. Insert your windows installation disc and restart your computer.
2. Chooset your language settings, and then click "Next"
3. Click "Repair your computer".

If you dont have this disc, contact your system administrator or computer manufacturer for assistance.

Status: 0xc000000e

Info: The boot selection failed because a required device is inaccessible.

The system in question is a Dell Latitude E6400 Laptop

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance for any response.
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Question by:kubiaco
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jackie Man earned 2000 total points
ID: 35496147
First, restart your computer with the Windows XP setup disk in the CD drive. If you don’t have your original disk, borrow one or download a ISO image from a torrent site.

2. When prompted, boot from the CD drive by pressing any key. If Windows loads automatically, you will first have to enter the BIOS setup and change the order of the boot devices to start with the CD drive.

change boot order

3. Once the setup loads, you will see the option to press R to repair a Windows installation.

repair windows

4. Once the Recovery Console loads up, you will have to type in a number that corresponds to your Windows installation. This is normally just 1. Press Enter and then type in the Administrator password.

recovery console

5. Now at the prompt, type in fixmbr. Your damaged MBR will now be replaced with a new master boot record and your computer should now be able to boot properly. Note that you may also want to run the fixboot command to repair the boot sector with a new one.

Source: http://helpdeskgeek.com/how-to/fix-mbr-xp-vista/
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Author Comment

by:kubiaco
ID: 35496250
Thanks for the quick response jackieman! This did work but I didn't know the 'Administrator Password' that it asked for so I had to reset it (blanked it out). I used the ultimate boot disc> HDD > password reset utility to do so.

Also, fixmbr wasn't enough as the problem still existed when I tried to reboot. Thus, I went back into repair console and ran fixboot (by itself, I didn't run fixmbr again). Upon reboot, success!

Thanks for getting back to me j-man
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Author Closing Comment

by:kubiaco
ID: 35496251
Thanks for the quick response jackieman! This did work but I didn't know the 'Administrator Password' that it asked for so I had to reset it (blanked it out). I used the ultimate boot disc> HDD > password reset utility to do so.

Also, fixmbr wasn't enough as the problem still existed when I tried to reboot. Thus, I went back into repair console and ran fixboot (by itself, I didn't run fixmbr again). Upon reboot, success!

Thanks for getting back to me j-man
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LVL 52

Expert Comment

by:Jackie Man
ID: 35496260
Glad to know that you know how to fix the problem. Cheers!
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