Can't enter windows

  • Mecha_Trueno
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Post 3+ Months Ago

when my computer is booting, after the part where it tries load from the the cd-rom, i.e. when it says "Boot from ATAPI CD-ROM : Failure ...", im left with the following message:

A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart

no matter how many times i restart im still getting this. and i cant enter safemode since this is occurring before the stage where i can press F3 to go to that screen.
don't know if this is the direct cause but it did happen the session right after i pressed the reset button. what happened was that i plugged in a usb memory thumb drive into the usb port. the computer suddenly started to respond slow to clicks and closing windows etc, and then froze completely. in task manager, it showed that one of the windows was "not responding". i tried to end task but it didnt seem to close it and everything else was still frozen. it stayed like that for quite a while, so i got impatient and just pressed the reset button. now im left with the above problem.
anyone know any solutions? theres always reformatting, but i dont want to have to resort to that, since its been a while since i backed up my stuff.
thanks for reading, any help is appreciated.cheers
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What was on that USB drive? Where did it come from?

In the meantime, check the boot sequence in the BIOS. It's ok to have the CDROM as the first boot device but make sure that C: is after that.
  • Mecha_Trueno
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Post 3+ Months Ago

it was actually a Micro SD memory card. you know, the generic ones that cameras, PSPs, phones etc use. the usb drive was just an adaptor. nothing much was on there, just a few game roms.
Don2007 wrote:
In the meantime, check the boot sequence in the BIOS. It's ok to have the CDROM as the first boot device but make sure that C: is after that.

in the BIOS features, it currently reads:

...
First Boot Device [CDROM]
Second Boot Device [Floppy]
Third Boot Device [HDD-0]
Boot Other Device [Enabled]
Swap Floppy Drive [Disabled]
Boot Up Floppy Seek [Disabled]
Boot Up NumLock Status [On]
...

i haven't changed anything in there.
  • Mecha_Trueno
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Post 3+ Months Ago

is there a way to fix this without reformatting?
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/51 ... 31733.html

That site offers 10 things to do when Windows won't boot. It may save you from reformatting.
  • Mecha_Trueno
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ok, ive tried a few things now. i tried slaving my c:drive on another computer thats also running on xp home. before it entered windows, xp detected the hard drive and went through a long process of deleting corrtupted files and recovering things.
now when i entered windows, i was able to access my hard drive. but the strange thing was that, everything was there, i recognised the folders in there, but documents and settings folder and program files folder were missing. whats even more weird is that when i looked in properties, it said there was 3.3gb free out of 75gb, which is as it should be, if i remember correctly. and the only folder to take up that much space was loacted mostly in subfolders of documents and settings and a folder on the desktop (which should both be under documents and settings folder). these are also the very things that i actually want to back up before i proceed with anything else.
when i tried putting it back in my own computer and attempted to boot normally, i dont get the "A disk read error occurred, Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart" message anymore. instead i get:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing
or corrupted:
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup
using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair

_____________________________________________________________
this time though i was able to press F8 and get to the srceen where i can choose safe mode. i first tried 'last known good configuration' but ended with the same message above. i then tried safe mode, it attempted i think, since it showed all the usual "multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS\system32\ntoskrnl.exe...." and stuff but then afterwards still ened up with the same message:
Windows could not start because the following file is missing
or corrupted:
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup
using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair


problem is that my computer didnt come withthe windows xp disk, it only comes with the manufacturers recovery disk.
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It sounds like you did okay so far. When I connect a HD to another PC, I don't make it a slave. I use an external USB HD enclosure. That way it doesn't attempt to boot but I can still access the files. If you do that you'll be able to copy
\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
from one system to the other.
Then it should boot. If you want to try it as a slave, go ahead and let us know if it worked.
  • Mecha_Trueno
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Post 3+ Months Ago

i just tried doing the BOOTCFG /REBUILD cammand in recovery console. after eveything was done, it got the the scary blue screen that says "A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage on your computer... "
at the bottom, the Technical Information says:

*** STOP: 0x0000008E (0x0000005,0xF8035860,0xF809C70C,0x00000000)
*** SPCMDCON.SYS - Address F8035860 base at F8030000, DateStamp 41107c8c


does the above information help pinpoint my problem?
maybe i should try your method of copying \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM from another another computer.

by the way, do you know why i cant see the documents and settings folder or the program files folder?
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

It's hard to read those memory error messages so I always put all or part of them into Google. MS has a more complete copy procedure than I do and you can find it at:
http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307545

You can try mine first if you think it's good enough. It's up to you.

I don't know why you can't see the documents and settings directory. At last resort, get an external USB HD enclosure (IDE) and connect the HD to another PC. Everything that's on the drive should be seen.

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