Help with Windows XP (DOS), please?
Nov 21, 2008 at 4:02 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 36

intoflatlines

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My hard drive has some corrupted data on it (thanks to the latest Windows Update). It will not boot or let me go into safe mode. I am attempting to follow the instructions here. I followed these steps last spring when I had issues with my hard drive and everything worked fine.

Anyway, I am in the Windows Restore DOS prompt, but I seemingly do not have access to write any data to the hard drive. For example, I can get a directory of c:\windows\tmp, but I am unable to copy any files to it. I am also unable to make any new directories. Anything I do (besides dir) gets me an "Access is denied." message.

Can someone please help me out here? I know there are tons of smart people in the Member's Lounge i so I'm confident I can get some good pointers (this is why I turn to the lounge for so many of my random questions).
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edit: Apparently I am missing this prompt:

"Microsoft Windows(R) Recovery Console

The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality.
Type EXIT to quit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.

1: C:WINDOWS

Which Windows Installation would you like to log onto
(To cancel, press ENTER)?
"

I am not presented with the text in bold, so somehow I'm not prompted to type in the admin/pass, so I'm guessing that's why I don't have access. Anyone know what would cause me to not get prompted about which installation I want to log onto?
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 4:17 AM Post #3 of 36

intoflatlines

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Yeah, I have to login, but I never even get to that point. What happens is that I get this when I enter the recovery:

"Microsoft Windows(R) Recovery Console

The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality.
Type EXIT to quit the Recovery Console and restart the computer."

It hangs there for awhile. If I hit ENTER, c:/> shows up, which is where I can see directories but not write, because I am not logged in as an admin. If, instead of hitting some random key or ENTER, I hit "1", exactly this shows up:

"Microsoft Windows(R) Recovery Console

The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality.
Type EXIT to quit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.

1: C:WINDOWS

Which Windows Installation would you like to log onto
(To cancel, press ENTER)? 1"

Note the "1" after the question mark. It just sits there but doesn't load. I can backspace the 1 and retype it but I have to hit 1 twice in a row. After I do that, the system just hangs there and I can't do anything.

On a side note, even though some boot files are corrupted, is it possible to buy something that will allow me to plug in the corrupted HD as an external HD on another computer so that I can copy important files before I reformat the corrupted one?
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 4:19 AM Post #4 of 36

MatthewK

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I hope this solution isn't too complicated for you, but it's a great way to do it. If you can get on another computer with a CD burner, then you can create a disc called the "Ultimate Boot CD for Windows."

When you boot to the CD it brings you into a Windows environment that's completely self-contained (it doesn't use your hard drive for anything, not even temporary files). From this environment you can copy files and do all sorts of other things (like access the Internet and even burn CDs). It doesn't require you to log-in to access files, it completely circumvents that security feature.

Here's the link: UBCD for Windows

Hope this helps.
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Nov 21, 2008 at 4:25 AM Post #5 of 36

intoflatlines

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Thanks for the info. Would I be able to burn CDs from files on the corrupted HD? I ask this because I would need to take out the boot CD to burn a CD since I only have one optical drive (laptop).

I'm not sure I will be able to use it though, as I only have a restore disc, not installation disc. They are different, right?
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 4:28 AM Post #6 of 36

Kirosia

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You can buy an an external usb enclosure and it'll be recognized by another computer. (though you may have to take ownership of the drive/files within) You should be able to recover the files as long as they aren't corrupt and the HDD isn't damaged. Even then, there are programs that may help you salvage some data. (I.e. File Scavenger)
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 4:29 AM Post #8 of 36

MatthewK

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I think it's possible to take out the CD and put in a blank one to burn, but I'm not sure. Another solution would be to copy the files to a USB drive (everyone should have one nowadays, they are so dirt cheap). And yet another solution would be to copy the files via a network connection.

UBCD4Win also has some programs on it like HDD recovery stuff and anti-virus stuff.
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 4:34 AM Post #10 of 36

intoflatlines

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Kirosia /img/forum/go_quote.gif
You can buy an an external usb enclosure and it'll be recognized by another computer. (though you may have to take ownership of the drive/files within) You should be able to recover the files as long as they aren't corrupt and the HDD isn't damaged. Even then, there are programs that may help you salvage some data. (I.e. File Scavenger)


Hm. I might have to do that if nothing else works.

Quote:

Originally Posted by juniperlater /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I can't remember how to get it to prompt you to login. How about trying c:\>Logoff and see if it prompts you to login after that.


I'll give that a shot next. I'm trying to get into safe mode right now.

Quote:

Originally Posted by MatthewK /img/forum/go_quote.gif
I think it's possible to take out the CD and put in a blank one to burn, but I'm not sure. Another solution would be to copy the files to a USB drive (everyone should have one nowadays, they are so dirt cheap). And yet another solution would be to copy the files via a network connection.

USB drive is a possibility for me.

Thanks everyone for the info so far!
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UBCD4Win also has some programs on it like HDD recovery stuff and anti-virus stuff.



 
Nov 21, 2008 at 4:38 AM Post #11 of 36

intoflatlines

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Quote:

Originally Posted by juniperlater /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Do you have the option of performing a repair installation?


I think all I have is recover or reinstall. I'll check.

By the way, I think I have an idea of what happened. I use a custom login screen that required some system files to be switched around, since the login screen isn't able to be changed through Windows. When I did a Windows Update a few days ago, I think a WGA check/update detected the non-Windows login screen as corrupted/fake/whatever and tried to do something about it, which caused everything to go wrong. Sound possible?
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 4:58 AM Post #12 of 36

juniperlater

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The other option would be to reinstall in C:\ with the current installation (don't format) to recover your files and then reinstall.

I used to make sys files that changed the login and other files to look like mac. It corrupted about 50% of the time.
 
Nov 21, 2008 at 5:06 AM Post #14 of 36

Kirosia

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You only need like 900mb of free space to install win XP
 

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