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Windows XP - How to Repair Errors that Prevent Windows from Booting
This document explains what to do if a machine won't boot.
NOTE: Windows 95/98, Windows Me, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Vista are no longer supported by the Help Desk. We can only provide best effort support. If we are unable to resolve your Windows 9x/2000/XP/Vista issue, you may be able to find help in Microsoft's Knowledge Base.
These products are no longer actively supported by Microsoft. No further development will take place on these products and security updates are no longer issued. It is highly recommended that you upgrade to Windows 10, 8, or 7.
Try Booting Last Good Known Configuration
- Start the computer and hit F8 at the BIOS screen.
- Select Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked) from the "Windows Advanced Options Menu".
- If the computer still won't boot, continue to the next section.
Repair the Windows Installation from the Recovery Console
This section references "Repairing Windows XP in Eight Commands" by Robert Hallock (2006). See http://icrontic.com/articles/repair_windows_xp for the full text of that article.
- Boot from a standard Windows XP Install CD (not a Network Install CD).
- At the first setup screen, hit R to repair Windows using the Recovery Console.
- Select the Windows installation that you would like to repair by entering its number, followed by Enter.
- At the Recovery Console, type each following commands followed by Enter:
- CD ..
- ATTRIB -H C:\\boot.ini
- ATTRIB -S C:\\boot.ini
- ATTRIB -R C:\\boot.ini
- del boot.ini
- BOOTCFG /Rebuild
- Set the Load Identifier to: Microsoft Windows XP Professional
- Set the OS Load Options to: /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
- CHKDSK /R
- Type exit to reboot the computer.
- If the computer still doesn't boot after the repair, backup data from the hard drive, if possible, and bring your machine to one of the walk-in locations.