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A booting problem

One day recently, my computer refused to boot up. It got one step after the BIOS info and ?drives detected?, then froze with a completely black screen. Although the drive had become non-bootable, it could still be read if I booted from another source!

I tried all I could think of, including trying to repair the Windows system by booting from my original Windows XP disk. Even doing that, the computer still froze in the same manner.

I installed another disk, but could not restore a ghost image of the old drive (which made me a bit miffed!) I've had to install Windows XP again, and had all the pain and hassle of re-installing all my other software.

Anyway, anyone got any ideas on the original (non-booting) problem?


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Which XP CD do you have?

In reply to: A booting problem

Many don't have the real RETAIL XP SP2 CD so my advice will sound foreign and can't be used.

I just fixed a non-booter with the XP SP2 CD and the FIXMBR and FIXBOOT commands. Did you try those?


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CD is Win XP Home

In reply to: Which XP CD do you have?

I have a CD that I bought quite a while ago (Home edition). This is pre SP2 by quite a way!!


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That will work IF...

In reply to: CD is Win XP Home

a. It was what you used to install this machine.
b. The hard disk is not over 127GB in size.
c. The hard disk is not a SATA drive.

Details matter in your post. Leaving them out makes for more back and forths rather than a "do this answer."


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Some more details

In reply to: That will work IF...

Hi Bob,

Sorry if I've appeared a bit vague and miserly with details! My disk doesn't fit the second of these criteria you state, as it's 250GB.

I've run a virus scan on the disk, but it seems OK. I tried to install the recovery console from my original disk, but it reports "Setup cannot continue because the version of Windows on your computer is newer than the version on the CD.", and I can go no further. This seems to tie in with your first posting here.

I've tried to provide some more info in my profile. Hope this helps. The computer isn't a "brand name" machine, but one I built.

Many thanks,


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For this the XP SP2 CD is required.

In reply to: Some more details

Dare I ask what happened to it?

Here's why this CD won't do. The XP Home CD you have doesn't support partitions over 127GB (read if you need to know why) and you can do great damage to the file system if you forced this.

Once you get a proper XP SP2 CD (Home or Pro) we can boot that and run the usual FIXBOOT and FIXMBR commands and it may just come back to life.


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The latest

In reply to: For this the XP SP2 CD is required.

In order to keep you up-to-date, I?m posting this correspondence. I obtained a suitable CD for running boot-sector repair utilities, then promptly rendered my drive totally useless using them!

The lesson learned by me throughout this problem, is that it?s one thing creating drive images, but for the whole thing to work, you have to make sure you can actually restore ALL the data in the case of a REAL problem. Fortunately, I had copied all the actual data from my programmes onto a separate drive! That still doesn?t compensate however, for all the pain of re-installing the original software, including the relevant registration keys etc?

I feel really badly let down by the software I used for disk image creation. It was from a pretty major software house, and I see on scouring the internet, that many other people have had similar experiences using it!! I?m using a different system for creating drive/partition images now, and I?ve checked the WHOLE system works (including trying a few restores) using it!

The original drive had nothing wrong with it, and after checking its integrity, it?s now part of my system again!

(A rather deflated) MF

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I'm bummed too. But I may have be in a vacuum.

In reply to: The latest

If that image was from an image this is where it can go sour. My repair methods have been fine in stock installs from XP CDs. If someone is installing from some image then I need to know this.

This is why I ask questions about where the XP SP2 CD went. If the member replies they were installing via some Ghost Image then a lot of alarm bells go off and we take an entirely different path.

Sorry to read this but on a stock install you won't lose the drive contents. However if Ghost, Parition Magic or say a "cracked" XP SP2 CD were used then that must be told.


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A costly lesson?

In reply to: I'm bummed too. But I may have be in a vacuum.

The Windows XP Service Pack 2 was installed from a pretty lengthy Windows Update download, using the Microsoft Update system. It was obviously downloaded from the Microsoft site. I didn't actually get this as a separate CD SP2 upgrade.

All the software involved here was obtained from (and incidentally, paid for) from their respective "genuine" sources; certainly not pirated nor ?cracked? versions!

Like I said, I?ve have to "move on" from this sorry story, gaining indispensable knowledge from it. I now have some decent backup and restore facilities which I've proved actually works for my situation.

It?s been a huge, ghastly tasting, bitter pill that I?ve had to swallow however. I?m still not quite at the stage that I was at before the problem!

Matt Fry

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Dissecting it a little further.

In reply to: A costly lesson?

So you never lost the XP CD that was used to install?

I never got a clear answer on that. There is a NASTY DANGEROUS TRAP one can set themselves up by doing this...

1. Install XP (no SP1 or SP2 on the XP CD.
2. Install SP2.
3. Use Partition Magic to extend the C drive.
4. Attempt a repair as I noted.


I can't guess the other methods people may use here and feel bad you lost it all over what should be the usual repair. But something went unsaid and unanswered.


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The actual error message

In reply to: Dissecting it a little further.

Just to satisfy any curiosity, this is the message that I get from the program. This happens every time, on trying to restore to different destinations. There's something it doesn't like about the source file.

It reads - (directly copied and pasted):...

The description for Event ID '100' in Source 'Norton Ghost 9.0' cannot be found. The local computer may not have the necessary registry information or message DLL files to display the message, or you may not have permission to access them. The following information is part of the event:'Description: Unable to complete the restore of image: H:\ghost\C_Drive001.v2i. Cannot copy data from the image file to the destination.
Error EA39070A: The internal structure of the PQI file is invalid or unsupported.
Details: 0xEA39070A
Source: Norton Ghost 9.0'


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See cause 2 at link.

In reply to: The actual error message

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might check this out ...

In reply to: The actual error message

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Keeping everyone informed

In reply to: might check this out ...

Hi all, especially Bob, who's been an inspiration to me through all my problems here!!!

After a series of (joy-sorrow/pleasure-pain) episodes of trying to get my system as it was, I think I've at last got the message. The copy of Windows XP I have is one I bought as an upgrade, originally to migrate from Windows 98. I actually bought this copy when Windows XP was still very young (even before the first "substantial" service pack "rework" was released.) Since then, I've tried to do any subsequent upgrades on the cheap, including the really lengthy Service Pack 2 download!

I really want to stay with Windows XP for now. I have a few "proprietary" programs that I use for program development/circuit design, that are not supported by Windows Vista. If that wasn't the case, I'd have used this opportunity to go with Vista. I've just invested in a copy of Windows XP Pro (hooray I here you say Bob!) Hopefully, amongst a myriad of other things, that will get me over the now meager 128 GB hard disk partition offered by Windows XP Home.

I'll once again have to reinstall my programs for a "clean installation". Rest assured, after that, the next thing I'll do is make a disk image using my newly acquired software!!

If nothing else, I've learned about hard disk partitions - Master Boot Records - the Windows XP operating system, and a whole lot more that I didn't know before!!!

All the data that I hold most dear (and there's possibly a few tens of thousand hours worth of work) I've always stored separately, but to hone an operating system usable for me, has cost me a lot of time recently. Hopefully, with Windows XP Pro, at least my computing life will be temporarily easier to cope with?!


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