Windows xp boot problem and missing c drive

sorry if it's tasking for people to read this much but i need to be thorough just in case. many months ago, maybe months before summer began, my brother tried to get to youtube using our windows xp. Right when he typed in the address in the address bar, before youtube even loaded our avast security pinged 6 times and claimed it had stop malicious threats. My brother then thought maybe it was just youtube so he tried to go to a different site and it pinged again. We then decided to run a full scan and the avast found 12 threats. After we deleted them, the avast recommended a boot scan as it always does but this time, when the computer booted up, the boot scan didn't start. Instead the computer seemed stuck on this black screen with a blinking white underscore/cursor on the top left corner. Ever since that day, every time we try to boot the computer, that screen shows up then nothing. I looked up the symptoms online and the common theory seems to be a corrupt partition or MBR. I can't find any kind of boot or recovery disc for the laptop so i decided to look for solutions online. I ended up making a boot cd with's Active@boot and it actually loaded the disk and its scanning features. Unfortunately this was just a trial version so all it would do was scan not solve anything. However it did some tools that were usable so i decided to see if any of those would work. After a day of trying, i turned off the computer to try again the next day, When i turned it on and booted with the Active@boot disc again, I noticed a lot of options were missing and i figured out why. Somehow the Active@boot couldn't seem to find the C drive any more. All it shows me on the drives list is a "X" drive for the disk itself and for whatever reason the D drive's contents just shows the boot disk's components not the actual D drive. So my question is " are the boot problem and the missing drive of the same problem" or do i need to to fix one then fix the other. Most importantly is I'm wondering if anyone knows a way to fix boot problems or partitions or missing drives or MBR's. Thanks

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Clarification Request

Just to make sure everyone knows i"m good with any info on anyone of the subjects: partitions and MBR's, boot problems, missing drives. If you have a good tips on fixing even just one of these I'd like to know, I really hate not being able to use that laptop.

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Repair XP

Do you have the original XP disc? If yes, try this out.

Boot from this disc.
Ask for installation of XP

Ignore the First call for Repair.

Proceed to Install. There will be a check for Installed XP.
If the detection is successful AND it offers a REPAIR, opt for this.
XP will be REPAIRED leaving all installed programs and updates safe.

Lets have a feedback.


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sorry I wasn't clear

when i wrote, "I can't find any kind of boot or recovery disc for the laptop so i decided to look for solutions online" i meant that i can't find the original disc. Sorry i didn't make sure that got through to readers

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same issue on laptop

hi just noticed your post, had same issue abt late june or early july after
instaling some vlc? media program then uninstalling it right away. still unable
to use laptop- and it had avast running also - hummmmm why have to use someone
elses now

hope u and i both get it resolved

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Re: resolve it

The foolproof way: go back to factory conditions from your recovery media or partition. This only fails if there either is a hardware issue or your recovery DVD's are damaged.


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Re: dsk problem

Since you have no Windows disk, I'd download and burn an Ubuntu disk, boot from it and see what the Linux disk utilities think of the drive. tells about them.

If the drive is OK, but Windows is corrupted, your options are:
- find a Windows install disk and all drivers to reinstall XP
- install Linux and use that in stead of Windows

If the drive fails, you'll need a new drive before choosing one of the 2 options above.


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Second Install

If you can lay your hands on a WinXP disc (borrow one), then

Boot from this disc.
Ask for installation of XP

Ignore the First call for Repair.

Proceed to Install. There will be a check for Installed XP.
If the detection is successful, ask for installation in another directory (this is important)

Do a basic install ( no drivers, addons, etc)

When the system reboots and starts, it will offer 2 versions of XP to boot from.

If you are lucky, one of those will be your original XP.
If you succeed, then it is simple to delete your newly installed XP after modifying boot.ini

Lets have a feedback please.


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additional help

thanks for bringing me to this. I made the ubuntu disc and it did boot from it. however when i used the disc utility like the link it said my hard drive wasn't partitioned and since i'm told partitions is the problem i decided to try to partition it. However after a night of trying every competition, it occured to me i should ask" If this even what I'm supposed top be doing?'

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Re: partitioning

I'd find a Windows XP disk and use to partition it before you install Windows XP. No need to do it from Ubuntu or any other partitioning tool.


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unbuntu questions

I considered just using ubuntu but i wanted to ask "if i actually install the ubuntu, will that wiped all my old files from the c drive. I mean i know i can't seem to find them anyway according to the ubuntu trial, but i dont want to risk completely destroying any hope that i can recover the files from the hard drive no matter how slim.

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Ubuntu install gives you choices

--You can do a side-by-side install of Ubuntu. It should see XP on your hard drive and suggest creating a new partition separate from XP partition and use the remaining free space left on the drive to install itself.

--Bonus is that you get to use your computer again, (in Ubuntu), and can copy and save your XP files at your leisure on to some backup media, as Ubuntu can see XP.

This is, of course, assuming the XP drive is still in good operating condition.

If you see Ubuntu asking to use the entire drive space to install, then it is possible the XP partition was lost and is not useable anymore. I would cancel the install of Ubuntu in that case, and then consider other options (some are $$$) to recover the XP files you need to save.

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a friend of mine got me a disc that's suppose to act as an install disc. It seemed to work but when i activate the recovery console, the screen showed this message: SETUP DIDN'T FIND ANY HARD DISK DRIVES INSTALLED IN YOUR COMPUTER. I tried to just do a reinstall but it just gave me the same message. I hope your wisdom hasn't run out yet on these subjects, cause we all know i could have gone this far without help.

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It appears as if your XP hard drive is dead.

What was ubuntu for?

It was suggested as a non-destructive way to recover files important to you on a back up media. Since you cannot see the drive in ubuntu or in this disc you used, there is a chance the data was lost or corrupted, or the drive is not operational. Ubuntu should be able to see the drive even if it has no data or file system present if it is working. If not, then check your BIOS to see if it can see your XP drive. There should be a hard drive listed in BIOS.

You can recover files the expensive way here:

Free way (not without risk for data loss) here:

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Partition Recovery

If the Drive is detected in the BIOS, then you can still try recovery by

getting "Partition Wizard" from

Get the Standalone LINUX version

This utility does a much better job than GParted that comes along with Ubuntu.


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There are follow thing you can do when Windows XP won't boot

* Use a Windows startup disk

* Use Last Known Good Configuration

* Use System Restore

* Use Recovery Console

* Fix a corrupt Boot.ini

* Fix a corrupt partition boot sector

* Fix a corrupt master boot record

* Disable automatic restart

* Restore from a backup

* Perform an in-place upgrade

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possible solution

I'm sorry to say but your hard seems to be fried
But there is still hope
First of all there is no point playing around with Windows boot discs or partition tools
make sure your disk is properly detected
When the computer starts up go to bios (press F2, F5, F10, F12; one of theses should take you to the BIOS, or look for a message that says "press xyz to enter setup"
In the BIOS try to find out where it shows the hard disks and CD drives that are installed
If your hard disk is not shown here then unfortunately there is not much hope, unless you know how to open up your laptop and clean up the connections inside (which, I must warn, Might not provide any result at all)
If your hard disk is detected though, it might still be fixable
Make a linux live cd
I recommend puppy 5.1 or 5.2 (search puppy linux on google to find out their website and forum)
make a puppy linux boot disk, boot your computer using puppy and try to detect your harddrive from it
If it is there you might be able to recover your files
Ask in their forums to know about how to recover your hard disk's data from puppy

Of course if your hard Was properly working and you had already run some kind of partitioning tool, all your data might have become unrecoverable, in which case you should forget about your old data and just try to get the laptop running
But I hope you haven't done anything like that

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