View Full Version : Need help. Can't start Windows XP anymore.

01-27-2010, 07:52 AM
I'm using Windows XP Pro 32bit.

In short, I've noticed serious startup stability problems (cold start only). I'm pretty sure it's hardware related. A few days ago after an unstable startup, I shut down Windows and got an error message which went away too fast (something about Windows not being able to write a certain file), and now I can't start Windows anymore, not even in safe mode or older restore point. Luckily I managed to slave my HD to another XP machine, so I copied all important files I didn't backup yet.

I'd like some advice on how to proceed. What things should and shouldn't I do? I guess I need to get Windows up and running again, and start looking for the hardware problem.

How to get Windows running again? The error message (blue screen) I get is c0000218 (Registry File Failure). I followed Microsoft's instructions and did a "chkdsk /r" in the Recovery Console. It found problems and fixed them, but I still can't start Windows. I have an OEM version with the XP 'hologram' CD. When booting from the CD, after Windows setup screen I don't get the option to repair Windows; perhaps because I don't have a 'retail' version?

> Are there other commands in the Recovery Console that I can safely try, like "fixboot" or something? I googled for these commands, but get so many different options/answers, and I don't feel completely comfortable with that (and some people give warnings, some people don't).
> Since I got access to my HD with my other PC, is there something I could do here, like fixing the registry?
> It sucks having to install all my programs and plugins again, but if it's better I'll do a complete reinstall of Windows. Can I do that safely with the OEM CD, and can/should I first format the HD?


01-27-2010, 08:20 AM
This sounds like pretty much the same issue I had a few months back as I also have an OEM windows boot disk, fortunately it had a recovery tool.. one tried to do a simple repair and it failed, the next was basically delete windows, and then reinstall it from scratch.. i got it to boot again, but with the annoyance I had to re-install SP3 and all the patches again, and all my programme folders went funky.. the software was still there, but not installed, so sometimes installing software meant installing it to uninstall it to reinstall it to be told it was invalid (adobe was terrible for this) but they had a fixing tool on their site to resolve that (thankfully!) That was a BAD week :D

01-27-2010, 12:00 PM
You could try downloading Hiren's Boot CD, boot from that, and try to fix the problems.


First do some hardware tests, then check the hard drive, repair the registry, etc. etc. In most cases I was able to revive crashed Windows systems.

There's a mini windows available on the disc as well, with a lot of repair/test utilities.

01-27-2010, 12:13 PM
download this http://www.ubuntu.com/ ,mount to cd or usb ,either install it or run direct from cd/usb, this will get you back into the machine to see what's wrong or grab files if you need them ,when you boot up linux with scan and tell you if your hardwarez is gimped .

or just re-install xp over your old version , the ironic thing is your about the 5th person iv'e seen that's had blue screen ,in the last 2 days , this is generally caused by a driver or hardware fault .or sometime virus

or just do this DOS: format c: / s " I am not held responsible for this action " (",) .

if you have the drive showing up on another machine try running ccleaner (free)

01-27-2010, 01:12 PM
I used to go with the linux method - however, Hiren's boot cd is much more useful, and gives you way more control and options to repair a system.

On the other hand, re-installing Windows might be the fastest method.

01-27-2010, 02:11 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys! I will check out those boot CD's.

if you have the drive showing up on another machine try running ccleaner (free)
I don't understand. I have ccleaner on my other machine, and my harddisk is now 'slaved' there. How exactly could ccleaner fix my slaved HD?

BTW, the problem PC doesn't have an internet connection, so it's probably not a virus.

or just re-install xp over your old version

On the other hand, re-installing Windows might be the fastest method.

So, just to be sure, can I format my harddisk and do a clean install of XP with an OEM CD? The Microsoft site wasn't clear about that (about formatting I mean).

01-27-2010, 03:23 PM
Hmmm, this might help in regards to oem installations of xp:


01-27-2010, 04:09 PM
Thanks Rayek. My Windows hadn't been pre-activated by the manufacturer, I did that myself. I guess I shouldn't have any problems reinstalling XP. I'll give that a go tomorrow. Then I'll check out those boot CD's and see if I can find my hardware problem.

Thanks again guys.