System Restore of Externally mounted partitio

December 30, 2010 at 06:08:55
Specs: WinXPSP3, T5400@2.0GHz/2GB
Catastrophic windows XP boot failure. Tried everything, and still hangs midway through driver load list in safe mode (and nothing at all in normal mode).

I have the drive out of the computer and mounted as an external HD on another system. There is a system restore point in the system volume information folder. Can I get that restore point to run when the system partition is mounted externally? How can I be sure it won't mess with the "host" computer's settings. Will I need to juggle driver letters (obviously won't be able to juggle C though)? Could I play with the externally mounted system partition's environment variables to get around the drive letter issue.

I don't think that just doing a registry restore from the restore point's contents will work, as I had an ERUNT backup from just before the system stopped working, and restoring that backup hasn't had any impact on the failed boot sequence.

I don't think it's a hardware issue, as I reinstalled XP on the failing partition, leaving the file system intact, hoping that I could get everything working again. The install went fine, but of course I couldn't get all my software working again, so have restored the failing partition from an image I made before I tried that (my previous thread details my falling foul of the MS slipstream validation bug during a repair install attempt).

Any rstrui experts out there who can advise?


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December 30, 2010 at 06:19:08
Can I get that restore point to run when the system partition is mounted externally?
I don't think you can do that.

If it is hanging in safe mode wuhile loading drivers, then tell us which is the last driver at which it stops going any further.

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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December 30, 2010 at 07:27:01
Last line is crcdisk.sys, but don't think that's relevant. Have also replaced, in stepwise fashion, all drivers in current (failing) installation with those from a new XPSP3 install (stepwise was - crcdisk.sys, all drivers different in content between new and failing image, and entire content of system32/drivers). Still same problem.

I don't understand, looking at the content of the system restore folder, why it shouldn't be possible, but only MS documentation I can find refers to either running system restore from safe mode (which I can't boot into), or restoring registry from system restore point (which I don't think will help, as outlined in above post).

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December 30, 2010 at 07:57:56
Hi - just seen your other thread (in which I posted). Did you actually get a product key not recognised message - or was it just a wrong product key message. I've done hundreds of repair reinstalls - the only time I've seen a problem with the product key is when the install disk version does not match the product key (eg, retail XP Home key with an OEM XP Home install). Did you use nlite to do the slipstream? (I've definitely produced working SP3 install disks with nlite on windows 7 and vista). I honestly think repair reinstall is the only chance to resurrect your installation - but am now wondering if its worth it! (clean install after backing up the data might be more effective - will take time to reinstall our software etc, but you will get a 'new' machine effectively). If you're concerned about slipstreaming on windows 7 - remember you successfully did an XP install with data in place (did you use the slipstreamed disk here? Did it accept same key it rejected in repair scenario?) - you could easily slipstream in there.

As to using the system restore backups - you can manually restore the registry hive files (sam, security, software, system and default) from that backup (again - i've done this many times to fix a 'dead' machine) - it might work in your case (though you did say you restored a should be ok ERUNT backup). is the official method.

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December 30, 2010 at 16:52:52
Although this is for Vista a lot of it is still relevant for XP. Especially the in-place upgrade bit.

Another point of attack to try:
In case it is a power supply issue unplug any non essential devices from the power supply and see if that makes a difference.

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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December 31, 2010 at 03:49:43
The problem is with volume licence keys:

I don't understand why the original installation was recognised for repair, but the restored image was not.

Unbelievably, it's now working, and I think that it was/is an MBR/MFT issue, because the successful boot into XP occurred when I set the Vista partition to be active!! I was always baffled by the fact that all the posts I found referring to hangs at crcdisk.sys were from Vista unfortunates, and here was my XP doing the same. Maybe it wasn't! Maybe it was Vista!!


So now I'm in, I'm reimaging, and plan to wipe the entire disk and restore just the xp image, tho I expect I'll have to reaquaint myself with MBR's and boot sectors, which I don't relish the thought of, but better than a reinstall with all the xp software I have loaded.

Thanks for your help, anyway.

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December 31, 2010 at 06:20:17
Interesting. You never told us you had dual boot.
You would have had better quality answers.

Glad to read that you are up and running.

When everything else fails, read the instructions.

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