Unamountable boot volume

Microsoft Windows xp home edition w/sp2
February 10, 2010 at 18:46:45
Specs: Windows Vista
Please please help I am almost about to cry!

- When I turn on my pc it constantly reboots it self so I changed the BIOS thing to disable auto reboot so it displays an error message to identify the problem. Which was a blue "unamountable_boot_volume" screen.

- My pc will not load in safe mode, or last know good command.

So far to rectify the problem I have:

1. I have put the XP disc in and selected R but it doesnt bring up C: WINDOWS it brings up H:/miniNT and H:/i836 which I have no idea what they are.

2. I checked lots of website and was advised to select the first 1 and it creates a bootsector or something like that then it allows you to type commands like HELP and also do CHKDSC /P & CHKDSC /R someone said try it with a /F but that doesnt work it gets to 33% and then stops with unrecoverable problems???

3. Then someone told me to put the XP disc in and reinstall which I started to do and selected the drive to reinstall to but then it tells me that the drive needs formatting.

Does anyone know anyway around this I have some important work and memorable photographs of my time in NYC with my nanna which I really would like to keep. Stupidly I never backed these up anyhelp please would be so appreciated!

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February 10, 2010 at 19:05:17
"...... someone said try it with a /F but that doesnt work it gets to 33% and then stops with unrecoverable problems???"
"....then it tells me that the drive needs formatting."

Either you have a ram problem, or your hard drive is failing.

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:

For a laptop, or netbook, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that.

For a brand name computer, see the Owner's or User's manual if you need to - how to remove or replace the ram is usually in that - it may already be in your installed programs. If you can't get into Windows, it may be on a disk that came with the computer, or you can go online and look at it or download it - it's in the downloads for your specific model.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities

If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.

If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.

If your hard drive is failing, if it can still be accessed, you can connect it to another working computer and copy files off of it that your don't want to lose to somewhere else - to a hard drive , or to CDs or DVDS, or to flash drives, etc. You don't need to be concerned about anything you can re-install if you have the disks for that, or can easily download from the web again. Don't bother trying to copy Windows files otherwise.

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February 10, 2010 at 22:05:41
First I would try removing and reseating RAM modules.
Second I would do the same for the connector for your hard drive.
Third I would run Memtest (download and run to create a bootable floppy or CD) - If clean, proceed, if not run again with only one RAM module (if you had 2 or more) or replace RAM.
Fourth I would run a hard drive testing utility downloaded from the hard drive manufacturer's website from a bootable floppy or CD -- also look into their instructions to see if you can copy files from the hard drive while booted to the utility.
Fifth If drive is gone but still spinning, some files may be savable - either by installing in another computer or by booting to a Linux CD (I don't believe XP will let you boot from it without formatting or installing). - As above, save your files as best you can, don't bother with programs or windows files.
Replace drive if needed, else reformat, reinstall.

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