|Really hope someone can help.|
My WinXP installation won't boot: in normal startup mode, I just get a blank screen with a flashing cursor. In safe mode (any of the safe modes - I've tried all), the startup hangs half way through. The last display line lists crcdisk.sys as the last loaded driver, but I know that this doesn't always point to the problem.
I'm assuming from this that the problem lies with a driver, and that the MBR and boot code is all OK, as I wouldn't expect to get this far if it wasn't.
I tried moving the HD to an external enclosure, and performing the following:
1) running scan disk to check for disk errors (all OK)
2) scanning disk for malware (all negative)
3) inspecting windows/system32/drivers folder for 0kb files (none found)
I have been trying to find a way to run sfc on an external target disk, but have had no success. I have seen some anecdotes of running sfc from the recovery console, but it always refuses me. I understand I could do this with MS DaRT, but I don't have access to that. I don't have a BartPE disc, but could build one, but I don't see how that would help, as I'm not sure it would allow me to run sfc. I don't have a bootable WinXP installation disc, although might be able to make one. I've tried running winnt32 from my setup folder to try a repair installation from there, but the RC won't let me, and my other boot option takes me into DOS, and winnt32 refuses to run in dos. My installation files, which always reside on my HD, are slipstreamed to SP2, and I've not long performed a full update on my XP installation with Offline Update, so presume it's now at SP3. I don't have another XP computer, but assume I'd be able to run SP3 just to slipstream on a Vista or Windows 7 computer if that was necessary.
I'd be very grateful for the following expert opinion:
1) confirm my suspicion that there's no point in fiddling with the MBR, as safe mode boots halfway with no problems
2) suggest how I can run sfc without being able to boot into that installation of windows
3) any suggestions as to what else I might try.
Thank you so much.