Can't boot to recovery console

Toshiba / Satellite pro a200
March 29, 2009 at 05:29:31
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 1.994 GHz / 3062 MB
The problem began when I tried to defrag my c drive. I was told that there was an outstanding chkdsk /f that needed to be done. So I issued this command and rebooted... but the chkdsk didn't run. So I decided to go to the recovery console... but my manufacturer didn't install that, so I did. I installed the XP Pro R2 installation disk and initiated installation of the recovery console.(x:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons  where x = CD drive letter).  When I tried to boot into the Recovery console I get "Bootmgr missing , reboot ctl-alt-del". When I have searched the internet, I see that some are experiencing similar problems when the had Vista and dual booted to Windows 7. I have installed Sun's xVM virtual machine on a separate partition and installed Windows 7 beta. Since I have done this on a unique partition and within a virtual machine, I doubt that it is causing this problem but I include it here to be complete. 
When I try to run the recover console directly from the XP Pro installation disk (R), I get a message that there is no hard drive discovered and to hit F3 to reboot. I have a working WinXP environment and, obviously, a working hard drive. If it helps those trying to respond, I am a Sr. System Programmer with Bechtel with 35 years experience. Any suggests would be appreciated. I can seem to find this "Bootmgr.exe" anywhere, so I wonder if it is a red herring.

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March 29, 2009 at 07:00:19
Search Google for fix mbr

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March 29, 2009 at 10:00:48
The fixmbr command is only available in the Recovery console. I can't get into the recovery console.

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March 29, 2009 at 10:35:04
Can you boot into XP currently (you only say you can't access recovery console)?

"I have installed Sun's xVM virtual machine on a separate partition and installed Windows 7 beta"

You mean you install virtual machine in XP, and installed W7 in the virtual machine. Where does the separate partition come into it? (your machine is a laptop - did you repartition the drive using something like partition manager)?

I'm trying to get an idea of exactly what has happened.

btw IMO, defrgging an NTFS partition is a best a waste of time and at worst possibly catastrphic, as it has a habit of clashing with other background processes causing filestore corruptions.

PS. does your laptop have a SATA drive, and if so is it configured as legacy (Ie, looks like IDE drive) or AHCI/native SATA mode? Because if the latter, you would need to load SATA drivers when booting XP install CD to gain access to recovery console (or anything else) - so would need changing to legacy mode.

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March 29, 2009 at 13:23:41
Yes, I used Partition Magic 8.x to repartition the disk.
The specs for the Toshiba MK1237GSX indicate that it is an SATA drive... but the device manager seems to indicate that it is IDE. I don't know how to load the SATA drivers for the recovery console. That is a task I've never done.

PS. I somehow damaged my MDR this afternoon and was able to use the UBCD4WIN utilities (v3.22) to get into a recovery console and completed a chkdsk. On completing that, however I was still unable to boot. I then restored the MBR from a backup I took yesterday and was able to boot... but now I can't get into the recovery console again (via UBCD4WIN) because it doesn't recognize the HD. curious. :(
Thank you for your input, however. This has been a lonely task.

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March 29, 2009 at 15:46:12
Check the bios settings - should be one that switches between IDE (legacy) and AHCI/native SATA mode for the hard drive. In IDE mode, you should have access to recovery console booting from XP install CD (don't think the UBCD disk actually gives you recovery console - just access to some command line functions they've put on that disk).

Bit confused about your mbr - unless you've missed something out, nothing should be updating it. Also the status of the mbr makes no difference to whether drive will be accessible or not - though it could make a difference to accessing the partitions on it (as partition table contained within).

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March 29, 2009 at 18:40:24
I ran the Hitachi Drive Fitness Test and it was clean!
Still unable to get to recovery console. I'll try your last suggest tomorrow. Got to get to bed

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