Unmountable Boot Volume error

Microsoft Microsoft windows xp home edit...
October 21, 2009 at 20:54:33
Specs: Windows XP w SP3, 1gb
It all started with the dreaded BSoD Unmountable Boot Volume error. I had just installed an update on my modem software and had cleaned up a whole bunch of trash off my C drive. I rebooted and received the BSoD error. I was able to enter the recovery console and by using chkdsk and a Seatools HD recovery disk, I was able to get back into windows. Unfortunately, I did not realize that I still had some errors that needed to be fixed, so when I booted back into windows, my Norton 360 became unstable. In the processes of trying to stabilize my Nortorn 360 (which required an un-install and many attempted - failed- re-installs), I believe that the Norton "analysts" caused further damage to my weakened windows system (unfortunately I allowed remote access to system and I'm pretty sure things were deleted that should not have been deleted). They threw in the towel and said that Norton 360 could not be re-installed until the windows problems had been fixed. I went back and ran chkdsk and Seatools until they ran without fixing any errors. I'm now confident in my HD health, but windows is not back to being healthy. The two biggest things that I've noticed is when I'm in the add or remove programs area and I try to remove a program, I receive an error that the Windows Installer Service, could not be accessed. I've googled that error and found reference to that being a corrupt SP2 installation. I then tried to re-run SP2 and I get an error message that I do have sufficient security privileges to install programs and to contact my administrator (I even receive that error message when I'm logged into the administrator account in safe mode). I have tried to step back to a previous restore point and that has not fixed the problem.

I have a Dell, so I could use PC Restore to take the system back to the factory settings, however, my unstable windows has made getting info off the hard drive on to any other media a real pain. I keep receiving all sorts of error messages every time I try to create a .zip file and move it to my USB drive. I tried using a crossover cable to drop the backup info on my laptop, but the windows on desktop will not let me into the areas I need to get into to allow the computers to communicate. So, in essence , I don't have a good backup of my data and settings. That being the case, I'm paralyzed when it comes to moving forward. I don't want to do anything to compromise my data (fixboot, fixmbr, etc), but until Windows is better, I don't see how I can get the backup off my system so that I can move forward with fixing XP.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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October 21, 2009 at 21:48:31
It sounds like your system is 'really' messed up. I wonder if you have a hardware problem with your hard drive.

I would suggest downloading a Linux 'live' CD and use it to try and copy your data off, possibly to a DVD?
Here's an example:

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October 21, 2009 at 22:03:54
Unfortunately, the only media I have available for backup is CD-ROM or a USB thumb drive. I have 11gb of data to move. My thumb drive has enough space, but every time I try to move the file I receive an error that the Drive is full - which it isn't.

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October 21, 2009 at 22:29:09
Try the crossover cable once you're on the linux live cd - linux won't follow the NTFS permissions so you'll be able to get into any folder.

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October 22, 2009 at 08:42:59
I fixed the file transfer problem, had to change the formatting on the USB drive from Fat32 to NTFS.

Now on to my system problems, I don't believe that fixboot or fixmbr will actually solve my problems. I'm thinking that I need to do a repair install, my only question is whether I use the Dell PC Restore or do a repair install using the XP disk.

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