XP will not load after extending partition using PM

3d memory 1gb module ddr2 pc2-5300 cl=5...
June 7, 2014 at 05:06:41
Specs: Windows XP, 3500ghz 2.5gig
I recently attempted to extend my XP drive from 127gig by a further 50gig on my PC's 500gig HD. I used "Partition Magic" to screw it up but all seemed well until after reboot - Now it fires to the point of the XP logo and momentarily follows with a BSOD and back to square one.

I gather that the possible cause is that the volumes are no longer recognized - I have looked at the the Partions from inside Linux Ubuntu that dual boots on the same 500gig dive It works fine using "Gparted".......it still shows the 127gig with the 50gig attempted extension sitting separately and not as one block.

Sorry so long, but before i make things worse i'm hoping one of you might know whether running the windows "R" repair/recover consul has a chance of fixing this problem without making matters worse..........also is "repair" & "recover" the same thing???????

Living in hope

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June 7, 2014 at 06:37:04
You didn't post the make/model of your computer. If it's an OEM rather than a custom build, running the recovery or repair might result in the hard drive being wiped & the loss of all your files & programs. Doing a recovery should be the last resort, not the 1st.

Why did you want to extend the partition in the 1st place? another 50GB isn't a heck of a lot, but 127GB is a lot space for XP. I can only guess you're not using the drive space "wisely" & have all your files & programs on the C-drive rather than a separate partition.

Anyhow, the 1st thing you should do is troubleshoot the error message on the BSOD. Press F8 at startup to bring up the Advanced Boot Options menu, then select "disable automatic restart" - that will allow you to view the blue screen.

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June 7, 2014 at 07:07:24
Also... Is your data (all that personal stuff you don't want lose) safe elsewhere - off the system as is?

If not perhaps take serious steps "now" to recover it from the drive as is, and save/copy to dvd at least. Check the copies are accessible too on at least one other working system

You can boot with Linux style cd/dvd and access and save data that way.

Ubuntu.com is where to find, download and burn (to a dvd) an ISO. Boot with that dvd.

Ubuntu will load into RAM only, and will allow you at least see and hopefully access the hd and contents; which can then be copied to external media.

Then set about resolving your problems with PM.

This link may be useful to read, which although referring to Gpart, may offer possible resolution?


And this discussion seems a little more your actual situation?


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June 8, 2014 at 03:39:39
Thanks riider, i've done the disable and can now see the BSOD issue "UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME"

It suggests "Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing" then "Safe Mode" however can't seem to find a way into safe mode.

So......I opened the dual boot of Ubuntu on that same 500gig drive and found an error message below when attempting to access my windows files through the home folder of Ubuntu.

>>>>>>Unable to mount 137 GB File system

Error Mounting: mount exited with exit code 12: Failed to read last sector
(2684413956):invalid argument
HINTS:Either the volume is a RAID/LDM or wasn't set up yet,
or was not set up correctly(e.g. by not using mdadm -build...),
or a wrong device is tried to be mounted,
or the partition table is corrupt (partition is smaller than NTFS).
or the NTFS boot sector is corrupt (NTFS size is not valid).
Failed to mount'/dev/sda1': Invalid argument
The device'/dev/sda1' doesn't seem to have a valid NTFS.
Maybe the wrong device is used? Or the whole disc instead of a partition(e.g./dev/sda, not/dev/sda1 Or the other way around?<<<<<<<

I'm no expert and a bit lost with all this but obviously my hashed attempt at resizing the windows partition was no smart move!!!.......However, i did note that the Error Message referred to 137GB but when i go look in GParted it shows the /dev/sda1 partition as 127.98GB

Sorry if i have lost you guys - Many thanks for your help so far.

ATB BongoFury.

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June 8, 2014 at 09:00:12
What, if any, service pack do you have? The original version of XP only supported 137 gb partitions - 48 bit LBA support came along in SP1

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June 8, 2014 at 14:32:36
Hello Dan

Yeah my XP disc goes back to around 2002ish so had had all three service packs added since......that is why i thought with the updates i could enlarge the partition........daft really as it was ok as it was but hey i did it.

First off, i think i know the reason for the 127.98GB - 137GB issue.....
I think it must be, the sum total of GB is 137 and the 127.98GB refers to how much of the drive has been used up. These totals were showing in Ubuntu with the aid of GParted.

As it is, I discovered a guru in our local PC World this afternoon.......like the geekyest bloke i ever did see that told me this afternoon that i should download "Windows XP sp3.iso" from Digital River onto a CD.....NOT a DVD and run the repair feature.......NOT recovery (as that would trash the existing setup that was) and that should pick up the lost stitches and any file issues all at the same time????? He sure looked like he meant what he was saying!!!

Any comments welcome

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June 8, 2014 at 15:41:21
When you run xp setup and there is evidence of a previous version "around" setup will "usually" find it. It will then offer to repair it or to run a fresh installation.

Key issue initially - do NOT allow any reformat to occur; simply leave the drive and partitioning as is.

If you opt for a new installation it can go in alongside the one found (same partition); and will go in with different folder name. If the original installation was windows, then this second one will usually go in as winnt (or something like that). The boot files will be rewritten and the previous version added to the newly created boot-menu, and there by its current folder name. The new installation will be set as default OS to boot; the previous one can of course be selected etc. to boot (if it's ok). What I can't recall just now is whether or not new installation will damage (as in lose) your personal stuff; which typically is in c:\MyDocuments folder - as during its installation it will seek to create that folder afresh. My distant memory is that "it will" damage/lose the current contents of that folder. So not the best option to pursue if personal stuff isn't safe elsewhere beforehand.

If you go repair... there are two versions of that. One will attempt it via Recovery Console - and that may lose personal files in the process... So best avoided - personal stuff isn't safe elsewhere at this time...

The other repair approach is a repair installation; in which the OS is installed "over" the current one. This is NOT done via Recovery Console. Instead one declines to repair initially and goes a step or two further. There will then be the option to install it over the current version; and barring accidents... it will preserve (not damage) current MyDocuments folder contents. But again always better to have files safe elsewhere first if possible.

If one can access that MyDocuments folder via say an Ubuntu dvd boot up, one can copy its contents to external storage at least; and it "may" be possible to rename it to something other than its current folder name. After-which any subsequent installation can safely (re)create a new MyDocuments folder; and you can copy the contents of original back later?

This chap/link covers it all with suitably more detailed "how to" info - and the clear warnings of the Recovery Console approach.


The Recovery Routine (aka factory reset/restore) will, as advised by your local techie..., wipe the disk fully and restore it to as it was when the system was delivered; erasing "all your stuff" in the process... Last resort and to be avoided at all times... To be resorted to only when all else has failed; and again ideally when personal stuff has somehow been safeguarded first as above...

Also the image you download (XP with sp3) must be an OEM if your original installation was such; or a non-OEM if it wasn't. You cannot install a non-OEM over an OEM and visa-versa - if you wish to use your current XP key for validation of your installation. OEM and non OEM (retail) keys are different and won't work with other' version (disk/installation).

Again I would take steps to safeguard your personal "stuff" first - regardless of how you set about rebuilding/repairing a working OS. Safer than sorrier rule...?

message edited by trvlr

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June 8, 2014 at 16:55:13
Perhaps you created the Recovery Disks through Partition Magic before you actually resized the partitions? If so, you can follow the Recovery procedure.

Failing that, take a look here; might help explain...not knowing the make/model of your computer, I can't say for sure.


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June 9, 2014 at 14:39:21
Which version of Partition magic did you use? If you used an older version such as version 6 or earlier, it won't work on the NTFS version that XP uses. Older versions were meant to work on NTFS version 3.0 and earlier, XP uses NTFS version 3.1.


message edited by THX 1138

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June 9, 2014 at 14:53:50
Yup there were issues between PM and XP that did cause grief for more than a few... and it did take some effort on the part of PM (and possibly M$) to both acknowledge and resolve it...

I thought it was with a version of PM that was around version 3 or 4... that created the problems. Usual consequence of the problem was a lost installation... It really did cause much grief a the time for those not aware of it. The issue emphasised even then the wisdom of safeguarding/copying all personal data etc. somewhere safe and off the system entirely - just in-case. Sadly many didn't and of course still don't... before doing anything to a working (or attempting to recover a damaged) system - when possible.

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June 10, 2014 at 06:19:54
Gees guys thanks for all the advice - I will try to keep this short.

Rather than attempting to directly answer all suggestions that have come my way i will summarize where i am with this:

I can't be certain but I'm now beginning to wonder if i only ran the service pack 3 disc as i was under the impression that it featured all previous updates to XP???? (my XP Home copy is circa 2001/2). I set up this installation about 18 months ago when fitting the 500GB Sata HD and was somewhat puzzled at the time when it only configured 137GB but just left it at that..........presumably this is why the adding of another 50GB went belly up!

As for the guru's suggestion - that is a non starter, as M$ have pulled the plug on the Digital River option anyhow. With regard to data, I do have 99% of it saved on a 500GB USB drive so not all is ever going to be lost - I'm just determined to fix what I have if possible.

With regard to Ubuntu's ability to get into the Windows file - Ubuntu can see the folder in the "Home Folder" but it can't open or do anything as mentioned in "Post 3". Furthermore with regard to PartitionMagic I'm fairly certain the version used was the latest "6" as I got it from "Cnet" only a few weeks back.........So, seeing as I only have that 137GB and presuming that means service pack 1&2 are not present, then if i'm reading your info right then it is no wonder the process failed.Y/N?!?!

I have been slow to run the XP installation disc for fear of wipe out but again if i don't have the updates from packs 1&2 installed i should........I hope be ok to try the "repair option" thus picking back up the 137GB partition........Hmmm.

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June 10, 2014 at 08:04:22
Try EaseUS Partition Master Free instead.

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June 10, 2014 at 08:25:15
One other option too...

Create your own XP-sp3 installation disk. Slipstream sp-3 into whichever version of XP installation disk you have?

Takes a wee bit of time and effort to do it all; but once you have it dun... usually works fine.

Incidentally if you know anyone who has the appropriate OEM or non-OEM/retail disk you could borrow/use that; as you will not be using "their" key to register/activate afterwards. You could also (legally) make a copy of that disk, and also use it to create your own slipstreamed SP3-version. You would use "your" XP key with the disk - again providing it is the same type of disk (OEM or retail) as used to install XP originally on your system.

XP disks are turning up for very few pennies nowadays at computer fairs and clearance houses... They're also on eBay of course and even Amazon too - all seemingly legally sold - OEM at least. I have at least 3 (I think) unused/still sealed OEM or retail installation disks... All you need is the disk - you already have legitimate key?

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June 10, 2014 at 09:33:27
Afternoon Team,

I am downloading EaseUS as I type - good reviews I see.......I presume that is for when I solve the issue of getting into Windows and resorting the partitions in future?......Thanks there.

With regard to slipstreaming "trvir" I still have the original disc - not sure why I would want another copy? When you say about the OEM I presume you mean a disc specific to the Packard Bell machine - the copy I have predates the 2005/6 PC.........I'm sure it must be obvious but I've missed that one?

A BIG issue I have is this.........If as I say i'd run service pack 3 after my initial XP installation from what you say it covers the previous packs 1 & 2 do I have that right?????? If so I presume when I attempted the addition of the extra 50GB that should not have been a problem! Again, if i have this right the problem was with PartitionMagic not seeing eye to eye with my dear old windows XP disc.

Hope I'm making sense.......I know what I mean.......Ha Ha.

PS. Off to suss out this slipstreaming & dig out the Service pack 3 disc.

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June 10, 2014 at 09:46:37
You have a Packard Bell branded disk - which is thus an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) disk. Slipstreaming that with sp3 ought to work fine; and resolve the whole 137Gig issue for you.

So no need of another disk; wasn't fully aware you still had the original OEM disk.

Each sp includes the previous sp (if they existed) and usually any updates close/upto to the arrival of that latest sp.

Can't recall clearly now what exactly the problems were with PM and XP; but they were very evident at the time and caused more than a little grief. And the M$ input was a consequence of it too.

I think you're correct in that if you successful recover (re-install or repair etc.) the current version, and include sp3 either during the rebuild or add it later, then the 137Gig issues will disappear and allow you to "safely" extend the partition over that barrier (with EaseUS).

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June 10, 2014 at 12:08:36
My fault trvir when I said "original" i meant as in the installation that has run on the Packard Bell this past 18 months - i.e the version that died on encounter with PM.

The XP disc i own has run on a variety of my machines since 2001/2 and was not of the OEM variety.

I Definitely had service pack 3 in the program list........which is why I find it strange that when Pack 3 was added that the 137GB issue was not taken care of.

I trust this makes sense.

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June 10, 2014 at 12:40:38
As long as the disk type you have uses the same style key that is currently in use on the system, albeit broken just now... :-( - you can use that disk as a slip stream starter to either repair/re-install etc.?

As best I understand it... the "phyx" for 137Gig barrier (present in sp-1, 2, and 3, has to be present at time of installation; rather than applied afterwards if wishing to go over that barrier at time of installation. i.e. install using XP with at least sp-1 included... (and as per first statement in the link immediately below ensure lba is enabled).


If you install XP without at least sp-1 included then you are stuck at the barrier; as applying the sp-1 (or later) after installing XP without "any" sp merely reveals balance of the drive - as unused space... How you use that is of course up to you.. Partition tweakers/managers of course will allow you to extend into it... - if things don't go
awry/wrong... This Western digital article discusses this aspect too:


Incidentally if you do a quick google trawl using:

xp 137gb limit

as the search string/term..., you will get a whole slew of useful discussions and more erudite/qualified explanations and so on about it all. Might be worth a quick look-see?

message edited by trvlr

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June 10, 2014 at 15:29:54
"I am downloading EaseUS as I type"
They do have a recovery program as well.

EASEUS Partition Recovery

Another very good tool.
TestDisk was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally erasing your Partition Table).
Documentation is available here
TestDisk Step By Step

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June 10, 2014 at 15:58:52
Hi, that list seems to cover a bit of ground John, so will go have a good look.

I did start a thread a few days back with regard to using TestDisk and was warned that all existing data would be lost or scrambled around and not to use it if I wanted to restore my folders.

I wonder has anyone on here heard of Hirens Boot CD to download - it has been suggested but the links i have tried seem to be compromised.......any ideas welcome.


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June 10, 2014 at 16:08:53
Here is another choice BongoFury.

Active@ Partition Recovery
This is a demo version, follow these instructions to use.
1: Run SuperScan, APR should ID the faulty partition & restore it.
2: The partition will appear to be empty.
3: Reboot Windows.
4: chkdsk should run automatically during boot, it will take a very long time, but should eventually reboot with files intact.

message edited by Johnw

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June 11, 2014 at 02:01:52
Good Morning John,

I have had a good look at "Find and mount" I have not tried running it yet as i see it says that info will become read only - do I presume correctly that this ap would not actually help get Windows up and booting for itself???

Are the listed above just data recovery/ - i'm just a tad confused by the ambiguity some of these fix it programs rely on having read their spiel.

Most grateful for all your effort

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June 11, 2014 at 03:19:10
Good morning BongoFury. I'm here.

"I did start a thread a few days back with regard to using TestDisk and was warned that all existing data would be lost or scrambled around and not to use it if I wanted to restore my folders"

As you have found out, using any program to modify your hard drive is high risk. User error is the most common cause of problems.

I have used TestDisk about a year ago, but did a backup of the drive first & a lot of reading/googling, most of which I included in the links.

The programs that have been listed are for you to try, just a matter of finding one that does the job & suits your skill level.

message edited by Johnw

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June 11, 2014 at 04:00:54
Howdy John, I'm up here!

Yeah Thanks for all the links, I'm going to have another poke around with your links to "Hirensboot" I was trying to download it last night when Avast jumped outa the chair and proclaimed to have saved me from a certain viral death. The guy that recommended it on the M$ forum had it down as a big shot and supposedly had a fix for just about everything.....i think it was about 500MB of various tools.

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June 11, 2014 at 04:17:13
" I'm up here!"
Just had a phone call from the wife's cousin in Plymouth. They took us to Portsmouth on one of our trips over there.

"i think it was about 500MB of various tools"
Yep, I see Find and mount is there as well.

What we need to do is recover your partition.

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June 11, 2014 at 04:44:09
"Yep, I see Find and mount is there as well"

That's ironic as from all the links you suggested that looked about the least commercial let alone ambiguous of the majority. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining about the quality of your links! - just an observation of how we are led in for free until you want something to actually work.......now cough up!!!

I see that i'm nearly finished Downloading part 54 and counting to be followed by my "Fastagain PC boost scan" for free.......lucky me!!!

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June 11, 2014 at 06:55:52
Hirens bootdisk has been around for years; and safely used by many. Avast and other similar useful ant-virus apps often declare multi function disks utilities to be suspect etc. when they're perfectly ok. If Hirens has any form of anti-virus util included might causing Avast (in this case) to panic. Todate I've never heard of Hirens being other totally safe to use.

Links posted here at CN are usually well tried and regarded. Similarly if pholks here suggest a freebie it is just that - a freebie. Likewise if there are try before you apps., again most here will advise they are. There often freebie (limited or no support) versions and pay for (full support etc.) versions of the same app.

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June 11, 2014 at 07:18:43
Thanks trvir

I sure hope no one thought i was having a pop or ungrateful of everyones help but one really does have to keep your eye on the game, or as i have discovered I ended up with the "FastAgain scanner" on my laptop.....not a problem as i don't plan on paying up to have the 696 faults it found with my registry fixed although i guess there must be many who do.

Not to worry off to get Ccleaner to deal with the beastie!

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June 11, 2014 at 12:38:18
I think it was that Windows XP (before SP1) only supported hard drive volumes till 128 GB. To have XP installed and recognize larger hard drive sizes from the start, the XP CD needs to be slipstreamed with at least service pack 1. I discovered long ago I couldn't install with my old 2002 disc, 'cause it couldn't read those drives.

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June 11, 2014 at 14:45:36
No-one was thinking you were being ungrateful...

Many of those "helpful" utilities and that includes many an anti-virus utility too - often flag false hits... And many of the so called "helpful" utilities (tune ups, checkers, clean-outs etc. will flag all manner of "alleged" issues and almost panic the unwary into falling for their line - and spending cash they don't need to. And some of those utilities cause more problems too anon...

CCleaner is one that doesn't do that (false flags and come-ons...); neither do any of the other utilities mentioned at CN.

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June 11, 2014 at 15:14:49
Cheers for that trvir

Don't know if you can help?.........Twice I have Downloaded the Hirens Boot CD but i can't get it to save to desk top or anywhere for that matter. I presume it has to be burned as an .ISO image. However, the moment the downloaded folder is closed it vanishes.

As for CNet brilliant.

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June 11, 2014 at 15:46:23
mmm - odd.. if you know the file name as downloaded can you perhaps do a search for it?

I've occasionally found downloads end up in odd locations for reason beyond my limited gray cell's comprehension...

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June 11, 2014 at 15:54:10
Typical - the moment you ask - all becomes clear..................as mud!!!!

Have finally got it onto disc - All 594 MB's using CDburnerXP - had planed on using Power-Iso but turns out that it is limited to 300MB's unregistered - I guess that means paid for!?!?

Now to break the problem PC ;o}} ..........I hope not.

Fingers crossed.

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June 12, 2014 at 05:18:17
Hallelujah, I now have Hiren's on disc - operational - and featuring its list of programs as long as your arm, but quite where I go next who knows???

Perhaps a visit to the tutorial land of "Slipstreaming XP & Service Pack 3"

I'll wait to see if any of you guys have made of todays ramble - maybe i just need refocusing on the task in hand?!?!

It's beginning to look like it's time to take a holiday!

At least the sun is shining!

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June 12, 2014 at 06:00:05
Data recovery/safeguarding if possible - and XP slip stream etc. immediately thereafter If data recovery'/safeguarding is a non-starter... (hopefully not) or not a serious need at this time (you have most of it already secure elsewhere?) then Slipstreaming is next step...!

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