OS reinstall necessary?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by alanack, May 12, 2009.

  1. alanack


    My XP Pro system refused to start after I shut it down in the middle of what I thought was a failed attempt to run dskchk(black screen, no hard drive activity). It would not start up under any circumstances, including last known configuration and safe mode. I was able to get everything working and run dskchk from the recovery console. Everything is working fine except for two things.

    1) Unable to enter safe mode, it either freezes or simply skips over the process and starts Windows normally.

    2) Still unable to run dskchk. It attempts to run at every start up, but the "cannot open volume for direct access" error message comes up.

    There is no anti-viral or anti-malware running at start-up, which can apparently cause problem #2.

    Everything is working perfectly, but obviously these two issue indicate that all is not right. Is there any way to save this install(which is only 4 months old)? Thanks.
  2. The ultimate disaster is your actual hard drive has failed. It may be only your hard drive controller or a cable.

    I'd try swapping the HD into another computer and see if it's still talking first.
  3. Have you tried System Restore from an earlier date or two?
  4. alanack


    These problems seem to have been caused by my shutting it down in the middle of running chkdsk(I found out that after recent SP3 updates chkdsk now sometimes runs with the screen blank), so I don't think the hard drive is the problem(although it could be, I suppose). Everything is working normally except for the two mentioned problems.
  5. alanack


    No, unfortunately there were no backups made since my last reinstall.
  6. after your clean install buy another hard disc and clone your hard drive. then when it freaks up, slip in the new one with all your goodies already installed your good to go. :D
  7. big hammer approach: do a refresh install (not a reformat install). a refresh preserves programs but you lose any service packs added (which I find those constant behind the scenes updates from msft are great for having a pc not want to boot again).

    small hammer approach: try again to access the start menu to get into safe mode etc, if it is booting you should still be able to pause the boot.
  8. better just to make a decent backup with Acronis and backing up to DVD.

  9. You might put the suspect hard drive into a known good computer (in place of the known good computer CD drive), start chkdsk from the good drive and let it repair the suspect drive. You might use the antivirus scan on the good drive to scan the suspect hard drive for viruses.

    If XP can not enter safe mode then I might reinstall XP.

    I remember chkdsk often only runs properly in XP safe mode.
  10. maxpi


    I swear, windows machines need a fresh install with a format about once a month anyhow. At the first sign of trouble I wait for the weekend and just rebuild the thing from the ground floor up... if you do that enough it gets easier, back docs up to a thumb drive, make a document of instructions for rebuilding so it's always an orderly process, it's a piece of cake after awhile... my trading machine is behind a white listing firewall and it has never, ever, once, had any problems at all... I only have to rebuild it upon an OS major upgrade...
    #10     May 13, 2009