Windows won't Boot


Ahh, the joy of Windows.  The following applies to 2K Pro, 2003 Server and both flavors of XP.

Corrupt MBR's (Master Boot Record)'s or Boot Sectors do occur from time to time. Different causes can create the malady, but who cares, just get the dang thing to boot up! 

There are a couple of proceedures to insure that this down time is minimal. One can be used if the Operating System disk is available and the other if it is not.

With an OS Disk:

Start the computer and tap the key that is listed to run the "Start Up" utility or "BIOS". Different motherboards and manufacurers use different keys to launch the BIOS.......convenient, huh? 
The most commonly used key is "Del", Compaqs often use "F10", while "F1" or "F2" are seen on other motherboards.
In any event, there is commonly a prompt as to which key is required to access the BIOS at start up before the Windows Logo shows up or used to show up. 

Once in the BIOS, look for the "Boot Order" settings, different BIOS have this in diferent places. Some are by themselves and others are in the "Advanced Settings".

Set the order to boot from the CD Rom 1st and the Hard drive 2nd.

Put your Windows CD in the tray, then "Exit with Saving" the settings (far right tab)

1. Boot with your windows CD
2. Type R to Enter the Recovery Console
3. Enter the Administrator password (if there is one)
4. Type: chkdsk c: /r and press Enter <<<This will take awhile
5. Once completed (if no errors of unrecovery) Type: chkdsk c: /p and press Enter
6. Type: fixboot c: and press Enter
7. Boot Normally

No OS Disk (or if you don't want to wallow around in the BIOS)

What I did is printed out this proceedure and packaged it together with the floppy so I wouldn't forget how to do it:

When XP or 2000 won't boot into Windows:

Make an Emergency Boot Floppy from your machine when it is working properly.
If you don't have one, making one on another computer using the same Operating System will "sometimes" work on the computer that won't boot.

Put a formatted floppy in the working computer.
Go to: Start>All Programs>Accessories>Command Prompt
Type the following commands, pressing the 'Enter' key after each one:

xcopy c:\boot.ini a: /h
xcopy c:\ a: /h
xcopy c:\ntldr a: /h

Now type: exit
Press 'Enter' to close the window.

Put this floppy in the inoperable machine.

If the computer boots up properly, then from the Command Prompt on the previously inoperable machine type the following and press 'Enter':

xcopy a:\*.* c:\ /h

Take out the floppy and reboot normally.