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jamescswift
06-28-2015,
How to Use This:
1) Read the first 3 pararaphs (don't need to do anything yet)
2) Scroll through the bolded items and locate your error message
3) Do the stuff after the -'s just below your error message.

Disk diagnostic and CHKDSK /F /R are common to all in order to rule out:
- physical disk problems and
- file system problems PRIOR to trying the fix.

You can download a disk diagnostic tool from the website of the hard drive manufacturer. If necessary you can download a bootable version of the diagnostic from there and boot from it to test your hard drive.

Recovery Console tutorial located here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/how-to-install-the-windows-xp-recovery-console/
This is for the chkdsk, fixmbr, fixboot, and bootcfg commands if you can't get into Windows


Common to several fixes
Black Screen Hang (before splash screen shows)
- Disk Diagnostic
- CHKDSK /F /R (try to boot)
- fixmbr (try to boot)
- fixboot (try to boot)
- Safe Mode (try to boot)

MBR
Invalid Partition Table
Missing Operating System
Error Loading Operating System
- Disk Diagnostic
- CHKDSK /F /R
- fixmbr (try to boot)

Platypus
06-28-2015,
THANK YOU JOHN. I saved this page and printed.

06-28-2015,
Thanks DaChew! I sometimes loose sight of the KISS principle. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/smile.gif

As for the case of the mssing installation CD, then I'll have to refer people to the link to download the XP Recovery Console ISO. Arrgghhh!!! More work to do! Any suggestions on how to reorganize it so it's more understandable to a person with a specifc problem (the bolded stuff in the initial post)?

Added the link to the Recovery Console ISO to the first post.

EDIT: This is getting out of hand for a post in the XP forum - so I'll have to expand it even more and will place it in the Mini Guides forum here: http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/f/92/mini-guides-and-how-tos-simple-answers-to-common-questions/

siganos
06-28-2015,
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/thumbup.gif

The one thing the community needs is something like this blended with other advanced techniques to help someone after malware and possible fixes gone astray render their computer unbootable.

I realize this is a near impossible task but this thread is a step in the right direction.

I wouldn't reorganize it, just elaborate a little more, that's why I gave up on the recovery console years ago, I never could figure out what it did, hopefully that will change.

admin
06-30-2015,
Thanks! I've just added a link to the Recovery Console tutorial near the top of the first post.