WIN XP Stop Bad Header Pool error

I am having a problem with a Dell Dimension 8100, I cannot start Window XP Home; have tried last known good config, safe mode and recovery console. It won’t boot in normal, safe or last known. In the recovery mode, at least I can get to a DOS prompt. What I get is a “Bad Pool Header” error 0x00000019. I Googled it and it is apparently a memory allocation problem and particulary difficult to resolve according to the Microsoft developers site. Using the DOS prompt, I has used the bootcfg /repair and fixboot /C: commands with no success.

Have given up on this computer and built a new computer 680i EVGA motherboard, E6700 CPU and 2 Gb of Corsair Dominator RAM and 2 @ 500 Gb SATA HD’s – running Vista Home Premium. This computer is working great but I want my data off the old computer which does not boot.

As I mentioned, I have tried just about everything I can find or think of short of re-installing XP Home. Don’t want to re-install because it will create a new My Documents folder and most likely overwrite the data that I want copy off of the old computer’s hard drive.

Thinking about pulling the old computer’s IDE hard drive and installing it in the new computer. However, then I will have 2 operating systems trying to load at boot up; Vista and XP Home. Thinking about 2 different approaches and interested in comments on these 2 approaches.

1) Hot swap the IDE hard drive after the new computer boots. However, hot swapping electronic systems is generally not a good idea. Then copy the files; my documents, outlook.pst and maybe I can find the IE favorites.

2) Disabling the XP Home on the IDE drive by going in at the recovery prompt (DOS) and renaming the NTLDR.EXE to something else so that the bootloader cannot find the executable. This would load the BIOS and allow it to read the master boot record for the partition data so that the hard disk can be read. Then copy the files that I need.

Looking for anyone with better idea or at least comments on what I am thinking about – where are the pitfalls? Is there a website that might help with this thorny problem?
:cry: :cry:
Hope you can help me.
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More about stop header pool error
  1. did you try repair from the xp cd?
  2. Used the XP Home CD and the only option I could find was the recovery console and it has an option for repair. I understand that there is a repair option available after you start the install routine but did not find it and did not want to progress too far down that path - formatting the disk and re-installing windows will most likely make the data impossible to recover.
    Could not find the repair option in the install routine that others has talked about - thinking this may be part of XP Pro.
    Did I miss something? Appreciate the help.
  3. xp repair walk through

    no the first time you get prompted to repair or install choose install then for the second time you will be prompted to repair or install again, now the second time choose repair.

    if you choose repair the first time you will be taken to recovery counsole.

    if you choose install the first time and then repair the second time then you will be taken to the xp repair ;)

    Using XP CD Boot with the Windows XP CD and at the Setup Screen press the Enter Key

    You will be taken to the Windows XP Licensing Agreement. After reading the agreement press F8 to proceed.

    The next screen gives you the option to do a fresh (clean) install or to repair the selected Windows XP installation. To run a Repair Install Press "R" at this time.
    ***CAUTION*** if you do not see the option to repair the selected Windows XP installation DO NOT choose the option to continue installing a fresh copy without repairing as that will overwrite your data and cause unrecoverable data loss.

    Windows XP will copy the necessary files to your Hard Drive to begin the installation and will then reboot. You will see the message that informs you to "Press any key to boot the CD". Do not press any keys this time just wait a few seconds and the Windows Startup Screen will be displayed. Following this you will be greeted by the Windows XP Setup Screens.

    When Setup has completed you should find all of your previously installed apps and settings are intact.

    that should do it for you we hope ;)
  4. Tried what you suggested and apparently XP Home does not have this option because at this screen, I have a choice of Install, Delete Partition or Exit. It appears that the hard disk is going bad - long time to do even simple tasks like chkdsk, etc. Had to run fixboot and it reported that the boot record was corrupt. Can't even copy file to the hard disk, like ntldr, to the hard disk - gives me a "bad header pool" error. I have one last chance and that is to borrow an XP Pro disk and try the repair routine.

    edklite - I appreciate your help but it looks like I am toast.
  5. OK how about installing XP on another drive and setting the current bad drive as slave or second HDD, then boot off the good drive and see if you can access the old one, or try and copy the whole drive to a new one and maybe it will get copied.

    otherwise you maybe toast, if that is the case don't feel bad long time ago I learned my lesson the same way, when HDD itself goes bad, there really is nothing you can do, only thing that helps is that weekly backup you have been keeping on another HDD just for times like this.

    of course long time ago my stupid ghost image did not work so just like you my HDD was corrupt and my backup was worthless.

    well since then I do it right, I have an external drive and I use Acronis True Image to clone(copy) my OS drive so right now no matter what happens to my PC or anything like that, my clone will work as soon as I put it my setup, so losing data or HDD getting corrupt are worries of the past.

    so needless to say, if you never want to have this problem again, get your self an external drive and Acronis and clone your HDD from now on.

    good luck and I hope you can recover it either with copying or second HDD method, unlikely but if you got the time it does not hurt. ;)
  6. :bounce:


    --Purchase an empty 3.5" EXTERNAL USB HARD DRIVE ENCLOSURE from a computer store, for just $30-$40. It's basically just an empty plastic box that has a USB connector and a power connector on the outside and standard hard drive cable connectors on the inside, plus a translator IC chip or two which makes the bits & bytes happy.

    --Remove the hard drive in question, from your old computer.

    --Install that HD in the external enclosure. Very easy to do -- just plug in the data and power cables. Leave the Master/Slave jumpers in Master configuration. Snap on the lid or not, depending on if you want to leave the HD permanently in that box.

    --Start up your new desktop and after XP is up and running, plug in the USB cable from the external drive. It'll be recognized as drive E or drive F or whatever. It'll pay no attention to the OS files on that drive, as long as you don't boot the computer with that drive connected.

    --Using Windows Explorer, DRAG/DROP all the necessary data files from your old drive, to the new one.

    --Now you can re-format the old drive, run diagnostics on it, or whatever you want.

    --If it's still usable, I format it and use Acronis to put a drive image on that external drive, and tuck it away in a fireproof safe. I have several such drives, and do redundant image backups whenever there's a major change on my main system drive. Saves hours and hours of headaches.
  7. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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