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Need Help With Unmountable Boot Volume Error in Vista 32 bit

Last response: in Windows Vista
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July 3, 2011 11:24:10 PM

I am trying to help fix a friends computer, but cannot find a solution to her issue. The error began with the system booting to a Windows Error Recovery which states the "Windows failed to start." A recent hardware or software change might be the cause." I am presented with two options: (1) "Launch Startup Repair," and (2) "Start Windows Normally." Both result in Windows beginning to load with a loading bar at the bottom of the screen, before the entire display goes black for ~30 seconds; after which, a mouse cursor appears on the black screen but no action can be taken beyond moving the cursor.

I have tried various solutions which I will explain to help narrow the focus and eliminate options.

I knew this error was most often associated with the HDD or RAM, so I went into the BIOS to first make sure they were both still being recognized and they were. I was then able to run a test on the RAM which came back clean.

I could NOT boot into safe mode and would get the same results as the options mentioned above. However, by pushing F8 I was able to get the additional options along with boot to safe mode which allowed me to disable automatic restart on system failure. This led to the blue screen of death and the unmountable_boot_volume error.

After looking up the unmountable boot volume error, I found numerous articles which said to run the repair disk. This produced the same results as the built in system repair either automatically, or with input commands; however, once I select the repair option, the computer attempts to boot, and fails in the same manner as before.

Overall, I believe it is a HDD issue. I am unsure if this issue can be solved from the software end or if the HDD needs to be replaced completely. Does anyone have any suggestions to try and fix this issue. Keep in mind that I cannot boot into the OS, so any solution must be able to boot from the disc.

More about : unmountable boot volume error vista bit

July 4, 2011 1:24:06 AM

The first thing I would do would be to run a hard drive diagnostic. SeaTools for seagate, Drive fitness test for hitachi, etc. If the computer is a dell, it will have built in diagnostics. Also, Drive fitness test works pretty well on any hard drive.
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July 4, 2011 1:56:30 AM

The computer is a Dell Inspirion. How am I supposed to access these built in diagnostics? I cannot find them in the BIOS or an any option in standard or safe mode boot up. There is only an option for RAM diagnostics which came back clean.
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July 4, 2011 2:06:11 AM

I was able to get the original install disk rather than the repair disk which I had previously. It boots to a "Windows is loading files..." screen before going to the same loading bar, black screen, and black screen + cursor as all previous attempts have ended with.

I also have an install disc for Ubuntu which seems to allow me to proceed further (although I have not gone completely through with the install yet). Should I try installing it and seeing if it will run? If Ubuntu runs, then it may be a problem with the Vista OS, and I may just have to delete the original OS before booting from the install disc.
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July 4, 2011 2:09:31 AM

With a dell, you access the diagnostics by hitting F12 at startup, then you should see either utility partition or hard drive diagnostic.
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July 4, 2011 2:41:48 AM

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I ran the diagnostic test until it came back with the following error (and a lot of beeping):

Error Code 0142
Msg: Error Code 2000-0142
Msg: Hard Drive 1 - Self Test Unsuccessful. Status: 79
The given error code and message can be used by Dell Technical Support to help diagnose the problem.

From everything I have found on this error, it is the same information I have had before. People who can get into the repair can fix it with the command prompt. I cannot get into my command prompt so this is not an option.

I am still wondering if this is an OS error or an actual hardware failure though. If it is just the OS, shouldn't I be able to simply delete the OS partition and reinstall?
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July 4, 2011 2:55:11 AM

Do you happen to have your OS discs?
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July 4, 2011 4:24:30 AM

Alaskan_IT said:
Do you happen to have your OS discs?


Yes. As i mentioned above, "I was able to get the original install disk rather than just the repair disk which I had previously. It boots to a "Windows is loading files..." screen before going to the same loading bar, black screen, and black screen + cursor as all previous attempts have ended with."

However, I have not yet tried to delete the OS and reinstall because it is slightly complicated due to the errors I am having. Normally the install disc would allow me to do this, but I cannot boot the install disc. I do seem to be able to use the Ubuntu Install disc, and I may use that to try and delete the partitions. Is there a way to delete the OS partition from outside of the OS (possibly within the BIOS)?
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July 4, 2011 4:56:41 AM

is it a desktop or laptop? If it is a desktop and you have another desktop, you can pull the hard drive and put it in your desktop to format it. Or you can download and burn Dariks boot and nuke. However, this seems like a defective hard drive to me. Deleting the partition isn't gonna change the fact that the computer cant load the OS disc.
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July 4, 2011 5:03:25 AM

It is a laptop, so it is not a simple task to swap HDDs. I'm also thinking it is a defective HDD and that it needs to be replaced completely, but what gives me a glimmer of hope is that the Ubuntu install disc appears to be working. I just haven't gone through with the install because I was waiting to hear other options that may save the data on the HDD. I do not have any blank dics at the moment, so I will try Ubuntu tonight and see how that goes. If that cannot be installed, then I know it is a total HDD failure which needs to be replaced altogether.
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July 4, 2011 10:42:49 PM

Deleting the partition actually worked! I went through with the Ubuntu install which allowed me to delete the original OS (I could have accomplished this with another program, but the install disc was all I had at the time). After I realized I could run Ubuntu, I knew that the HDD must not have completely failed. I ran the windows install disc and voila, it was able to get past the previous errors with the old OS out of the way.
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September 9, 2012 7:44:58 PM

JamesAllen said:
I am trying to help fix a friends computer, but cannot find a solution to her issue. The error began with the system booting to a Windows Error Recovery which states the "Windows failed to start." A recent hardware or software change might be the cause." I am presented with two options: (1) "Launch Startup Repair," and (2) "Start Windows Normally." Both result in Windows beginning to load with a loading bar at the bottom of the screen, before the entire display goes black for ~30 seconds; after which, a mouse cursor appears on the black screen but no action can be taken beyond moving the cursor.

I have tried various solutions which I will explain to help narrow the focus and eliminate options.

I knew this error was most often associated with the HDD or RAM, so I went into the BIOS to first make sure they were both still being recognized and they were. I was then able to run a test on the RAM which came back clean.

I could NOT boot into safe mode and would get the same results as the options mentioned above. However, by pushing F8 I was able to get the additional options along with boot to safe mode which allowed me to disable automatic restart on system failure. This led to the blue screen of death and the unmountable_boot_volume error.

After looking up the unmountable boot volume error, I found numerous articles which said to run the repair disk. This produced the same results as the built in system repair either automatically, or with input commands; however, once I select the repair option, the computer attempts to boot, and fails in the same manner as before.

Overall, I believe it is a HDD issue. I am unsure if this issue can be solved from the software end or if the HDD needs to be replaced completely. Does anyone have any suggestions to try and fix this issue. Keep in mind that I cannot boot into the OS, so any solution must be able to boot from the disc.



k i have encountared the exact same problem (unmountable boot volume, black screen + mouse cursor, etc).... but i have found a solution for those people who do not want to format, remove or replace the harddrive

1-First put the windows installation disc inside your computer, and set the priorty to boot from disc

2-When the computer says press any key to boot from disc (PRESS ONLY F8) and keep on pressing it until you see the advanced options (NOTICE that THESE options are loaded from the disc, because i have tried the advanced options without the installation CD, but unfourtunatley nothing worked)

3- Choose safe mode (TRUST ME THIS WILL WORK) but the computer will not go to windows... rather you will see it loading the cd windows installation

4- When Safe mode loads press next then press repair your computer... (AT this state your computer might run very slowly but be patient)

5- Now wait until your computer loads... and press next again... and this time you will see the options like ( Startup repair, or system recovery, or..... )

6- Choose command prompt and type bootrec/fixmbr

7- than type chkdsk c: /r (this option will eventually fix your computer, but it will take ALOT of time depending of how much your hardrive is corrupted, and it might stop at some point. If you feel that it is stuck at a specific sector, dont worry clos command prompt and repeat steps 1-7) and it will definetaly work

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September 13, 2012 5:38:58 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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