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XP bootup to black screen w/ blinking underscore?

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 20, 2011 7:03:15 PM

Suddenly yesterday one of my computer's would boot up to a black screen with a blinking underscore. I think the boot files are corrupt. I put in a hdd from another working computer and it booted right up so i know its the hard drive that's the problem. I was able to put the hard drive from the computer with the issue in another computer as a slave drive and i could access the files. How can I fix the boot files. I have the XP cd handy.

thanks

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January 20, 2011 8:01:47 PM

Insert the XP disc, and try a windows repair.
http://pcsupport.about.com/od/operatingsystems/ss/instx...
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January 20, 2011 8:49:52 PM

No, it will only replace your windows files. It will not effect any of your programs or user data.
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January 20, 2011 9:59:51 PM

aford10 said:
No, it will only replace your windows files. It will not effect any of your programs or user data.


Thanks Ill try this this weekend.

I put in the fixmbr in the repair prompt and it tries windows as a repair. Do you have any clue what could non booting error?

thanks
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January 20, 2011 10:05:25 PM

You booted into the repair console, and used the fixmbr command? If yes, that will re-write your master boot record. While there, you may also want to use the fixboot command.

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January 21, 2011 12:45:20 AM

aford10 said:
You booted into the repair console, and used the fixmbr command? If yes, that will re-write your master boot record. While there, you may also want to use the fixboot command.


What's the master boot record? And what does fixboot do?

Thanks for the answers!
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January 21, 2011 2:42:03 AM

It's a partition on your hard drive, that tells your computer to boot after it's done with the POST sequence.

The fixboot command will replace your boot files.
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January 21, 2011 5:21:57 PM

So what's the difference between fix boot and fixmbr?
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January 21, 2011 5:34:33 PM

Fixmbr will rewrite the master boot record. The MBR is where the partition table is. It also has some code that tell the computer to boot.

Fixboot will rewrite your boot files. Those files are part of the partition table.

I guess in an simplistic analogy, it would be like a record and a song.
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January 21, 2011 5:46:08 PM

So I should also use fixboot? Then do a repair with the cd?
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January 21, 2011 6:58:39 PM

If you've already tried the fixmbr command, you can try using the fixboot command, and see if it'll take care of the issue.

However, it may be simpler and quicker to just do a repair.
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January 21, 2011 8:31:54 PM

when i did fixmbr theres no more blinkng under score and it goes into a a repair
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January 21, 2011 8:55:57 PM

Fixmbr shouldn't kick off a repair. It's simply a command prompt command, to rewrite the MBR.

If it's booting off the CD to do a repair, then go with it. Just follow that guide, to make sure you don't have an oops.
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January 21, 2011 8:59:42 PM

ok thanks ill try that. cause now when it boots even with out the cd it starts to install windows and asks for the cd.
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January 27, 2011 11:04:42 PM

Best answer selected by matt_mu.
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January 27, 2011 11:13:46 PM

Thanks for the help. To recap what I did was that I put the hard drive into my other computer to back up all the files (just to prepare for the worst) then booted into the repair console, typed the command "fixmbr" (without quotes) then rebooted. I did a system repair by choosing the install option then when it showed the installed operating system i highlighted it and hit "R" and it started the repair. Non of my user files (documents, music, etc. ) were deleted. I then scanned with AVAST anti virus and found a virus in the boot sector. So that took care of that and my computer is up and running!

But there's one weird thing. Some of the icons in the control panel are missing (they're there but don't have the actual icon, its more of a white icon)
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January 27, 2011 11:32:49 PM

You may need to right click on them, go to properties, and change the icon.

Thanks for the vote :) 
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January 28, 2011 1:27:39 AM

thanks again and NP
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!