None of the 4 methods worked for me --
Please see below the output on the DOS prompt for all those four attempts --
the first method to edit the boot.ini file was impossible because the windows always went into DOS mode into C:windows> prompt. I don't know how to edit boot.ini file from there. All info on microsoft support site is to do something from inside the loaded OS.
C:\WINDOWS> BOOTCFG /REBUILD
Scanning all disks for Windows installations,
Please wait, since this may take a while…
Error: Failed to successfully scan disks for Windows installations. This error maybe causes by a corrupt file system, which would prevent Bootcfg from successfully scanning. Use chkdsk to detect any disk errors.
C:\WINDOWS> CHKDSK /R
Volume OS created 08/22/09 08:42p
The volume serial number is 9023-07c4
There is no disk in drive or the file system is not supported.
488215348 kilobytes total disk space.
3136362048 kilobytes are available.
4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
122053837 total allocatin units on disk.
79090512 allocation units available on disk.
So can any expert me suggest, how do I proceed from now on ?
Boot to the installation CD.
When offered the choice to Install, Repair, or Quit, select repair.
When prompted select the installation you want to repair (usually "1").
When prompted enter the administrator password (if any).
The screen will show:
Find the drive letter of your CD by typing:
If that finds the CD, it will show
on the screen.
copy ntoskrnl.exe C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32
and press the enter key.
The next line should show it was successfully copied.
The computer should now POST and boot into xp64.
Well, the ntoskrnl.exe file was actually at some other location but this thing did indeed boot up my system.
I don't understand the hardware problem. Dell support said my HDD has failed because I got an error 0142 while running Dell's hardware test.
Can a failed HDD still work without any error ? If yes, how long ?
Would you suggest to back-up all what I can and then get my HDD replaced from Dell ?
You are welcome.
It is hard to tell how long your HDD will function after it begins to fail, sometimes there are clues, like you had, where a sector becomes unreadable, or an unusual noise. Or sometimes they just stop.
Yes, backup your files. You should do that periodically anyway. When you get the replacement HDD from Dell, make sure the install disk will re-install Windows and has the proper key code. Dell has a really good support site; it makes its drivers and computer management software available and easily accessible for download from its support website.