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Unmountable boot volume BSOD after format/install from disc

dell latitude d410 running XPSP1 failed to boot yesterday..previously working fine for 2+ years. simply loop boots to the normal/safe prompt. won't boot to safe mode, etc.

using a bartpe emergency boot CD i was able to copy off some critical files to a USB flash drive. then, i headed off to the recovery console.

might be worth noting that there was a C: recovery partition, and D: was my windows installation drive.

recovery console would not let me log in to D: using the Admin password, but C: allowed me in with no password. changed to D: and ran chkdsk /p

now the real problems began. chkdsk reported several issues (apparently addressed). however, now the D: partition is no longer available. evidently toasted by chkdsk. don't remember the exact error, but something like volume header issues. whatever, i was gonna format and reinstall anyway...my backup was too old and would rather have a fresh install.

booted to the WinXP disc, deleted all partitions, reformatted, began the install. everything apparently so far so good.

reboot, and i get the "unmountable boot volume" BSOD. followed the microsoft KB instruction...set the bios back to default, did chkdsk /r...still no love. "unmountable boot volume" BSOD persists.

tried several variations on the usual format/reinstall but keep getting the same BSOD.

any advice from here?
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  1. Best answer
    I'm going to assume it's the original hard drive that shipped with the laptop? If so it's most likely failing and needs to be replaced.

    On a side note: I'd dump Bartpe (hasn't been maintained in years) and switch to UBCD4Win which is a fork of Barts, but much, much better.
  2. thanks. yes, original HDD.

    main thing i want to confirm is there is no weird MS, Dell bios, or other misc juju that might set a freshly formatted HDD to not be the boot partition (even though i deleted all partitions).

    i'm really reluctant to put any $$$ in to this machine, as it's probably worth less than $200 if it was working. putting 1/2 that in to a new HDD only to find out it's either MOBO related would be disappointing.

    i also find it curious that the XP CD can format the disk fine, and write files to it. but, it won't run on reboot. makes me still wonder if there's a flag somewhere that needs to be reset.
  3. If the problem lies in the boot block area of the drive then you can write all you want and the drive will not be bootable.
  4. FIXMBR didn't help FWIW. i'll see if i can't scrounge up an old drive from the junk drawer.
  5. new hard driver FTW. thanks.
  6. Best answer selected by jamescecorn.
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