Error Loading OS

After a power outtage, one of my PCs won't boot to Windows (XP Pro).

It POSTs OK. Then after several seconds, I get the message "Error Loading OS".

It boots to the WinXP CD just fine (except that the drive is on USB, and it takes forever).

I don't mind re-installing Windows, but there are some files that I want to recover first. They are in "Documents and Settings" though, and I can't gain access (says "Accessed Denied"). I can see the rest of the folders on the drive, though.

I'd prefer to repair the old Windows install, but I don't know what to do.

Any help?


If you believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
5 answers Last reply
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  1. It sounds like your MBR got corrupted. Your files are probable still there. You could get another drive and save the files you need to it then do a clean install. If those files were so important to you then you should have backed them up in the first place!

    You've tried and failed. The lesson here is, never try again. -- Homer Simpson.
  2. Well, I did try the FIXMBR command while booted to the XP recory console. No luck.

    I do have another drive hooked up. If I could access the files, I'd be fine.

    Yes, they should be backed up. But they are not.

    If you believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
  3. fdisk /mbr

    if not, head over to and download their livecd.

    dmesg |less

    to find out which partition your C: drive is listed under and then:

    mkdir /mnt/windows
    mount -t ntfs /dev/hdxA /mnt/windows
    cd /mnt/windows/Do<tab>

    to get to the documents and settings folder (where hdxB refers to your c: partition... usually hda1 or the like)

    make sure you have the other drive formatted as fat32 before this though.

    mkdir /mnt/backup
    mount -t vfat /dev/hdyB /mnt/backup

    (again, hdyB refers to the fat32 partition on the other drive)

    cp whatever.file /mnt/backup/whatever.file

    I've had a few beers (okay, quite a few) so I hope this makes sense. If not, ignore it.

    s signature has been formatted to fit your scr
  4. I think you are making sense. I'm a bit stupid, so it's hard to tell for sure.

    I'm going to bed now. I'll read your post again in the morning and see if I can figure it out.

    Two questions right off the bat:

    1. Is "dmesg |less" a command (from XP repair console) <i>and</i> a typo that should be "dmesg /less"?

    2. I will be changing "hdxA" to whatever is correct for my config (and it refers to whichever IDE connector that the drive is hooked to)?


    If you believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
  5. Went to

    I realize now that "dmesg |less" is a Linux command.

    If you believe in telekinesis, raise my hand.
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