i have a computer which i feel is dead (unmountable boot volume) when i start it. It will load to where it should normally have the login but i get the message. i do not have the win XP CD, consequently, my CD drive won't open for me to put in a CD if i had one. i have a new computer (but it's vista) but i want the files from my old PC. i've been looking eveywhere for an answer but it's always "put in your XP disc."

Again, what people do not understand is i have NO DISC, and no way of opening my CD manually.

Is there anything i can do? Also, i was looking for this problem on this sight and i found the topics to be extremly broad and difficult to pin down should there be an answer, hence my thread. i love the sight (i managed to fix a Vista problem easy) but i really want to know if i can do anything. i have a little knowledge on hardware if that helps.
Microsoft's brilliant answer: Your boot drive isn't mounting, use the XP CD.

i did some trouble shooting and here is what i got.

i have not installed any new hardware or software i know of before the crash. It just died.
i cannot uninstall software as i cannot load windows.

It asks me to disable BIOS memory options such as shadowing or caching. i have no idea what that means. i tried looking at other forums, but it seems the professionals aren't. It would be nice to know how. i tried it myself and cannot find any way to access BIOS options at all.

It says "If you need to use safe mode to remove components, restart, press F8 to selct Advanced Startup Options and then select safe mode." Safe mode of course doesn't work. My computer must be not too bright. F8 does nothiing, regardless of when i push it in any phase of the start up. What's F8 supposed to do exactly?

Entering Safe Mode, starting normally or any good "last configuration settings" doesn't work.

i reset my computer to it's factory settings and it didn't work. However, i realized that i require HDD threading on anyways to make the computer run at all (before the crash i noticed this when i reset to factory default) but that's for a different time.

Is there a way to somehow remove a physical component on my computer and do something with it? i relied on this computer for work and i really needed the files.
It may be physically damamged and i would like to resolve this. If you can help, please help! If not i will cut my losses and at least know i cannot fix my computer and can instead throw it in the trash.

Once again. No XP disc and even if i had one, my CD drive won't open. (The reason is the button won't click) Also, this is not a modded computer and has nothing installed on it hardware wise. IF i can find an XP disc, how can i open my CD rom? Can i remove it and find some magical switch to open it? It used to open by using the windows media player to open it or any other command to do so, but, windows won't load so again, the circle of oppresion continues.

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Can i remove it and find some magical switch to open it

stick an unfolded paperclip into the hole on the front of the drive and it will pop out enough for you to pull it open

and yes, you will need an xp cd - borrow one off a freiend if you need to - just make sure its the same version + service pack

Thanks, i believe my friend does have the same CD i need. Oh, and good call on the paper clip. Poke. Worked. We are making progress. i'll update with results.

just follow the instructions on the ms site

you may be able to fix your disk from within the recovery console

if you need to reinstall, just give it the key on the sticker on the side of your pc. Make sure to choose "upgrade" instead of reinstall and it should keep all your stuff

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