I have read the many posts on the site but most assume that you can get past the safe mode screen. I cannot start up in safe mode nor can I used the last known settings.

I am running windows XP with SP2 on a Dell Dimension system.

What are my options? I have read something about a recovery mode but I am not sure I have that disc. I do have the original disks that came pre loaded with the computer when purchased.
Is this "recovery mode" on that disc?

I do have a new hard drive just purchased but did not get around to installing before this problem arose.

Of course I do not want to lose my data on the "old" hard drive--Can I insert the new hard drive reload the software from the original discs then copy my data to the new hard drive?

I just joined the community so any help would be appreciated.


8 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by gerbil

Have you found an answer yet? Your quickest way is put your hard drive into another working computer. Save data if possible. Then run scandisk on your drive. This may fix the file structure and the corrupt file warning will go away. If the hard drive has been bumped hard enough a crash has happened. save data first.


Unfortunetly I all I have as a second computer is a notebook so swaping the hard drive is not an option.

If I can run the computer in recovery mode does this erase my hard drive? That I think is my first option. If that did not work I was going to swap the brand new desktop hard drive out with the old one then reload windows XP and then re insert the old drive and copy the data onto the new one.

Again I am a newbie so does the above so like a viable plan?



Using the recovery disks supplied with preloaded systems will take your sys back to brand-new state, causing you to lose all data.
Your idea of loading XP onto another hard drive and copying data off the old one is best.
Your sys is unble to read its registry from the hard drive - running chkdsk with the correct parameter to correct errors can sometimes solve this. I do not know what is on your disks, but a borrowed XP installation cd would give you a Recovery Console, from where you could run chkdsk /r
Or, you could download and burn to a cd this iso, then boot from it : http://www.thecomputerparamedic.com/files/rc.iso
It is a Recovery Console.

Edited by gerbil: n/a

This question has already been answered. Start a new discussion instead.
Have something to contribute to this discussion? Please be thoughtful, detailed and courteous, and be sure to adhere to our posting rules.