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Sorry in advance for the lengthy first post.
The faults I'll describe are not due to hardware or malware of any kind. They are entirely self-inflicted.

My PC is running WinXP, SP3. I have two HDD, both with multiple partitions. The C:\ SYSTEM disk is copied bit-for-bit to a backup partition on the second HDD.

BUT I have cleverly corrupted both sets. First I accidentally defragged the backup, which presumably moved files around. Then an error on the C:\ SYSTEM disk prompted me to overwrite the entire disk with the backup. I remembered too late that I’d previously defragged that image. Now I have two identical copies of the disk (one backup, one C:\SYSTEM, but it will now not boot to Windows.

From cold, my PC boots past the BIOS POST, the Windows XP splash screen starts, the progress bar moves as it should. The screen goes blank and the drivers kick the USB keyboard and speakers. The Windows cursor appears on the black screen, then nothing......it just hangs there. I've tried waiting for hours, still nothing more happens. It will not launch the user interface or desktop.

Here's what else I've tried:

1. booting to safe mode. Same thing happens, the PC just hangs at the black screen without launching the GUI.

2. RECOVERY OPTION
booted from XP disk, started recovery console. None of the usual commands work:

dir
"an error occurred during directory enumeration"

chkdsk
"the volume appears to have one or more unrecoverable errors"

cd windows
"the path or file specified is not valid"

fixboot
"fixboot cannot find the system drive, or the system drive is not valid"

fixmbr
"this computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record"
"the new master boot record has been successfully written"
(the new MBR made no difference....the machine still hangs before the Windows interface opens.

when I rebooted, it ran checkdisk and reported no errors, with all files and folders apparently intact. But then it still hung up at the same point.

3. REINSTALL OPTION
I booted off the XP install disk, selected ENTER to install Windows, to try a Repair Install. I was not given that option.
"setup cannot find a previous version of Windows installed on your computer."

And now the funny part....

4. I removed the disk and put it into a USB drive case. On a different machine, the disk is visible and accessible. I can see and read/write all three partitions (which means all my data is now saved).

The SYSTEM partition is intact, all Windows files and directories appear intact, so...

5. I copied boot.ini from c:\windows\pss and overwrote the one in the root.
This made no difference when I reinstalled the disk and rebooted.

6. I put it back in the usb drive, then copied the registry files from c:\windows\repair to c:\windows\system32\config
This made no difference when I reinstalled the disk and rebooted.

All the Windows files are on the drive, as far as I can tell.
I think that defragging the image outside of Windows operation has screwed up the directory or something; Windows cannot start fully.

ANY help gratefully received from XP experts!

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Last Post by mariasizer
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To overcome this problem,format your hard drive, before formatting take the back up of important data. If your still faces the problem then go for the data recovery services company. They has well qualified professionals which can recover your data from all possible cases.

Source:- Data Recovery NJ

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