Hi Everyone,

I am running XP Pro on a P3 laptop. Everything was fine until yesterday when I was doing some work in FrontPage and my system froze (this has happened before; didn’t think much of it). I turned the system off, restarted it, and then got the error: Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM.” I used Recovery Console to copy the backup files from C:\windows\repair, rebooted, got part-way into Windows, and then things really went downhill. I am certain that my computer froze again, so I shut it down, restarted …

Now all I get is the standard: “We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not … Safe Mode / Safe Mode with Networking / Safe Mode with Command Prompt / Last Known Good Configuration / Start Windows Normally.” I can’t get past this at all (on my own … that’s why I’m here!). None of the options work, the HD just grinds away and I can’t get into the Recovery Console anymore either. When I hit “r” after booting up with the XP install CD it just drops me to the C:\ prompt and nothing is valid.

My drive is NFTS. I found the READNFTS program online and created a bootable floppy with it onboard, but it doesn’t seem to want to scan the HD. The scan dialogue comes up, but nothing happens.

Any suggestions here? I’m near desperate … many important files I’d like to retrieve from the HD. Should the fact that I can at least get to the “We apologize” screen mean that I can have some hope?

Thanks in advance for anyone’s help!


I used F8 to Disable Automatic Restart Option ... and now I get the blue screen: UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME

0x000000ED (0x811FCE30,0xC000000E,0x00000000,0x00000000)

Try clearing the CMOS, if your BIOS is configured to force the faster ultr direct memory access (UDMA) this can happen.

If you can get to the recovery console try running chkdsk /r.

If you know what the manufacturer of you hdd is you can go to their web site and download their diagnostic tool. You will the need to make a bootable floppy to test you hdd.

More information can be read here.