I need some computer help

Booting my home PC by using an Ubuntu live CD shows that all my drives are OK. The problem is that Windows XP isn’t booting, as if either the C drive’s boot sector is toast or the system directory is somehow corrupted. All I see after the BIOS boots is a black screen with a flashing cursor.

Does anyone know of a utility that might be able to fix the problem?

Rich Pav

Richard has been living in Japan since 1990 with his wife and two teenage sons, Tony and Andy.

7 thoughts to “I need some computer help”

  1. Can you get anywhere using the Windows disk and running a repair? That’s the first thing I would try. I haven’t had much experience with boot problems. Sorry!

    It’s nice to hear from you!

  2. Hey Rich,

    You may need to reinstall your mbr (master boot record). You can do this with an XP install CD. Just google it and find a howto, I cannot remember the exact commands.

    Hope this helps


  3. If all of your normal repair efforts don’t seem to work, you might try SpinRite from grc.com. I’m a TWiT / Security Now netcast listener, and while I have never used SpinRite myself, the testimonials all seem to indicate that in case it /is/ some kind of disk damage, SpinRite will fix it. People have told stories of how it will repair rather mysterious “Windows won’t boot” errors.

  4. Hit it. I mean really whack it one, maybe yell at it too.

    I’ve got no real advice…good to see you back(ish) though brother. One piece of advice though, hit the install button on the Ubuntu CD, I use feisty — when I’m not at work — and it is fantastic.


  5. Rich,

    The command is:
    fdisk /mbr
    which tells the fdisk utility to write a master boot record. Fdisk should be available on your Windows XP CD when you boot directly from it and go to DOS mode.

    The equivalent command that should be available on your linux disk is
    which is a linux loader. It should enable you to write a dual bootable track, either windows or linux.

  6. Hi Rich, Does it do the full bios post? have you been into the bios and checked that it can see your hard drives?

    I have found that the xp bootup repair console is a bit hit and miss, can you get hold of vista disc? you could try the recovery tools in the setup, they seem a bit better.

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