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I have a Windows XP desktop system that has two partitions. The first one has all the windows related files and my documents and the second one has some big files that i use on my work.

After a power failure, the system cannot boot. When the system powers up, it goes to the Windows loading screen, but after that the system reboots. If I try to boot from safe mode, I get an error related to spdt.sys, and if I press esc not to load, the system reboots. If I don't press esc, the system also reboots. I have my Windows CD and I can get into the repair console, but it didn't ask for a password and I cannot even make a simple directory - it returns nothing.

If I boot to repair my installation, I get a screen saying that the partition is completely empty and that I must format it and install Windows again. If I try again to boot to Windows, I get to the loading screen and the system reboots. I installed the disk on a second xp machine and I could backup all my data from the second partition but the first one is not visible in my second Windows install, and I cannot run a check disk on it. I think that mft is corrupted or the registry.

Any recommendations on how to repair the partitions and get my documents back would be appreciated.

Best regards.

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migrated from serverfault.com Jul 18 '12 at 14:06

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3 Answers

If you can not boot from the original disk then either:

  • Boot from something else (e.g. MDMarra WinPE on a DVD or pen drive)
  • Or put the corrupt drive in an other computer. (Keep the original drive in the original computer. Just add the second drive to it).

I prefer the last because it allow me to backup the drive (e.g. using dd) before I try to repair it.

Regardless of the chosen method, running checkdisk has helped me in 2 out of 4 similar problems. If that fails, reinstall windows and restore the documents from your backups.

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It is important to note that If you choose option two, do not switch the hard drives. Most computers nowadays can handle two hard drives at once. plus it's the only way your gonna be able to run a chkdsk. –  Eric Robinson Jul 19 '12 at 12:45
    
Aye. I assumed that as default since it is the only sensible way of doing it. I will edit the post to mention it explicitly. –  Hennes Jul 19 '12 at 13:26
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Run chkdsk /r on the misbehaving volume from the recovery console or a WinPE environment.

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WinPE is different from a Windows XP machine because as I wrote on my first post, I have installed the disk on a second XP machine, I have all my files from the second partition but I cannot access the first one as it seems that is empty. I don't think I can run checkdisk on a "empty" partition.

---- Edit ----

I used TestDisk, repaired the partition table and now everything is fine. All my files are in place.

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headover to Server Fault & register your account via an openid. Use the same openid & register your Super User account. Once you've done that, you should have regained control over your question –  Sathya Jul 20 '12 at 12:12
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