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Preface: I have a Toshiba Portege M200 laptop and approx. once every 3 months I turn on this laptop and find I am unable to boot past the Select your OS screen. After selecting my OS, the screen turns black and all I get is a fast flashing cursor. To fix, I remove the HD, connect it to a desktop with a USB adapter, use GHOST v8 and create a hard drive image and then re-image the hard drive with the image that refused to boot. After this process I find that I am able to boot again. I have repeated these steps no less than 10 times with success. I'm curious what could Ghost be changing when I 'make image' -> 'apply image' to allow this HD to boot again.

Issue: Approx. every 3rd failure -> fix brings a new issue where I attempt to select an OS (Standard boot.ini loader with Recovery Console installed) and upon pressing enter on the selection, the countdown stops and nothing changes. The system becomes non-responsive, I have tried Safe Mode, and all the various options. Can someone help me diagnose why my computer freezes the countdown and locks up when I press enter to select my OS? I have this drive connected to another computer, chkdsk returns clean, this happens with a second M200 laptop chassis I have for spare. Looking for anyone who can help me further diagnose / fix this issue!

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have you tried running a repair disk instead of using the chkdsk feature? An installation disk for XP should have a repair feature that could scan and fix any messed up areas within windows. – TheRandomSuit Aug 7 '12 at 14:47
Due to the hardware I am somewhat limited to what procedures I can use. The M200 is a tablet computer without a CDRom, and it will only accept a specific unit (made for this tablet) to boot from CD. It's a nightmare. – Fred Aug 7 '12 at 14:55
you already stated that you have hooked the hard drive up to your desktop. So you could do the same thing and then boot into the recovery disk on your desktop. – TheRandomSuit Aug 7 '12 at 14:57
Drive is connected to my desktop via USB adapter. I will see what my Win7 desktop will offer me and if any recovery console will see my USB to IDE adapter. – Fred Aug 7 '12 at 16:10

Some type of corruption in SYSTEM registry hive was the culprit. I used ntdetect.chk which told me unable to load \windows\system32\config\system so I renamed the existing file to .bad and copied the latest file from the \System Volume Information folder along with the SOFTWARE registry file to match, restarted and it's running again. Odd that it was unable to tell me that it could not load this file until I used the .chk version of ntdetect, I'm happy the laptop boots and nothing was changed or lost in the process. Now if only I could figure out what Ghost does when I image off / on to make it work in the other 70% of the times when I run into this issue... ;)

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