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I was trying to install an update from NVIDIA for my GTX 560, but while it was installing, my computer shut off. After a few minutes, I turned it back on. It got to the Windows boot screen and then had a blue screen error and if left on it would just keep doing that.

A few details about my PC: I haven't added any new hardware or software, I'm running Windows XP Professional 32 bit and Windows XP Professional 64 bit on the same hard drive for about 2 years now. I have 2 other hard drives also, but I don't have one large enough to hold everything from my main hard drive, so formatting isn't an option.

Now, as for what I've done so far: I've scanned the RAM with "memtest - 86 v3.4" and it said that it was good. I scanned the hard drive in question with chkdsk /r and it gets to 50% and tells me something along the lines of "the drive has one or more unrepairable problems". I also tried to use chkdsk on the drive I installed the new copy of Windows XP on and it got to 75% then jumped back down to 50% and stayed there (I had to reboot the pc).

So, after that, I turned off auto reboot and got to read the blue screen error code and I looked it up only to find that nobody seems to have this problem, just problems close to it. The error code is 0x000000ed and I've seen a lot of these online but none that matched the detailed part of the code

UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME 0x000000ed (0xfffffadf513c19a0, 0xffffffffc0000006, 0, 0)

So, I have installed another copy of Windows XP Professional 32 bit on one of my other hard drives in hopes of accessing the data on the drive in question and when it booted it asked if I wanted chkdsk to scan the drive in question and this is what it found: file record segments 12740, 12741, 12742 and 12743 were reported unreadable. Then it says "recovering lost files" but it sits there for a few seconds and then just boots to Windows. I can't access the drive in question from Windows as far as I can tell, it just says "drive not accessible" and when I go to properties it says that the drive has 100% free space. So, after that failed I didn't give up, I looked for another way to access the drive in question. I used a Ubuntu bootable disk and was able to access the drive in question without any problems.

However, I can't access the registry editor because it's a .exe file and that won't load from Ubuntu. I made a copy of the "Windows" folder and put it on one of my other drives and that's where I'm stuck at now. I'm sure my drive works fine, I know chkdsk can't fix the problem with it and I know what caused the problem in the first place for the most part, but I don't know what to do about it. I have a laptop that I can use to download and burn disks if needed and I also have the other copy of Windows XP Professional 32 bit that I can use that's installed on the computer in question (so I know it's not a hardware issue). I'm pretty sure it's a driver issue or the update was editing the registry when it shut off and left me when a broken registry.

I've tried accessing C:\Windows\System32\CONFIG only to find that the Windows XP disk repair option can't even access the files on the drive in question. It seems I'll need to be able to do everything from Ubuntu unless there is something I haven't tried with the Windows XP disk. I didn't install the update on Windows XP 64 bit but yet it also has the same blue screen error (that's where the error code above came from but I haven't checked to see if they are the same). They both stopped working at the same time, so I assume it's one problem causing both to not work.

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Holy mother of God. Some paragraphs please! –  Hennes Oct 15 '12 at 23:18

4 Answers 4

While I appreciate a lot of detail, I think your question can be summarised as follows:

My computer spontaneously shut off while I was installing software. When I turned it back on it got to the Windows boot screen followed by a blue screen of death. ( unmountable_boot_volume ).

Scandisk from a working windows installation hangs on this drive, but a Ubuntu bootable disk is able to access the drive in question without any problems.

I have multiple drives in this computer, but not enough space to back up everything.

This all seems to indicate a problem with a filesystem on the drive in question. (Not with the drive hardware itself, because then Ubuntu would not be able to read it.)

The obvious solution would be to start with a new filesystem (read format it). Which means you need to store your data somewhere. Since you can read it with Ubuntu this should not be a problem. Just use your normal backup drive.

  • If you have a backup drive, use that.
  • If you have enough space on the other drive, move it there.
  • If you can borrow a portable drive from a friend, do that.

Copy all data, boot from a windows CD and reformat the drive. If possible split the drive in two or three partitions. (One partition per OS, on for the data). Format the partitions (it now has a clean working filesystem) and install XP. Copy the data back and return the borrowed drive to your friend.

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..., but while it was installing, my computer shut off.

This indicates the root of the problem, you shouldn't be ignorant about this happening. Your response to this is to just solely wait and reboot the computer again, this is the wrong decision.

A computer shutting off is either power, temperature or damage related, some examples are:

  1. A power supply with insufficient wattage.
  2. A power supply that's broken, thus the power in your motherboard becomes unstable.
  3. The incoming power could be unstable, thus causing the power supply to get unstable power.
  4. Your CPU, GPU or HDD could overheat; in most cases, this shuts down the computer.
  5. There could be damage to a component: Most famous are blown capacitors and bad memory.

You really need to check through these before you continue using your computer, because over time it'll only damage your components (and your data) more and more...

The rest of the question.

I don't care about the whole story of consequences of an unexpected incorrect shutdown, you should fix the actual problem and not all the consequent problems that are a result of the former.

Once the original problem is fixed, try to fix the other things you can. Perhaps you can ask more specific questions for those, such that you will get answers for the individual problems that you come across. If you can't fix it, you might do good by buying new stuff...

Oh, and to not leave you in the dark on the second problem, check the S.M.A.R.T. status of your HDD.

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Aye. If the machine shut off on its own and does that more than once then the OP has a bigger problem. (@josh: In which case: pull the drives with the data on it. Fix the computer first or risk loosing your data permanently). –  Hennes Oct 16 '12 at 1:05

Sounds like your hard drive finally died. Given the apparent age of the computer, (you're running XP for gawd's sake!) it's probably only the first of many components to fail.

I hope you've got some money somewhere. If you want a working computer, you're going to need it.

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Since he has another hard drive running windows, and linux working, he probably could confirm this running smartmontools or gsmart control to check drive health. –  Journeyman Geek Oct 15 '12 at 23:51
    
Aha, I missed that little detail in the wall of text... :\ –  Michael Hampton Oct 15 '12 at 23:53

You can try a manual System Restore

How to do a Manual SYSTEM RESTORE in XP

A. Connect your non-bootable hard drive to another computer as a secondary drive or use a usb adapter or enclosure, If you can see your data on the drive, back it up Now, then follow the rest of these instructions. You might also use a Linux live CD to get the job done without removing the drive.

B. Open Windows Explorer. Click on Tools> Folder Options> View. Check the box beside "Show hidden files and folders". Apply your change.

NOTE D: may not represent the hard drive you connected to your PC, it may be E: or F: or G:, it all depends on how many other drives (including cd/dvd) you have in your host PC, So substitute the appropriate drive letter in the instructions below.

C. Navigate to the D:\System Volume Information folder. You will see a folder named something like _restore{.........} the dots represent an alpha-numeric sequence.

In this folder you will see folders named RP0....RPnn. Find the one with the highest number.

These are your System Restore points. In the highest numbered folder you will see a folder named snapshot. In this folder are registry hive files which you need to recover your system:

_registry_user_.default

_registry_machine_security

_registry_machine_software

_registry_machine_system

_registry_machine_sam

D. Create a subdirectory; i.e, D:\Windows\TMP. Copy these files to the TMP subdirectory. Rename them to:

default

SECURITY

software

system

SAM

Note Be sure to lose the period (.) in the file named _registry_user_.default

E. Delete the files in the D:\windows\system32\config subdirectory with the same short names.

F. Copy the D:\windows\tmp files to the D:\windows\system32\config. subdirectory.

G.Put your drive back in its original system. Your system should start normally. If you get the same error repeat the procedure and choose another folder ( RPnn) (next highest number). You can repeat this procedure choosing lower RPnn numbers until you get it booting again.

If you are denied access to any folders you will have to take "Ownership" of the folders first. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308421

If this procedure fails to work you need to repair or re-install Windows.

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