Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I have a computer running Windows XP SP3 that I recently changed some settings on. When I rebooted I received a keyboard error, so I pressed F1 to proceed and tried to boot into safe mode. Unfortunately, I received the dreaded BSOD with an UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error (0x000000ed).

I do have a flash drive with an Ubuntu 12.04 .iso and I've already recovered my files. Now I want to wipe my hard drive and reinstall Windows XP, but I can't find a functioning Windows XP .iso file to boot from and do a fresh install. I also am not sure if I can find the service tag/product ID on my computer, which may cause problems later on.

Does anyone know of a way to totally obliterate everything on the hard drive (I tried DBAN but it didn't work for some reason - my hard drive is a bit funny) and reinstall Windows XP under these conditions? (I can't access anything through Windows, so I can't run win32.exe and I have to use an .iso.)

share|improve this question

Sounds like you might need a new hard drive if DBAN even failed. DBAN rarely fails on functional hardware. That would also explain the "UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME" error.

Assuming your hard drive is fine, however, you can try one of two things:

  1. External USB Disc drive to use a Windows XP SP3 installer CD.
  2. If you have access to another working windows machine, you can use UltraISO (free trial works fine) to essentially "burn" a windows xp ISO to a flash drive that you can then boot to and install from.
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.