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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.)

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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.
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