Fix Unmountable Boot Volume (Windows XP), Install Recovery Console in System Startup

by on October 29th, 2007

When the system gets halted improperly due to power outage or due to some other reason, the file system gets corrupted and Windows is unable to mount the boot drive properly. There are other factors that also result in unmountable boot volume. These include faster UDMA modes configured in BIOS and using 40 wire data cable for the hard drive.

  • Load the fail-safe defaults in your BIOS and use 80 wire data cable for the hard drive for optimum performance.
  • If the file system is demaged (which usually is the case)
  1. If you have Recovery Console installed at startup, then start the recovery console and go to step 3. (Look at second topic at this page for how to install recovery console at startup)
  2. If Recovery Console is not installed at startup, then boot with Windows XP CD.
  3. When the “Welcome to setup” message appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
  4. Select your Windows installation and type administrator password when prompted.
  5. At the command prompt, type chkdsk /r and then press enter. This will check your file system for errors and try to fix if any.
  6. When the above process is complete, type fixboot at the command prompt. This will fix the boot sector of the hard drive.
  7. Type exit at the command prompt to restart the system. Most probably the system will boot into Windows now.
Install Recovery Console in Windows Startup

I recommend that every single Windows user should have the Recovery Console installed on their system startup. I wonder why Microsoft have not included it by default as it is very useful if Windows crashes and refuses to start. You can install recovery console by yourself with the help of following steps.

  • Insert the Windows CD in the CD ROM Drive.
  • Click Start and then click Run.
  • Type D:\i386\winnt32.exe /cmdcons” in the Run box without quotes.(where D is the CD ROM Drive). Click OK.
  • Recovery Console Dialog will appear, select yes to install the recovery console on the startup.
  • Restart and you will see the recovery console in your system startup.

Now you can easily solve the boot problems once your Windows machine gets into trouble and refuses to start.

3 Reviews

  1. Kel says:

    Great advice. Thought the drive was dead but was able to backup the system. Thanks!

  2. lair360 says:

    I never use vista. They have too many glitch!!
    I prefer Windows XP…

  3. Mphat says:

    Vista recovery console frozen at the step of language selection