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[vox-tech] rescuing winxp?
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[vox-tech] rescuing winxp?

Hi all,

A friend's XP system needs rescuing.  When it boots, a message comes up right
away "No operating system found".  Since I use Linux, he asked me to help
restore the system.

The first thing I did was mount the hard drive on my Linux box and I made a
complete image of his C and D drives.  He's using NTFS.

I now have images of his entire hard drive, so now I'm trying to rescue the
system.  I don't know much about Windows, so I'm a little lost, but I assume
the problem is either:

1. MBR got corrupted
   * Could be a virus
   * More likely, it has something to do with software he was installing at
      the time.  He was trying to use Norton something-or-other which
      wanted to be rebooted into DOS mode.  That's when things went south.

2. Missing system files
   * autoexec.bat, config.sys and msdos.sys are all empty
   * maybe some other crucial file is missing.  I'm not familiar
      with Windows.  I thought there should be something named
      C:\command.com, but it appears to be missing.

Did some Google searching.  Apparently, the Windows XP disk has a rescue
console, and it sounds like it does exactly what I need: rewrite the MBR and
install a few crucial system files.  Unfortunately, (fortunately?) I've never
had the need for XP, and don't have it.  I really don't want to buy a copy,

Apparently, there's a DOS utility called SYS, and doing:

   SYS C:

is supposed to restore some crucial boot up files, but when I boot a DOS
disk, it doesn't seem to know about the hard drive.  I take this to mean that
DOS doesn't know how to access NTFS.

I'm still Googling, but I figured I'd throw this out in case someone here is
knowledgable about this kind of thing.

Any ideas on how to rescue the MBR without a Windows XP disk?


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