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

On Sat 25 Sep 04, 10:59 PM, Ken Bloom <kabloom@ucdavis.edu> said:
> On Fri, Sep 24, 2004 at 01:31:17PM -0400, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> > 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, either.
> > 
> > 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?
> > 
> > Pete
> What's up with this? Did changing the bootable flag work?

Yeah -- it worked.

I'm guessing that the Norton something-or-other (ghost?  whatever that is)
wanted to boot into a DOS environment.  So it created a small DOS partition,
marked it bootable and intended to install DOS, but for whatever reason, it
didn't complete the task.  That's just my guess.

In any event, changing the bootable flag to the C drive (and removing it from
the small strange FAT partition) worked beautifully.

If my guess is right, I would be a little ... miffed that a piece of software
would have the audacity to touch my partition.  My friend was ready to
reformat his drives.

I've never had the occaision to use Peter Norton anything, but I once read
his book on "computer architecture" which was very good, and a thinly
disguised book on 80386 assembly.  The book was awesome, but that was over a
decade ago.  Longer.  Maybe the company went downhill.  I doubt he does
anything these days except collect big fat checks.


PS- I just saw the most hillarious thing I've seen in months.  Has everyone
seen the video of Steve Ballmer going ape-shit at a Microsoft gathering?  He
runs around the stage like a raving lunatic and starts yelling Howard Dean
style (but even funnier).  He screams at the top of his lungs "Yeaauughhhh!!
I LOVE this company!!!   I LOVE this company!!!".  He starts waving his arms
like he wants to fly.  I've never seen anything like it.   I imagined that
was probably when they told him what his new salary was going to be as CEO of
Microsoft.   I'd go bazonkers too.   :)

Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler. -- Albert Einstein
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