How to Go About Fixing Startup Issues in Windows XP

You probably have a plethora of choices when your Windows system fails to boot. This is because boot problems can correlate with a number of issues. Sometimes, a new program installed on your computer adds to your system startup woes. In other cases, missing boot files or incorrect BIOS settings are the culprit. If you use Windows XP, the following errors may show up on your screen at startup:

‘Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem.’

‘Windows NT could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
‘Winnt_root\System32\Hal.dll missing or corrupt’

The above errors can be indicative of anyone of the following conditions:
The Boot.ini file contains an invalid value for ‘Default’ in the [Boot Loader] section.
The Boot.ini file contains an invalid path for the Windows X installation.
The Ntoskrnl.exe file is either corrupt or missing.
The Boot.ini file contains an incorrect partition path.
A hardware issue

You can use any of the below given methods to work around the issue:

I. Change the invalid entry for ‘Default’ windows loader 3.1 download to the correct value in the Boot.ini file and verify the other entries in the [Operating System] section of the file.

II. Using Bootcfg utility in Recovery Console to make changes to the Boot.ini file:

Boot from the Windows XP Install disc.
When prompted to repair Windows using Recovery console, press ‘R’ key on the keyboard.
Choose the installation you need to repair and specify the administrative password when asked.
Run the ‘bootcfg /rebuild’ at the command prompt.
After a while, you will be prompted for some information. Press ‘Y’, specify the name of the operating system, and then press ENTER.
Reboot the system and chose the first option on your boot menu. Once the computer starts without issues, you can make changes to the Boot.ini file.

III. Follow the below mentioned procedure:

Insert the Windows XP Installation CD/DVD into the CD-ROM and hit any key on the keyboard.
Once the setup files are loaded, press ‘R’.
Type in the administrative password and press ENTER.
Run the following at the command prompt:
In case of a Uni-Processor system:
expand :\i386\ntoskrnl.ex_ :\Windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
In case of a Multi-Processor system:
expand :\i386\ntkrnlmp.ex_ :\Windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe
You must replace ” with the drive letter of your CD drive and ” with the drive letter corresponding to the disk containing your Windows installation.
Press ‘Y’ when prompted to overwrite the file.
Run ‘exit’ at the command prompt.

IV. Run ‘CHKDSK /R’ from the Recovery Console to retrieve information from bad sectors.

If none of the above resolutions is able to fix the issue, use professional Windows recovery software to recover partition data. These competent tools allow you to boot your computer from a bootable disc and recover every piece of lost or inaccessible information from the system.

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