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Windows XP - Unmountable_Boot_Device BSOD Fix

Many time when Windows XP gets Unmountable_Boot_Device this is due to a faulty update or bad sector on the hard drive. This error is generally easy to fix though many computer shops will tell you that you need to have your system formatted and reinstalled.

The process I will share only costs you about 5-20 minutes of your time to save you money.

What you need:

  • Original Windows XP CD OEM or Retail
  • understanding of basic DOS commands
What to do:
  1. Turn the PC on and insert the Windows XP CD
  2. Select the CD/DVD to boot to the Windows CD
  3. Once the CD loads it will ask you to install windows or enter the Advanced Recovery Console.
  4. hit 'R' to enter the console
  5. After the console loads, select the installation of windows to login to.
  6. Login to that instace with the Administrator password (leave it blank if there is none, by default there is not one)
  7. Next there is a series of commands that need to be done in order they are as follows.
  8. chkdsk /p -----This will check the disk for errors including repairing them
  9. After chkdsk completed enter fixmbr and hit y then enter to allow it to work
  10. Next command is fixboot. Y to agree, enter to continue
  11. now for the last and most vital command to repair the boot records.
  12. bootcfg /rebuild --this will search the disk for instances of installed windows and ask if you wish to add them
  13. Add your windows instance via the instructions on screen. For the name enter Windows XP then hit enter.
  14. Options needed are /fastdetect
  15. after this finishes, reboot and you should be able to get in Windows XP without issue.
Good Luck

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My windows XP has an error message when started. It says "MISSING NTLDR, PRESS CTRL, ALT, DEL TO RESTART" I tried restart with boot disk but nothing. Please help!?


How to Fix NTLDR Errors

  1. Restart the PC. The NTLDR error could be a fluke.
  2. Check your floppy and optical (CD/DVD/BD) drives for media and disconnect any external drives. Often times, the "NTLDR is Missing" error will appear if your PC is trying to boot to a non-bootable floppy disk, CD/DVD/BD, or external hard drive or flash drive.

    Note: If you find that this is the cause of your problem and it's happening a lot, you might want to consider changing the boot order in BIOS so the hard drive with Windows installed is listed first.
  3. Check the hard drive and other drive settings in BIOS and ensure they are correct. The BIOS configuration tells the computer how to use a drive so incorrect settings can cause problems, including NTLDR errors.

    Note: There is usually an Auto setting for hard drive and optical drive configurations in BIOS which is usually a safe bet if you're not sure what to do.
  4. Restore the NTLDR and ntdetect.com files from the Windows XP CD. Restoring these two important system files from the original Windows XP CD may do the trick.
  5. Repair or replace the boot.ini file. This will prevent the NTLDR error if the cause of the problem is a boot.ini file that is not configured properly for your Windows XP installation.
  6. Write a new partition boot sector to the Windows XP system partition. If the partition boot sector has become corrupt or isn't properly configured, you may receive the "NTLDR is Missing" error.
  7. Repair the Windows XP master boot record. NTLDR error messages may also appear if the master boot record is corrupt.
  8. Reseat all internal data and power cables. NTLDR error messages could be caused by loose or malfunctioning IDE cables.

    Try replacing the IDE cable cable if you suspect it might be faulty.
  9. Update your motherboard's BIOS. Occasionally, an outdated BIOS version can cause the "NTLDR is Missing" error.
  10. Perform a repair installation of Windows XP. This type of installation should replace any missing or corrupt files. Continue troubleshooting if this does not resolve the issue.
  11. Perform a clean installation of Windows XP. This type of installation will completely remove Windows XP from your PC and install it again from scratch. While this will almost certainly resolve any NTLDR errors, it is a time consuming process due to the fact that all of your data must be backed up and then later restored.

    If you can't gain access to your files to back them up, understand that you will

Jan 22, 2014 | Belkin Basic Wireless Router

2 Answers

UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME ERROR ON GATEWAY GM5045E WITHOUT RECOVERY OR WINDOWS XP DISC.


An unmountable boot volume error suggests that you may have a hard disk failure or at least some corruption to the hard disk which the system uses to boot Windows XP.
To try to resolve this problem you would need to use a specialist boot CD to try to repair the disk errors. One such disk is Hiren's Boot CD which can be downloaded as a CD image file (.ISO) then would need to be burnt on to a blank CD then the computer booted from this CD.
On the initial Hiren's boot menu, select DOS programs, then select Disk tools before selecting HDAT2 to perform the disk repair actions.
HDAT2 can take some time to complete depending on the size of your internal disk drive and the number of bad sectors or other errors encountered - the tool will attempt to repair bad sectors by reading, verifying, writing and re-reading / verifying the data.
If the disk can be recovered, then you may be lucky and the system will be able to boot but otherwise, you may still need to do some further recovery work for the operating system, in which case you may need a Windows install CD or other recovery CD media.

If HDAT2 finds a lot of unrecoverable errors then you should seriously consider replacing the drive - you should be able to recover data from the old drive using other tools on the Hiren's Boot CD, including booting the CD mini-XP environment and using the tools there too.

Dec 29, 2011 | Gateway GM5045E (RBGM5045E) PC Desktop

2 Answers

how can i fix a blue screen error UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME. technical information is: STOP: 0X000000ED, etc.


One bad lead can cause a computer to continue on a cycle or to shutdown or fail to detect your hard drive

Test or replace all leads that attach to your hard drive including electrical extensions,IDE,SATA

the leads from your motherboard to your hard drive make sure they have a secure connection and are not faulty or just replace them there probably old and faulty
you could run the check disk utility

click start run type cmd then type chkdsk/r/f which will scan for and attempt to repair any bad sectors and automatically fix any corrupt files on your hard drive then defragment your hard drive


hope this helps

Jan 13, 2011 | Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition

3 Answers

Blue Screen saying Unmountable_Boot_Problem I can't even restart in safe mode.


Hi and welcome to FixYa,

Almost always, your describe problem would indicate hard drive problem. This could either be:
  • corrupted files (least likely);
  • some bad sectors (likely);
  • faulty hard drive (most likely).

To check / verify, remove the hard drive, connect to an IDE / SATA to USB adapter and perform drive utilities on a 2nd computer.

Alternately, you could try formatting and reinstalling the Operating System. This of course would delete all the contents of the hard drive.

Nov 08, 2009 | Dell Inspiron 2200 Notebook

1 Answer

boot volume err


Computer Crashes, they seem to happen at the most inconvenient times. Always when you need the computer the most. I've run across this boot error message many times since Windows XP was released and luckily most of the time this problem can be solved with a few simple steps.
Basically the error means that Windows XP is having trouble booting from Drive C. Following the steps below, you should be able to troubleshoot this problem and get your computer back and running.  


Causes of Unmountable Boot Volume

Many times this error occurs when I have swapped a hard drive and used the wrong IDE cable to connect it. If your computer uses an Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA) hard disk controller, and you use a standard 40-wire connector cable to connect the UDMA drive, you may experience this error. Make sure you are using the correct IDE cable.

Also, if your BIOS settings are configured to force the faster UDMA modes, this error may occur. In this situation, restart your computer and enter the BIOS and load the "fail-safe" default settings and reboot.

If neither of these issues are the cause for the Unmountable Boot Volume, then the issue most likely is caused by a damaged BOOT.INI file in the root directory of the boot drive or file system corruption.

Follow the steps below to correct these file system issues:

1) Start your computer with your Windows XP CD-ROM, or with Windows XP boot disks
2) When the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press R to Repair the installation using the Recovery Console
3) If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the Windows installation you want to access
4) Type the administrator password when you are prompted, if no administrator password is set then just press Enter
5) At the command prompt, type CHKDSK /R and then press Enter
6) Once CHKDSK has finished checking and repairing the hard drive, type EXIT and press Enter to restart your computer

If this procedure does not work, repeat it and use the fixboot command in step 5 instead of the chkdsk /r command. FIXBOOT writes a new partition boot sector to the system partition. The fixboot command is only available when you are using the Recovery Console.

Oct 18, 2008 | Computers & Internet

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