Which repair option?

O

Otter21

Guest
I am unable to boot because of an 'Invalid Boot.ini file'.
I have been searching the forum and Microsoft KB and find that there are at least three options for repair - if that's the way to go.
1. Repair existing installation.
2. Manual Repair.
3. Fast Repair.
I run XP Home Edition on a removable disk (with 98SE on another one) so although I'm not an expert I'm prepared to have a go.
The 98SE is running perfectly (at the moment!).
The XP was a clean install on a new machine, and although I'd had major probs initially (resulting in a re-install) I had been up and running for a while when it crashed.
I would be really grateful for any help and advice on which would be the best option.
 

Akash

OSNN Senior Addict
Joined
Dec 2, 2001
Messages
350
hit F8 just before xp starts... or keep hitting it till you get a menu
then boot up using 'last good known' bootup
its something like that
might do the trick

can you boot via safemode?
 
O

Otter21

Guest
Wow - that was a quick reply. Many thanks.
I haven't tried Safe Mode, or anything else yet. When the crash happened 'C' (Primary Master) was not recognised on the boot-up screen so I just went back to 98SE while I cooled down.
I decided to try it again today and at least it now recognises 'C'.
After the 'Invalid Boot.ini file' message I get one saying "Isass.exe System Error - An invalid parameter was passed to a service or function" and then it tries to boot again, without success.
I didn't really want to start trying different things without some advice from someone who knows what they are doing.
The last time this happened the person who built the machine said a format and re-install was the only way to go, but he did say he didn't know enough about XP to suggest any alternatives.
Having read lots of posts about similar probs I feel that there must be another option which may save some of my settings, etc.
As I said, I'm not an expert, but I'm learning all the time, and feel I can attempt to fix it myself (with a little bit of help).

Margaret
 

Lonman

Bleh!
Joined
Dec 2, 2001
Messages
2,642
I run XP Home Edition on a removable disk
Are these hard drives the same make and model? The problem could be in your bios. Is your motherboard recognizing the drive(s) correctly when you boot up?
 
O

Otter21

Guest
Hello Lonman.
Yes, the drives are the same make and model - IBM 40gb 3.5" (7200rpm).
I have had absolutely no problems with the 98SE one, boots up fine - no error messages, no crashes - nothing.
I am assured that the BIOS is up to date (it was re-checked when I had the last problem).
I have done all the Windows updates and have all the latest drivers.
If it helps, brief specs are:
AthlonXP 1700
Asus A7M266 Duron/T'Bird
512Mb DDR Ram (PC266b)
The only peripheral I had installed in XP was my Iomega Ext USB zip drive - the crash happened whilst I was scanning a file on a zip disk with Norton AV (2002).
Coincidentally, the previous crash happened whilst I was doing the same thing.
I didn't read too much into that because I had done it lots of times before. I have since checked the said file for viruses - nothing.
I really appreciate you taking the time to help.

Margaret
 

Lonman

Bleh!
Joined
Dec 2, 2001
Messages
2,642
Have you been to Iomega to see if there's an issue with that drive and XP? I didn't realize there was a crash involved... something got damaged then. XP and certain USB devices just don't play well together. XP and USB in general has been a bear for a lot of folks.

Check out this article and learn how to use the recovery console... I think the command you want to use is 'fixboot.' I'm not positive though so read the article and you decide how to take the best course of action... I'd try the repair installation as a last resort myself, it takes just as long as a regular install, and you won't have the opportunity to learn the recovery console doing it that way.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q307654

2 more notes:
You don't have to install the recovery console, you can run it from the CD; and
Disconnect the iomega while using the XP drive until you get that problem solved.
 
O

Otter21

Guest
Thanks Lonman.
I have been reading about the Recovery Console and thought it might be a good idea to install it as a startup option - if I ever get into XP!
When I tried the XP disk again this morning I deliberately didn't plug in the zip drive. Whether that had anything to do with the 'C' now being recognised I don't know, but there seem to be a lot of concidences connected with the zip.
My problem is that all my progs are backed up onto zip disks, and I had installed them without any trouble.
I think I should put them onto CDrs instead and just use the zip drive with 98SE.
I will certainly try the Recovery Console option in the morning - please advise which command prompts I should choose - would Bootcfg be right, or perhaps Fixboot? If so what steps do I then take to put it right?
I have printed off the Microsoft Document "How to install and use the Recovery Console for Windows XP" but it looks a bit daunting!
I also know what the Boot.ini file should contain from other people's postings.
If there's anything vital I should know before I try it, I'd appreciate your advice.
Thanks again.

Margaret
 

Lonman

Bleh!
Joined
Dec 2, 2001
Messages
2,642
It looks like bootcfg is probably the one you want to go with. Here's another article that gives a much better description of the commands and their pertinent switches.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q314058

I've never had to use the recovery console to perform the type of repair you're seeking advice on (knock on wood), but i'm sure you're definantly on the right track with the bootcfg command.

I hate to see you lose the zip drive altogether, I'll go take a look at iomega and see what I can find in the way of a fix.

edit: do you have the exact model number for your zip drive?

It looks like the drivers are the same for the Zip 100 USB, and the Zip USB/PCMCIA Models. You can get the drivers for either of those here by selecting drive, OS, and language:

http://www.iomega.com/software/index.html
 
O

Otter21

Guest
The zip drive is a 100mb host-powered USB version - Model No: Z100USBV. It was new last month. I have made a note of the driver details and will visit the site to check for updates.
Much as I love the zip, I bought it initially as a quick and easy method of transferring files, etc from my laptop and it won't be the end of the world if I don't use it with XP.
I have printed off the Microsoft article you refer to and will study it carefully before proceeding.
I can't tell you what a relief it is to know there are people out there willing to help.
I will report back with my progress - or otherwise!

Margaret
 
O

Otter21

Guest
I've printed off and studied the article you suggest, and I also found a good one (with pictures!) here -
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
When I select the Bootcfg command I will be presented with quite a few options.
The most obvious ones seem to be:
Bootcfg /add - adds a Windows installation to boot menu list.
Bootcfg /default - sets the default boot entry.
Bootcfg /redirect useBiosSettings
Could you advise me which I should choose?

Margaret
 

Lonman

Bleh!
Joined
Dec 2, 2001
Messages
2,642
Originally posted by Otter21
I've printed off and studied the article you suggest, and I also found a good one (with pictures!) here -
http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
When I select the Bootcfg command I will be presented with quite a few options.
The most obvious ones seem to be:
Bootcfg /add - adds a Windows installation to boot menu list.
Bootcfg /default - sets the default boot entry.
Bootcfg /redirect useBiosSettings
Could you advise me which I should choose?

Margaret
I'd go with the default one.
 
O

Otter21

Guest
Didn't get very far I'm afraid.
I booted from the XP CD and got past the Setup screen, chose my installation (1) and was then asked for the Administrator password.
I understand that this is blank by default in Home Edition so I pressed 'Enter'.
This was not accepted and now I'm stuck.
I know other people have had the same problem, but I can't find a posting with a solution.
Any ideas?
 

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