John Cas
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UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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Dell inspiron 600m w/ Windows XP Home Edition.

I get the UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOLUME error message when I start the laptop. I've tried starting it with the "last known good configuration," or "safe mode" ... none of that works.

I guess I need the Windows XP set up CD to fix this. However, my laptop didn't come with one! - From the Microsoft website I can only get the set up boot download for floppy disks. -- I'm not very happy with Dell not providing a Windows setup CD.

Is there anything else I can do? Does anyone out there know how to fix this?

 

Thanks

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John Cas
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Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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Problem Fixed

I got the Windows XP installation disk from Dell (thanks Dell); put it in the computer and restarted it.

When the Dell logo shows up and there's that blue bar on top I pressed F12 to access the boot options menu. then selected the CD Drive option.

On the Windows set up screen I pressed R to run the Windows Recovery Console.

I ran the chkdisk /p command and then the fixboot command - It didn't seem to work so I started over and ran the chkdsk /r command. which didn't seem to work either... I tried the chkdsk /p command again and it worked. emoticon.BigSmile.title

The computer seems to run a bit slower, however, and sometimes there are these loud popping noises coming from the hard drive...

I followed these instructions, more or less: http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/4215.aspx?p=2

Thanks for the tips.

 

 

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jackshack
5 Tungsten

Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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If you purchased the laptop after July, 2004, you should have PC Restore.  This is accessed by starting, or restarting the computer, waiting until about the end of the self test, pressing CTRL and F11, releasing both at the same time while a blue stripe is still showing at the top of the screen.  The stripe shows for only two seconds, so this might require more than one try.

The symptom you report is often caused by a failing hard drive, however, so if you have PC Restore and it doesn't work to restore your laptop to proper operation, you will likely need to replace the drive.  If you live in the U.S. you can try using this form to obtain the Windows XP installation disk:  Dell Replacement CD.  Dell is in the process of changing its policy on providing these disks, however, so you may be charged for the disk, or the representative may refuse to provide it.  If that is the case, the only way Dell will send you an installation disk is if you call Dell Tech Support and request the disk.

Dell Forum member since 2005

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John Cas
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Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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I'm trying to avoid PC Restore, I believe I'm going to loose all my data (lots of it, btw) by doing this, right? I'm hoping to be able to use the Windows Recovery Console to fix this; as described in this site>> (http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/4215.aspx?p=2).

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Mary G
5 Iridium

Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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You cannot use system recovery partition for this error. You must have the XP disk to try repairing your drive--if it's possible to repair. Request the cd from Dell HERE. You must be in the US and the original owner. To repair the drive you need to boot to the XP disk and run the CHKSK   /R command. It will take a while to complete that--hours in some cases. After that, if you don't get an error, you run FIXBOOT command and reboot. If you do get errors when running chkdsk, you will need to replace the drive.

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jackshack
5 Tungsten

Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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John Cas;

If losing data is your primary concern I would suggest that you not try to repair the drive.  Instead, use the directions to obtain the Windows installation CD, and once you have received the CD, purchase a new drive and an external drive shell.  Install the new drive into the laptop, install Windows and the drivers.  Install the old hard drive into the drive shell and connect it to a USB port on your laptop.  You can then use normal copy procedures or other data recovery techniques to transfer the data you wish to keep to your new hard drive.

Anything you attempt in the way of repair to your present hard drive risks destruction of the data that is on it.

Dell Forum member since 2005

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Mary G
5 Iridium

Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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Using the repair option does not lose anything on the disk. It just fixes the Boot Files if the disk is OK. Checkdisk examines and repairs the disk without losing any files. Then FIXBOOT repairs the boot files. All files are still there. You cannot recover any files on an unmountable drive that I know of, so it would be a waste of money to buy another drive. I learned this from a great Dell support tech and have used it to save a few hard drives. Dell usually sends a new drive when this error occurs under warranty.

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jackshack
5 Tungsten

Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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Mary;

I'm not sure why Chkdsk would work if the drive is so bad that you can't recover files from it.  My suggestion follows from the possibility that the sectors are gradually becoming unreadable for whatever reason and the rate of degradation is unknown.  With my own machines I try not to bother a drive more than is absolutely necessary until I've tried to recover the data from it, and you mention yourself that Dell usually sends a new drive if this error is reported while the computer is still under warranty.  The original poster in this case is likely to need a new drive anyway, so I have trouble understanding why purchasing a new one is a waste.  If he still wants to try repairing the drive after recovery of the data has at least been attempted he will have the tools to do that and not need to worry about the odd things that sometimes occur when they aren't supposed to.

P.S.  I'm guessing that this computer is about five years old.  If the problem hard drive is the original I don't believe I would trust it to last much longer even if a repair attempt succeeds.

Dell Forum member since 2005

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John Cas
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Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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Problem Fixed

I got the Windows XP installation disk from Dell (thanks Dell); put it in the computer and restarted it.

When the Dell logo shows up and there's that blue bar on top I pressed F12 to access the boot options menu. then selected the CD Drive option.

On the Windows set up screen I pressed R to run the Windows Recovery Console.

I ran the chkdisk /p command and then the fixboot command - It didn't seem to work so I started over and ran the chkdsk /r command. which didn't seem to work either... I tried the chkdsk /p command again and it worked. emoticon.BigSmile.title

The computer seems to run a bit slower, however, and sometimes there are these loud popping noises coming from the hard drive...

I followed these instructions, more or less: http://www.brighthub.com/computing/windows-platform/articles/4215.aspx?p=2

Thanks for the tips.

 

 

jackshack
5 Tungsten

Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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We're very happy that you got it to work, but as I've already stated, I think the drive is on borrowed time.  The slowness of the computer is likely the result of the computer having to read the sectors of the drive several times before the data is finally retrieved.  If the drive is five years old as I suspect, you may not get a lot more operation from it.  I strongly recommend that you purchase a new drive and recover the data from the old one before it gets so bad you can't recover anything.

Dell Forum member since 2005

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John Cas
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Re: UNMOUNTABLE BOOT VOUME - Dell laptop did not come with a Windows XP set up CD

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