Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Fixing UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME on Windows XP

The daugther of one of my friends had a PC that would not start. Not that I like to mess with that - had done that too often - but helpful as I am I brought the PC home.

It failed with UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_DEVICE STOP: 0x000000ED (0xaddress,0xC0000006,0x00000000,0x000000)

I searched the net. Found several articles but not really anything that seem 'correct'. Finally, I found an article on Experts-Exchange.com. Well, I could not get to the answers as I do not have an account, but sometime Google's caching feature are very useful...

So this is how I did it based on the answers I found -

Start the recovery console. If you do not have it installed - or when that version does not work - like in this case, boot from an installation CD and select R for repair. You can easily mix languages - I used an English CD on a Danish Windows

Run these command -
chkdsk c: /r /p
fixmbr
exit (to reboot)

That is it.

137 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot man!

....u really save my day :D!

-Gav-

Tyler said...

Thanks for that... It worked and saved my pc

Cheers,

Tyler

Anonymous said...

Thanks you you made my day for my laptop.

Pascal Quebec Canada

Anonymous said...

Saved my bacon. Thanks for making this info easily available.

I dunno if it was redundant, but I did FIXBOOT before FIXMBR.

-Rachel

Anonymous said...

Repaired a laptop today. Used "chkdsk" and "fix boot" without the letters. Worked well.
The use of /p or /r were not recognizes

Igor said...

What if when i press R, computer shows that it's examining drive C for a couple of hours and nothing happens.Could this take so long?

mplsoutdoors said...

If the original XP installation CD is lost, can I use any XP installation CD?

Per Østergaard said...

Answer to: If the original XP installation CD is lost, can I use any XP installation CD?

Yes, you can.

Per Østergaard said...

To Igor: Yes, examining the drive can take very long time. Just let it run and enjoy a cup (or many cups) of coffee.

Per Østergaard said...

It actually also saved my own day once more during Christmas. The PC, my sister in law owns, did not boot. Nice simply to look up my own article and repeat the steps. I love such a nobrainer and I could spent my time on eating some more candy (which we do a lot in Denmark at Christmas).

Anonymous said...

THANKS ! ! ! ! !

IT WORKS.

GOD BLESS YOU.

hunter said...

In the U.S.A. there is a saying,"You Are The Man". Well you "ARE THE MAN" for your help. My Laid Off co worker brought her computer in for two of us to look at. We ran, chkdsk c; /r / p When it was done it canme back that it had found and fixed one or more errors. When we went to run , fixmbr, It cautioned us that we could loose stuff. We exited out and did a reboot. Problem Solved!

I'm sure my friend would offer you a kiss in gratitude now that she can send out resumes again.
Thank You
HUNTER

Anonymous said...

Thanks mate, this problem had been annoying me and my family for a while and now it seems to be all good! Cheers and keep up the good work. :)

Anonymous said...

Having this same problem... this is great info, but now I can't even get the PC to boot up to the "unmountable_boot_volume" screen. Are we out of luck or is this something that can be helped?

Tester said...

You are a genius...you saved my butt...thanks so much, from Canada!

marcella said...

Tester,
I had that problem too, but I chose f12 and then chose boot from cd/dvd drive. Hope that helps...it took me a few times to figure it out...
Good luck and thank u for the solution! I was very close 2 throwing my laptop out!
Marcella :)

kelly and adam said...

thanks for the advice - it has partially solved my problem. i didn't do the command fixmbr because of all the cautions, but i am now able to boot up and log on. but now as soon as i log on i get a Windows Product Activation message that says "A problem is preventing Windows from accurately checking the license for this computer. Error Code: 0x8007007e." When I hit "ok" it logs me off immediately. I don't know much about computers so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. oh - and safe mode still isn't working either. thanks again for solving my first problem!
kelly

Anonymous said...

Thanks man, it really help a lot

Angelee said...

Hi there! It looks like this is the website with all of the answers. Sadly, while this is the easiest suggestion for me to understand, I still don't understand. I don't know what "start the recovery console" means and I do not know how to use commands. Can you simplify it for a girl who has NO IDEA WHAT SHE IS DOING? I am on a blue screen.

Thanks in advance!!!

Per Østergaard said...

Hi angelee.

I think it will be too much of an effort to try and document the procedure in such detail that it can be done by anyone. This is not the purpose of this blog, anyway. So I would recommend that you ask somebody you know for help. Microsoft has a support article on how to use XP Recovery Console - try this address http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058/en-us

Best regards - and I hope you manage to get the PC running again.
Per

Mitch said...

Hey,
My computer is also doing the same thing, I tried to fix it, but I didn't get anywhere?

I'd really appreciate anybodys help.

My email is: mitch.o.1989@hotmail.com

Thanks a lot from BC, Canada!

Per Østergaard said...

Hi Mitch

I have also had situations myself where this did not fix the problem. E.g. I had some power problems in my house and that smashed 1 GB RAM and my RAID totally. In this case I decided to reinstall the computer. I could have restored the backup - that is theoretical ;) - but the PC needed a reinstall anyway. Naturally, I had a backup of the important files like pictures, emails etc.

Mitch said...

Hey Per Østergaard,

Thanks for your reply. When you say reinstalled the computer, what do you mean?

My PC was more of my secondary computer as I mainly use my MAC...so I didn't have much important stuff on the PC. Would reinstalling windows fix the computer? or is it more severe than that?

Again thanks, any help would be appreciated!

Per Østergaard said...

Hi Mitch

By reinstalling I meant, insert a bootable cd, wipe the disk and start all over with installation of the operating system. In my case, I inserted a new disk so I still could read data of the old. I selected this path as I took the opportunity to use Vista instead.

There is also another alternative: You could do a repair installation. Again, you have to have a Windows XP (with SP2) CD, boot from it and select repair, when that option appears. In this way, you are more or less doing an inplace reinstallation e.g. the repair will make sure the correct files are there and drivers will be installed etc.

Finally, you computer could have some kind of a hardware problem - in that case the most likely cause is some failed RAM. But only start looking in this direction if the repair fails.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot!!!

Anonymous said...

Great info, worked like a charm.

WalterFootball.com said...

I had this problem yesterday morning and I was afraid I'd have to buy a new laptop to get my work done for my site. I found your solution and it worked perfectly. Thanks a lot, man! I owe you big time.

dan said...

THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!! Iv been working on this for days...My Computer Works Perfectly Now...

Anonymous said...

OMG you saved me man...my brother was coming home in 2 hours...he woulda killed me...i sorta owe you my life then XD

Anonymous said...

thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks SOOOOOOO much! You save my life...

Anonymous said...

tankz.

StrongArm said...

OMG TY SOOOOO MUCH Im soooo serious... what seemed like a costly problem was fixed... dude THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

ok, how do you start the recovery console

pRamirYX said...

thanks!! that was cool....

Avikam said...

You made my day.
10xs a lot 4 your help.

evolutionsgirl said...

This sounds like it would be a great fix for my problem, as I have the same BSOD and error message... except that I don't have the disc. *sigh* The disc that came with my computer is an e-machines recovery disc. The disc has my OS on it, but it won't let me use it to get to the recovery console. The only other XP disc I have is for XP Pro and that won't let me run chkdsk on my c drive. The only windows installation it lets me do anything with is on the H drive, something called MiniNT, and if I try to specifically put in chkdsk c: the thing runs for over an hour and never reaches completion. Does anyone know anything else I can try? My computer doesn't have an A: drive so I can't even make the boot disks from Microsoft. I could try making a boot CD, but honestly, I'm not totally computer saavy, and when I read instructions on that, I'm a little confused. Most of them seem to be obviously written for people with more knowledge than I have, and I don't want to bug them for the simplistic "me = in depth computer dummy" explanations. So yeah, if there are no other options, all I can think of is to slave the drive into another computer so I can back up the files (I saw someone else had done this and it worked for them) and then reinstall my OS.

evolutionsgirl said...

Update on my situation (posted 8/11) : I tried one more time with my XP Pro disc and this time, I got it to check my C: drive. I had to put in chkdsk c: and then let it run for five or six hours. Then, when I next prompted it with fixboot, it did the fix on my C: drive instead of the H: drive as it had been doing before. So, for the time being, I'm back on my computer. However, I don't know if that's a permanent fix, and I'm kind of paranoid now to turn off my computer again. Should I still consider reinstalling Windows just to be safe, after I backup my files (which I'm planning to do anyway because not backing them up after so long was just stupid on my part)?

Per Østergaard said...

Hi evolutiongirl

I'm glad your PC is running again. If you experience the problem again, you know how to fix it. If you experience it often, you may have a broken driver or most likely some flawed hardware (RAM could be a good guess).

The problem you just solved should not cause you to reinstall Windows.

Per

evolutionsgirl said...

Thanks so much. Your post really helped. I'm still backing things up on CD now and looking into getting a back up external drive because of my insane paranoia, now. I'm glad I won't have to reinstall.

Anonymous said...

okay, this problem recently happened to me, however i have a few questions before i try this fix

should i hook up my hard drive to another computer as slave, then save any important data before i try this fix so i dont lose any data? or is it safe to do this before that.. i already ordered a usb sata/ide adapter to do so as the only other computer i have uses ide, while my newer one uses sata

next is how do i create a boot cd from another computer? will it work even though it has a different product key? (my broken comp had xp preinstalled, so i dont have a boot cd)

thanks in advance

Per Østergaard said...

Hi Anonymous

No, you should do it on the PC having the problem.

I you want to move to new PC hardware, you must have a proper license. If the original PC had an OEM-license, the Windows license is only valid for that hardware and cannot be moved to a new hardward.

Anyway, any CD will work in the repair process - at that level the product key does not matter.

Per

Anonymous said...

thank you so much...only thing that worked!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey.
I have a dell laptop, and it wont boot. I tried to do the following steps:

chkdsk /p
then chkdsk /r
and when i started it up again, it wouldn't start it just keep restarting. can any one help me ?

Anonymous said...

Hey.
I have a dell laptop, and it wont boot. I tried to do the following steps:

chkdsk /p
then chkdsk /r
and when i started it up again, it wouldn't start it just keep restarting. can any one help me ?

bert said...

Hi!

My laptop was working just fine until I got the BSOD - unmountable_boot_volume

I followed your suggestion but at chkdsk I got this message - "The specified drive is not valid, or there is no disk in the drive."

Then I tried fixboot it said "cannot find the }system drive, or the drive specified is not valid."

What can I do?

Thank you got your help.

bert

Anonymous said...

thanks , i don't need to reinstall .

Anonymous said...

hey hey hey
thank u very very very much
it's work 100% :)

keep helping gud bless u

KWoo said...

Received the BSOD with unmountable_boot_volume when I ran some Windows updates and restarted the computer for the changes to take effect.

My troubleshooting efforts are running into two major stumbling blocks: 1) Running in safe mode with command prompt consistently stops at iomdisk.sys. And no command prompt is available to me.

2) Upon attempting to boot to either the Resource CD or the XP Reeinstallation CD: I receive "Selected boot device not available" -- despite my ensuring that the "Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive" is enabled in the boot sequence settings.

Any suggestions for how I can get past the preceding stumbling blocks?

Thanks in advance for any assistance you can offer.

Anonymous said...

Thanks
It works fine for me
Lior from ISRAEL

Mendek said...

much appriciated man ... really thanks for that

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much, it worked great.

Anonymous said...

Thank god for Per Østergaard ...

Apparently I had a problem with iomdisk.sys during startup - but it actually failed with UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

Great help - it worked perfectly !

Per Olsen

Anonymous said...

thank you so much bro~!

happy said...

you rock man!!! you are the king \m/. i used this and i was able to get my data off my hard drive. i was told that the hard drive is failing. so getting my data was the the only prospect i had and this worked great! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

thanks a million! I love you!

Anonymous said...

It worked just like you said. I tried a couple methods only this works. Thank you so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Oh man !!! Thank you very much !

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your sharing. Excellent!

Anonymous said...

when i try to boot from windowx xp cd, it takes me back to the blue screen error page.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot, it worked!

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot, it worked!

Anonymous said...

thnx ... it works!

A. H. said...

Add my thanks to a year and a half's worth of comments! Your help really saved my computer.

Anonymous said...

You are a genius! Thanks so much.

Anonymous said...

I have XP on a disk but when the computer tries to boot up it wants to know what area I want to partition to load it. How do I get to a command prompt to type in the R or the CHK DSK command. I have tried starting in Safe Mode but the startup continues to Time Out and then restart.

Per Østergaard said...

It sound to me like you are not booting from an XP CD. When you do so, you have to select R for repair and from there you can do the rest.

Lucas said...

Worked perfectly, thanks a billion! :)

Anonymous said...

how does that look once it it typed out then?? i can only go as far as the ''chkdsk c: /r /p'' part.... i just dont know where or when to insert the fixmbr command

kassan said...

hi, im having the same problem,blue screen with unmountable_boot_volume but when i press r to enter recovery console, it tells me windows cannot find any hard disks installed. what do i do!!

Rand said...

from the philippines, "maraming salamat po!" =)

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for such a simple method! worked a treat!

Per Østergaard said...

It took me some days, before publishing the comment from Rand, as I was not sure whether it was some kind of spam or not. So I set of to translate it and ran into this explanation:

In Filipino the formal way of expressing gratitude, for example, “Thank you very much.” is
maraming salamat po. The first word maraming means “many”. It is followed by salamat which in
English is “thanks” and it is then followed by po. po has no equivalent word in English. Po is used
in phrases as a sign of respect to older people. The entire phrase is maraming salamat po. The
informal way of saying this phrase is maraming salamat

From http://survivalphrases.com/pdfs/SurvivalPhrases_Filipino_S1L01.pdf

Thanks - and I learned a little Filipino.

KVL said...

Hi, after I've done all the steps, I don't get the blue death screen anymore but now it shows me a message: "NTDLR is missing". Anyway I goggled and solve this problem as well. Thanks for a step-by-step instruction like this!

sayyid said...

uhh.u save my laptop

Anonymous said...

omg!!! I LUV U MAN! U THE BEST!!! SAVED ME !! :d THX ALOT

Anonymous said...

AWESOME!!! WORKED PERFECTLY THANKS A LOT!!!! God Bless!!

Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Thanks to the author for what probably works in most cases, but in my case Fixboot decided to write a FAT boot partition onto an NTFS drive without asking for confirmation. It has screwed the partition, it won't boot, chkdsk won't run on it, FixMBR laughs in my face, and it may be adios all my data...

I would suggest that in certain cases (bad hard disks and other hardware issues, which I suspect is my problem) this is NOT a good solution and will cause more damage.

I'll post back if I can figure out what the underlying problem is, to avoid others having the same problem.

ed said...

When I run the recovery console it froze with a message "Examining blah blah blah on iastor ...". Just sat there for two hours. The computer has a SATA hard drive and to fix this I had to go to the BIOS settings and change the driver to 'ATA'. Once I had done this the recovery console worked fine ...

Anonymous said...

I found several solutions online but this is one that worked. Thanks a lot.

sxm109 said...

Dude you are the best, I was kicking shit around as was so pissed looking at the blue screen with no backup of my data. But you just saved me.

Thanks a lot.

Anonymous said...

I used this too. It did not recognize the /r /p but I ran the chkdsk then the fixmbr. The fixmbr warned me that it may cause the partition to change and the harddrive to be unreadable so I said "no" to that and exited. It worked anyway. Thank you so much!

Anwar said...

"You Are the Man", who solved my problem and show me the way to do the things in better way within a very short time. May god bless you dude.
Thank you so much for your sharing. Excellent!

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU MAN, YOU HELPED ME A LOT!

ZackN said...

Thank you sir. I almost ... my pants when this happened to my laptop.

Anonymous said...

thx dude...problems solved...yahoo.!!!

Anonymous said...

i need help regarding this problem. i already inserted the cd installation but it doesnt give me an option to open even command prompt. it goes straight to that safe mode blah blah option then after the countdown it restarts again. i appreciate all the help you can give me. TIA

Per Østergaard said...

If you PC is not set to boot from the CD, that may cause the problem. Most systems have a boot-selection-menu and many systems use F8 to bring that up.

Anonymous said...

thank u very much .it works

George said...

I tried running chkdsk c: /r /p but it hung halfway through. Tried it twice. Next time just did a "C:\" at the recover console prompt and got C:\. Then did "dir" ... chugged a while ... then said "An error occurred in directory enumberation."

Pardon me while I go jump off a cliff.

Kivi said...

This really saved me!
Was able to get the system drive on my file server up and running again, atleast enough to copy some important files of it.
If im lucky i wont even need to reinstall.

Thanks a lot!

Laurie said...

When I saw the "Blue Scren of Death" I thought the hard drive was a goner. But your solution worked perfectly and made me look good. Thank you SO much for sharing!

Kristi said...

WORKED GREAT! Thanks!!!

chkdsk c: /r /p - took about an hour. Percentage done number ran upto 80% then jumped back down to 50% and then up to 100%.

Back to C: prompt

fixmbr was instant (big warnings)

rebooted - Computer came back to life. You helped save a business machine, didn't lose a thing, thanks again!

Anonymous said...

My machine OS is Windows XP. I did not have a windows recovery disk (my bad!) and did not have the installation cd handy. Had the vista DVD and tried to do what you have outlined.

chkdsk c: /r/p reported that /p is not a valid parameter. tried chkdks c: /r and that worked fine. took a loooong time but eventually completed succesfully.

thanks for your post. you're the man!

--ravi

Anonymous said...

This is incredible, you indeed solve my problems my GOD will help you amen

Vejitto said...

hi...


i run the recovery console, and type the chkdsk /r command but it wont complete successfully. it stops at around 50% and gives me an error of...er, well errors that couldnt be recovered.


same thing wit chkdsk /p.


tried the fixboot command after that, said that boot sector was successfully writen but still nothing.

now it wont even boot to the BSOD. it just says: "non bootable drive."..


any ideas? its my business pc and reformatting would take me daaaaays behind schedule...:(

Per Østergaard said...

Sorry, no. Think you have to start all over :(

Anonymous said...

Mange tak :)

You are my hero of the day !!!

Merci from Ben Quebec Canada

Anonymous said...

thanks so much! I got this message several months ago. I did the most difficult (reloaded the system), but this worked. I didn't have to use FIXMBR. You saved me tremendous amout of time to recovery. highly appreciated!
slay

Anonymous said...

it works very good in gateway laptop windows xp.
tks. very much

veszely said...

Thanks a lot, it worked like a charm... :-)

Anonymous said...

bro, i from malaysia and i been facing this problem quite sumtime. usualy i just format. u are the best. thank for your solution.

have a nice day

Morten said...

SUPER!!!! Many thanks!!
Just fixed the gf´s pc!! You are great!!!

Alt for fedt mange tak!!!

Chuck-A-Rama said...

FYI to some...the /p is only available if you are in the Recovery Console for Windows 2000 and WindowsXP.

Anonymous said...

worked for me today, too!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing the solution - worked for me.

Ibrahim said...

Everybody...Do not try fixmbr, Just do chkdsk will work fine., Thanks anyway.

Carlos said...

damn this helped a lot. safe my life. thanks a bunch!!

OZZlE said...

I got really nervous when fixmbr said my boot table (or something like that) was wrong but replacing it could loose the whole partition, I pressed yes however and it worked!! No missing files :) THANK YOU!

seoracer said...

Thank you this nice post.

Ala said...

That was great....thank u very very much u save alot if efforts n alot of data for me...
Thanx it's working

Sergio said...

Thank you.
This saved the day.
Now I will have to force my father to backup his files, because I am not sure this HD will last long.

Ramon_adordionisio said...

I start my recovery console but the UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error still occur what can i do about it?

Ava said...

just another satisfied customer
thanks a bunch

Me said...

Thanks!! This was driving me NUTS!!!!

Mihrsak said...

Thanks , it was helpful.
I fix the problem

trey said...

hello.. i followed your instructions however when i load my xp installation disc it doesnt give an option to choose r for repair. it just goes straight to installation. help! thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

Kudos man -- you saved us big time -- was a critical time for a crash. Have a beer on me.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, you the man
Hit during start up
Chose start with dvd/cd drive
Hit
typed chkdsk
worked like a charm

Brian

Anonymous said...

I followed these instructions using the Recovery Console and it did work like a charm!!!

Run these commands:
chkdsk c: /r /p
fixmbr
exit (to reboot)

Thank you very much!

Anonymous said...

This was a lifesaver - thank you!!!

Anonymous said...

Hi I have the same error message though I have a ques if I repair windows xp or reinstall it will it erase all of my information I have saved on my comp

Anonymous said...

This is great info. Kudos...Glad that windows XP support is still out there.

W11zard

Anonymous said...

Thanks bro thank u very much for such a useful information
Keep it up

John said...

You sir, are teh awesome. I had a Sony Vaio rebooting with this error, safe mode crashed at MUP.SYS, normal boot gave me the UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. It also couldn't boot from CD so what I did was mount the drive on my desktop pc via a sata to usb adaptor, run chkdsk i: /f /r /x and after a few hours it fixed all the errors. Put it back in the laptop and it worked! (i: was MY drive letter, obviously you'll have to use another one).
No fixboot or fixmbr was needed.

THANK YOU!

Anonymous said...

Geezzz!! This solved my problem! Good job! :D

Hemanth said...

Awesome Wonderful and Great Job
Thank U


Regards
Hemanth.T

Anonymous said...

whew! this really helps. thanks a lot! :)


---heart^^PH

Anonymous said...

I just want to say "THANKS!" for the instructions and especially to "ed" for the blurb about changing the driver to "ATA" in the BIOS. That's what got me into the recovery console and let me run chkdsk. I did not need to use fixboot or fixmbr since after running chkdsk with the /r /p switches my laptop booted to windows OK.
THANKS AGAIN

File Recovery said...

This article is indeed very helpful for me, i will surely refer my friends to your site.

ramji_simbhu said...

Hi.. I am also facing the same issue. I have a doubt.
I havent backed up any files till now. Doing the steps you mentioned will it erase any of my personal data.. ? FYI, I have all my data in C drive only and D drive is used for system recovery.

Thanks in Advance !!

Dennis said...

perfect! thanks!

angelasbaron said...

WOW! This is years after the original post, but THANK YOU! Seriously it saved my butt! YAY!

angelasbaron said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you! THANK YOU!

AP said...

Hello,
It seems that this might be a great solution, but I have another problem. My CD rom drive does not automatically start up. Is there anything else I can do? Or is my computer just ... done...?

Anonymous said...

Well, all I can say is I owe you BIG TIME! Daughter's XP Pro laptop packed it in with BSOD.
"AHHH! DAD I'm screwed! You HAVE to fix IT!"
Yet again Dad is the hero,,,, Thanks to you!
You really made a difference today.
Thanks more than lots!
AJL,, the Dad
PS. Ran full backup to WHS server and just in case saved this link to favorites,,, just in case (one must have redundancy).
Tks again!
A Dad

Bharath said...

worked thanks