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Windows XP Troubleshooting Tips

March 27, 2007

The information in this page applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional

How to check for corrupt system files?

To do this simply go to the Run box on the Start Menu and type in:

sfc /scannow

This command will immediately initiate the Windows File Protection service  to scan all protected files and verify their integrity, replacing any files with which it finds a problem.

When prompted, insert Windows XP CD.


What if my Windows XP cannot boot...

If your Windows XP won't boot due to filesystem problem, try these steps:

Boot to the Recovery Console

Start your computer with the Windows startup disks, or with the Windows CD-ROM if your computer can start from the CD-ROM drive.

When the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press R to select the repair option.

If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the Windows installation that you want to access from the Recovery Console.

Type the administrator password when you are prompted to do so.

NOTE: If no administrator password exists, just press ENTER.

At the command prompt, type chkdsk /r, and then press ENTER.

The chkdsk command checks the specified drive and repairs or recovers the drive if the drive requires it. The command also marks any bad sectors and it recovers readable information.

/r: Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.

At the command prompt, type exit, and then press ENTER to restart your computer.

Only proceed with the rest if the system still won't boot.


If you cannot perform the above steps due to some reason (NO XP CDROM?): -

Transfer the problem harddrive to a working WinXP PC

The trick to running Chkdsk /r is to install the problem harddrive into another machine that is already running Windows XP. The "new" machine should recognize the NTFS partition and allow you to run ChkDsk /r on the harddrive from the failed machine.


If chkdsk says your harddrive's filesystem is proper...

Run Copy [cd driver]\i386\ntldr c:\

Run Copy [cd drive]\i386\ntdetect.com c:\

Assuming your hard drive is C:

To fix the boot sector,

To fix the mbr,



Further attempts if the above still don't work

1. Boot with XP CD
2. Select Setup
3. Select Repair


Useful sites





Your computer uses an Ultra Direct Memory Access (UDMA) hard disk controller, and the following conditions are true:

You use a standard 40-wire connector cable to connect the UDMA drive to the controller instead of the required 80-wire, 40-pin cable.

The basic input/output system (BIOS) settings are configured to force the faster UDMA modes.

Using the wrong type of cable can damage the file system.


More information about chkdsk

When you run the chkdsk command, you are required to use the Autochk.exe file. CHKDSK automatically locates this file in the startup folder. If the Command Console was preinstalled, the startup folder is typically the Cmdcons folder. If CHKDSK cannot find Autochk.exe in the startup folder, CHKDSK tries to locate the Windows CD-ROM installation media. If it cannot find the installation media, CHKDSK prompts you for the location of the Autochk.exe file.

Last Update: 03 March 2004