last week, the Windows XP on my laptop just won’t boot properly anymore. the bootsplash screen loads for a few seconds, then i get dumped back to BIOS. selecting safe mode, last known good configuration, or any other mode didn’t work. i repeatedly did each of the options available to no avail. it was futile.
mounting it on my Kubuntu Feisty, i found out that the ntfs journal logs were unclean. this could mean that, (1) i left Windows XP on hibernate. i do this a lot so i could boot faster into Windows, and Linux won’t mount a “hibernated” Windows; or (2) the disk was not properly unmounted by the system. the latter rarely happens. Windows is very good at shutting down, no doubt about that. so what could’ve happened?
number (2) happened, that’s what. and why? i don’t know. it just happened. no OS is perfect. not even “mighty” Windows. but you know what really pissed me off? Windows doesn’t seem to have a built-in fallback boot mode in case something like this happens. but wait, perhaps now you’re saying “shut this guy up, hasn’t he heard abuot the R (for recovery) option in the installer?” oh please, that option is not even an option. it didn’t do a damned thing. it couldn’t do a damned thing. it wanted me to have the partition checked for errors but how can i do that when i can’t even get to, at least, safe mode to execute the CHKDSK command?! Windows. .. it just totally locked me out.
i had an idea of having another installation of Windows XP boot instead. i got the Windows XP of my desktop PC, placed it on a USB external hard drive rack, changed my laptop BIOS settings to boot from USB first, and presto.. . Windows XP failed miserably on this one!
idea 2: recovery disks. ok so my HP Compaq Presario came with recovery disks. just in case somethig stupid like this should happen. at least that’s what i thought. NO! i couldn’t be more wrong. it’s just a damned installer. and it took almost 2 hours just to install or copy the Windows system files. and what’s worse, it didn’t fix anything. well of course, it was just an installer. it didn’t even bother to correct the ntfs journal. 2 hours of nothing. great!
3rd recourse: reformat & reinstall Windows XP. this option comes with the recovery disk. it will tell you that this is a destructive option which will erase all data in the disk. good! if this fixes it then i’m happy. i solely use Windows to play World of Warcraft. this solution worked magnificently. i’m so glad that Windows has perfected the format & install. this is almost always the only viable solution when your Windows XP gets into problems such as what i’ve just described, or when it gets hit by a worm or virus.