Fatal Booting Errors in Windows XP

Windows XP has its moods and we all know it. Now we enjoy using it, tomorrow we might curse some errors emerged from nowhere, and which can instantly ruin our work. I know, it is not pleasant to start the computer and getting the bootscreen with a rough text error displayed informing us that something […]

Windows XP has its moods and we all know it. Now we enjoy using it, tomorrow we might curse some errors emerged from nowhere, and which can instantly ruin our work. I know, it is not pleasant to start the computer and getting the bootscreen with a rough text error displayed informing us that something mysteriously happened with the system and it cannot boot anymore.

Just like many others, sometimes I stood in front of the PC screen looking at the error for almost a minute without moving and trying to make an idea on what it refers to. You can simply try as hard as you can to figure out what may have caused your Windows to break down and have no idea.

The most common fatal errors that you may get when trying to boot Windows XP are:

Missing Hal.dll
Invalid boot.ini
Windows couldn't start

Ugly errors, aren't they? Indeed. I am sure that the imminent question would sound something like this: What can be done? Can we fix it? Well, the answer is positive. 

To solve these unpleasant issues you need the original Windows XP installation CD. Before using it, make sure you have correctly setup the BIOS parameters in order to permit booting from the CD/DVD drive. Once you made the CD ROM as the 1st boot device, insert the installation CD in the drive and restart the computer.

The system will display the following message: “Press any key to boot from CD”. Perfect. Do as it says. If you have personally installed the Windows XP on the system, you might be familiar with the setup screen. Don't worry, we are not reinstalling Windows. We just use a feature provided by the installation utility: the rebuild command.

Wait for the setup utility to do its processes and when prompted type R to enter the recovery console. First you will be asked to enter the number of the Windows installations which most probable is 1 and then the administrator's password is required. In this situation, you must know this password in order to proceed. You are provided with 3 tries. In case you failed to enter the correct password, after the third try the computer will restart.

Let's assume you know the password and you have entered it correctly. You will get the command prompt which permits you to use the rebuild command. To see the current contents of boot.ini type bootcfg /list. Now type bootcfg /rebuild and hit Enter. This command will scan the computer for Windows XP installations.

After the scan is complete you will get this message:

Total Identified Windows Installs: 1

[1] C:Windows
Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)

Hit Y and the Enter. The “Enter Load Identifier” message will be immediately shown. It asks you to type the name of the operating system. There are two possibilities: Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition. According to the version you have installed, type its name.

The last message that you will encounter will be: “Enter OS Load Options”. Enter /Fastdetect and you are done. Just type Exit and hit enter in order to restart. Now, do not boot from the CD, let Windows start normally.

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Windows XP, Tips, Tricks, Fatal Error, booting