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Old 06-23-2006, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 9
Question unmountable boot volume and the luancy of mainstream computers

i recently reformatted and then zeroed the hard drive on my inspiron 8600. i have been having trouble reinstalling windows xp pro sp1. dell support thinks it is a problem with the cd-rom drive; i used to be able to boot from the cd-rom (before i zeroed the hard drive) and i was getting error messages saying "windows cannot locate the file 'asms' please specify the location D:\I386 etc etc" and the installation wouldn't continue. since i zeroed the hard drive, i can now only boot from the 6 windows xp pro sp1 boot floppies i made. It loads all the stuff and then once the 6th disk is inserted, it loads for a while and then i get a BSOD saying "windows has encountered an error and must shut down to prevent further damage to the computer UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME". i checked the microsoft help database but all their rememdies have the prerequisite that the windows recovery system can be ran but the hard drive is zeroed so there is nothing on it right now; that means that there are no partitions left including the recovery partition

a few things:
1) is the hard drive fried? like 3 days ago it was working fine right before i started doing all this. i'm going to go to the manufacturers website and download the utilities and see what happens. what about the partition table? i know what this is but have no idea how to rectify such an issue; any ideas?
2) is it problem with the cd-rom drive? dell tech support thinks so and they are sending me a new one. we'll see what happens!
3) how do i run this recovery console thing so i can run chdsk? all the directions i find insist that there be some form, corrupted or not, of windows XP on the hard drive. there is NOTHING on the harddrive but zeroes. it's white paint over a graffitied wall. can i still run the recovery console?
4) lastly, i'll remount the hard drive a few times to see if that helps. i find a lof of posts where people claim this works upwards of +50% of the time.
5) i've also read in a few posts that the OEM cd dell ships with their products only works if the recovery partition is still present but since mine is wiped out, i need to know if there is any legitimacy to this rumor.

i'll post back with my successes or failures

dayofdefeat909 is offline  
Old 06-23-2006, 05:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 25

Sorry to hear you got that problem, I had the same problem awhile ago, and I had to do a clean format of the drive to solve it.

I guess your problem right now is booting up the CD. I'm not familiar with what software Dell ship, but usually, Brandnames computer would ship recovering cds (those that contains the ghost of your computer when you first bought it) as well as a stand alone copy of Windows. If you cannot boot from Win XP cd, maybe the cd is scratch, or corrupted, try booting from the Recovery Disc 1.
If your computer doesn't seem to boot from CD, try to get into the BIOS and make sure CD is 1st in the boot sequence.

Also, you said that you zeroed the harddrive, what software did you used to write zeroes to the drive? Most drive manufaturerers have boot diskettes that contains programs to format your harddrive and make it bootable. If you don't have the diskettes, then download the utility off of your harddrive manufaturers' website. It doesn't hurt to reformat and partitioned a drive that is already blank. This time, when you format, make sure you choose for it to check and fix your Master boot record, if you really have a harddive problem, then it would appear here. If not, Then your harddrive is fine.

good luck

zzyzx is offline  
Old 06-24-2006, 02:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 9

hey i got it. i just took out the hard drive and memory sticks and then reinsterted them. worked like a charm. i guess i just had to convince the computer it was a like a brand new hard drive.
dayofdefeat909 is offline  
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