Booting Error on WinXP


Hi All,

First post, but I've been reading a lot of the answers and it seems to be the place to ask my question.

I have a new laptop, and it booted into XP fine, but after installing lots of software I get the following error on reboot:

"Windows Boot Manager"

"Windows failed to start..." <clipped>

File: \Boot\BCD
Status: \0xc0000098

Info: The windows boot configuration data file does not contrain a valid OS entry"

Now I understand that an XP reinstall or repair is the way forward, but the laptop does not have a CD Rom drive, and I only have a USB dongle or a way to download a program to help.

If anyone knows of a way to repair it, it'd be appreciated, but from what I've been reading it's looking as if I'm in a quandry, as I need a CD Rom drive to reinstall it.

All comments welcome, and all help much appreciated.

Hi Starsnip, welcome to NST.
Is this just an XP system ?
The BCD is from Vista's boot, so it looks like you've overwritten the XP PBR with Vista's, hence it's looking for the wrong boot loader.
What have you been installing ?
Have you been trying Windows 7 public Beta ? It also uses the BCD.
Do you have the ability to enter your OEM recovery environment, or has that been blitzed too ?
Hi Terry,

System is WinXP straight out of the box. Not dual boot, only been started up once, before this happened on the reboot. I tried to install daemon tools, office 2003, avg free, and spybot s&d.

haven't been trying the public beta, so don't know how this happened... guess it's back to the manufacturer :frowning:

Try system restore/safe mode/last known good configuration.

On system restore there should be a point before each program was installed. Go back one by one until you can figure out which program is causing the problems.
Hi Terry,

Just to let you know that I now fixed the PC by booting from a USB key, and using a utility called bootsect.exe to transfer the boot sector to the hdd fixed it.

Thanks for the help though.

All the best,
Out of interest, where did you get bootsect.exe ?
That's the subject of some discussion here since it originally came on the Vista DVD, but is no longer included, making some of our wiki instructions hit and miss, depending on the particular media owned by the poster.
I'm sure some people on the internet share it somewhere...

I didn't spot it on my Vista DVD either, which I got 2 months after Vista's launch back in April 07. So the only other places I know of where you can get it is either from W7's DVD like people have been saying or from the bin folder when you have EasyBCD installed. As you can see from late posts of mine, I've just been pointing people to EasyBCD's bin directory to use it, assuming that they had installed EasyBCD somewhere on thier machines before they began to have problems with them.
Yes Jus, I've suggested to CG that we include your redirect in the wiki. (It's in HnS too)
bootsect is on my DVD, bought in Sept/Oct 2007.
It's a 64bit OEM HP if that makes a difference (maybe old stock, small volume item)
Thanks guys. To answer your question, bootsect was found in a link here Install Windows XP using USB Flash Disk/ Flash Drive - Step by Step Guide

I had to make a usb drive bootable using sp27213 included in the komku download above, then run bootsect.exe to make it nt bootable, transfer ntldr, boot.ini and ntdetect.exe onto the usb drive.... then once the broken pc could be booted from the usb drive, the boot.ini loaded up the correct winxp from the hdd.

The pc still wouldn't boot from the hdd, so after doing that, i tried running bootsect.exe from the usb within winxp, but i kept getting file locking issues. I had a search and found a c:\application\oem\boot folder which has a repair.cmd file in, and that fixed it - once i could get into XP.

Once it rebooted, the option for 'the tech guys' ran automatically, and strangely enough their loading screen looked very closely like the Vista loader. I noticed also that in the oem\boot folder there was also a bootsect.exe. Anyway after all that, it appears to be fixed - so thanks for all your help!

Have a good night.