Re: XP PC will not boot
- From: Paul <nospam@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Sat, 14 Nov 2009 20:26:19 -0500
I do not have a Lnux Live CD. All I have is a Win XP CD
Linux LiveCDs can be downloaded, and then burned with a program
like Nero. The first time I tried it, I needed a different burner,
as I needed to burn a 700MB CD, and my (ancient) burner could only
do 650MB. The burning program needs to know how to parse and prepare
a bootable CD, based on the ISO file. (You don't just *burn* the
file to the CD - the burning program reads it and converts the
results into a CD.) There are free burning programs, if you don't
have Nero, that can handle an ISO9660.
The smallest distro I've tried, is Damn Small Linux, at 50MB. But
I tested that, and it won't boot on my computer. That one is "off
my list" for now.
Knoppix (version using debian Linux with KDE desktop), is my favorite
for maintenance. The best version is a DVD sized download, version 5.3.1.
Some Japanese people remastered the DVD, to make a CD version. That
version is here. Using this version, means a smaller download. But a
download like this is still a significant size, so you'll need a
broadband connection to make this feasible.
(Article on Knoppix, including table of versions near the bottom.)
(Japanese site with remastered content)
knoppix_v5.3.1CD_20080326-20080520-AC.iso 716054 KB 5/24/2008 12:00:00 AM
That works out to 699MB or so, so just fits on one of my 700MB CDs.
You insert the burned CD into the machine with the problems, and
boot from it. The first thing you should see, is a
"boot prompt". At the boot prompt, you can press the F2 or
F3 key, to see what options are available. If you don't
do anything, after a short time interval, it'll start to
boot on its own. I quickly press the "k" key, to prevent the
timer from starting the boot on its own.
This is an example of a boot prompt command you can type
knoppix screen=1280x1024 no3d checkdvd toram lang=us
The screen option, is for enforcing a particular resolution. I've
had trouble getting Knoppix to use the native resolution of the
LCD screen, so it is easiest for me to just force it to the
The "no3d" option disables some goofy special effects when
windows close and the like. That is what happens when Linux
tries to out-do the Vista Aero features.
The "checkdvd" (or "checkcd") type of option, is for checking
the file manifest, against known checksums. It is for verifying
the CD burned OK. In this case, the CD complains that some files
are missing (because apparently the remastering step forgot to
correct the file manifest). So this option might not be worth
The "toram" option is what you use, if you want to reduce wear
and tear on the CD drive. If you're using Knoppix for several hours,
the CD is spinning all that time. If you 1GB or 1.5GB of memory or
more, that option loads the CD into RAM. At that point, you can
eject the CD by pressing the button on the drive. (Normally,
Knoppix will prevent the CD from being ejected, as it is needed
to run any commands, as a source of executable code.)
The "lang=us" option is needed in this case, because it appears
the language default is Japanese. In a quick check, I got English
on the screen when I used that language option, so it seemed to work
OK. One of the other distro files on the Japanese site, actually
starts up in English, so no "lang" was needed for that one.
Once the Knoppix OS finishes booting, you'll see something like this.
Disk icons are on the left of the screen. There should be
an icon for each partition on the hard drive.
If you have a USB flash stick plugged in, it will have a
slightly different icon.
If you right click on an icon, and do "Properties", and check
the tabs, one tab will show a "read/write" tick box. By default,
Knoppix sets up the partitions read-only, and you need to change
the tick box, so that the partition is writable. You'd want to
do that for the USB flash stick for example. If you're backing up
files, the source partitions can remain read-only while you're working.
At least the destination partition, should be writeable.
Once you've changed that setting, double-clicking the icon will
"mount" it. Knoppix can read NTFS and FAT32 partitions, as well
as EXT2 and EXT3 Linux type partitions. You should see a file window
open. You can "drill down" to the folder you're looking for, to find
the files to be backed up. Dragging and dropping the file icon to the
USB flash stick, will start the transfer. You will be queried whether
you want to "move" the file or "copy" it. Copying should be sufficient
in this case.
There is a "Log Out" option at the bottom left of that screenshot.
Using that will do an orderly shutdown of the environment, and
eventually the CD tray will open. Remove the media, before hitting
carriage return to signify you've got the CD in hand. If you don't do
anything, it might restart (or shutdown), depending on what option
you selected. Now, unplug the USB flash and check it in another computer.
During shutdown, the Linux OS will unmount any mounted partitions. You
can also unmount them by right-clicking and selecting unmount from the
menu. Using an orderly shutdown and unmounting the volumes, makes sure
they're flushed out to the media, and not sitting in a cache somewhere.
If you make a folder or file "busy" in Linux, that can prevent
a partition from being unmounted, media from being ejected and
so on. If you were working in a Terminal (text) window, then it
is pretty easy to make a drive or device "busy". That is one
of the annoyances of Linux, is figuring out why it won't allow
something to unmount. But in this case, using the file windows,
I don't expect you'll have any trouble copying the files you
Robert wrote:XP Home on a PC keeps cycling thru POST up to the XP LOGO screen, then PC resets back to POST. This happens in Safe mode also.Use any Linux Live CD to work without the hard drive. You may still be
I tried to run recovery by booting the XP CD, but after I ran FIXBOOT from command prompt and restarted the PC the same problem occurred.
All I need is to be able to read the hard drive long enough to copy two files I need to a memory stick, then I can reformat the drive and start from a fresh load. I tried to get these files by booting the XP install CD and working from the Recovery Mode command prompt. But the system did not recognize my memory stick and I also could not navigate anywhere except the root directory or the Windows directory. I am having trouble finding a way to boot Windows XP from a CD (other than the install CD).
able to read the files from the hard drive, and copy to a thumb drive,
or the like.
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