NWA-PCUG Newsletter Article, June 2004
XP Emergency Startup
by Bill Shook

The emergency startup diskette created in XP through My Computer only allows booting to a DOS prompt. This is fine if you only want to check drives or files, but it won't let you get into Windows.

To create a startup diskette that will allow you to boot into Windows, format a floppy so it is clean (not even any system files) and copy XP's three system startup files to it. They are all found in the root of C drive (C:\) and are NTLDR (no extension), NTDETECT.COM, and BOOT.INI. If you can't see them on C:\, it's because the files are all read only and hidden. To make them visible, explore to C:\ by right clicking Start, left clicking Explore and double clicking C:\. Then click the Tools menu item at top of the screen, then Folder Options, then the View tab. Open up Hidden Files and Folders and check Show Hidden Files and Folders. Then UNcheck Hide Protected Operating System Files and click Apply in the lower right corner, then OK.

Note that all this does is boot from the good system files on the floppy instead of the corrupted one(s) on the C:\ drive. The programs and data will be as they were just prior to the crash. Following the diskette boot, you should replenish the corrupted system files on the C: drive by copying them from the floppy, then test it by booting from the hard drive. Call or email me with any questions. Bill

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