Tech Support banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a dell inspiron E1505 that i'm working on for a friend of a friend that has the UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error. I've seen this plenty of times and can usually solve it in recovery console with an XP disc. well for what ever reason, I have no clue why, he has like 4 different partitions on here but the "C" drive is still the partition with XP installed on it from what I can tell. However... When I boot into recovery console it only gives me one option to select: "1: F:\(insert drive name here)" it doesn't give me multiple numbers to choose from. so that kind of makes me think that his xp is installed on this F drive since thats the only windows installation that it found. But even when I try to perform the fixes on that drive it dosen't work. chkdsk /r , fixboot, etc etc doesn't help at all. So either, this "F" drive isn't the drive that needs to be fixed, and if that is the case, how do I force it to select the C drive? OR F is the right drive and these fixes just simply aren't working, if that is the case, where to go from here?

I'm at a loss.. help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
144 Posts
if it's never been worked on before the XP installation is on the C:\ Drive

the numerous partitions are probably Media Direct (play movies), Recover Partition, Windows Installation, and something else

in recovery console hit "bootcfg" and scan for windows installations
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I don't know if it hasn't been worked on before to be honest. I did a bootcfg scan and it only said F had an installation. I did a rebuild and a fixmbr also this time. Did another chkdsk /p and /r. Still nothing. When I bypass the recovery console screen here is what the install / partition screen shows:
-: Partition1 [FAT] 47mb 39mb free
C: Partition2 [Unknown] 66762mb 66762mb free
D: Partition3 (backup) [NTFS] 22387mb 203mb free
F: Partition4 [FAT32] 4754mb 775mb free
unpartitioned space 8mb


this guy who's laptop this is seems like he knows a little bit about computers so he may have fooled with the partitions after he got the laptop himself and that's kinda what looks like has happened with these partitions. since C is totally empty I assume the xp install is indeed on F for some reason. In that case, since for whatever reason F is in FAT32, could that be the reason that the recovery console doesn't work on it? or is there another way I should go about trying to fix the unmountable boot volume error??
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,854 Posts
If the user had any external USB drives, Flash drives, SD cards etc attached to the computer and installed Windows, Windows might have assigned another drive as the boot volume.(F:) The C: drive is not formatted or is an unknown to Windows format like a Linux format. Unless there is only one drive and several partitions. To make the Boot Volume C: again, you will have to Unplug any External drives attached to the computer, format the C: and F: partitions reinstall Windows onto the C: drive. Then the Recovery console can be used again. Or the other option is once the C: drive is formatted then you can use Ghost or Acronis and clone the F: partition over to the C: partition. But I don't recommend that.
 

·
TSF Enthusiast
Joined
·
601 Posts
I have an inspiron and xp is defo on c drive - doesn't F look a bit small for an xp instal? just a thought, would DIR work on the drive in the state it is in? If so it would show if anything was on C.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
229 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
thanks for the replies. spike2me, no offense and i do appreciate the response but I dont think what you talked about had anything to do with the questions I asked...

auntiej, F isn't too small, (i can't confirm this but:) he could have just installed xp on F and used another partition for storage, all thats required for xp is somewhere between 1.5 and 2gb roughly if i remember right and there is about 4 or so Gigs on F. But, you did give me an idea about trying to see what was on the partitions, i'm booting with ERD COMMANDER now to see what I can find and if I can recover any information.


in the mean time.. anybody got any answers for my previous questions?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,439 Posts
It is possible to have a letter other than C be the system drive. Example: if you had Windows 95/98/Me on C: and you have multiple partitions you could have 2000 or XP on D: E: F: or whatever. Another example is you're doing text setup from a windows 98 boot floppy and you're running winnt.exe from the Windows XP CD, but the first partition is NTFS (aka not seen by DOS) and the second is FAT32 (C: according to DOS). Then C: stays C:, but if you wanted to install to the first partition it would be named D:. (Not an exact example - rather one where you could have partitions including C: out of order).

In any case I'd find out what OSes your friend used or is using. I'd find out what the first partition is (some kind of boot manager? a boot partition for linux?) and what the second partition is (C: - is that a Linux partition? - it IS possible to assign a drive letter to a partition of an unknown (to Windows) file system (aka non-FAT, non-FAT32, non-NTFS) the letter is there but the drive won't be readable).
If he recalls all his partitions as having formerly been readable by Windows then something is wrong. I'll add one more anecdote. One time I booted and things were a bit weird, got a hang or something not sure. But upon reboot the partition table was mangled - in recovery console, running diskpart I saw 4 partitions! (I only had two before - both FAT32) like 2 of them were unknown file systems and the rest I don't recall. Anyway I still don't know how the partition table got changed just like that, but testdisk did fix it (if you go into advanced mode and let it scan the drive it'll find your lost partitions - just make sure you can see your files and browse around before you make any changes).
How to use testdisk: http://www.techsupportforum.com/f16...rtition-or-files-in-your-computer-194492.html
You can run testdisk from the system rescue cd: http://www.sysresccd.org/
 

·
Microsoft MVP
Joined
·
3,339 Posts
-: Partition1 [FAT] 47mb 39mb free
C: Partition2 [Unknown] 66762mb 66762mb free
D: Partition3 (backup) [NTFS] 22387mb 203mb free
F: Partition4 [FAT32] 4754mb 775mb free
unpartitioned space 8mb
I'd guess this is what you have:
The first (-) is the Dell Utilities
C: is the damaged Windows partition
D: is a data partition, probably created by the user at some point
F: is the Dell PC Restore partition. I would guess the Recovery console shows it as 1: F:\MinNT instead of F:\Windows.

I second the recommendation for running TestDisk.

Do not run FIXMBR or anything similar, or he will lose access to the Dell PC Restore partition and the Dell Utilities (aka Dell Diagnostics).

HTH

Jerry
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I had this same problem on my Dell inspiron E1505. When going into the recovery console I only had f:\. I couldn't cd to the c:\. Luckily, I found a work around, not sure why it worked but it did. In the recovery console (after choosing the f:\ drive) I ran diskpart. This showed all the disk partions (in the same way as going to install xp), it showed the c drive without knowing the file system type, d: and f:. I didn't want to actually create or delete a paritition so I arrowed down to the c:\ partition (not sure this was required) and hit esc to exit. Lo and behold when it dropped my back to the prompt it showed c:\ instead of f:\. I ran chkdsk /p and fixboot and it booted up like a charm. Hope this works for you!
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top