Copyright Michael Karbo, Denmark, Europe.

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    Chapter 27. When catastrophe has struck ...

    There are hundreds of ways in which a computer and Windows can break down. Let me finish this booklet with a couple of tips you might be able to use if you land in this situation one day.

    When the computer's hardware doesn't work

    What do you do when the computer doesn't work at all? This is often due to a hardware problem. The important thing is to find the error.

    First check all the plugs and connections ? on the motherboard too. If you still have problems, then remove all unnecessary hardware from the computer. Only the motherboard, RAM, CPU, screen card, diskette drive and the C drive should be left.

    If the computer still doesn't work then there isn't very much more you can do. You can try zero-setting CMOS-data. You can also try to update the motherboard's BIOS. This is done by fetching a little file from the manufacturer's website, which is run from the diskette drive. But this requires that the computer is working to some extent. If you still can't do anything, then you will have to take the computer to a technician, who can check the motherboard, etc.

    The recovery console

    If the computer's hardware seems to function, then the problem is often in Windows. You typically experience that Windows XP for some reason or another won't reboot. This is a really negative situation for it often ends with you having to reinstall Windows XP and everything else.

    There is, however, an advanced option for reparation saved in the Windows installations CD. In some of the situations using ?the recovery console? can save a sick Windows. This is done as follows:

    1.    Put your Windows XP CD-ROM in the drive, and let the computer boot from it, just as if you are reinstalling Windows XP.

    2.    It takes a little time, while the installations program loads lots of files from the CD.

    3.    At some time or another you will be asked if you want to install Windows. Here you should type in R for Repair or Reparation:

    4.    In the next screen image type in C for Recovery Console

    5.    Then you have to state, which Windows installation is to be repaired. It ought to be

    1: C:\Windows

    in the case of Windows XP. The procedure can also be used with Windows 2000. In all circumstances you have to type 1 to state that Windows is to be repaired.

    6.    A little later the program will ask for an administration password. Type it in or just Enter, if there isn't a password.

    7.    Now you arrive at the console itself, which is seen as a command prompt. You can type several different commands in, which can be used to repair a sick hard disk or Windows installation. If you want to see the commands, type help Enter.

    8.    You can now repair the boot section with the command fixboot and fixmbr, which should both be concluded with Enter.

    9.    The first command repairs the hard disk's boot section. The second repairs the disk's Master Boot Record. It can be necessary to run both commands.

    10. Conclude with the command exit Enter. Then the computer will restart, and maybe it will work again!

    This Recovery Console gives access to a large number of commands, where you can, among other things, format hard disks. Try typing in the command help Enter and see a list with possible commands.

    You can also get help in understanding the commands and their 'syntax? (use of parameters, etc.) by typing /? after the command name. In Figure 124 you can see an example of this.

    I have myself been able to use this console in situations, when an installation has gone wrong and the computer won't boot. It can spare you a long and difficult reinstallation of the operational system.

    Figure 124. Help in understanding the console command ENABLE.

    I have also been able to repair disk drives, which were completely ruined, with a command such as chkdsk c: /p /r:

    Figure 125. Here is the disk drive, which was repaired in a recovery console with the command CHKDSK. You learn some Danish as well ...

    Use the web

    There is a lot of help to get all over the Internet. Most of the small programs I have described in this booklet I have found by sniffing around in all sorts of homepages. If you, for example, need to design a bootable CD-ROM with Windows XP and other help programs then the tool PE Builder can help you with this (see

    So it can be recommended that if you are looking for a program or just information about one thing or another in connection with Windows XP, then use the net!

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