Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

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Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby dwoody on Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:47 pm

Hi everyone,
I recently tried to install Linux Mint in a dual boot configuration with my already existing Windows XP. I have three physical hard disks (2 for pure data storage and one which I would like both the XP and Mint OS on). In order to prevent me from doing anything stupid I disconnected my two data HDs (they are still disconnected), left my drive with the copy of Windows XP connected (C: drive in Windows), and simply booted from the live CD and began the install.

Mint (Release 7 Gloria) recognized I had XP and I chose the option to install the two OS's side by side. Everything went great during install. On my first boot the splash screen appeared and I could choose Mint or XP - I chose Mint, it loaded and was fully functional - so far so good. The next time I booted I tried to launch XP. The XP loading page came on (the one with the Windows flag and the status bar that shows you its loading) and it loaded for a few seconds (not frozen, the status bar was moving) before quickly going to the infamously Windows blue screen (to quickly to see anything it said, but I could see the blue screen and white text). The system then self rebooted and I ended up back at the GRUB splash screen. This problem repeats every time I tried to run Windows XP however my Mint installation is fine.

So, what happened? This is my first go at Linux so maybe best to keep the advice at a beginner level. Thank guys, hope this can get sorted out.
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby markcynt on Wed Jul 15, 2009 4:45 am

Can you please post a screenshot of Gparted open so I can see what the present partition scheme is?
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby Lilli on Wed Jul 15, 2009 1:03 pm

Sorry, people... I don't even know why I posted on THIS page... so sorry, don't mind this response...

You mean I have to go over installation again? Cause I didn't use Gparted to create the partitions: I used Vista's own partitioner, as I know there is the risk to delete important data partitioning with other software.
Anyways the partition I have are:
1.46 GB of something related to Vista (called EISA configuration) which I obviously didn't touch,
79.07 GB of C:/ (NTFS)
19,53 GB of /home (ext4)
9,76 GB of root partition / (ext4)
1000 MB of swap
996 MB not allocated.

Maybe there's a problem with Mint running on ext4? I didn't really check about that...
Last edited by Lilli on Thu Jul 16, 2009 3:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby Fred on Wed Jul 15, 2009 6:35 pm

Come on now people. Give markcynt a break here. He doesn't have ESP, at least I don't think he does. :-)

Is this two people with two similar problems? If so, Lilli, you should start a new thread. If not you need to let him know. Are you dealing with XP or Vista? It makes a difference. What he was asking for was a screen shot of your partition table taken through gparted. It is a partitioning program that you can find in the menu. He didn't say repartition. He is just seeking information about your system. :-)

Try again. And welcome to the Linux Mint forum. :-)

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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby JamesOnTheWay on Thu Jul 16, 2009 1:45 am

@dwoody,

Can you possibly hit the Break key at the instant or a fraction of a second before the BSOD flashes (this may require you to make a number of attempts until you get the text...if it will stop at all)? If you can, please write down the white text and post it in this thread.

Did you Defrag your hard drive before you installed Linux Mint?

It would help very much if you could tell us how much disk free space now exists on the WinXP partition (disk). markcynt asked you to post a screenshot of your WinXP and Linux Mint disk in Gparted. That should give us this needed answer and provide helpful information for others to assist you. Do you need help in making and/or posting that screenshot?
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby Lilli on Thu Jul 16, 2009 5:59 am

Yes, Fred, I am dealing with a 'similar' problem on Vista... the opposite: the booting works fine, but when I start Mint, after entering username and password I get nothing. It goes black and stays black.
Vista on the other hand works (apart from a couple error it finds now... will need to reinstall it...).
I did start a new thread, and evidently I posted a reply here by accident, thinking I was browsing my pwn topic and reading only markcynt comment about posting the snapshot. I didn't realise I was vieweing another topic.
Sorry:)
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby dwoody on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:09 am

Hi guys,
I have attached a screenshot of my partition set up. I am still working on trying to get a capture of the blue screen but hopefully I can.

I did defrag my disk before my Mint installation.

Hopefully this gives you a little more to go on.
Thanks!
Attachments
Screenshot.png
GParted Screenshot
Screenshot.png (66.98 KiB) Viewed 1500 times
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby Pierre on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:27 am

Lilli - it may pay to re-install your Mint O/S again.
that is - use the live cd to format & install the O/S again, as per the install button.
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby markcynt on Thu Jul 16, 2009 7:31 am

I can't see anything wrong with that setup.

Either it's coincidence or Mint somehow messed up XP. I never cared for the side by side option. I don't believe Grub is the problem.

My advice is to try a repair install of XP, unless you have nothing to lose, in which case I would start from scratch and use a better partitioning scheme.

http://michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

You will probably lose your ability to boot into Mint no matter what you choose. Then you would have to reinstall Grub and there's no guarantees there either.

As for me, I would start from scratch since I've always kept my data separate from the OS.
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby JamesOnTheWay on Thu Jul 16, 2009 6:26 pm

@dwoody,

DO NOT REINSTALL WINDOWS XP UNTIL YOU TRY THE FOLLOWING!
DO NOT USE OEM REPAIR CDS OR DVD UNTIL YOU TRY THE FOLLOWING!


I recently was blocked from entering my WinXP OS. I discovered the problem was that some app that backed up my Windows Registry had failed to provide a fresh copy of one of the Registry hives. (It had changed the names of my most recent hives and failed to leave a copy of one of the hives with its name unchanged).

You may find the message on the BSOD is one of the following:
    "Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM"
    "Windows XP could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SOFTWARE"
    "Stop: c0000218 {Registry File Failure} The registry cannot load the hive (file): \SystemRoot\System32\Config\SOFTWARE or its log or alternate"
    "System error: Lsass.exe
    When trying to update a password the return status indicates that the value provided as the current password is not correct."

Whether it is or not, go into Linux Mint and view your \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG folder on your WinXP partition. You should see five files there that make up your Windows Registry hive:
    system
    software
    sam
    security
    default
If one or more of these is missing, WinXP reports it can not enter Windows because your registry is corrupt. That is possibly false. See if you have other files in the same directory that contain those same names but have, perhaps, extensions, such as system.bak, or a prefix, such as busystem, etc. If so, look at the dates of such backup files for whichever of the above files are missing. Make a copy of the most recently dated file and remove the extension or prefix so that it reads: system, softward, sam, security, or default. Then, you should be able to get back into WinXP.

If the above does not solve your problem and you are missing one or more pieces of the Windows Registry hive or they are all there but the Registry actually has one or more hives corrupted, then follow the instructions at Microsoft's Help and Support, "How to recover from a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting" at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545

Basically, you restore your WinXP Registry to its state when WinXP was first installed. Then, you log into Windows, go to the System Restore (found under Start Menu/Accessories/System menu) and restore to the last System Restore Point. It is just that simple!

James
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby dwoody on Thu Jul 16, 2009 10:44 pm

Wow okay that definitely sounds worth a shot.
I looked for those five files and all seem to be there and in tact. Unfortunately I am away for the weekend without access to a computer and don't have time now to go through the Microsoft help now but will definitely do so when I get back. I will get back to you guys as soon as I can after though. Thanks so much for the help, I really hope that registry stuff is the problem and isn't to much to sort out. Hope everyone enjoys the weekend.

Cheers,
David
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby dwoody on Sun Jul 19, 2009 10:16 pm

Hi,
So I tried to go into windows recovery mode and repair my registry as described in the article posted in this thread earlier (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545). However, at the 3rd step of Part One things go wrong. When I press 'r' to enter into recovery mode there is no indication that I have multiple OS installations and there is no prompt for my administrator password - it just launches straight into the recovery console. From here I tried to do step 5 but after the command 'md tmp' I get an error message saying 'Access is denied.' (which isn't all that surprising considering I never logged in as Admin). Interestingly though, if I type cd \windows or cd c:\windows I get an error saying 'The path or file specified is not valid' not the access denied error. Any thoughts?

If it helps at all I made a backup of my harddrive prior to the re-partitioning and Linux Mint installation. I did it with this program http://www.runtime.org/driveimage-xml.htm. I probably should have mentioned this earlier, but is there anyway to use this backup to repair my problem?

Thanks again guys, hopefully we get this figured out.
- David

PS. Still can't get a screen capture of that BSOD on startup
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby JamesOnTheWay on Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:37 am

@dwoody,

Make the \tmp directory, copy the files, and rename them all from Linux Mint. Then try to start Windows directly and without the Recovery Console!

If you are still blocked from getting into Windows (and, you also can try this before doing anything else...), after you select Windows in the Grub menu, hold down the F8 key for the Windows system start menu and select Safe Mode to attempt getting into a Windows session.

James
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby dwoody on Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:55 pm

Hey,
So I copied the files to tmp and did Part One of the article (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545) all from Linux Mint - everything went okay. However when I went to start Windows XP I had the exact same problem as before. When I went to start it in safe mode there was no blue screen but it essentially did the same thing as the normal bootup - it cranked away for a bit, stalled, then quickly went to reboot. Maybe not something to do with the registry? Hopefully there's a few more things to try.
Thanks,
David
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby JamesOnTheWay on Wed Jul 22, 2009 7:05 pm

@dwoody,

Since it does not appear to be the Windows Registry, I recommend you go back into Linux Mint and restore those Registry hives (the ones saved to \tmp ) to their original locations before you made those copies.

If you have not searched for this problem in Microsoft's Knowledgebase or Googled it, I recommend that you do.

In the event you do not find a different solution in those searches, you may need to copy all of your data to a backup device. That includes all of your Windows restore points.

Then, run Repair from the Console using your Windows Installation disk/s.

James
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Re: Dual Boot: GRUB finds XP but fails to Launch

Postby dwoody on Thu Jul 23, 2009 12:57 pm

Hi,
So good news and bad news.
Good: Problem fixed!
Bad: For anyone with the same problem, I am really not sure how I fixed it.

I read on a forum somewhere else that I needed to edit a registry file. To do so I needed a registry edittor of some kind. I downloaded and burned Hiren's BootCD, a package full of diagnostic utilities that you can boot directly from and make changes to your sytem without launching Windows. I went into the Registry Reanimator option hoping I could find a way to edit the file I was looking for. It is a command line interface and I didnt know any of the commands so I started fooling around try to get some sense of the program. I assidentally launched a CHKDSK. This ran for 5 minutes or so. It was getting late so I decided to give up trying to find this registry file and leave it for another day. I restarted the computer and booted up and thought hey, might as well give Windows another shot. XP booted and my computer is all well again. Very fluky but hopefully this is at least something to go on for someone with the same problem.

As a side, through this process I have been forced to use Linux Mint and I really like it. Once I get familiarized with the OS I see my self making the switch in the future.

Thanks everyone for your help, very appreciated. I'm sure I will have to post again soon with a new problem but for now all is well. Thanks again,
- David
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