Fixing the dreaded “Unmountable Boot Volume” error

Posted September 22, 2007 by tipmonkies in Windows installation

One unfortunately common problem is data corruption on a hard drive and the dreaded “Unmountable Boot Volume” error. Many people feel they are forced to format the drive and start from scratch in this situation. However, frequently there is a better way of save your installation, as long as you have the installation media available. Directions for both XP and Windows 7 included.

If you receive the “unmountable boot volume” error and have an installation disk, you still have a chance to save your system.

This error is frequently caused by unfortunate wear and tear corruption of the data on the hard drive. By using the following utilities, you often can repair the damaged hard drive and prevent a complete reinstallation of your system.

XP Directions:

1. Insert your XP installation disc into an optical drive and boot up your computer.
2. When you see a welcome screen, hit the R key on your keyboard. This will enter you into recovery mode with a DOS prompt.
3. Now type chkdsk /p and hit Enter. This will launch a utility which will check for errors on your hard drive.
4. After the process is done, type fixboot and hit Enter to repair any damaged boot files which may have become corrupted. When asked to say yes or no, type the Y key on your keyboard.
5. Type exit and press the Enter key to reboot your computer.

Windows 7 Directions:

1. Boot from the Windows 7 DVD.
2. Select Repair my computer.
3. Select Command Prompt
4. From the command prompt enter the following command: Chkdsk /R C: where “C” is your boot drive.
5. Answer Y to check the disk the next time that the system restarts.
6. Reboot the system. After the reboot, Windows will check the hard disk and try to repair the damaged area.
7. If you still get the error after this process, repeat the process but try rebuilding the master boot record at the command prompt with the following command: bootrec /fixboot and then rebooting

If your system can be saved, you should now be able to boot back into Windows without a problem!

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