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  Unable To Start Windows or Boot into Safe Mode! 
 Date Written 
Danielle Dec 11, 2009, 10:49pm EST Report Abuse
I ran a virus, and malware scan and now when I start the pc it goes through post but just keeps re-booting. I can not boot into safe mode. I tried to boot from cd rom but get CD BOOT: memory overflow message. When I try to boot from hard drive it says MBR Error 2.

I have searched and can not find a solution.

The pc is user built. I have a new hard drive and would like to be able to do a clean install of windows XP and just get my music files from the other drive or use it as a back up. Please if anyone can assist.

Thanks :)

WIndows XP PRO
1 gb DDR ram
Samsung SP160 gb HDD
K7S5A Motherboard
Amd Athlon 1250mz Processr

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Meats_Of_Evil Dec 12, 2009, 02:50am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Unable To Start Windows or Boot into Safe Mode!
Well a clean install is always recommended when these things happen. Just install your new hard drive and put the installation disc on the dvd drive. Then when the bios start click whatever key gets you in the boot from options, normally is the "Esc" key. Then boot from dvd drive and press any key when prompted, then of course follow the installation progress.

Everything I write is Sarcasm.
TamTheBam Dec 12, 2009, 06:55am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Unable To Start Windows or Boot into Safe Mode!

All is not lost. Your MBR's messed up. If you want to do a fresh install on XP on
another drive, then go for it. Leave the other HDD with the messed OS still intact.
Don't do anything to it. You can save the MBR with an app called EasyBCD,
after you've installed XP on your other drive. Obviously, you run easyBCD from the
new installation, and it will repair the damaged OS.

Handy tool this, especially for non savvy users

....I'm back, but only as a part-timer... :)
Danielle Dec 12, 2009, 02:57pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Unable To Start Windows or Boot into Safe Mode!
Thank you for the responses.

When I put the win xp cd in the drive and select boot from that drive it starts with searching for boot record from BBS-1: Hewlett-Packard CD-writer Plus ...OK
CDBOOT: Memory overflow error

I don't know what to do now:(>:

john albrich Dec 14, 2009, 04:03pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Unable To Start Windows or Boot into Safe Mode!
I suggest obtaining one or more of the available freeware "test" CDs that are self-booting.

By successfully loading and running diagnostics included on many of these CDs, you will be able to definitively rule out whether you have a hardware problem that could be contributing to the problems. (e.g. a bad hard drive or drive interface).


are two excellent self-booting discs. (PartedMagic even has an easy to download and use USB bootable form if you don't have a working CD/Drive) Note: to boot from USB your system has to support it, AND you may have to change BIOS settings to enable that capability in the boot priority list. In some cases, people have even had to disconnect their hard drives and CD/DVD drives even when an alternative boot source is assigned a higher priority.

You can also try downloading and running any of the various Linux "LiveCDs/DVDs" that are out there.


Knoppix also contains easy to use system and disk management tools, and there are good internet information resources on using it.

If your system runs well under any of these, then it's most likely you have a file integrity problem associated with your system disk, or it's complicated by a damaged disk or associated disk subsystem hardware.

Some of the tools have programs that will let you totally "reset" your hard disk if that is ultimately determined to be needed. Re-partitioning, re-formatting, etc. and can even test your disk, and they leave Windows, viruses, etc. entirely out of the equation. Then you can do a "clean" install of Windows. If your data on the hard disk are irreplaceable, I strongly recommend backing up your data before doing anything to your hard disk. There are freeware programs that can help you do that as well.

I'll try to come back later and post some links, but these should be very easy to find on the net.

edit to add comment on booting from USB, and to suggest you may want to consider resetting your CMOS. That could have been corrupted which could in turn lead to boot problems no matter which device you try.

john albrich Dec 14, 2009, 05:38pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Unable To Start Windows or Boot into Safe Mode!
Another issue that can cause problems when you are trying to restore a system, is the presence of PCI particular, if your mobo has integrated video and you have a video card installed, there are multiple reports that the video card generally must be removed before you can successfully restore a system. After the system is up and running, you then reinstall the video card and its drivers. After removing the video card adapter, you may have to go into BIOS settings and change a setting so that the on-board video is initialized. I'm pretty sure the system will automatically do that for you once the video card is removed, but it's been awhile since I've dealt with that, so simply mention the possibility of changing that BIOS setting.

A general rule-of-thumb is when trying to debug or restore a system, keep things as simple as possible until you get things up and running. Then start adding complexity.

Another caution. Do NOT remove any adapters or devices from a system until you have completely either turned-off the PSU using a rear PSU switch, or unplugged the PSU. Just using the front panel button does NOT turn off all the voltages in the system. It leaves voltages present in the system which can cause damage to your devices and motherboard as they are removed. Turn off and/or unplug the PSU and wait a minute before removing any components from the system. (exercise appropriate electrostatic procedures as well while handling components)

edit to add: mention possible need to change BIOS setting for mobo integrated video initialization after removing a video adapter

Danielle Dec 31, 2009, 02:46pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Unable To Start Windows or Boot into Safe Mode!
Well.... thanks again for the responses.

I was going to try the suggestion to disconnect the video card (using Geforce FX 5200), but there's no where to connect the monitor on the motherboard i/o.

Also tried Parted Magic and got these messages:
Isolinux: extremely broken bios detected, last attempt with drive = 9f
Isolinux: see for more information. (read it but no help)
isolinux: disk error 01, ax = 4225, drive 9f

boot failed: press a key to retry...

At this point I really just want to get my doc files, mp3 files, and pics off the harddrive. Is this at all possible? My laptop is running Vista home premium.

Any assistance is appreciated.

Danielle Feb 28, 2010, 01:53pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: Unable To Start Windows or Boot into Safe Mode! Resolved Sort of ...
Good day...

I decided amidst frustration to just rebuild my system!
Gigabyte Ultra Durable 3 H55M-UD 2H
Intel i3 processor @2.93
OCZ DDR3 4gb
Windows 7 Ultimate 64

I still don't seem to be able to get the mp3, doc, and picture files off the old hdd. The old hdd had windows xp on it and when I tried to access the files it wants to format the hdd in order to use it, and it says d: not accessible. Is there a way to get these files from the hdd without having to send it out somewhere?

I also tried to go through admin tools, disk management to access foreign drive, but it doesn't list the option.

Please help....



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