Cause 1This issue may occur if you have a CD, a DVD or a floppy disk in your CD, DVD, or floppy drive when you start the computer.
Cause 2This issue occurs if one or more of the following elements are corrupted and will not load during the boot sequence of the computer:
- Master boot record
- Partition tables
- Boot sector
- NTLDR file
Resolution for Cause 1To resolve this issue, remove the media in your CD, DVD, or floppy drive and then restart the computer.
Advanced troubleshootingThis section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Resolution for Cause 2To resolve this issue, you must have the Windows XP CD-ROM. If you do not have the Windows XP CD-ROM available, you have to call your computer manufacturer to troubleshoot the issue.
If you have the Windows XP CD-ROM, use one of the following methods.
Method 1: Troubleshoot the specific element that causes Windows not to loadNote This option requires that you perform multiple steps to determine the exact element that causes the issue. This option may allow for you to keep customizations in Windows.
- Restart your computer in safe mode. To do this, press the F8 key while Windows is starting. Then, create a Windows XP boot disk to start the computer.
For more information about how to create a Windows XP boot disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:305595 How to create a bootable floppy disk for an NTFS or FAT partition in Windows XP315222 A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XPIf you can start the computer from the boot disk without receiving an error message, the damage is limited to the master boot record, the boot sector, or the NTLDR file. After Windows XP is running, immediately back up all data before you try to fix the boot sector.
Use Disk Management to view the partition information and to verify that the disk partition (or partitions) is correct. To use Disk Management, follow these steps:
- Click Start, right-click My Computer, and then click Manage.
- Expand Storage, and then click
If you do not have a current backup copy of the data on the computer, contact a computer specialist to determine the best method of data recovery and configuration.
- Run a current virus scanning program to verify that no virus is present.
- Repair the master boot record by using the FIXMBR command from the Windows XP Recovery Console.
For more information about how to use the Recovery Console, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:307654 How to install and use the Recovery console in Windows XPNoteFor more information about an error message that you may receive when you use the FIXMBR command, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:266745 Error message when you run fixmbr commandWarning If your computer is infected with a virus and you use the FIXMBR command, you may be unable to start the computer. Before you use this command, make sure that the computer is not infected with a virus.
- If the primary boot partition is a FAT partition, use the FIXBOOT command from the Windows XP Recovery Console to write a new boot sector on the system partition, and then use the FIXMBR command to repair the master boot record.
Method 2: Repair your Windows installationNote Repairing your Windows installation may change the configuration of Windows. You may also have to follow this step if you complete all the troubleshooting in steps option 1 and the problem is not resolved.
- Use the Windows XP CD-ROM to start your computer. On the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to set up Windows XP.
- Press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
- Use the ARROW keys to select the Windows XP installation that you want to repair, and then press R.
Windows XP Setup repairs the installation files, Windows XP automatically restarts, and then the Setup program finishes the repair of your Windows XP installation.
- Follow the remaining steps to set up Windows.
Note You must have your 25-character product key to complete these steps.
- As soon as this issue is resolved, make sure that the firewall is enabled, and then visit the following Microsoft Web site to reinstall the latest updates:
- Run a virus scan on the computer because problems with corrupted elements can be attributed to viruses.
Article ID: 314503 - Last Review: May 22, 2013 - Revision: 1