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Fixing an 'Unknown' Filesystem thats NTFS

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n_K    2,238

Hey,

My PC was running fine earlier till everything kept freezing for about half a minute, running fine for 5 seconds and kept doing the same thing over and over (after I accessed some files in a part of the H/D I haven't used since I got the HD) and so I had to hold power button in to turn it off as it wouldn't shut down. Now it won't boot but gives me an error in /windows/system or some filename, can't remember it. Windows XP in repair mode won't pick up the installation or read files on C: (gives error and can't use slash, live linux is in american), the reinstall windows detects the second partition as NTFS fine but detects the first as unknown, offering to format it. Knoppix 3.9 (using that now) picks up both partitions fine, I can access them, view all files, etc. and so I remembered about the UBCD thing from ages ago, trying to download it somehow now but what do I do ? How the hell do I repair the NTFS file system without losing data ? (It had about 40MB of space free) ?

Thanks all

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+allan    12

You know that error message you can't remember? It would help if you remember it.

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n_K    2,238

Its a file in system32, I will get it later, burning UBCD to CD now on lappy so will reboot, get error, post back here and try UBCD to see if I can fix it, the error was basically it was unable to read data from a file.

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+allan    12

I'm guessing that the message was pointing to a corrupt registry hive. If I knew which one I could help you. But as you wish.....

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n_K    2,238

File missing or currupt:

\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM

Just used a partition program to change it back to NTFS (even it detected it as NTFS) so will check if XP CD finds it yet

Nope, XP still gives unknown

Edited by n_K

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+allan    12

It's a corrupt system hive in your registry. Do the following:

Boot to the XP CD and select R (Recovery Console)

At the command prompt type:

ren c:\windows\system32\config\system system.old

copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config

Reboot

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n_K    2,238

Wow weird, use the UBCD to try and rename the file as the XP repair console couldn't access the drive, so used the NTFS4DOS and it did a system scan thing, found loads of problems, fixed them and I now have 4KB of bad sectors, XP is booting just now! Just got the error that a registry file had to be reloaded by XP so cool, all is good now, thanks :)

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+allan    12

You're welcome. You also need to boot to the recovery console again and run chkdsk /r. Again - do it from the Recovery Console, not from within the GUI.

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Joel    25
It's a corrupt system hive in your registry. Do the following:

Boot to the XP CD and select R (Recovery Console)

At the command prompt type:

ren c:\windows\system32\config\system system.old

copy c:\windows\repair\system c:\windows\system32\config

Reboot

That will get you a "new" install of XP. To fully recover, do this. Just make sure you didn't disable System Restore.

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+allan    12

As long as it's the SYSTEM hive and not the SOFTWARE hive he should be fine.

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Joel    25
As long as it's the SYSTEM hive and not the SOFTWARE hive he should be fine.

Ah yes.

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random_n    47

The system hive includes drivers and services. Things like antivirus, burning software, anything with fancy DRM/licensing, and even hardware drivers may need reinstallation if it's restored from a fresh install. Grabbing from the System Restore archives can save a fair bit of pain and suffering.

That said; do a backup. Your hard drive may be failing.

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+allan    12

AV Software should not need reinstallation; but regardless, it will be quickly evident if anything does and the OP can reinstall the one or two programs very easily. Personally, I'm a fan of imaging software. I create an image of the system partition of all of my systems once a week. While it's not a cure-all, it certainly provides peace of mind ;)

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Thrawn    8
I create an image of the system partition of all of my systems once a week. While it's not a cure-all, it certainly provides peace of mind ;)

Either your work on the computars is critical to your life, or else you're a sick man.

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+allan    12
Either your work on the computars is critical to your life, or else you're a sick man.

The images are created on second hd's on all systems, not on cd's. Takes all of 3 minutes of my life every week. Your post says more about you than me ;)

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silly_rabbit    0

Sorry to revive such an old thread. I am having a very similar problem. I was using windows update online, it failed and the computer woud not complete the update. I tried to shutdown and it would not, so I held the power button to reboot. It went to a screen statating windows did not start properly, choose method to start and gave options of safe mode, last known working and so on. I've tried all options and it just loops back to the same screen. I tried my XP disc and choose install, when it gets to the list of partitions, my main partion is shown as unknown file system, another smaller partition is listed. I think it was NTFS. If I go any further it wants to format the partion, no option to repair is given. So, I exit. if I choose R for the recovery console, it proceeds but does not list any windows installations to choose from, it does not ask for a log in, it just says type exit to reboot and gives me a c prompt. I tried a simple dir command it replied with an error that it was unable to complete or something like this. I am lost on what to try next. When I go to the bios, it sees the hard drive properly. When I boot, I don't get any specific errors, just the standard screen with safe mode options. This is the only hard drive in the computer. Windows XP Pro is installed.

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silly_rabbit    0
Sorry to revive such an old thread. I am having a very similar problem. I was using windows update online, it failed and the computer woud not complete the update. I tried to shutdown and it would not, so I held the power button to reboot. It went to a screen statating windows did not start properly, choose method to start and gave options of safe mode, last known working and so on. I've tried all options and it just loops back to the same screen. I tried my XP disc and choose install, when it gets to the list of partitions, my main partion is shown as unknown file system, another smaller partition is listed. I think it was NTFS. If I go any further it wants to format the partion, no option to repair is given. So, I exit. if I choose R for the recovery console, it proceeds but does not list any windows installations to choose from, it does not ask for a log in, it just says type exit to reboot and gives me a c prompt. I tried a simple dir command it replied with an error that it was unable to complete or something like this. I am lost on what to try next. When I go to the bios, it sees the hard drive properly. When I boot, I don't get any specific errors, just the standard screen with safe mode options. This is the only hard drive in the computer. Windows XP Pro is installed.

I used the hitachi drive tool from ultimatebootcd and it found and fixed a corrupt sector on the drive and then I was right back in business.

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