August 14, 2004


Another Windows XP tip, from the dark corners of my own personal experience.

The problem: You turn on your computer, but Windows doesn’t start. All you get is a blue screen that says UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME. What, oh, what do you do?

The solution: Boot into the Recovery Console. For this you need your XP CD, and go through the motions like you’re going to reinstall Windows, but look for the Recovery Console option instead. The Recovery Console is a command-line interface with diagnostic and repair tools. Once you’re in the console, enter these three commands in turn:

chkdsk /r
chkdsk /p

The first one can take half an hour or longer, the others zip by really quick. After that, reboot your computer, and you should be golden!

Filed under The Computer Vet Weblog

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  1. singpretty says:

    I’ve got the same problem (when I left yesterday morning was fine, f’d up when I turned it on last night) & I’ve been through the every entry on the blog. I had made a boot disk on a floppy & I have the restore cd. Neither will get me out of the cycle of load, blue screen of death & “windows encountered a problem.”

    Tried going into setup to boot from cd boot… just lagged longer & then back to the problem screen. Tried the boot floppy & windows 95 loads, then cuts back to the cycle…

    Toshiba 1905-s277 laptop

    Posted April 5, 2008 @ 10:49 pm
  2. SEM KRUSE says:

    Thank you

    chkdsk /r
    chkdsk /p

    it is working now my problems was stop c0000218 registry file failure if any body try this make sure you chkdsk space /r the same for /p …. thank you for the help

    Posted April 12, 2008 @ 6:45 pm
  3. Shirley says:

    Hi all,

    I have same problem like Rachel:
    1. An unmountable boot volume message
    2. When I run chksk/ r or /p it gets to 25% then says ‘the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems’
    3. When I tried to do md tmp it said ‘Access denied’

    Have tried to do this sequence as well, but end up the same 🙁
    1. fixboot
    2.chkdsk /r
    3 chkdsk /p

    Any idea what to do?Please help.

    Thanks in advance!

    Posted April 14, 2008 @ 9:59 am
  4. Rachel says:

    My Sony Vaio desktop keeps restarting, safe mode doesnt work, used 6 floppies and got to recovery console tried “chkdsk /r” at the C:\ prompt, tried “chkdsk C: /r” but got “autochk could not be located in startup or cdrom drive” error message both times. I tried ptedit went through the motion though the default in type box was “07”, exit and reboot same problem. Is there a way to add autochk to the registry or enter the registry from recovery console. I cannot pass windows xp home screen, it just restarts.

    Posted May 17, 2008 @ 5:47 pm
  5. Rene says:

    I have the blue disk error too, so I started the Recovery Console.
    I’ve done it in the past, but not on this laptop.

    Where I have to type ‘WINDOWS’, it says it’s an incorrect command, because it already says C:\>

    On all the screenshots I’ve seen of the steps, I see it nowhere. How come I *do* have it, and how do I get rid of it?

    Posted June 7, 2008 @ 1:59 am
  6. Carla says:

    I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

    Posted June 30, 2008 @ 3:28 pm
  7. Ron says:

    I have been able to go through the bio and have Windows set up start from the cd rom. When I press R as told the next DOS screen that pops up shows the following

    1: C:\Windows

    Which windows installation would you like to log onto

    when I start typing c it then does not allow me to type in the rest of the command. I cannot type in more letters. If I hit return it then shows an invalid command. Any thoughts on how to get the full command typed in?


    Posted July 14, 2008 @ 3:27 pm
  8. Online Communities says:

    Ron – You just enter the number ‘1’ and press enter.

    Posted July 17, 2008 @ 2:38 pm
  9. Tom says:

    my toshiba laptop reboots on startup and i can get to the advanced menu with debugging mode and all that on it but wen i select any of the options i get the message

    Stop:0*000000ED (0*8436FD98,0*C0000006,0*00000000,0*00000000)

    and then it reboots again in a loop
    can anyone help??

    Posted August 9, 2008 @ 9:05 am
  10. Rn says:

    Thanks so much for your help. I was able to retreive all my info and get the computer back running. This is a great site and will use it in the future.

    Posted August 10, 2008 @ 12:00 pm
  11. Jeffrey says:


    1. chkdsk /r (fully scanned no problem)
    2. chkdsk /p (fully scanned no problem)
    3. fixroot c:
    4. confirmed by typing “y”
    5. exit
    also did in reverse with “fixroot c:” first

    worked perfectly!! thanks!!!!!!!

    Posted August 31, 2008 @ 11:57 am
  12. Berchard says:

    My computer has a problem to start up.When turned on it gives the message of Unmountable_boot_volume and it gives the blue screen with a technical information
    read as
    ***Stop:0*000000ED (0*80F21AF8,0*C0000032,0*00000000,0*00000000)

    Posted September 24, 2008 @ 9:57 pm
  13. Mike says:

    Hey, ive been encountering the problem listed above. But when I attempt to follow the directions indicated, my machine crashes/shuts off. Usually around where I select the Repair Console option. I’m at a loss for what to do. Any help is very much appreciated.

    Posted October 3, 2008 @ 9:36 pm
  14. xikui says:

    Hi, guys, I got blue screen with unmountable_boot_volumn. And I tried to boot from original CD and tried the following
    1. chkdsk /r (fully scanned no problem)
    2. chkdsk /p (fully scanned no problem)
    3. fixroot c:
    However, the checkdisk stop at 27%, and the error message is: volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable errors
    What can do without re-format the whole drive.
    BTW, I had a Dell inspiron laptop, windows xp pro, with fat32 format, one C hard driver.

    Posted October 21, 2008 @ 3:09 pm
  15. Mohan says:

    I am Mohan, My computer is not working properly, i am ON the Computer, Automatically reboot the system. after that, I am installed Windows XP, the screen appared this message. ” Hard ware problem or software problem remove newly hard ware system……….

    Posted October 23, 2008 @ 1:54 am
  16. Joho says:

    Whew! This fixed the problem exactly! I have learned my lesson about not backing up my hard drive. And about buying Dell computers. 😉

    Posted November 11, 2008 @ 7:54 pm
  17. andy says:

    wow this worked only trick is to get recovery disk. spent 5 and half hours working on it. all i can say find disk right away because you cant even set computer back to factory setting.

    Posted November 12, 2008 @ 9:34 pm
  18. marian Bonura says:

    Computer was working fine yesterday, now it says, “windows could not start because of an error in the software. Please report this problem as:load needed DLLs for kerne.

    Posted November 24, 2008 @ 5:54 pm
  19. Elizabeth says:

    God…Someone Please Help Me!!!!!!
    I have a Dell 4700, p4, 520(2.8GHZ), HT, INT SNDNICV. purchased in 2005. Have Windows XP MCE05,ENG,DIM,TIED.
    whatever all that means! Heres my Problem…which started shortly after I read some emails(dont know if that matters)…
    I got the Stop error blue screen.
    Stop:0x000000ED (0x82B93520,0xc000009c,0x00000000,0x00000000)
    This is what I did:
    I couldnt get in comp thru safe mode or any other mode, so I hit F12 and ran the Hard Drive Diagnostics….this is what came up:
    Drive 0: ST380013AS – FAIL. RETURN CODE: 7
    DRIVE 2: TSSTcorpDVD-ROM TS-H352C- Diagnostics not supported
    DRIVE 3: Philips DVD+/-RW DVD8631 – Diagnostics not supported.
    OK….After reading some stuff on line here, I went looking for my Operating Systems Disc….Well, low and behold…All Dell gave me is some paper disc that says: Your new computer does not require an operating system CD or drivers CDs. Instead, if you ever need to reinstall you software, use one of the following methods. They are: System restore and PC restore…..only problem is you access them via the icon on the desktop!!!!! Duh!…I can’t get to my desktop. Please someone help me….I have so many important Docs on my comp aside from all my kids pics! I use that comp for my husband work…and was Dumb enough to not back any of it up!!! Help…Please….ASAP. Thanks

    Posted November 30, 2008 @ 4:20 pm
  20. marinos says:

    well plp heres my story.last night i have a blue screen 2 first time it couldnt read the software of my xp and that happend after i install a blackberry software.After that i manage to do chkdsk /r after sever times because my cd rom died and i get my windows warking .On the morning it gives me another blue screen (this is the stop error number i am getting…does anyone know for sure what it means…any help would be appreciated. 0X000000ED 0X8173C5A8 0XC0000032 0X00000000 0X00000000 Unmountable Boot Volume).well maybe my hard disk its going to die hope not but doing the chkdsk /r
    chkdsk /p

    its going to solve my problem temp????Pls need help or i will loose my job staff and my univercity projects

    Posted December 1, 2008 @ 3:20 am
  21. Alan says:

    Run the chkdsk /R
    If this happens more than once in the span of a few days, it looks like it would be a defective or bad hard drive. Replace immediately!

    Posted December 2, 2008 @ 4:08 pm
  22. Peter says:

    How do I know when the chkdsk /r step is finished? the process seems to have stopped. Right now my screen says:

    >chkdsk /r
    DSK is checking the volume…
    DSK is performing additional checking or recovery…
    DSK is performing additional checking or recovery…
    DSK is performing additional checking or recover…

    Posted December 12, 2008 @ 5:12 pm
  23. Ash says:

    I just wanted to say thanks! The chkdsk/chkdsk/fixboot helped me save my mom’s day =)

    Posted December 23, 2008 @ 5:12 am
  24. Daniel says:

    hey guys,
    im running an Vostro 1700 with this problem, when i run chkdsk /r, /p, and fixboot it all checks out fine, but doesn’t fix a thing… it also says E:windows, instead of C:Windows

    Any help?

    Posted December 24, 2008 @ 7:44 pm
  25. Wes says:

    What a relief. I had this problem before and had to reinstalled Windows (now I know if didn’t HAVE to). This is much better (and I’ll back up more often now)!!
    Thanks for the great help.

    Posted January 7, 2009 @ 6:05 pm
  26. Katrina says:

    hi, last night I was surfing the internet then I removed the internet connection without disconnecting properly. Then my ASUS EECPC hangs. When I restarted my laptop it showed a blue screen for a split second and rebooted again. Now My laptop does not boot either in “last known good configuration” or in “SAFE Mode”. My problem is, it doesn’t have a disk drive. Can someone pls help me. huhu

    Posted February 3, 2009 @ 3:23 pm
  27. Robert says:

    I have the dreaded hal.dll file corrupt or missing message and cannot boot into Windows XP Home Edition. I booted to Recovery Console and ran the Chkdsk /r utility (which did fix something) and fixboot. But nothing changed, the problem still exists. I went into the Recovery Console again and tried to go through the install Windows process, which “should” find any installation that already exists and ask if I want to Repair it. After I got past the license agreement stuff, it could not find any Windows installation but it did find the 3 partitions on my hard drive but not Windows, so I stopped at that point so my Windows directory did not get overwritten.

    I have this amazing tool I found last year called TestDisk which helped me fix my partition table last year and save my hard disk…I figure I’ll try to use it to see what it can do even though my partitions seem to be intact. From the Recovery Console, I can see the contents of the drive but cannot execute because the Recovery Console is not a complete DOS environment…so I booted from the Drivers and Utilities Disk to get to DOS. I put the Testdisk CD in the drive and the damn drive always gets a Failure message (Abort, Retry, Fail?). WTF, I can’t seem to win. I cannot even replace the HAL.DLL file as when I try to do anything on the C drive like CD WINDOWS, I get Access Denied. So doing the Expand command to replace Hal.dll or any other system file is no use.

    What am I missing? If the Windows Installation software can show me 3 different partitions that do exist that tells me the hard disk is still in tact and the master boot record and partition table is still in tact. Right?? So where is the missing link!?


    Posted March 1, 2009 @ 1:12 pm
  28. Jimmy Bryant says:

    I’m trying to upgrade the memory in a Gateway 9100 Laptop. There are 3 slots. At the moment, there is 1 128 mb card in one slot which actually reads as 64 mb each in slots 1 and 2! If I put another 64 mb card in a second slot, the computer refuses to boot. Is there any way to reconfigure the slots so I could have 1 128 mb card and 1 64 mb card together which would max the computer out at 192 mb? Thanks for your help.

    Posted March 11, 2009 @ 10:41 pm
  29. RUMBI ZIMBABWE says:

    my cd cannot load all files has missing file called sparrow.exe and it continues to give me the umountable_boot_volume and says if problem persists disable or remove newly installed hardware or software which i do not have. disable bios memory options such as caching or shadowing. how do i go about it, the disabling part.

    Posted March 13, 2009 @ 3:33 am
  30. Mark Mugleston says:

    Thank you very much. I was worried that I’d have to do a reinstall.

    Thank you.

    Posted April 8, 2009 @ 9:44 am
  31. Peter says:

    Hi have a dell PC and my son was watching Utube before he last logged off. When his sister switch the machine on she got the UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME messageand the tech info says

    STOP: 0x000000ed (0x82f5b900, 0x0000006, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

    i have tried switchinh on and off and have treid all laoding options. the windows CD-ROM will not load and i’m not sure what to do next. When i get to F8 screeen i’m given loads of choices but not sure what to do, HELP!!!!!!!!

    Posted April 24, 2009 @ 11:11 am
  32. Dick says:

    Thanks for your post on this blue screen solution. First choice on my browser, followed instructions, up and running. Your the greatest! Thanks.
    Does each blue screen error have it’s own unique fix?

    Posted April 26, 2009 @ 7:02 am
  33. Karen says:

    tried this but keeps coming up ‘no boot device available’

    Posted May 7, 2009 @ 5:29 pm
  34. Larry says:

    I get the same blue screen as the rest saying,
    UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME,but I do not have a recovery
    CD for windows xp what can i do?

    Posted May 16, 2009 @ 1:03 pm
  35. MrsP says:

    In the middle of working on my computer I got the blue screen of death. When I do the chkdsk /r it comes back immediately with ‘the volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems’
    I then tried to do a fixboot c: and it comes back with the response ‘cannot find the system drive or the drive specified is not valid’ It doesn’t seem like any of the commands in the help works for me.
    What can I do next to try and recovery my data?

    Posted May 19, 2009 @ 9:09 pm
  36. Jack says:

    YES! YES! YES!. It worked. Thank you soooooooooooo much. Reading a few of the other comments, i’ll be doing the same. straight out to buy a back up device.

    Posted June 21, 2009 @ 12:42 am
  37. sarah says:

    omg this is drivin me mad!!

    im gettin to the Recovery Console page, have typed in 1 to repair and it askin for Adminstrator password, i was given the pc and so dont know the password 🙁

    any ideas guy?

    i hav so much on this pc i didnt really wanna do reformat and lose all my pics of my kids

    Posted June 27, 2009 @ 1:48 am
  38. MuddawgX says:

    was using DVD Fab to rip a couple of my dvds to mp4 format for my PSP. Let it run overnight, came down in the AM, and computer was frozen. couldn’t do anything. so stupid me, hit restart, and it hung for like 2 hours. so i turned it off. Now, it just loops on the startup. Safe mode, etc… does not work, went into recovery console, tried chkdsk, get “volume appears to have one or more unrecoverable…” I have 3 Partitions, windows xp professional SP3 being on the first the second being the my Docs folder. I have them set up with Acronis disk director suite to set and manage the partitions.

    #1 any help appreciated
    #2 will I lose the partitions if I fixboot or fixmbr?

    thanks in advance

    Posted August 1, 2009 @ 8:41 pm
  39. Renzo says:

    Thanks, I got it fix already

    Posted August 2, 2009 @ 7:45 am
  40. computer repair toronto says:

    Thanks. do you mean put all the commands together one after one??

    Posted August 7, 2009 @ 9:27 pm
  41. Keith says:

    I am trying to run chkdsk /r on my toshiba satelite laptop. it is taking hours and hours. how long should it take?

    Posted September 2, 2009 @ 2:43 am
  42. Pradeep says:

    When am running chkdsk /r on my thosiba laptop i am getting an error “The drive could not be checked”
    same thing for chkdsk/p

    pls suggest on this

    thanks in advance

    Posted September 3, 2009 @ 9:25 am
  43. Tamara Byrd says:

    Had the problem; performed the steps above (in fact, had to swap the hard drive to my boyfriend’s hardware-identical laptop to do it because, no matter how I configured my BIOS, it would NOT boot from the CD drive–my boyfriend’s worked fine); rebooted the computer, and…UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME again. Side note: when it checked my disk, it didn’t seem to find anything wrong with it, and it only took about 30 SECONDS, not minutes, on a 250-gig drive. Anything I can do? Does this mean my hard disk is done for to boot from? If so, is there any way to get my files and settings off the old drive (e.g., installing my drive in the second-HDD slot in my boyfriend’s computer and somehow getting my files and settings moved to an empty 4-gig thumb drive)?

    Posted September 6, 2009 @ 6:09 pm
  44. Tom says:

    I was able to go through all of the listed commands and then a hiccup that no one mentioned…It asked me if I was sure I wanted to rewrite bootsector partition C or something like that. After reading through all the posts, I figured the answer was no and exited. So, excitedly I restarted my computer and came right back to the original screen that started this whole thing. I will repeat and I guess say yes this time. More to come…

    Posted October 18, 2009 @ 2:39 pm
  45. renate says:

    thank you thank you thank you !! i was able to repair my moms desktop computer (blue screen with UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME ) with your directions! so appreciate your simple direct directions.

    Now onto the next problem… the laptop had same issue (weird coincidence?) and now has gone from blue screen with UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME to a complete blank screen – nothing at all when i turn it on but a blank black screen. ANY suggestions? (ill search your site tonight as well). Just when I thought the second fix would be easy after executing it on desktop!!?? argh!! ;(

    Posted November 2, 2009 @ 8:40 pm
  46. Bengt says:

    My problem is that when I do the chkdsk /p, it stop at 24%.
    The reason I have trouble at all is because I get the unmountable boot volume that you mention, but when getting that I hear my HD making sounds that a HD should not. It is a kind of clicking sound, kinda like if the reading arm get’s smacked back and forth into the edges or something, like it is bouncing into the wall of the HD.
    The sound start as I start the computer (during that first black screen where I can choose setup or Boot-config) and once I reach 24% of the chkdsk /p.
    Any idea?

    Posted December 13, 2009 @ 3:55 pm
  47. bob says:

    um every time i type in chkdsk /p or chkdsk /r it says drive could not be checked. anybody else here get that or know how to solve this?

    Posted December 30, 2009 @ 2:41 pm
  48. Mike says:

    I had the “unmountable_boot_volume” error too after I’d forced my laptop off using the power button after IE stopped responding and the thing refused to close down.
    Anyway, I’m no techie but I managed to get an XP installation CD from my techie friends at work (it covered home, pro, media center and tablet – they’re subscribed to MSDN!).

    A TIP! search the installation CD for AUTOCHK.EXE and note its location.

    I booted from the CD into the recovery console and once at the C: prompt I did
    C:>CHKDSK /P /R
    it complained that it couldn’t locate AUTOCHK.EXE so this is where you enter the full path you noted earlier! I’d previously tried to get round this by having a copy of the program on a USB stick but trying to use this resulted in the “disk could not be checked error”. It obviously needs other files.
    Give CHKDSK time, it can appear to have stopped when the %age complete stops increasing!
    Once CHKDSK completes, EXIT the console and reboot. My laptop started fine, data all still there! I then copied it all off and put it onto the new laptop I’d already bought… ‘cos my girlfriend couldn’t wait for the 5 days or so it took me to work this out! And she wanted a shiny new one anyway… She paid…

    Best of luck to those of you still struggling!

    Posted January 5, 2010 @ 3:13 pm

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