How to fix Unmountable Boot Volume in Windows XP

Problem

Most of the times when the system gets halted improperly due to power outage or due to some other reason, the file system gets corrupted and Windows is unable to mount the boot drive properly. There are other factors that also result in unmountable boot volume. These include faster UDMA modes configured in BIOS and using 40 wire data cable for the hard drive.

Resolution

  • Load the fail-safe defaults in your BIOS and use 80 wire data cable for the hard drive for optimum performance.
  • If the file system is demaged (which usually is the case)
  1. If you have Recovery Console installed at startup, then start the recovery console and go to step 3. (See here how to install recovery console at startup)
  2. If Recovery Console is not installed at startup, then boot with Windows XP CD.
  3. When the “Welcome to setup” message appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.
  4. Select your Windows installation and type administrator password when prompted.
  5. At the command prompt, type chkdsk /r and then press enter. This will check your file system for errors and try to fix if any.
  6. When the above process is complete, type fixboot at the command prompt. This will fix the boot sector of the hard drive.
  7. Type exit at the command prompt to restart the system. Most probably the system will boot into Windows now.
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10 thoughts on “How to fix Unmountable Boot Volume in Windows XP

  1. jerx

    just slave your drive if you have another computer..system will automatically fix it on start up.

  2. SodA

    I agree, all you need is to slave the disk to another computer, I’ve just fixed a friend’s computer this way 🙂

    PS: Ahora solo te resta instalarle XP, Leo 🙂

  3. William Jeffers

    and how do i slave my drive? i’m relatively new at software fixes, i usually put the components together and hope for the best. This is what I wrote to Tom’s Hardware:
    My homemade PC, a AMD Phenom Quad Core CPU, 2 -80 Gig WD SATA HD’s, Gigabyte MD. Thermal Take Typhoon cooler, 2 gigs of RAM, has given me the Win XP “blue screen of death” The machine just froze on the web page that I was on and debooted. And the the blue screen appeared with the cryptic message “unmountable boot sector”. I found a web site that suggested loading the Win XP disc ( The Win XP disc that I used was a Dell.) and rebooted the beast. I then attempted the suggested command, CHKDSK/R. No joy. The message was “that command is not supported”. But I did see a command that looked appropriate, just “R”. I did that from the “C” prompt. The system asked “repair boot sector of drive “D”?, and I assuming that the CD drive was now “C” and the my “C” HD was now “D”, I said yes, and pushed enter. The system said the boot sector had been repaired and so I rebooted. Same bloody blue screen. What I want to know is my “C” drive fixable w/o reformatting?

  4. dale

    William,
    The command has a space between chkdsk and /r
    So, it’s chkdsk /r
    Try that, and you may need to type fixboot again, to repair the boot drive.

  5. gary

    worked like a charm. However the key is that there is a spacebetween chkdsk and /r as dale stated. iF I didn’t see dales post I would have been S.O.L. Good info!!!!!

  6. Kat

    Hey, I tried this, w/ the space in chkdsk /r and then chkdsk /p and then fixboot c:. But I still get the blue screen!!! Please someone help me!

  7. Wen

    I am having the same problem with “unbootable mount volume” in xp, but seems my keyboard has frozen so I can’t even get into setup or to use the installation disk. I can’t get past the blue screen. Any suggestions?

  8. Will

    I’m having the same problem as Wen. How do I go from the blue screen to the start menu screen when the entire system has frozen?

  9. pravin

    after chkdsk /p or chkdsk /r it scan upto 50% and appears a massage saying that “there is one or more volume having unrecoverable problem”
    if anybody having any solution pl share .
    thanx in advance

  10. pravin

    after chkdsk /p or chkdsk /r it scan upto 50% and appears a massage saying that “there is one or more volume having unrecoverable problem”
    if anybody having any solution pl share .
    thanx in advance

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