Unmountable boot volume in Windows XP

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

Windows XPAn unmountable boot volume in Windows is caused by either a corrupt boot.ini that cannot find the bootable drive or a corrupt or bad hard drive that is unable to boot. Below are the steps you can follow to help solve or determine the cause of this problem.

Corrupt boot.ini file

  1. To resolve this issue boot into the recovery console.
  2. In the recovery console type chkdsk /p to check to see if the disk drive is bad or marked as dirty. See the chkdsk command page for further information and help with this command. If errors are located during the check skip to the next section.
  3. If after performing this check it is unable to locating anything wrong with the hard drive, reboot the computer.
  4. If after performing this step the computer still has the same issue, reboot the computer and load back into the recovery console.
  5. Once back into the recovery console type chkdsk /r to locate any bad sectors and recover any data. If errors are located during the check skip to the next section.
  6. Once completed reboot the computer to determine if this has resolve your issue.

Note: If after running either of these chkdsk commands your computer can boot into Microsoft Windows XP make sure you have all the latest updates for your computer.

Seriously corrupted or bad hard drive

If while running the above steps you encounter errors with the hard drive or the above steps do not resolve your issue it is likely your hard drive is failing or has already failed. To determine if this is the case it is recommended you run the Windows XP setup, delete all partitions, recreate the partitions, format the hard drive, and reinstall Windows XP.

If errors are encountered during the creation of the partitions or the format process the hard drive is bad and should be replaced.

Additional information

  • See our boot and volume definitions for further information and related links on these term.