Windows Vista Forums

Invalid partition table on bootup...

  1. #1


    Linda Woodard Guest

    Invalid partition table on bootup...

    I upgraded my XP Pro sp2 machine yesterday to Vista Ultimate, keeping all of
    my current programs and settings. All went well and when it completed I
    enjoyed playing around with Vista while it dowloaded and installed all of
    the current updates. When it finished and asked for a restart, I clicked on
    yes. When it attempted to reboot it failed with an "Invalid partition
    table" error and has continued to fail with that error every time.

    I checked the BIOS setup and all of the drive devices -- in fact,
    everything -- there was reporting correctly.

    I booted with the Vista DVD and ran the repair function. It didn't find
    anything wrong -- the log file shows all successful entries. That makes
    sense because its not even getting through the bootup process to where it
    would be trying to start windows.

    While in the DVD, I ran the command box and was able to "CD" to all of the
    drives and "DIR" all of the files and directories on them.

    I remembered a FIXBOOT command on XP but there doesn't seem to be one, or an
    equivalent, on Vista that I can find. In fact, I don't know what [DOS-like]
    commands Vista does support from the DVD since "Help" itself is not found as
    a command.

    Thinking that I could just copy all of the files that I wanted to save on my
    system disk [and then do an install of Vista] I tried a copy C:\*.* D:\*.*
    but got an error telling me that wildcards were not allowed. The files that
    I want to save (local mail files for MSN) are in the "Documents and
    Settings" directory so I tried to go in there, thinking that I could just
    copy them one at a time if I had to, but it gives me an error telling me
    that access is denied.

    I really don't want to lose either the data or current programs and
    settings, but, of course, who does?

    Is there a way that I can fix the boot record or partition table without
    having to lose what's already on the disk?



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Andrew McLaren Guest

    Re: Invalid partition table on bootup...

    Hi Linda,

    You can try the steps in this KnowledgeBase article:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392
    This explains the FixMBR and FixBoot options.

    I'd recommend you try booting from the Vista DVD and doing a startup repair,
    fiorst. I know you've already done it once but it won't hurt to run it 2, 3
    or more times (I have fixed boot problems just by repeating the repair
    several times over). If it doesn't do any good, then do a BootRec /fixmbr
    and /fixboot.

    Good luck, let us know how you get on.
    --
    Andrew McLaren
    amclar (at) optusnet dot com dot au



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Howard Woodard Guest

    Re: Invalid partition table on bootup...

    Thanks Andrew. That worked and it came up. I still have other problems and
    I'm thinking that I may just do a clean install.

    I have two drives, C & D. If I do a clean install I know that everything on
    C will be lost but I'm hoping that D will remain untouched.

    Is that correct?

    I was on my wife Linda's machine but now that I can boot up I'm back on the
    original machine.

    Howard
    =============================
    "Andrew McLaren" <andrew@fakeaddress.com> wrote in message
    news:9C683F30-4303-4FB1-AAC5-EE1013418EDC@microsoft.com...
    > Hi Linda,
    >
    > You can try the steps in this KnowledgeBase article:
    > http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392
    > This explains the FixMBR and FixBoot options.
    >
    > I'd recommend you try booting from the Vista DVD and doing a startup
    > repair, fiorst. I know you've already done it once but it won't hurt to
    > run it 2, 3 or more times (I have fixed boot problems just by repeating
    > the repair several times over). If it doesn't do any good, then do a
    > BootRec /fixmbr and /fixboot.
    >
    > Good luck, let us know how you get on.
    > --
    > Andrew McLaren
    > amclar (at) optusnet dot com dot au
    >



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    Andrew McLaren Guest

    Re: Invalid partition table on bootup...

    "Howard Woodard" <woodard@msn.com> wrote ...
    > Thanks Andrew. That worked and it came up. I still have other problems
    > and I'm thinking that I may just do a clean install.


    Yep, clean install is a good way to bypass many weird, hard-to-solve
    wrinkles.

    > I have two drives, C & D. If I do a clean install I know that everything
    > on C will be lost but I'm hoping that D will remain untouched.
    > Is that correct?


    Yes, that's right. The thing you really need to be careful of, however, is
    that what you think of as "D: drive" is still called D: drive during Vista
    setup. And when you choose the target installation drive for Vista, it's
    actually going onto the old C: drive and not the old D: drive.

    The order in which drives will be listed by Vista Setup, doesn't always seem
    to be predictable. Your old D: drive might be first in the list, and C:
    drive second. Whichever drive you choose as the target for installation,
    will become C: drive when the machine boots in to Vista.

    (I mention this because I have seen an idiot user completely wipe their
    "backup" D: drive, by clean installing Vista onto it instead of the C:
    drive. No wait - that idiot was *me*!! Well, it can happen; just be a bit
    careful).

    If the drives are different sizes, it's fairly easy to distinguish them (eg
    C: drive 120GB, D: Drive 320BG) If they are the same size, give them
    distinctive drive labels (such as "C_Drive" and "D_Drive"!). The labels will
    appear in te hlist of drives, during Vista setup.

    > I was on my wife Linda's machine but now that I can boot up I'm back on
    > the original machine.


    I gotta say, you looked a little bit like Linda, before :-)

    Good luck with it, and let us know if there are follow up questions.
    --
    Andrew McLaren
    amclar (at) optusnet dot com dot au



      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Malke Guest

    Re: Invalid partition table on bootup...

    Howard Woodard wrote:
    > Thanks Andrew. That worked and it came up. I still have other problems
    > and I'm thinking that I may just do a clean install.
    >
    > I have two drives, C & D. If I do a clean install I know that
    > everything on C will be lost but I'm hoping that D will remain untouched.


    Andrew has given you the answer. I just wanted to add that if you want
    to be 100% certain your data drive is untouched during the clean
    install, simply unplug it (both the cable to the motherboard and the
    power connector cable) before you do the clean install. Make sure the
    computer is unplugged from the wall socket when you do this! Then
    install Vista. After the installation is complete, turn off the machine
    and plug your second drive back in. Reboot and Vista will see it.


    Malke
    --
    Elephant Boy Computers
    www.elephantboycomputers.com
    "Don't Panic!"
    MS-MVP Windows - Shell/User

      My System SpecsSystem Spec


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