I haven’t posted in a while, and I encountered an UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME error on a clients machine earlier this week. This error is displayed while booting Windows XP and appears in the form of BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). The reason for this problem/error, the boot.ini file is corrupt.
I would recommend that only someone with knowledge of installing windows and changing BIOS settings performs this fix. This is ment to be a guide, and I take zero responsibility for any errors that may arise.
To fix this problem, you need to boot to a bootable Windows XP installation or boot disk and do a repair on windows. This can be accomplished by placing the boot disk in the CDROM drive and rebooting the computer. Before the computer passes the setup screen, you need to enter the BIOS (generally by hitting f1 or f2 for setup) and change the disk boot order to boot to the CDROM drive first, Save Settings, exit the BIOS, and if needed reboot the computer by hitting ctrl-alt-delete. Doing this will force the machine boot to the CDROM drive (if you encounter the blue screen error again, the machine booted to the hard drive instead of the CDROM drive, check your bios boot settings and try again).
Once you have booted into the windows boot disk, you need to make the ‘R’ selection for Recovery. This selection will be on the first screen after the CDROM boot process has completed.
Once the selection has been made for the recovery console, it will look like a DOS-Type prompt. Type these commands:
the check disk process will run, once this process has completed, type this command:
Select yes, by hitting Y
Once the boot has completed it should boot into windows. IMPORTANT: remember to change your BIOS boot settings back to normal. The boot settings should resemble something like this:
a: – floppy drive (if you have a floppy)
c: – hard disk drive
d: – cdrom drive
Once the BIOS settings have been properly set back to normal, save, exit and reboot. The computer should now boot back into Windows XP.
Larry Barron says
Thanks for the help. It work’s
F Thompson says
Thank you so much. Just saved me 8 months of project data. I will now back it up immediately. Thanks so much again!
Ry Parker says
Thanks a lot. Your fix worked perfectly. My system will now boot to XP again.
If you were here I’d give you a big hug. It worked just like you said Thank you very much.
Thanks so much. You are a lifesaver. I ended up buying another computer because when my computer crashed, i was about to start my online college classes the next day. My crashed computer sat around for over a year and I finally decided to look up unmountable_boot_volume on google before sending it to the shop and paying $200 to get fixed. Now I can let the kids use the old one and I can keep working on my new computer. Once again, thanks so much. Worked like a charm. Wish I had found this site earlier!
I owe you a beer! Thanks for the fix. It works like a breeze.
Your instructions were great. However, I am on the screen that has the dos type prompt. What appears on the screen is as follows:
Which Windows installation would you like to log onto
(to cancel press ENTER)?
At this point, I try to type in the command chkdsk/p but it only allow me to type the letter c and nothing else. Any advise?
I figured it out. Thanks
Thank you. You rock.
What if I’m having this error, but I don’t have a working disk drive or CD drive? I have an external CD drive but I can’t get the computer to recognize it instead of the broken one.
The problem that is that you have to boot to the recovery console on the windows installation disk. If you have an external CD ROM drive that runs on USB, you can try booting to USB (if your computer supports it) with the disk in the drive and the drive plugged in (I have never done this before, but it is worth a try.) Otherwise, purchase a working CD ROM drive or have one installed. Please comment here to keep me informed on how you fixed the problem.
Wow, thanks for getting back to me so fast. <3
Where might I find the option to boot to USB? I'm not seeing it..
Also, do you mean that the next step is to buy an internal CD ROM drive? Would most cheap ones work readily despite the BSoD, without having to be installed?
Please don’t forget me. 🙁 My art portfolio is on that thing, but Dell Support keeps sending me in circles.
I apologize for the latent response, I have been away from my blog notifications for a few weeks. If you haven’t resolved your CD ROM drive issue by now – most cheap ones will plug and play in place of your broken one. If you are unfamiliar with installing hardware, I recommend consulting with a local computer repair company. REMEMBER to explain that you need to fix the unmountable_boot_volume issue (experienced shops will be able to fix this without wiping your hard drive) and make sure to tell them not to wipe your hard drive.
No problem! After being told twice by Dell that your way won’t work, that I need a new hard drive for like $280+, I bought a used CD ROM from eBay for $3.50 and followed your directions. Everything works again. All my stuff is safe. Thank you SO much!! <3
Chris E says
Dude, man, I was panicking….thank you, thank you for posting this fix….AWESOME!