Although Windows XP is a very popular system, I believe you must have faced lots of startup problems sometime or the other. Such startup problems can appear due to various issues such as virus infections, corrupt file system, boot files missing due to abrupt system shutdown, hardware problems, etc.
If the system is unable to start and remains inaccessible, then you are open to the danger of losing valuable data. In such cases, you should take appropriate steps to resolve the problem so that you can access the system. However, if you are not able to do the needful then you should use a third-party windows data recovery software to recover Windows files.
There are certain tips that can help you when your system doesn't boot. They are:
Use a Windows startup disk: You should use this when the files that are required to boot the Windows system have got damaged.
Use Last Known Good Configuration: You should use this option to reverse the changes that are causing problems. Undoing the changes can be done in CurrenControlSet registry key.
Note: If this doesn't help, chances are that the backup copy has also become corrupt.
Use System Restore: You should use this option to restore the system to a system-defined restore point by logging in the system using Safe Mode option.
Use Recovery Console: You should boot into the system using the Recovery Console option in the Windows XP CD.
Fix a corrupt Boot.ini: You should repair the Boot.ini file using the Bootcfg tool in the Recovery Console. This file contains the information regarding which operating system to boot.
Fix a corrupt partition boot sector: You should use the fixboot tool in the Recovery Console to fix partition boot sector.
Fix a corrupt master boot record: You should use the fixmbr tool to repair the master boot record.
Disable automatic restart: You should disable the feature to automatically start the system after every system failure. You can do this by logging in the system using the Safe Mode option.
Restore from a backup: You should restore the system data from a backup if it is updated.
Perform an in-place upgrade: If nothing works out, then you should perform an in-place upgrade of the system.
However, there may be instances when these mentioned tips are not sufficient to bring normalcy to the Windows XP system. In such cases, you should use a third-party Windows data recovery software to recover Windows data. Such read-only tools are highly interactive in nature and enable even a novice to recover Windows files from an inaccessible system.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is a windows data recovery software that recovers lost, deleted, or formatted files from inaccessible Windows systems. It is able to recover Windows files from FAT, NTFS, and exFAT file systems. In addition, this Windows data recovery utility is able to recover more than 185 different file types. Also, it restores deleted emails from Outlook Express and MS Outlook. This Windows data recovery tool is compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and 2000.
Few tips to help you when Windows XP fails to boot