How to Disable Automatic Restart For Troubleshooting Boot Problems

When Windows begins to boot up and you see the message Please select the operating system to start or hear the single beep, press [F8] to display the Windows Advanced Options Menu. Then, select the Disable The Automatic Restart On System Failure item and press [Enter]. Now, Windows will hang up when it encounters the error and with any luck, it will display a stop message you can use to diagnose the problem.

How to Use the Recovery Console

When a Windows XP system wont boot up, you can often fix the problem using the Recovery Console. The Windows XP CD is bootable and will provide you with access to this tool.

To boot from the Windows XP CD, insert it into the CD-ROM drive on the problem system and reboot the computer.  The system should present you with the option to boot from the CD, simply follow the prompts that will allow the loading of the basic files needed to run Setup. If not, you will need to access the BIOS and enable booting from your CD or DVD drive.

 When you see the Welcome To Setup screen, shown below, press R to start the Recovery Console.

You’ll then see a Recovery Console menu, like the one shown below. It displays the folder containing the operating system’s files and prompts you to choose the operating system you want to log on to. Just press the menu number on the keyboard, and you’ll be prompted to enter the Administrator’s password. You’ll then find yourself at the main Recovery Console prompt.



How to Fix a Corrupt Master Boot Record

The master boot record occupies the first sector on the hard disk and is responsible for initiating the Windows boot procedure. The master boot record contains the partition table for the disk as well as a small program called the master boot code, which is responsible for locating the active, or bootable, partition, in the partition table. Once this occurs, the partition boot sector takes over and begins loading Windows. If the master boot record is corrupt, the partition boot sector can’t do its job and Windows won’t boot.

If your master boot record has been corrupted, you can use the Recovery Console tool Fixmbr to fix it. First, boot the system with the Windows XP CD and access the Recovery Console

To use the Fixmbr tool, from the Recovery Console command prompt, type

Fixmbr [device_name]

Where [device_name] is the device pathname of the drive to which you want to write a new master boot record. For example, the device pathname format for a standard bootable drive C configuration would look like this:


How to Fix a Corrupt Boot.ini File

As Windows begins to load, the Ntldr program refers to the Boot.ini file to determine where the operating system files are and what options to enable as the operating system continues to load. So if there’s a problem with the Boot.ini file, your PC will not boot up correctly.

If you suspect that your Boot.ini file has been corrupted, you can use the special Recovery Console version of the Bootcfg tool to fix it. To do this, you must first boot the system with the Windows XP CD and access the Recovery Console.

To use the Bootcfg tool, from the Recovery Console command prompt, type

Bootcfg /rebuild

There are several other parameter switches you can use with Bootcfg. These are listed here

  • /Add–Scans the disk for all Windows installations and allows you to add any new ones to the Boot.ini file.
  • /Scan–Scans the disk for all Windows installations.
  • /List–Lists each entry in the Boot.ini file.
  • /Default–Sets the default operating system as the main boot entry.
  • /Rebuild–Completely re-creates the Boot.ini file. The user must confirm each step.
  • /Redirect–Allows the boot operation to be redirected to a specific port when using the Headless Administration feature. The Redirect parameter takes two parameters of its own, [Port Baudrate ] | [UseBiosSettings].
  • /Disableredirect–Disables the redirection

How to Unlock Vista’s Hidden Boot Screen

To do this, click Start, type msconfig in the search field and press enter.
Run msconfig. (If a UAC prompt pops up click continue)


Select the boot tab of the System Configuration Window and check the box next to “No GUI boot”.
Click Apply and OK.
Restart your computer. 

When it starts back up, instead of the standard boot screens, you will be presented with the image below.


No GUI Boot Screen
No GUI Boot Screen


If you dont like it you can revert back to the defauld by following the instructions and unchecking the No GUI Boot option.


How to stop Outlook Express from blocking attachments

Normally this is caused by Antivirus programs or Windows update changing the way Outlook Express Handles attachments. Fortunately, you can reverse the process and get your email attachments normally again. Start Outlook Express and follow these steps:


  1. Click Tools from the menus
  2. Click Options
  3. Click the Security Tab
  4. Uncheck the “do not allow attachments to be saved or opened that could potentially be a virus” box
  5. Click Apply
  6. Click OK