Technology Advice by Ryan Taylor Adams

Fixing the “Unmountable Boot Volume” Error

June 4th, 2008 · 2 Comments · Printer Friendly Version


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If you’ve turned on your computer, only to receive a “Unmountable boot volume” error followed by a restart, this guide is for you. This error occurs when Windows can’t access the drive crucial system files are on. Spyware or virus infections can cause this issue, in addition to hardware failures. Most commonly though, the issue seems to arise randomly.

There are two possible root causes of this error, hardware or software. If you have recently made any hardware changes to your computer (anything that involved opening the case) and received this error shortly afterwards, a hardware issue is likely to blame and you should continue reading. If you have not made any hardware changes, skip to the “software solutions” section.

Hardware solutions: Make sure the IDE or SATA cable connecting your hard drive to the motherboard is connected securely at both ends and is undamaged. If you have recently changed an IDE hard drive, make sure it’s master/slave jumper is set correctly and that you are using a 80-pin IDE cable. It’s also possible that a setting in your BIOS has been corrupted or changed. You can reset the BIOS to default settings with either a jumper on the motherboard or by entering the BIOS setup when your computer boots.

Software solutions: You’ll need to boot into the Windows recovery console for the following steps.

  1. Enter the Windows recovery console following the steps here.
  2. Type “chkdsk /r” and press enter. This will run the disk checking program, allow it to finish.
  3. Type “fixmbr” and press enter. Respond in the affirmative when asked if you want to proceed.
  4. Type “fixboot” and press enter. Respond in the affirmative when asked if you want to proceed.
  5. Type “Exit” and press enter to restart your computer. Be sure to remove the Windows CD from your disk drive.

That should do it!

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Sybil // Oct 27, 2008 at 11:00 AM

    Good words.

  • 2 dude // Jun 8, 2009 at 7:39 AM

    “chkdsk /p” is not valid
    use “chkdsk /r”

  • 3 Ryan Adams // Jun 8, 2009 at 8:04 AM

    @dude: While the “/p” parameter is valid, you are correct that it should be a “/r”. Some other guides will suggest you use “/p /r”, however, according to Microsoft, the “/r” parameter implies “/p”.

    Thanks for the catch.