If your computer or laptop does not boot into windows, chances are you will get this dreaded error message. This error occurs when your hard drives becomes corrupted and is unbootable. This could be caused by either improper shutdown or a malware infection.
If you do not get any error messages at first and the computer just keeps restarting, press the F8 key right before you see the windows logo screen. You will then see some options, choose “Disable automatic restart on system failure.”
Now your computer will restart and you will see the blue screen of death and the unmountable boot volume error message. Once you have confirmed this message, restart your computer and choose Launch start-up repair, if you do not get this option then press the F8 key again and choose repair your computer.
When the repair screen appears you should get select a keyboard input method, if you do not get this option and the circle just keeps spinning around, chances are your hard disk is severely corrupted.
In this case restart the computer and press F2 to go into the BIOS and change you hard drive interface setting from AHCI to ATA, save the configuration and restart the computer.
Go back into repair mode and you should get the select a keyboard input method, then you will have to choose the username. Choose the username, enter the password and you will come to the repair screen.
Choose command prompt and type “chkdsk c: /r” where c: is the letter of your hard disk. Then choose “Y” to unmount the volume, if it appears, chkdsk will then start checking the disk for errors and repair them.
Once it is done checking the disk for errors, restart the computer and go back into the BIOS and change the hard drive interface setting back to AHCI, only if you changed it before.
If the computer stills does not boot into windows go back to the repair your computer screen, choose command prompt. Then type “Bootrec /Fixboot” and restart the computer. If you still have no luck, go back into repair mode, command prompt and type “Bootrec /Fixmbr” and then reboot your computer.
Having problems. When I type the stuff in the comand prompt it seems to just sit there and pretend to think
I’m having problems. The “select a keyboard” screen doesn’t appear after changing disk from AHCI to ATA
Are you using a Windows CD or did you choose repair your computer when it booted up? If you chose repair your computer at start up try booting with the Windows 7 CD that came with your computer. When it loads click next and and then click repair your computer on the bottom left. Then proceed from there.
Hey thank you! this was extremely helpful!
thanks a milli…your solutions worked wonders many thanks
After clicking next on the keyboard input, nothing comes up and it stays at the wallpaper with a cursor.
I’ve tried leaving it on but nothing has changed for a few hours
Muy bueno me ayudo mucho, pense que el disco estaba muerto y tenia que llevarla a garantia, pero se soluciono muchas gracias!
I cannot thank you enough for posting this solution. You just saved my undergraduate career! I have three midterms this week and was having a panic attack the whole night. THANK YOU SO MUCH!
your welcome, glad it worked for you.
Just trying to clarify. Do I “have to” change the drive? I did all of the steps you said except changing the drive and having to add a USERNAME AND PASSWORD as my computer never asked me for it and just opened up the screen for recovery.
The reason I ask is the ONLY thing I did not do was look at which drive my computer was locked on because I was able to get into the recovery screen without a problem.
You only change the drive if you are not able to access the select a keyboard input method due to a severely corrupted hard rive. The username and password screen might not appear on some systems because of different configurations.
Well I did get the select a keyboard option (US) and the brought up the recovery options. I was able to do all of the options and did all 3 dos command options that you suggested in the command prompt. Still no luck.
At this point, I’ll unfortunately have to give this over to a professional and pay millions of dollars (lol) but let me ask you this. I REALLY hate to do that when so many people who are on this thread have had success.
At this point, is there an easy way for me to get my files off the computer, save them on my external hard drive, and then reformat the hard drive and reinstall windows7 with my disk? The reason I ask is because if I reinstall windows 7 now, it will erase all of the hard drive files also correct?
If it’s easier you can call me (770-940-2322) briefly tell me my reasonable options to get up and running again within 24 hours. Come Wednesday, I need to be back online working.
It sounds like your windows installation has been corrupted, maybe even the windows boot loader. That could be why you don’t get the username or password prompt. If you ran the chkdsk and all the other commands with no luck then I would first try the Automated Startup Repair or the System Restore Option. If none of those work for you then you will have to manually repair your windows bootloader. Check out how to manually repair the windows bootloader here: http://neosmart.net/wiki/display/EBCD/Recovering+the+Windows+Bootloader+from+the+DVD
To answer your question, you could boot up your computer with a Bootable CD such as Ubuntu Live and copy all of your files to your external drive in Ubuntu. It explains it further here: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/use-ubuntu-live-cd-to-backup-files-from-your-dead-windows-computer/
Thank You! If you like this blog, follow me on Facebook.
I have followed the steps you have listed and am on the chkdsk part, it is still currently running but I am getting “File record segment #### is unreadable” this is the case for many files ie 2008-2011, 3680, etc. Will these become repaired in the process? If not is my hard drive toast or if I get my hands on a Windows 7 CD can I fix it even if I swipe it clean?
‘Cannot open volume for direct access.’
Great! I am happy it worked for you.
I have same problem. but i can’t use my mouse and my keyboard on system recovery screen, how to fix it? please help me. i has ensure my mouse and keyboard is good on other computer.
This procedure worked extremely well after I had exhausted the options found on other sites. I had the Unmountable Boot Error on my Windows7 laptop, was locked in a cycle of rebooting and had no bootable disk/USB to work with. Self-repair mode got stuck on blue, and safe-mode stuck on classpnp.sys before rebooting again. I was STUCK!
By switching the hard drive to ATA as instructed above, the self-repair mode finally started to work. Importantly, the self-repair mode went to work and rebooted at least 3 times that I saw, re-entering self-repair each time to work through issues.
Finally got to the opportunity to use the command prompt and ran Chkdsk as instructed above. This took a full 3 hours, and corrected more than 8 corrupt segments.
After it was complete, I switched the drive back from ATA and was rewarded with my first successful boot all weekend. I notice my performance got MUCH better from before the crash, and I ran Malwarebytes just to really clean it up.
This is the best my laptop has been in 2 years. Highly recommend this solution and thank its originator!
Thank you so much for the awesome comment!
Did this delete all your files or were they still there?
By following this step will I lose pictures and documents on my computer?
My problem is once I acces Bios I can’t find the hard drive so I cannot change the interface. Any ideas? Thanks
a very nice post, I follow your steps and my laptop back to work normally.. What is the use of changing THE hard drive interface setting from AHCI to ATA then? 🙂
I’m not getting ata in my menu. When I type in the commands listed above it says process completed right away and when I push restart nothing has changed it still bsod me and restarts the computer
When I open window repair option then nothing opens only a mouse poiter and black screen what should I do please help
Thank you so much for the help, that second last boot command saved the life! Thanks a ton!
It all worked perfectly, my PC is working crystal again.