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Dave K
Dave K, Information Systems Manager
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 3847
Experience:  30+ years experience in I.T., Certified Oracle Developer & DBA, and Director of I.T.
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hello out there. I hope someone can help me. I just ...

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hello out there. I hope someone can help me. I just treid to start my computer and got a message that says "SPFDisk boot manager kernal load failure." any suggestions? thanks!
Hello. What kind of computer and operating system is this?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dave K's Post: I built the computer and the os is windows xp with media center.

OK, thanks. I assume that you have set this machine up with SPFDisk to allow booting into multiple operating systems. Do you get the message immediately, before the OS boot listing? If so, then you may need to reinstall SPFDisk. But if you get it while actually trying to boot Windows (or if Windows is the only OS) then that suggests that the Windows boot sector is corrupted. In that case, you c an try a Windows repair - here are the instructions:

  1. Boot with the Windows XP CD and at the Setup Screen press the Enter Key
  2. You will be taken to the Windows XP Licensing Agreement. After reading the agreement press F8 to proceed.
  3. The next screen gives you the option to do a fresh (clean) install or to repair the selected Windows XP installation. To run a Repair Install Press "R" at this time.
    ***CAUTION*** if you do not see the option to repair the selected Windows XP installation DO NOT choose the option to continue installing a fresh copy without repairing as that will overwrite your data and cause unrecoverable data loss.
  4. Windows XP will copy the necessary files to your Hard Drive to begin the installation and will then reboot. You will see the message that informs you to "Press any key to boot the CD". Do not press any keys this time just wait a few seconds and the Windows Startup Screen will be displayed. Following this you will be greeted by the Windows XP Setup Screens.

Here is a pictorial to help you see what to expect



Dave K and 7 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dave K's Post: Hi Dave. I actually don't recall setting this computer up with SPFDisk and I don't run multiple OSes on this machine. I'll go try what you suggest and come back to you as soon as I'm done. thanks.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hi Dave. I did what you suggest and I don't see the repair option. what I do see are these three options:
to set up windows XP oon the selected item press Enter.
To create a partition in the unpartitioned space press C.
To delete the selected partition press D.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
dave, I'm going to have to sign off now. when I return I will check my email for your reply. thanks! nancy

Did you get to this screen?

There is a list of steps with screen illustrations on this site - the list of step by step instructions is below the screen sample. I think I missed this step in my list of instructions - sorry.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hi Dave:
ok, I restarted and hit R. Now I get a dos screen that says:
Microsoft Windows XP Recovery Console.
The Recovery Console provides system repair and recovery functionality.
Type EXIT to quit the Recovery Console and restart the computer.

I guess something's happening, but there's no indication. I'll just let it be and come back down in a half hour.

Hello. You are in the wrong place. It is very confusing, but at that "Welcome to Setup" screen you must press "Enter" to "Set up Windows XP now", and then accept the license agreement and THEN press "R" to repair. Just make sure you don't press "Esc" to install a fresh copy of Windows. The CD must have been programmed by someone at Microsoft with a strange sense of humor.

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
yes, that screen I told you about never went anywhere. doesn't make any sense, really. why bother pressing R to repair if nothing happens. I'll try what you suggested in the morning and see what happens. thanks.
That screen you got to is really like a "command prompt", and if you have a set of SR (system Recovery) disks you can apply them from there.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hi Dave:
ok,k I did what you said, but there is still no R option. if you'll refer back to my reply dated 10:10 am on may 19, I get the same screen. I'm pasting it in here:

to set up windows XP oon the selected item press Enter.
To create a partition in the unpartitioned space press C.
To delete the selected partition press D.

up above this, it says: "The following list shows the existing partitions and unpartitioned space on this computer. Use the UP and DOWN ARROW keys to select an item on the list"
When you got to this screen, did you press "Enter" ?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
no, I didn't see the R option, so I didn't do anything. If I'd pressed Enter wouldn't it have proceeded with a clean install of windows and wiped out all my data files?
OK, I see what you're saying. But, that means that the Windows installer can't even find an installation of Windows - so it goes right to the new install options. That suggests that your Windows installation no longer exists. You may have to reinstall.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I don't see how that's possible. how could my windows installation possibly no longer exist? maybe I could try reloading spfdisk, which I don't remember loading in the first place. is there a way I could start up in safe mode? there's gotta be something I could do that would not annihilate all my data files. could it possible be a hardware issue? loose hd connection?
Yes, reloading SPFDisk may help - I'm not sure how that recognizes the boot sector(s). My concern is that if SPFDisk maintains the boot sectors, then reinstalling it may delete whatever info it has (if any). Clearly Windows Installer does not see a partition with Windows, and the fact that you can't begin a Windows boot eliminates Safe Mode as a possibility. When you got to the screen you referenced ealier, were any partitions listed, or did it just show unpartitioned space?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
you're not going to believe this, but I just turned the computer on and it booted. I guess I should back it up now. ;-)
That is certainly interesting! Yes, you should absolutely back up whatever you can right away. BTW, a USB Flash Drive is a good way to back up. The fact that it booted now suggests that your problem may actually be with either the disk controller or the drive itself - one or the other of them was unable to find a boot sector before - if it was "just" a bad sector on the disk it would not come back like that, so the problem is much more likely to be electronic and not magnetic.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
now I get a message that says CMOS checksum error or problem or something. I selected f1 to enter setup, and I see it's not detecting my primary IDE master drive. (incidentally, when I built this system I installed a sata controller and a sata drive, but I guess I did something wrong because every time I boot I get "No drive attached to Fastrack controller. the bios was not installed." don't know if that has anything to do with this.) do I need to install a new hard drive and controller? do I need to boot from the cd now since it's not recognizing my hard drive?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
now I'm back to my original message. I guess I'm screwed.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
CMOS Checksum Bad
Press F1 to Run Setup
Press F2 to load default values and continue

don't know what I should do. I'm just going to leave it on this screen and see if you know.
This might not be so bad. The message indicates that something has become corruped in your CMOS (setup) memory, which is often due to a failure of the battery that keeps it powered. Assuming nothing special has been configured, you should be able to press F2 and have it continue with standard setup options, and it should work. I don't think you can hurt anything by doing that.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
well, I hit F2 and now I'm back to my original error message: "SPFDisk Boot Manager kernel load failure." maybe I should just ditch this PC now that I got all the data off of it and buy a Mac. ;-)
I don't know that I would go that far, but... I would replace that battery on the motherboard, and then do a clean reinstall of Windows, since you have your data. Of course you will need to also reinstall your apps, but you should end up with a stable system. The other thing you might consider is adding a backup drive. I use a Maxtor One-Touch, which plugs into the USB port and does backups automatically every night. I paid less than $100 for it. Just a suggestion, but remember that if you have a good backup nothing will ever go wrong!
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
yeah, I guess. the one thing I couldn't save was all my iphone data. my iphone was stolen and apple told me the only way to recapture my data was to attach another iphone. too late for that. well, thanks for all your help. we didn't cure my kernel load failure, but you did put a lot of time into my problem. I appreciate all your help.