March 9, 2010 10:54 AM   Subscribe

How can I get access to my Windows XP HDD from a bootable USBkey. (Without a Windows XP CD)

My Thinkpad T42 is has a blasted rootkit virus.

Ok so I didn't backup my system, shame on me. Please help me anyhow.

I need to replace the isapnp.sys file to the \\windows\system32\drivers directory but I can't access the drive at all.

I tried the Recovery and Repair Tool... but that doesn't do my much good without a backup.

Also I don't have access to a windowsXP install cd.

Is it possible to create an XP boot USB that will recognize my HDD?
posted by Scoops to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
You can put Ubuntu on a USB flash drive. It will be able to read and write your XP drive just fine.
posted by zsazsa at 11:17 AM on March 9, 2010

Another option: I bought something like this (but for much cheaper from Microcenter) to back up my wife's Thinkpad before I formatted and reinstalled. It'll turn your laptop hard drive into a USB drive you can read/write to from any computer. Of course this requires you to open the laptop.
posted by exhilaration at 11:33 AM on March 9, 2010

Which virus is it? Plenty of tools out there that you can boot to CD/USB and run removal tool from there. You could also try booting into safe mode. Hit F8 on boot up and the pick command prompt and run this tool from a CD or USB drive. You may also be able to run it from standard GUI safe mode depending on which virus it is.
posted by white_devil at 11:52 AM on March 9, 2010

Unfortunatley I can't even boot into safe mode. It hangs on loading isapnp.sys... I'm assuming becasue it has beet corrupted or replaced by the rootkit.

So my first step is to get part that point. Hopefully it won't take much to get it from there into booting into safe mode and then I'll run Combofix.

I'm downloading Ubunto now. Thanks for the suggestions!!
posted by Scoops at 12:05 PM on March 9, 2010

Have you considered Bart's PE?
posted by Obscure Reference at 12:28 PM on March 9, 2010

How long should it take to load Ubunto the first time?

I created the bootable Ubunto USB and its loading now - but getting a bunch of errors...... "buffer I/O error on device fd0, logical block 0"

Sounds scary
posted by Scoops at 12:34 PM on March 9, 2010

Follow the advice here. You'll need to make an UBCD4WIN disc which requires a working XP install somewhere.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:39 PM on March 9, 2010

Also might be easier to do a repair install once you source an XP disc.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:41 PM on March 9, 2010

OK !!!! Ubunto ROCKS!!

Why do i need to even bother repairing WinXP now?

Do I?

Thanks SO much to zsazsa.
posted by Scoops at 12:52 PM on March 9, 2010

I find your lack of enthusiasm disturbing.
posted by flabdablet at 12:28 AM on March 10, 2010

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