Spent about half an hour trying to get a PC to boot today.
I think that sometimes you forget what you’re doing so much – you just need to see the obvious.
After cloning an image of a NTFS drive partition, Windows decided that it didn’t want to boot. I had used Image for Windows. After a quick boot, Windows XP wouldn’t start.
Typically, this isn’t a problem as there’s a simple fix. Use fixboot and fixmbr in the recovery console. Which I did. And it didn’t boot.
I did the thing again. And again. And again. Still no booting.
I’ll cut a long story short. In my haste to clone the drive, I failed to set the primary partition as active. Once this had been done, the system booted beautifully.
The moral of this story? Never assume it’s broken when you are rushing.