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Load Error, Press any key to reboot

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Thought I was doing a good thing, installing the latest spyware and Norton 2006 software to my sons computer. Followed instructions to restart computer and the dreaded error message. Load error: press any key to reboot. Pressing any key just repeats the message over and over. Tried F2, puts me into bios, no help there. Pressing any other "F" keys has no affect just repeats the error message. Tried taking his hard drive and putting it as a slave in my computer. Doesn't recognize it as a drive...no drive letter. Doesn't show up in my computer. Shows it in Disk Manager, but can't assign it a drive letter. Tried it as the only drive on my computer and get the same error message. Wouldn't care if it were my hard drive but it's my sons and he has lots of info on it. He's been very understanding and says if we have to reinstall the OS it's ok...but I would like to at least save any files I can before I do that. The XP recovery doesn't work either. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
His computer is Dell Dimension 4500. Mine is Dell Dimension 4300.
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Have you tried safemode, it is tapping F8 after the BIOS screen and before the black first Windows screen when one turns on the comp.

Choose last known good configuration.

Edited by fleamailman, 20 September 2006 - 11:23 AM.

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Also if you are running xp/2000 trying to boot from the drive in another computer would not work either ( unless they are virtually identical.... ) if you can't get to safe mode as referenced above You might want to try getting the hard drive diagnostic software for your brand hard drive and run that to see if you are dealing with a hardware issue.....

You said windows recovery didnt' work.... what happened when you tried?
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