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computer wont start in any mode


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#1
pd0019

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hi everyone,
im new here, but not new to computers

i am trying to help fix my friends computer but i dont know what to do. she has a old dell btw (has a 40gig hd and 256 mb ram just to give you an idea of what type of comp it is)

when i start up her computer, it loads into the screen that gives you the option of "safe mode" "start windows normally" "last known good config" etc...
i've clicked on all of them but none of them work and then all just bring me back to the same screen again.

what could my friends computer problem be and how can i fix it for her?
i thought it was the ram on the comp but its not.
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#2
Retired Tech

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You can use this guide to repair XP

Possibly, you will need to press the start button and keep tapping the delete key, (possibly F2) until the PC enters set up. Change the boot order to CD ROM Drive then hard drive, press F10 then press enter, load the XP CD then type Y then press enter, as it reboots, look for press any key to load from CD, press enter

You will need your XP product key to complete this

The XP Product Key is a 25 character alpha numerical code, which does not include the sequence OEM


If you have audio / video files which are subject to DRM you should check with the provider for known issues with performing an XP repair install

Click this to view the XP Repair Install Guide

Windows XP repair feature won't delete your data, installed programs, personal information, or settings. It just repairs the operating system

The XP repair install will look and run as a normal install, however, you must not see a request to format the drive


After running XP Repair you will need to install all Windows Updates

Microsoft Update
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#3
pd0019

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ok...so im trying to do this repair xp and i've run into 2 problems

1. cd doesnt work even when cdrom is 1st boot priority...could the cd drive be broken?
2. my friend has xp home her computer and her cd is xp pro. is this a problem?
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#4
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You will need a same version XP CD then use the PC product key, not the one from the borrowed disc

Did the CD drive work before?

Try this, it's an outside chance though

Items in blue which are underlined are clickable to give more information about the process

Start the System Restore Utility at a command prompt

1. Restart your computer, and keep tapping F8 during the initial start-up until you get options, select Safe Mode with a Command Prompt then press enter.

2. Log on to your computer with an administrator account or with an account that has administrator credentials.

3. Type the following command at a command prompt, and then press ENTER:

%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe

4. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to restore your computer to an earlier state.

Look for the most recent system checkpoint created before the errors to restore from

For additional information about the Safe mode with a command prompt, click 315222 to see a description of the Safe Mode Boot Options in Windows XP

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#5
pd0019

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first off i would like to thank you keith for your help...much appreciated

so what your saying is that it has to be the exact same cd as the computer used originally? the only problem with that is that since its an HP, it has no cd...it has a partition built into the hard drive i believe, i could be wrong. this leads to no way for me to repair xp, just reformat. once again...this is what i think...i might be wrong though.

second.
your advice on the system restore through command prompt wont work because i cant get pass the initial start-up screen. the computer gets to to that screen but any option i chose just takes me back to the initial start-up screen.

i know i can just reformat the computer but she has about 5-10 gigs of pics that she doesnt want to lose. i guess if there is no other way i can reformat, but im just trying to explore other ways.

is it possible for me to take the hard drive out and hook it up to an external hard drive case, hook it up to one of my computers that work, and get everything she wants off of it?
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#6
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You can install it directly, explore the drive, transfer the data to disc or your drive, return the drive to its own PC to use the recovery partition.

http://www.askbobran...hard_drive.html

HP (Dell in post one :whistling: ) may send you an installation CD, though check the cost as it may be near to an OEM disc cost
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