Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

XP won't boot anymore - only comes to blinking cursor


  • Please log in to reply

#1
bjsnl

bjsnl

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
Hello everybody,

I am helping my brother with his pc.
and he has a problem very much like described in this thread:
http://www.geekstogo...en-t159277.html

His XP was working normally, he shut down his pc. Then the next day when he wanted to start, it started, but rebooted very quickly.
Then we tried to follow some instructions for fixing, and used fixmbr and fixboot. And we tried replacing ntldr and ntdetect.com with the originals from the cd.
After that all he got was a blinking cursor.

we've tried many things already to fix it. I'll try to give a summary here

- checked that the right partition is active, and that in the bios the HD is still the primary boot option.
- there is no way to come to safe mode
- using the cd, we can get into the recovery console, and did try to use fixboot and fixmbr.
- also tried bootcfg /rebuild (and it found the correct windows, and made a correct boot.ini)
- copied the ntldr, ntdetect.com, boot.ini to a floppy. Booting with this floppy got us a little bit further, it woudl complain about not being able to find hal.dll. With this floppy we are able to boot another windows xp system (after making the partition number adjustment in the boot.ini)
- we've checked with the PQ partition information the MBR, as far as possible and all seems fine. (extra complication is that on the Dell systems windows xp is installed in the 2nd partition, and not in the first).

We feel we've ran out of options to try, besides copying all the data to a different partition, and then format and reinstall.

So booting from the HD gives us the blank screen with the cursor. From the information on the boot sequence of NT, it would still seem that in spite of the fixmbr effort, the MBR is not correct, since it does not locate the ntldr, and also does not give an error of this. Normally if the MBR cannot locate the ntldr it should give an error. Or alternatively, it can locate the ntldr, and the ntldr is corrupt. (even though we restored from the original)

and booting from the boot floppy, the system stops on not being able to find the hal.dll. And on the boot floppy, in boot.ini we do have the correct partition listed with the correct name for the windows directory. Going into the \windows\systems32 there is a hall.dll. And with a PEbuilder cd we can see that it's a sp2 hal.dll.

I'm sorry for such a long text - but we did try with all the resources we found to fix this.
But as far as i'm aware, we've tried it all, and i can only now assume that somehow the file-structure on the HD became corrupt, or perhaps de MFT.

If anyone has any ideas - thanks very much.
Otherwise I think we'll copy the date and re-format and re-install.
Bas
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
anzenketh

anzenketh

    BSOD Warrior/Computer Surgeon

  • Technician
  • 2,854 posts
Hello bjsnl and Welcome to GeeksToGo

Do you have anything besides the mouse , keybaord, and monitor plugged into the system?
  • 0

#3
bjsnl

bjsnl

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
Hi

thanks
and looks like a site i will come more often - also to contribute.

Yes - the rest of the hardware is still in the system.
So that means a: modem, ISDN card, sounds card and a firewire card are plugged in.
  • 0

#4
bjsnl

bjsnl

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
One guess was that perhaps while the hal.dll is started, there could be a hardware initialization error.
(even though all rescue cd's and live-cd's are working normally)

So I removed all not necessary hardware. No difference.

Looks like i'm going to have to do a full re-install
(however when I checked - the windows cd already warns that all data will be deleted, so i guess that smooth 'upgrade' scenario won't happen)

Thanks
Bas
  • 0

#5
anzenketh

anzenketh

    BSOD Warrior/Computer Surgeon

  • Technician
  • 2,854 posts
Are you able to get into safe mode or any other mode.

To get into the safe mode turn on your computer and press F8.
  • 0

#6
bjsnl

bjsnl

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 6 posts
Hi there

I've made some big progress

but no -i was not able at all to boot from the the installed system. Only from the cd's (windows, linux, etc)

I copied all the files with a file copy to an external source. After this I removed the NTFS partition, and re-created it. Then i copied everything back (put the disks in another system for speed).
After doing this, i could boot the system again through the use of a nt-boot floppy. (also safe mode).
Still - booting from the hard-disk would not work. Even after using the windows recovery, and doing fixboot and fixmbr.

But when trying to force booting of the hard-disk - it gave me a hard-disk read error.
Kinda strange - since the hard-disk passed the test, by the software of the manufacterer (seagate). Also all the time i could now boot using the floppy, and work without problems.

After this I decided to try a bios-update. After doing this the system booted instantly from the hard-drive, and everything was working ok again.
All in all I dont yet understand how it could have been workign, and suddenly not anymore.
I guess somehow the bios had trouble with the hard-disk, which ended up in MFT corruption (though all the files were still accessible)

thanks very much
Bas Smit
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP