I am helping my brother with his pc.
and he has a problem very much like described in this thread:
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.