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Windows XP Boot Up Problem


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#1
Webslinger64

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My son returned home from college a few months back with a PC that will not boot past the Windows XP startup screen. He's been asking me to take a look at it all summer hoping I can fix it and I'm just getting around to doing that before he returns to school in two weeks. I initially thought it wouldn't be a problem to boot up his PC in safe mode. However, that has not worked. I have also tried booting up under 'last known good configuration' and 'safe mode with networking' (being that his PC is now connected through a router to my PC - but I'm not sure that even applies here). Each time the PC gets to the Windows XP startup screen, it just freezes there.
This is the first time I've had to deal with a PC that won't boot past the startup screen. Any ideas what could be happening?

Thank you in advance for any help you can provide.

Greg
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#2
The Skeptic

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If you have XP installation CD I suggest that you perform a repair installation as per instructions given in the link in the list of programs below.

What make and model is the computer?
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#3
Webslinger64

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Thanks for the reply. His PC is a Compaq Presario. He bought it about 18 months ago. I asked him if he still had the Windows XP installation CD. He remembered it being stored in a box that somehow ended up with a roommate that lives here locally. Contacted the roommate and he will be bringing the CD by later this afternoon. He also said the CD is a Compaq Presario CD with Windows XP Home Edition on it. I believe that would be the best bet to use that CD for the repair, but was curious to know if the Windows XP installation Pro CD I bought for my computer when I switched from Windows 2000 would work as well? I believe each Windows XP installation CD has a CD key. Would that prevent me from using mine to repair his PC if we didn't have his available?
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#4
The Skeptic

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Your disk will not work, most probably, because you must use a version of XP identical to the one already installed. Please use the original disk and have a look at this link for details about how to perform system recovery. Choose the option most suitable for your needs.
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#5
Webslinger64

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I will use the original then. Thanks for all your help!
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#6
Webslinger64

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OK, my son found his Windows XP installation CD, but rather than try a repair first, I thought we would try a recovery based on your recommendation. We've run into a problem in that we are being asked for an "Administrator password". He says he has never created a password for any reason on his PC. I asked him if he was sure and if it is possible that he did and has just forgotten. He's pretty sure, but he did give me a couple of passwords to try just in case he's suffering from a brain freeze. Tried both passwords and niether work. If he never created a password for Windows XP, would there be any reason it would still ask me for an "Administrator password"?
Also, if we are unable to proceed with recovery because of the password problem, should we proceed with a repair?

Thank you!

Thanks for the reply. His PC is a Compaq Presario. He bought it about 18 months ago. I asked him if he still had the Windows XP installation CD. He remembered it being stored in a box that somehow ended up with a roommate that lives here locally. Contacted the roommate and he will be bringing the CD by later this afternoon. He also said the CD is a Compaq Presario CD with Windows XP Home Edition on it. I believe that would be the best bet to use that CD for the repair, but was curious to know if the Windows XP installation Pro CD I bought for my computer when I switched from Windows 2000 would work as well? I believe each Windows XP installation CD has a CD key. Would that prevent me from using mine to repair his PC if we didn't have his available?


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#7
arou402

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Hi
sometimes just pressing enter (without typing anything) when prompted for a password works if no password has been
added. Unless there's some files your son wishes to keep, why not do a re-install of windows? :whistling:
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#8
Webslinger64

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Hi
sometimes just pressing enter (without typing anything) when prompted for a password works if no password has been
added. Unless there's some files your son wishes to keep, why not do a re-install of windows? :whistling:


Thanks for the reply. My son has begged me to find a way to fix it without losing any files (he's a college student and his PC has more crap on it - MP3 and videos). I did press enter at the "Administrator password" and it then put up a C:\Windows prompt. I'm not even sure that's the recovery console I want.
Should I be using the installation CD from the get-go? At this point I'm just pressing F10 and selecting the recovery option.
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#9
The Skeptic

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With HP/compac computers you can perform un-destructive recovery, which is equivalent to windows repair, witout losing any data. have you tried this? Do you still need administraror rights?

Did your son always had this laptop or did it have a previous owner. If it had, the previous owner may have created an administrator password which you don't know about.
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#10
Webslinger64

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With HP/compac computers you can perform un-destructive recovery, which is equivalent to windows repair, witout losing any data. have you tried this? Do you still need administraror rights?

Did your son always had this laptop or did it have a previous owner. If it had, the previous owner may have created an administrator password which you don't know about.


He bought this desktop PC brand new and has been the only owner. I have been trying to use his installation CD to start a repair or a recovery, but I can't get the PC to boot up from the CD. The CD is in the drive, but it won't boot from the CD. I have gone into the boot menu and see that the CD drive is slaved 2nd (I don't if that's the right term for it). I would be happy to try either a recovery or repair from the installation CD. It's just getting the PC to boot from that CD now.
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#11
The Skeptic

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The CD drive has to be first priority boot device. After you set this you insert the cd into the drive and boot the computer. When you get a message "Boot any key for setup" press any key within seconds of the appearance of the message otherwise the computer will try to boot from the hard disk.
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#12
Webslinger64

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The CD drive has to be first priority boot device. After you set this you insert the cd into the drive and boot the computer. When you get a message "Boot any key for setup" press any key within seconds of the appearance of the message otherwise the computer will try to boot from the hard disk.


Do you set this priority by accessing the boot menu then highlighting the CD drive and pressing enter?
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#13
The Skeptic

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It differs from one computer to the other. Usually there are instruction on how to change and save values in the BIOS. If there is a bootup table that you can open after startup then usually you highlite it and press ENTER.
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