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windows xp won't start


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#16
Rumi68

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I just had this same problem pop up when I tried to turn on the PC at home last night. It worked just fine yesterday morning when I got online (via dial-up) to check the weather forecast, and then when I got home from work and turned the PC on, I got the "We apologize for the inconvenience..." message being discussed here.

I'm wondering if it might not be the result of some sort of virus or spyware, because neither I nor my roommate (whose PC it is) hadadded or changed anything on my PC for weeks, if not months. The only variable I can think of is, I use the Internet almost daily.

My question is this: is there any way to recover files before reinstalling Windows? Obviously, if we're talking about wiping the hard drive clean and reinstalling everything, it's going to nuke any documents or other files that were stored in there. I've never done this before, so I'm not entirely clear on what's involved (hence, the potentially goonish, greenhorn nature of my questions...)

However, Lampdoc's post suggests that the process involves reinstalling over existing software, which makes me wonder if there's possibly some chance that the files I had in the computer might not be lost.

Oy... I shoulda stuck with that nice abacus my grandpappy gave me back in the day... :tazz:
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#17
gerryf

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It depends on what type disk you have....if you have a recovery disk from an OEM, they have their own varied routines...with a windows xp retail, OEM or upgrade disk you can safe the files by doing a "new" installation or repair
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#18
Rumi68

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Well, that sounds like good news. My roommate got this PC from Gateway 3 or 4 years ago, so I'm assuming that this is just your basic retail version of XP.

Thanks for the info, Gerry. It doesn't sound like I'm as screwed as I'd thought I might be. Perhaps with that in mind, I won't need the "medicinal purposes" bedtime beers I needed last night. I was thinking of the last couple months of my book research (since my last backup) going down the ol' johnny-flusher. Not exactly the type of thoughts that make for a good, un-aided night's sleep.
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#19
gerryf

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Gateway often does NOT give you a windows xp disks

Boot your computer with it in there...what happens (do not click on anything, or start anything)
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#20
Rumi68

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I'll have to wait till I get home tonight to check, but I'm fairly sure my roommate insisted on getting backup discs of everything (including XP) when he bought the computer.

If not, I'm sure I can round up a copy (assuming it doesn't have to be the specific one that would have come from Gateway.)

I guess I should consider myself lucky that I've never had reason to have to learn about doing this before.
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#21
lampdoc

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Rumi68,
first of all if you only have the gateway recovery disk do not use it to fix this problem, it will re-format the whole computer and all files WILL be lost. Next unfortunately you cannot just get another copy of windows XP because to re-install you will need the ID key, and that will be pre-set to the computer the software was originally installed on. If you try to use another XP disk you will just have more problems. If you don't have a windows disk, I would suggest to buy it, it will be expensive, but down the road if you need it again it will come in handy. Now unlike my problem, the repair feature on the XP CD may work for you, if it does, it will NOT get rid of any program settings, it just repairs any bad windows files. But, in my case I could not run the repair (actually it is what caused my problem) so I had to re-install windows over top of the old installation. If you have enough room, install a new installation of windows in another folder like "WINDOWS2" this will give you a fress start, but you will still have access to the hard drive, and it won't overwrite any info you may need to transfer from the original installation. After you backup any files you need, then install new over the original windows install. I hope this helps you. I am slowly getting my computer back, it's taking time to do it. I also left the second install just incase I ever have another problem.

Lampdoc
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#22
Rumi68

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Lampdoc,

Thanks for the tips. I'm probably going to end up not being able to fix this for a couple weeks, as it's my roommate's computer, he's out of town until the end of the month, and though I'm about 90% sure he's got the XP discs from when he bought the computer, I believe he took them to work to install it on one of his PC's there. So basically, I have to wait till he gets back to suss out the whole XP disc situation.

I do have a friend of mine who's offered to come by early next week, though, and bring along one of his hard drives so that we can try to access my roommate's computer as if it were simply another D drive, and perhaps snag and back-up copies of the more important files on my roomie's computer, in anticipation of whatever fixes we're eventually able to make. I'd hate to end up losing stuff because of issues that pop up later when we're trying to fix the Windows problem. (I'm not sure the parallel drive idea is going to work, though... wouldn't we need to at least be able to fire up the old PC in order to access its hard drive through a second PC? Or can we actually access it that way while it's not booting up?)

By the way, I couldn't tell if any consensus had been reached as to what the likely cause of this boot-up problem is. I know some had suggested it was a partition issue, others had suggested it might be connected to recent software installation, and the idea of a virus or spyware of some kind certainly has crossed my mind in my own case. What the [bleep] did we get hit with here? (Whatever it is... no sir, I don't like it!)

Take care,
Patrick
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#23
lampdoc

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Rumi68,

Well as for what caused the problem....I've heard many answers to that, I was told the partition problem too, but my partition is fine, I was told a virus, but I did a virus scan and nothing, I was told a hardware issue, which is the most likely problem in my case, but if you hadn't installed any new hardware as you had noted, then that should be out for you. I would guess the virus may be the most likely cause, but it's hard to say until you run a virus scan to see. As for booting off of another hard drive...I'm not sure if that would work either, you would have to make the second hard drive the main boot up drive, but with no access to the computer, I don't see how you would do that. Can you start up in Safe Mode??? Have you tried to use the last know good configuration option?? Maybe get a friends Windows CD so you can try to start off the cd, and go to the recovery console, you may be able to fix your problem there, if not you can atleast get to the "C:\windows" prompt and maybe somehow get the system to boot off of the other hard drive?? I'm not sure about that though... Good luck...

Lampdoc

Edited by lampdoc, 14 May 2005 - 10:23 PM.

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#24
Rumi68

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Lampdoc,

Well, as Inspector Clouseau would say, "Ze case is sol-ved." A buddy of mine came by today and managed to get the PC to boot up using his XP discs, and then repaired the problem from there. We then downloaded some new anti-spyware utilities and cleaned a LOT of gunk out of the PC that way. Now I'm running not only Ad-Aware, but also Spywareblaster and Spybot Search and Destroy, and I'm hoping that, with all the crap they found between the three of them, the problem that came up with XP not starting will have been dealt with.

We shall see. There was at least one bit of mal-ware that Spybot S&D had to run itself during a reboot in order to catch and fix, so perhaps that li'l bugger had something to do with the boot-up problem.

But at least the problem wasn't a blown hard drive. THAT would have been a real [bleep].

Tomorrow is Backup Day.

Again, thanks for all the great advice. (That goes for everyone else here too!)

Clear skies,
Patrick
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#25
lampdoc

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Patrick,
I'm glad you got your problem fixed, and that it wasn't as bad as it might have been. I know now too, that backing up often is key for computers now days.

lampdoc
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#26
Rumi68

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Yeah, absolutely. Backing up, and getting a good security screen set up. As I understand it from talking to my buddy, the trio of anti-spyware utilities I mentioned above are an excellent line of defense against mal-ware. They're all free and easily updatable, and between them all they recognize thousands of different spyware programs. I was amazed at the amount of stuff they found on the computer here, and they fixed/eliminated every last one of them.

Tell ya what, as big a stress-inducing pain in my [bleep] as this whole thing was, I've learned a heck of a lot from it. I guess that's par for the course, eh?

Clear skies,
Patrick

Edited by Rumi68, 15 May 2005 - 06:40 PM.

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#27
pwhstaples

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I had this problem last week

I noticed that several other people had the same problem.

I have mine working now.

My PC suffered a voltage surge. The power supply went faulty and deliverd too much power to the mother board and I noticed some of the the capacitors on the main board were bulged at the ends; indicating an overload.

I changed the power supply and obtained an identical mainboard and CPU on Kelkoo /Ebay Cost (£50 for both).

I changed the two and got back to the same screen which you describe.

I bought a IDE to USB connector (£18.00; well worth it).
Connected my hard drive to a PC with windows XP pro.


(it may have been lack of perciverence but I tried other PC's with win 98 and win 2000 but could not get them to open the HD. I tried a laptop with win XP home ED but that would not open the HD either.)

I plugged the USB connector into the PC with XP pro and it recognised it immediately and gave the reference E: disk.

I went to windows explorer right clicked on the E: drive and clicked on tools and this allowed me to carry out a restore to the hard disk. The only thing I could not do was access the accounts which were password protected.

When I next fitted the HD to my PC it went immediately to the same screen again but this time it did allow me to select last know configuration and it worked.

Everything is back to normal.
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#28
Rumi68

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I'm getting the feeling that this screen comes up for a number of different reasons.

I'm glad you got that baby back up and running, though. Man, what a nightmare!
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#29
lampdoc

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I have read that this seems to be a catch all error screen, but that's the problem, there are too many things that it could be. Most of the time the last known configuration, or the CD repair function will fix the problem, mine was a bit unique. I have heard of that being a problem when the motherboard has been changed though, so that didn't surprise me. Glad to hear you're up and running though.
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#30
Cat010101

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Ok I have the exact same error screen on my other computer but for yet another reason. I pressed the power button while it was loading a couple of times. It says that in the list of reasons why this could have happened and tells me to choose 'run windows normally' but it doesn't work, and after the windows loading screen it restarts. It does this with all the other selections as well and I don't know what to do.
What is the CD repair function people are talking about? Is that on the Windows XP CD? and if it is, how do you get it to work? Nothing happens when I put it in. I really don't want to loose all my work! Please help!
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