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Windows Fails to Load 90% of the Time

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Windows XP Media Center
Gateway GT5014 Media Center Computer Ė 5395

This description is fairly long. I went into as much detail as possible because this problem just came out of nowhere.

So I get on the computer one day and everything is cool. I rearrange some music, uninstall some software that I never use and surf the web. While I was adding several hundred music files to my iTunes I ran into an error that said I didnít have access to write to the C drive. iTunes stopped importing the music halfway through at this point. I selected all my music again and tried once more, this time it worked fine. This happened a few times before I was able to get all my music in. Iím thinking that this may have something to do with my boot problems since I had never experienced this error ever before. Itís probably the only peculiar thing that happened prior to my problem so I mentioned it.

Lastly I run disc clean up and Spybot: Search & Destroy. I updated my AVG AntiVirus and avast! and restart after it asks me to. I am then confronted with this crap.

Irregardless of the way I turn the computer off, it boots back up with the screen that informs me that Windows did not load properly. And naturally it gives me 30 some odd seconds to decide if I want to start the computer normally or in a variety of safe modes. Choosing to start the computer normally or letting the time run out results in the screen flickering for a brief second and the Windows loading screen coming up. Everything goes to black before the Windows loading screen can finish. A blue screen appears with a bunch of white text that disappears far too quickly for me to read. Then I am once again greeted with the Gateway boot screen that comes up first whenever the computer is turned on. The next window that comes up is the ďWindows did not load properlyĒ screen yet again.

Alternatively, choosing any one of the three safe modes results in the screen being littered with line and lines of text that sometimes result in the computer restarting or just hanging there until I turn the computer off completely myself.

Itís a near endless loop that just goes on and on no matter what I do. This goes on for a minimum of ten minutes. Iíve left my computer doing this for a good 20-30 minutes(sometimes an hour!) at a time and come back to find that it has finally booted up completely and is now sitting at the Windows login page. I type in my password and the computer works like normal from then on. I can surf the web, listen to iTunes, burn DVDís and run other various software with no noticeable errors or interruptions.

If I shut down or restart it starts all over again. Roughly 20-30 minutes later and I can login again. Once Iím in everything works as normal. Iíve gone through this process maybe 15 times since the problem started about a week ago and itís always the same.

At first, restarting or shutting down from different user accounts or the Windows login screen booted Windows up on the first try without error. This led me to believe that it was a problem with just the administrator account. Unfortunately, the other user accounts and the Windows login screen now suffer the same error as well.

Here's what I've tried so far to fix the problem.

1. I tried System Restore, Windows failed to restore the computer to a previous date. I've only attempted this once.

2. Using Command Prompt Safe Mode does not work. So once I was able to get a restart that worked I logged into Windows and scheduled a CHKDSK to be performed the next time Windows started. Eventually that worked and it did the CHKDSK. It got to the fourth of five steps without any errors before I fell asleep out of boredom. I awoke the next morning to find the computer at the Windows login screen. A restart provided the same screwed up results as always. So it doesn't appear CHKDSK did anything useful.

3. The only disc I've got with this PC is a Gateway "Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005" System Recovery CD/DVD. As best as I can see it doesn't give me any option to repair Windows, only to recover it, which it says will erase all files and data from the hard drive. I really don't want to have to do this. I'll be burning DVD's for days or be forced to go out and buy an external HDD.

4. I ran MEMTEST to determine if it was a problem with my RAM.

MEMTEST ran for about 9+ hours and passed roughly 30 tests (failing none) before I fell asleep. I awoke the next morning to find the MEMTEST running again from the very beginning. I can only assume that the test finished, it tried to load Windows and then the all too familiar boot problem arose and it restarted my computer. And in doing so it started the MEMTEST once again.

So yeah. I don't think it's the memory even though I haven't actually seen the test finish completely. The weird thing is that once my computer finally DOES load Windows properly and I login, nothing is wrong. I surf the internet fine, I can listen to music, install or uninstall software without errors, burn discs with Nero or watch movies with any player.

If I could solve this problem without reformatting that would be ideal. Any and all help will be greatly appreciated!
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