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XP won't get to login screen

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I've been working on a few Dell Vostro 400 machines that were recently bought. They have XP Home, 4GB of RAM (only 3.25 GB accessible), DVD-ROM, DVD-RW, Core 2 Duo E6550. I've been installing various programs, but they all seem to fail randomly, where they just don't get to the login screen after a reboot or cold start.

I didn't see any diagnostic lights on the Vostro and there weren't any unusual beeps. The HDD light blinks steadily after the XP splash screen disappears, but nothing else happens. The monitor is still receiving a signal and stays green.

I've been able to get into safe mode and run a system restore, but after restoring and reinstalling the programs, it will fail at some a random boot up sometime later. There's Symantec AntiVirus, SpySweeper installed on there with Office Std 2007, Visio Pro, Acrobat. I'm wondering if there's some problem with software combinations between XP Home and the previously mentioned software.

Frankly, I'm tired of running the system restore and installing everything again (I've done it several times already). Please help, I've never seen this problem before.
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Murray S.

Murray S.

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