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Windows XP will not load - even in Safe Mode

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mister leigh

mister leigh


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Hello everyone,

I came home from work yesterday and decided to restart my computer. When I restarted however, Windows XP took FOREVER to load up! After the initial XP screen, I was greeted a black screen for maybe 20 minutes, before the login screen. After I eventually logged in, I got a screen where my desktop picture showed up, but nothing else. I couldn't get a status bar or anything. If I CTRL+ALT+DEL, I can get task manager to show up. And I can also get the DOS command prompt to run, but nothing else. I tried to click run -> msconfig but it will not show up.

I then tried to run my computer in safe mode and revert back to a previous state, but after doing that, safe mode will no longer even bootup. Is there anything I can do here? I have the feeling that a format is in order... :) :) :)

Edited by mister leigh, 04 April 2008 - 09:23 AM.

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Hello mister leigh,

Did you install anything between the PC still working and it loading so slowly.
Is there important data on the computer that needs to be backed up? If so, I suggest you do so.

You can do this in 2 ways since you still have access to the command prompt.
1. Hang your Hard Drive in another PC then use that PC to copy the files away from the hard disk.
Do NOT under any circumstance -put- data onto the disk.

2. Connect a flash drive to your computer, Start up Windows and go to the command prompt.
Once in the command prompt try some drive letters until you find the flash drive.
Drives you can try could be: "E: F: G: H: I: J: K:".
Once you found the drive you can use the following commands.

"C:" This will take you to your C: Drive.
"dir" this will give you a list of the folders in the folder your currently in.
"CD 'dir'" replace dir with a folder you found in "dir". The above 3 commands let you navigate through your folders.

"copy *.* 'flashdrive'" replace 'flashdrive' with the drive letter you found and it'll copy the data of the folder you are in currently to your flash drive.


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mister leigh

mister leigh


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no, all of my important files are backed up on cd's, uploaded to gmail, etc.

however, NONE of my drivers are written down and I am not sure if I have all of the documentation (I moved in the process of getting this laptop).
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John Hook

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mister leigh,

If you have a bootable Windows XP CD (preferrably the one that came with your PC), put it in your CD/DVD drive, configure your PC's BIOS to boot from this drive and restart your PC - pressing Enter with you're asked if you want to boot from the CD.

After running through the XP screens, you should get to a point where you can invoke "Recovery Mode". This will ask you which installation of XP you which to recover as well as the Administrator's password for this installation. When all is said and done - you should get to a C: prompt.



This will perform a COMPLETE check disk on your Windows volume. There's a good chance that there are errors on this volume which are causing Windows XP NOT to boot. When Chkdsk is complete, type Exit and press the <Enter> key.

Hopefully this will allow you get get further than you have been able to.

- John Hook
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A hijackthis log was split from this topic and into the malware forum at the user's request. If a trusted helper declares you clean and you're still having issues, please return to this thread for additional instructions.
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