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I can't start my computer in safe mode


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#1
gorilla7875

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My computer was fine. I returned from vacation and the computer wouldn't start. When Windows XP is loading the bar stops 3 times and then goes to a black screen. That's all. It won't start in safe mode either. I am a writer and in colege so all my book files and college files are on the computer. I don't want to do anything that will delete those files. Please can anyone help me. Everything I try leads me to a black black screen. Safe mode gets me to a black screen with the words "safe mode" in each corner. I don't know what to do and I need those files. I don't have a back up for any of them.
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#2
wannabe1

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Hello gorilla7875...

Did you try "Last known good configuration" from the Safe Mode options?

Is your machine a brand name machine like HP, Compaq, Dell, etc...? If so, what is the make and model number?

Do you have your Windows cd?

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#3
gorilla7875

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I tried safe mode and every other mode as well as last known good configuration. Nothing works for it. And now I can't even get into the recovery console cuz it asks me for an administrators password and I don't have one. Before I would just hit the enter button and it would bypass and I could do things but now it won't let k,e do that either. I have a Compaq Presario SR1901WM series desktop PC. It was runnig fine and then all of a sudden nothing. I am a writer and all my files are on that conmputer. I moived recently and can't find any back up disks for my work. I really don't know what to do next.....Please help...
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#4
wannabe1

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How are you accessing Recovery Console? Do you have a Windows XP installation cd?

There are several ways to recover your files, but I'd prefer to either repair the current operating system...or install a fresh operating system in parallel to the broken one. We'll need an XP installation cd to do either one of these.

Another option would be to slave the HDD from the non-starting machine to a working machine...or install it in an external enclosure. These methods would allow you to copy your files to the working machine, but would do nothing about fixing the problem.

Yet another option would be to use a Linux disk that will run "live" from the cd-rom and use that to copy the files to a flash drive.
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#5
gorilla7875

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I press F8 and then go to safe mode command prompt, then it asks which system (home or professional editions or recovery console). i click recovery console. I dont have any cds. nothing came with the computer. i was told about a slave drive and file retrieval from Best Buy but I fear they won't get all my files and I would have to see them to know if I needed them cuz there's so many. I was also told to reinstall windows xp might mean the files being deleted. they're not sure. so i really dont want to do that. Do you think the best thing would be to go in and have themn get the files. I can do a system recovery after that and just put them back on the computer. I just can't imagine this is a hige problem and can't see how fixing it would be that hard.
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#6
wannabe1

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Fixing it isn't the problem.....fixing it knowing that you have important data aboard is.

Let's see if we can get into recovery console by booting to a cd. Download RC.iso and save it to your HDD...then burn it to a cd as an ISO image. You may need a burning tool like ISO Recorder to do this...be sure to get the version for the operating system you'll be creating the disk on.

Once you have burned this image to cd, put it in the bad machine and see if it will boot to Recovery Console. Hopefully accessing RC from the disk will allow you past the password prompt by just pressing the Enter key.
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#7
gorilla7875

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ok I wil get that. Then what do I do? I tried several things but none of them worked in getting the system to boot. Even just once to get the files off of it. Can I perform a system restore from the recovery cnosole? That's what I tried to do but it wouldn't let me in after that. The site told me if it didn't work (and it should have) to just go back in and chose another restore point. Once I get the administrator password bypassed thru this idea you have given to me, then what should I do? I don't want to mess things up worse. And thanks for your help with this. I appreciate it more then you can EVER know!!!
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#8
gorilla7875

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hey there. I got the rc.iso image and the recorder but when i try to copy the image to a cd it wonb't let me. the "next" button is disabled and i can't get this computer to utilize the iso recorder. i looked in the properties and it tells me the source to open it is unknown. it gives me a list of internet expolorer and dvd and a few other things to open it with. which one should i use or how do i get it to use the recorder to burn the image to a cd? can't i just do is as if it were any other image or does it have to be with the iso recorder?
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#9
wannabe1

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If you have installed the ISO Recorder, just right click on the downloaded RC.ISO file and choose "Copy Image to CD" from the right click menu. That will start the Recorder. You should be able to burn the disk using the default settings.

If you are able to get into recovery console, type chkdsk /r at the prompt and let the check complete. It may take quite a long time...be patient. When it's finished and you are back at the prompt, type exit and press Enter. Let the machine try to bot normally.
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#10
gorilla7875

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well i burnbed the iso to a cd and tried it but nothing changed. i still get a blank black screen and the password is still asked. i tried to press enter but it still asked for it again. any other ideas?
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#11
wannabe1

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I think the best option, at this point, is to consider the data rather than the operating system.

The easiest option would be to purchase an External Enclosure and install the HDD from the broken machine into that. It's easy to accomplish and will allow you to access your files as if they were on a USB flash drive. Copy your important files to a good machine so they are safe, then you can consider either trying for a System Recovery from the recovery partition, or ordering the recovery media from HP/Compaq and doing the System Recovery using that.

While using the recovery partition method does offer the option for a "non-destructive recovery" which is supposed to leave your data intact, this is not always the case and it may be damaged or deleted.

A System Recovery using either method will likely take the machine back to the day it was purchased...any programs and updates that were installed after that will have to be reinstalled.

Information on System Recovery

Obtaining Recovery Media
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