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Load Error. Press a key to reboot.


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#1
SamZoo

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I recently ran the manufacturer's Restore Disks on a 5 year old WinXP desktop then updated to WinXP SP3 and reinstalled the same programs I had been running. On reboot, I now sometimes, not always, receive this error "Load Error. Press a key to reboot". Pressing a key only regenerates the message. This occurs on the 4th boot screen which is the one which normally shows Windows starting. The first screen is mem check. The 2nd screen is black with various messages as usual. The 3rd screen is the Norton Goback screen. The 4th is where Windows normally starts but that is where the error message comes up. I am able to use GoBack to restore to an earlier point and get the machine running. It will then sometimes reboot normally, sometimes not.

I have read the related posts with similar problems but my use of Norton GoBack is new to this issue.

I have noticed, circumstantially, that I can go the boot screen which offers Safe Mode by hitting F5, not F8, during boot up BUT only on those occasions when the machine will boot normally. Once I am in the "Load Error. Press a key to reboot" situation, F5 no longer takes me to that screen, nor does F8. In short, that screen seems inaccesssible to me when the machine is not booting normally.

My system is fully backed up. I am hoping to find someone who can say, with assurance, that this very likely IS or IS NOT an issue with a failing hard drive. If I can be reasonably sure it is, I will put in a new drive and start over. OTOH if this may be a software issue, perhaps I can find a way around it. Last choice is to buy a new PC which I am willing to do given that this one is 5 years old, but I'm intrigued by the problem and would like to solve it first.

I do have the Win XP install disk if it is needed. Also have Win XP SP3 on disk.

I will appreciate any and all help. Thank you.
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#2
makai

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Searching Google, I've noticed you've posted this exact same question to several forums. One in particular pointed you to a Google search link.

I'm sure by now that you realize no one can tell you its "definitely" the hard drive.

Recommendation... Reload the computer with the manufactures disks and DO NOT update to SP3. Also, DO NOT load any other software. Restart your computer and see if you still get the error. If you do, then probably the hard drive is going bad... if you don't, then its possibly a conflict with some software you installed after you reloaded with the manufactures disks.

Basic troubleshooting... all with no guaratees! :)
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#3
SamZoo

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Yes, I have posted to several forums and have also read many similar posts in the forums and others from a google search. Based on all that, I expect you are right that no sure "fix" is at hand but one always hopes! Your advice about reworking the pc again is good. I appreciate it. Many thanks.
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#4
SamZoo

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Problem Solved! Thanks to all who responded to my post. The solution turned out to be simple ... should have tried it first. I recalled the last bit of software which I had installed immediately prior to Load Error. It was Microsoft Office XP SP3. There was no uninstall for that SP but I uninstalled all bits of Office and the Load Error problem stopped. I will return Office to the machine, but without SP3.
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#5
makai

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There are so many people who've had problems after installing any form of SP3, (myself included), that I no longer recommend any SP3 updates.

Thanks for letting everyone know what fixed your problem. :)

Take care!
makai
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