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Windows Hangs At Blinking Cursor after POST screen


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#1
cubegame

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I've found this site by google seeing that someone else had a similar problem as me and having read through those threads it looks pretty hopeless but thought it would be worth a try.

My Dell Latitude D400 laptop failed to boot to Windows XP Pro by just hanging with a blinking cursor after the initial BIOS POST screen.

I've attempted a number of things to try and sort the problem out. I accessed the recovery console and ran CHKDSK /R which did find an error or two but didn't take too long. I then used FIXBOOT and FIXMBR. I also checked that the boot.ini was correct using BOOTCFG /SCAN and didn't see any problems.

But, still nothing.......

I then attempted a repair installation of XP Pro via the CD and again nothing. Next, I attempted a parallel install of XP but again it would hang at the same point.

I've been able to look at the hard disc via an Ubuntu boot disc and there doesn't appear to be an issue with accessing the disc and the computer appears to function fine.

I've replaced the hard disc with another and was able to do an install of XP but is there anyway to boot back to XP on the original install or is it now simply a back up/wipe/restart scenario?
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#2
happyrock

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first...slave the drive to another computer and get your data off and backed up to cd/dvd's or another hard drive or both..just to be safe...
since the new drive accepted the xp install without any problems and the original did not...I would not trust the old one for anything..hard drives are so cheap now its not worth taking a risk with your data IMHO..
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#3
makai

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You appear to have done almost everything required, plus some, to get your laptop recovered. You've also probably worked on it for many hours. However, the worst thing to do is a parallel installation. While the parallel installation can be removed (with work!), at some point in time you will have to decide when it's finally time to just back up your data and reinstall. You don't appear to have a hardware problem (except "maybe" the original harddrive), so you can be grateful for that.

At this point, I would vote for backing up and reinstalling. There is nothing more satisfying than a clean machine!

One more thing... when you finally get your machine running the way you want it, with all your programs and customizations sorted out, you should probably invest in an imaging program. I personally use Drive Image to create backups of all my computers at the point of finished installation/customization. If/when, I need to redo my computer, or go for a larger harddrive, it takes me less than 25 minutes from total blank drive, to fully loaded, up and running with all my programs in place, internet, drivers, you name it!
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#4
cubegame

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Cheers for the responses. The parallel install was a bit of a last resort as I pretty much knew it was done for.

Fortunately the machine is only a third machine but it did have some DRM protected media which we can't recover as the keys have gone with the Windows installation.

What's annoying is that the HDD is only three months old!!! Hopefully can get a warranty replacement.
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#5
makai

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What's annoying is that the HDD is only three months old!!! Hopefully can get a warranty replacement.

Well the good part is that most manufactures warranty a minimum 1 year, with some up to 5 years. I'm sure you'll have no problem getting the drive replaced.
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