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Windows XP problem


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#1
benny244

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Hiya. I have a laptop which I use as a backup to my main machine, but recently I've been having the following problem:

When I switch it on, first of all the screen looks like this...

Posted Image

...which I think is normal. But then it changes to this (sorry it's blurry)...

Posted Image

...and it says "if you aren't sure what caused the problem, choose Start Windows Normally", so that's exactly what I do, because I'm not sure what caused the problem. Next it changes to this...

Posted Image

...but it remains on this screen for far longer than is normal, and then eventually the screen turns completely black. It remains black for a short while, and then changes to this...

Posted Image

...and thus I'm using the forum here, because I have no idea what might have caused this, and I don't know what to do. Can you help, please?

Cheers
Ben

Edited by benny244, 25 June 2010 - 03:23 AM.

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#2
Brother Bill

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When you get to your Advanced Startup Options screen, the second picture, select Last Known Good Configuration. See if that will return you to a normal startup.
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#3
benny244

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Thanks for the suggestion. I've tried, and it took longer to get there - I left it unattended for a while - but when I came back, I found that it has the same blue screen with the same message as shown in the fourth pic.

Again, can anyone help please?

Cheers
Ben
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#4
Brother Bill

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Do you have your original install disk or a recovery console installed on the unit. Fixmbr and fixboot are commands that are run from the recovery console and could help in this situation. Wait for a response from some of the staff. I am actually not qualified to offer assistance here and they may have a preferred process that they would rather use first.

Sorry I can't help more,
Bill
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#5
rshaffer61

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If you have your Windows XP disk
  • Insert your Windows XP disk into your computer and reboot
  • Make sure the PC is set to run from the CD as the primary boot device.
    NOTE: You do this by setting your PC to boot to the CD-ROM in BIOS (enter bios by pressing f1, f2 or del key during memory count up, then search for boot order, and set the CD as the first boot device)
  • When the PC boots, it will boot from the CD...after the first several screens load, you will be given a choice to choose R for Recovery Console. You will be asked to log in.
    NOTE: For Windows XP Home, there is not password, just hit ENTER. For Windows XP pro, ask whomever set up the machine what password they used.
When you see the Recovery console C:\WINDOWS prompt continue to section 3 (Running "ChkDsk")

If you DO NOT have your Windows XP disk

This will allow you to burn a Recovery Console cd
  • Download the recovery_console_cd.zip from here file to your drive and unzip it to it's own folder.
  • Download the correct floppy disk setup package for your operating system from Microsoft and save it to the folder you extracted the zip to.
  • Rename the floppy disk setup package to Bootdisk.exe
  • Insert a blank cd into your burner.
  • Now just double click the RecoveryCD.bat file and follow the prompts to burn a cd that will allow you to boot to the recovery console.
  • Once the CD is created, place it in the defunct computer
  • Then reboot your broken PC with that CD in the CD-ROM drive.
  • Make sure the PC is set to run from the CD as the primary boot device.
    NOTE: You do this by setting your PC to boot to the CD-ROM in BIOS (enter bios by pressing f1, f2 or del key during memory count up, then search for boot order, and set the CD as the first boot device)
  • When the PC boots, it will boot from the CD...after the first several screens load, you will be given a choice to choose R for Recovery Console. You will be asked to log in.
    NOTE: For Windows XP Home, there is not password, just hit ENTER. For Windows XP pro, ask whomever set up the machine what password they used.

Running "ChkDsk"
  • At the Recovery console C:\WINDOWS prompt, type

    chkdsk /r

  • Press ENTER
  • Let this scan run UNINTERUPTED untill completed (30 min or so depending on the drive)
  • Report any errors in your next reply
  • Once the scan is complete, Type exit, and then press ENTER to quit Recovery Console.
  • Your computer will now restart, boot from the CD again and continue with the next steps.

Using "BootCfg /Rebuild" to fix the "Boot.ini" file

  • At the Recovery console C:\WINDOWS prompt, type

    bootcfg /rebuild

  • Press ENTER
    Note:The bootcfg /rebuild command scans the hard disks of the computer for Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, or Windows XP installations, and then displays the results. You can add the detected Windows installations.
  • When you receive a message that is similar to the following message, press Y:


    Total Identified Windows Installs: 1

    [1] C:\Windows
    Add installation to boot list? (Yes/No/All)

    NOTE: You may see more than one entry here if you have a dual boot windows system. If this is the case follow this procedure for ALL installations to make sure that all OS's are added correctly
  • You receive a message that is similar to the following message:

    Enter Load Identifier

    NOTE:This is the name of the operating system. This is either Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition.
  • Type the name of your operating system, and then press ENTER
  • You receive a message that is similar to the following:

    Enter OS Load options

  • Type /fastdetect, and then press ENTER.
  • Type exit, and then press ENTER to quit Recovery Console.
  • Your computer will restart, and the updated boot list may apear when you receive the "Please select the operating system to start" message.
  • If you see a Boot list with multiple entries choose the XP Home option to boot to windows.

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#6
benny244

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Hi rshaffer61. I'm trying to follow your instructions. I do not have a Windows XP disk. I've got to the second step, but I'm not sure which is the correct package to download. I honestly don't know whether it's home or professional. Do you know how I can find out?

Cheers
Ben
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#7
123Runner

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I honestly don't know whether it's home or professional. Do you know how I can find out?

We can make a guess here, but being wrong will create other issues.
On the bottom of the laptop is a service tag. Use the service tag and go to the Dell site. It will give you all the info on your computer as it was originally shipped. If you have changed the OS, then this info will be wrong.
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#8
Brother Bill

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Open the Start menu, right-click My Computer, select Properties. The information for your system including the version installed will be displayed there.

*EDIT* Sorry, I haven't had my coffee yet, if you can't boot, I guess you can't get to the Start menu. My bad.

*2nd EDIT* Have you tried going into Safe Mode?

Edited by Brother Bill, 26 June 2010 - 07:00 AM.

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#9
rshaffer61

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Hi rshaffer61. I'm trying to follow your instructions. I do not have a Windows XP disk. I've got to the second step, but I'm not sure which is the correct package to download. I honestly don't know whether it's home or professional. Do you know how I can find out?

Cheers
Ben


XP Home Edition from your screenshot.
If you have no XP installation disk then you would need to borrow one from someone. Make sure its XP Home Edition.
You should have a reg key somewhere on your system on a sticker.

Edited by rshaffer61, 26 June 2010 - 08:03 AM.

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#10
Brother Bill

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benny244,

I honestly don't know whether it's home or professional.

From the looks of your Windows splash screen, I would venture to say that your system is XP Pro. I have both systems here. The screen on my Pro system is identical to yours while the Home version displays "Windows XP Home Edition" on the slash screen.
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#11
benny244

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Well, I got this laptop from my employer. The company was selling off a few used laptops cheaply to employees, and I bought one. Therefore I assume that the version of XP installed on the machine is maybe professional rather than home...?

I've now followed your instructions down to and including "Make sure the PC is set to run from the CD as the primary boot device", but then the next bit just isn't happening at all. I'm looking for this: "When the PC boots, it will boot from the CD...after the first several screens load, you will be given a choice to choose R for Recovery Console", but all I'm getting is a black screen with a cursor flashing in the top left corner.

Can you tell me what I'm doing wrong, please?

Furthermore, if I'm correct in presuming that it's XP professional, I don't know what I'm gonna do about the next bit ("For Windows XP Home, there is not password, just hit ENTER. For Windows XP pro, ask whomever set up the machine what password they used."). I guess I'll have to try and find out what password was used...

Cheers
Ben

Edited by benny244, 27 June 2010 - 04:20 AM.

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#12
123Runner

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Your key combination is F2 to get to bios to change the boot order.
You should also be able to choose "boot from CD" by using F12 during the initial boot.

This is shown in the upper right hand corner of the 1st screen.

Since this is a old company laptop, then you are probably correct in it being XP Pro.
You are probably right in it having a password other than the default of "none".
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#13
Brother Bill

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Depending on how strict your companies policies are, it is possible that an administrative password was never set up. Go ahead and try just pressing enter first. Might get lucky.
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#14
benny244

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Your key combination is F2 to get to bios to change the boot order.
You should also be able to choose "boot from CD" by using F12 during the initial boot.

This is shown in the upper right hand corner of the 1st screen.


Yeah, tried all of this, but it's not working. I'm just getting a black screen with a flashing cursor in the top corner. Maybe I've done something wrong. Any idea what it might be...?

Ben
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#15
rosiesdad

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Bit of info, any Dell branded XP Pro cd will work ok. So if you can borrow one, do that. You might either do a repair install, or since you are a new owner, I suggest a clean install.
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