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PC Refuses to boot into Windows. (XP)

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Hi, apologies for posting for a friend, but obviously he can't post for himself right now lol :D

Some time ago, maybe about a month, he switched on his PC and it seemed to be working as normal. I believe he either had a BSOD, or it just restarted itself without showing one. However when it came to rebooting, his monitor power just went on and off, as if it was in energy saving mode. The pc would power cycle, but seemed to be stuck idling without being able to boot into windows.

Eventually he took it to a high street store, which performed a windows recovery, anti-spyware/malware sweep etc. and they got it working again, for about a week.

Now when it starts up, he can get up to the "boot in safe mode, safe mode with networking, last known working configuration" screen. However regardless of what he chooses, it wont boot beyond this point.

I'm a little PC savvy, but certainly no pro, however I had a few things I thought would be worth trying, but wanted to confirm it was the right course of action first:

Remove all the hardware from inside his PC, boot it up, if it works, shut the PC down, add a piece of hardware back in and so on, to identify if it's a hardware fault.

Run the WinXP recovery console from my WinXP CD. (He doesn't have the CD, since he bought his PC from a store, it shouldn't matter if it's my CD right?)

If I can get into his desktop, I can backup the files he wants, then possibly do a fresh format of his HDD and reinstall windows entirely.

One thing I'm not sure on, is if he's running an anti-virus/firewall. I think I take it forgranted that everyone will be running those. So is it possible he just reinfected his PC again, assuming that it's a problem caused by Malware?

As always, any advice is welcome and apologies if this is in the wrong forum, but I wasn't 100% sure if this was a Malware related problem.

Thanks in advance,



Edited by Akimb0, 16 December 2010 - 08:58 AM.

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Eventually he took it to a high street store, which performed a windows recovery, anti-spyware/malware sweep etc. and they got it working again, for about a week.

If the original problem was, you say, about a month ago and here on your quote you say EVENTUALLY, then depending on what the arrangements were with the High Street Store and depending on your level of ability, there is surely only one course of action in the first instance - that is go back to the High Street store.

With respect, if you have to post the queries you have, WHY take the risk of getting involved BEFORE you have consulted the High Street Store.
Was it a Windows Recovery as you say, using Recovery Console, to run chkdsk etc. FixMbr etc. Was it a Windows Repair installation, or was it a recovery from a partition on the hard drive.

On the brief evidence available, as it has run for a week, one might come to the conclusion that it was never a hardware fault and so we may suspect, after a week of successful running a software cause.
Does this person download P2P - torrents etc. THis is a prime way of acquiring an infection.

Has he, just before the present crash installed a program, updated a driver, downloaded a file - especially of the type mentioned.

YOU MAY ON FIRST EXAMINATION - think my advice unhelpful. It is not meant to be, otherwise I would not have taken my time typing it.
I would strongly advise that you do not attempt repair on other persons computers unless you have more knowledge.

The decision is yours.

The first thing I would do is to run a chkdsk - from the Recovery console using the /r. which includes p.
If the hard drive has bad sectors and had them on the first crash, this MAY explain the second crash after the week.
The recovery console in its fullest sense will only run if that CD you are using will access his installation. It must be matching in version.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 16 December 2010 - 03:08 PM.

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