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Can't log into XP pro after much trying


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#1
ralphchas

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I have rather old desktop computer running XP. I usually put it into hiberbation, which I last did yesterday.Today, trying to boot up,I got messages as follows after a few seconds into the bootup procedure (did not get very far) The caption message at top of this post and also: "System could not be started from its previous location due to a read error". I checked Microsoft help and tried disconnecting and trying to restart but I always get back to this message. I use this machine only for backup so it does not get a lot of use for general computing. I also tried using XP program disc but did not do anything. Can anyone help?.

When I try to boot it, it acts normally until about 1/2 a screen (counts memory etc) and then these messages appear and there is no opportunity to do anything else. I do not understand what you suggest or where to find these files. If you have any other ideas, let me know. Appreciate your help.

I was wondering if I could create a WIN XP PROF recovery disc using another computer which also uses this same program and version. Then I could use this disc to start up the offending computer. Any ideas? I checked on the web and there are a lot of recovery discs for sale, but I have no idea which to try or, indeed, if any will work. I tried a so-called "PC RECOVERY DISC" that came with the PC and I was able to get past the orig error message down to one that says: INSERT SYSTEM DISC AND PRESS ENTER
but using the sys disk I have, there is no response. I know the drive is operating OK. Can anyone offer any help or should I consider a new (or used) computer??

I went to MS help and followed the instructions for creating a recovery disc involving 6 floppy disks. However, I could not get past the first disk using this set. Can anyone help me to get this computer to boot up? Ref link:
http://www.microsoft...on.aspx?id=8030

The version of XP that is on this machine is XP PRO. It was put on in 2006. I do not know much else about it. I have the original XP PRO installation disc and a so-called recovery disc that came with it, but neither of them seem to do anything. I know how to press DEL when it tries to boot up to change the boot up default as either CDROM or FLOPPY etc. Not a problem. This machine uses Norton regularly to scan for viruses etc. and never any problem. It is used 99.9% for backup on a local network. So I don't suspect any viruses. This happened suddenly. It was working fine for the past 5 years!!!

Edited by ralphchas, 18 July 2011 - 12:56 PM.

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#2
Ztruker

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Try booting to Safe Mode by pressing F8 when the computer starts to boot, as soon as you see the OEM logo displayed.

Login as Administrator, no password unless you added one.
Do a normal shutdown.

Now see if it will boot up normally.
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#3
ralphchas

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I tried your suggestion to press F8 but this only brings me back to the original error message "system could not be started...etc. fyi: Normally on this machine you press DEL to get to the setup screen. I can do that but only to reset from where it boots, such as CDROM, FLOPPY, SCSI, etc.

I tried using disk #1 of the 6 floppy disk set and it goes OK until it asks to insert disk #2 and press any key. Then there is no response. Messages indicate that recovery is on the way. But I can't get past disk #1.
What is the correct setting for booting up when you want it to boot from the hard disk? Is it SCSI? There are about 8 choices. I ask this because I want to be sure that I have it set right for the "press F8" instruction you offered. Tks for your assistance

Edited by ralphchas, 19 July 2011 - 09:12 AM.

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#4
Ztruker

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See if this helps: A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP

As for boot order in BIOS Setup, I doubt it's SCSI. I would pick IDE 0 or ATA/PATA 0 for the hard drive.

The order should be:

CD/DVD drive
Hard drive
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#5
ralphchas

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Thanks for your suggestion. I read the stuff at the link. However, pressing F8 gets me nowhere. Does nothing. So I can't use this. I have tried many combinations and nothing works to get me to a place where I can get into safe mode or somewhere where I can proceed. I can't understand why floppy disk #2 does not respond.
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#6
Ztruker

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If F8 doesn't work, try F5. I believe both are supposed to get you to the Advanced Options Boot Menu where you can get to Safe Mode.
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#7
ralphchas

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F5 does nothing. I have tried every combination of all the settings and disks I have and nothing seems to be able to get me out of this situation. HELLLLLLPPP!! and tks in advance.

Edited by ralphchas, 20 July 2011 - 07:24 PM.

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#8
Ztruker

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I have no suggestions if you can't get to Safe Mode.

About the only thing I can think of is to do a Repair Install"]Repair Install[/url]. You would need a XP Install CD.

The alternative is to save your data then do a Clean Install which you can do by booting the CD.

There are a couple ways I can think of for you to save your data if you don't already have a backup.

1. Mount the hard drive in another computer as a slave.
2. Mount the hard drive in an external enclosure.
3. Create a Puppy Linux Live CD that you can boot and save your data from there.
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#9
ralphchas

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Thanks for your suggestion. I am not concerned about saving the data on the HD as I have backed up everything to another computer already. As I mentioned, this computer was used as backup only. So my question now is - before I attempt a clean install of XP (yes, I have the original XP disc blessed by Microsoft), what is the best procedure to delete everything from the HD so I don't end up with the same problem after I reinstall XP Pro. And many thanks for your continued assistance.
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#10
phillpower2

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what is the best procedure to delete everything from the HD so I don't end up with the same problem after I reinstall XP Pro.

This may help http://support.microsoft.com/kb/313348 be sure to set the boot order as directed by Ztruker
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#11
ralphchas

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Ztruker: Tks for the link. Meanwhile, I tried several things and actually got to the screen which normally appears after boot up is complete (TO START, CLICK ON YOUR NAME). However, the mouse became disconnected. When I reconnected the mouse plug, it changed things and now what I have is that it goes to the screen that offers you choice of safe mode etc BUT you can't select anything except NORMAL BOOTUP. When you do this, it boots up slowly and when done, you see the BSOD (blue screen) for an instant and then it automatically reboots again. To turn it off you have to unplug the power. I was encouraged for a time but now I am not too hopeful. I think I am going to buy a one terrabyte external drive and use it for all backups. I can get one for abt $60.00 on the web. Meanwhile, I'll play with this computer and see if some miracle can happen. If not, I will cart it to the dump. I have to be practical and I don't have unlimited time. Your help and interest was much appreciated. Any comment?
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#12
Ztruker

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Why mess with it. Do the Clean Install and hopefully that will resolve the problems.
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#13
ralphchas

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After I did the Norton full sys scan on another (OK) computer, I saw a free download of NORTON BOOTABLE RECOVERY TOOL being offered and I created a recovery CD disc after downloading the program. I used this to boot the bad computer and I can get into SAFE MODE OK and can see all my files, programs etc. However, programs do not run and it locks up a lot. I tried to get into sys restore, but it did not take me to the page where I can actually do the restore. Do you have any suggestions as to what I can do after I get into safe mode? btw, the CDROM I createc could not hold all the files, so this boot disc is not complete. My blank CD holds 700 MB only. Are there any discs I can get that will hold more? I had to abandon about 5 MB that I could not put on the disc as it was full. I would like to avoid doing a clean install as this will delete all my files and programs. I have CCleaner and the free version of Advance System Care v 3 on this computer but I cant get either one to run properly in safe mode. Any ideas???
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#14
ralphchas

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Sunday 24 July Latest try: I downloaded the NORTON BOOTABLE RECOVERY TOOL on to a 2 GB USB stick and plugged it into the computer. Then I went into XP Safe Mode and was able to run a Norton Full System Scan. It seems to be running off the stick, as it is blinking away. Scan is very very slow, but running. I am going to keep it on until it is finished and then see how things are. The stick, of course, has ALL the files, unlike the CDROM that I mentioned in the last post. The computer seems to be responding better then before in safe mode, but still not very well. I will see what happens after this scan is finished, probably in 24-48 hours at the rate it is scanning! Tks again for past help. You have to have faith for these things I guess.
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#15
Ztruker

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I downloaded, installed and ran NBRT and had it create a CD. No problem holding the data. there is still 188Mb free after the burn completed. Not sure what you did or how you did it.

I'll try booting it and see what options it offers and post back with results, but I still think you should do a Clean Install and move on. I know it's painful but sometimes it's the best (and only) thing to do.
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