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XP - Caught in start up loop.. now getting disk failure msg


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#1
Honeybane

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Ok, first of all, I want to let you know I had expected a true version of XP when I received it from a friend of mine (said he had two, that he didn't want one so he installed it on my computer and later sent me the cd and set up floppies). I've not had the money to buy an original as of yet, and haven't had any trouble with the OS until a day or two ago.

Next, I need to explain that I've had a message at start up that says Hardware manager has found an error, hit F1 to continue, F2 to enter set up. I've reset the BIOS before, have been in Device Manager and found nothing abnormal, besides, neither of these two activities have changed the way this error appears/solves the "problem" and makes the message cease. So I've used F1 for a long time now (a year or two) without issue.

When my husband started up the computer the other day while I was at work, he hit F1, but it only restarted the computer. It's in a loop now that I can't get out of.

I've used the set up floppies hoping to just rewrite the OS over itself, but it stops me at the end of the 6th floppy saying that there's either no room, something is damaged, etc., or that the partition needs reformatting.

I can't get into safe mode as all options on that safe mode menu send me back into the start up loop, and that means I can't back up my documents and some irreplaceable files on that partition.

Any help will be greatly appreciated. I've read a few threads on here before I bothered posting one in hopes of finding an answer along the way. There are some avenues I will have to try when I get home (at work right now), but nothing that addresses my issue exactly.

Thank you very much, in advance, for any and all help directed my way. I look forward to hearing back from you guys.

I'm unsure of how else I can get into safe mode, and REALLY don't want to reformat without backing up those documents.
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#2
Fenor

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Hi Honeybane! Welcome to G2G!

Here's what I've done successfully 2 out of 2 times with computers with the same problem. I've taken the hard drive out of the non-working computer and hooked it up as the Master on the second IDE channel on a working computer and then booted up the working computer and during startup Windows XP will check the disk and do the three steps during this process. The easiest way to do this is to disconnect everything that is attached to the secondary IDE cable, which will most likely be a CD/DVD-Rom drive, of course leaving the other end of the cable attached to the motherboard itself. Then attach the other end to the hard drive from the non-working computer, remembering to attach a power plug to it as well.

Boot up the computer like I said, and let XP run it's check on it. Once you get to the desktop, it would be very wise at this point to open MY COMPUTER and double-click the new hard drive listed (being the one from the non-working computer) and find the files you want saved and transfer them over to the hard drive of the working computer.

Once you are done with this, turn the computer off and reattach the hard drive back to it's normal location on the other computer and boot it up.

Fenor
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#3
Honeybane

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Hey, Fenor! Thanks for the reply.

My only trouble finding a working computer is that I only have access to my work laptop, and I really shouldn't hook anything up to that. Too much risk with something that doesn't belong to me. If I had another working computer, that would be a great venue.

Any other ideas outside of that??

I appreciate your help!
Honeybane
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#4
Honeybane

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Btw, I've set up the BIOS to boot from the cdrom, and I can hear the cdrom working, but it doesn't boot from it. :/

Suggestions are welcomed with open arms! :tazz:
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#5
Fenor

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If you have your Windows XP CD handy, I suggest you do is a REPAIR INSTALLATION of windows, using the link in my signature as a guide. Don't worry, after doing this all your programs will still work and you won't lose any files or settings. All this does is replace your operating system files (C:\WINDOWS). You will need to redo all windows updates after doing this.

Please note that not all OEM Windows XP cd's support this repair option. Please post back if you are unable to do the repair and we will pursue other options.

Fenor
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#6
Honeybane

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Thank you for getting back to me... I've used the floppies (set up disks), and when I came to the 6th disk, it said that there either wasn't enough room, that the drive was damaged, etc., or that I need to reformat and then asked how I'd like to format the drive.

The computer isn't reading any cds that I put into the cdrom. I can hear it clunking around like it's trying to read it, but then it reboots and gives me the Boot disk failure error. (sorry I don't have the exact message to type here, I'm sure you know what it is already.)

Any other suggestions? :tazz:

Again thank you for your help!!
Honeybane
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#7
Fenor

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If the CD-Rom is making a 'clunking' noise and not reading the CD's, this could signal that the CD-ROM drive is damaged and that could be holding up Windows from booting successfully. With the computer turned off, disconnect the CD-Rom drive from the IDE cable, then turn the computer back on and see if you get passed the configuration error.

Fenor
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#8
Honeybane

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"Clunking" might not have been the best descriptive word I could have chosen.. it sounds like it's working.. you can hear the gears moving around, but then nothing productive happens..

I'll try unplugging and rebooting when I get home. I've tried setting up the dvd drive to read the cds as well and it's not worked either. This has been the most frustrating situation I've encountered with this computer to date. LOL

I'll update tonight. Thank you again for all your help.. :tazz:

Much appreciated..
Honeybane
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