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Thread: Windows XP refuses to start up

  1. #1
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    Windows XP refuses to start up

    Hi:
    About ten days ago, when I turned on my PC (Windows XP PRO) I was greeted by a black screen, tried couple of times to reset it, but to no avail, it went through its post routine, and then a black screen with the cursor blinking in the upper-left corner. Not even safe mode.
    Well, as my data was safely stored on to a couple of backups, I formatted and reinstalled.
    Today it happened again. After working nicely yesterday, this morning, the PC showed the same blank (black) screen and refused to go on.
    Before formatting and resinstalling, again, I'd like to know whether is there a problem with windows Xp, that leads to this behaviour.
    What could be the cause?
    Can I fix this issue avoiding reinstalling?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    You could try this instead of a reinstall.
    Repair XP Installation without Clean Install:
    Configure your computer BIOS to start from the CD-ROM drive at bootup.

    Insert your Windows XP compact disc (CD) into your CD-ROM drive or DVD-ROM drive, and then restart your computer.

    (You can also boot with a Windows 98/Me Startup disk with CD support and run WINNT.EXE in the I386 folder on the CD)

    When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.

    When you see the following message displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER:

    To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

    At this point an option to press R to enter the Recovery Console is displayed. Do not select this option.

    On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.

    Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press the R key to repair Windows XP.

    Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.

    This will repair XP and put everything back to as it first was. You will have to reinstall any Hotfixes and OS updates including SP1 and DX9, plus retweak most (but not all) things all over again.

    The advanage here is that you will not have to spend hours reinstallindg all your programs again, as well as setting them up...................

  3. #3
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    If you leave your PC on 24/7 have you tried leaving the PC off for a while and then trying it again. Maybe it's overheating, just a guess. did you install or run any new programs before this happened?

  4. #4
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    I'm thinking more of a hardware error, such as the hard drive. When the operating system blows up, you'll usually see something on your screen, a memory dump, or some IRQ_LESS_THAN error. But just a blank screen with a blinking curser...sounds like the OS hasn't even begun to load yet.

    You try reseating all your cables, etc? Running a chkdsk of the hard drive?
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  5. #5
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    Thanks to the both of you, The Dude and YeOldeStoneCat, for coming to rescue.
    Your advice, as always, is priceless.
    I'll try what The Dude suggest, I'm not looking forward to reinstall each and every app I got in my system, at least in this way I'll save two or three hours.
    My computer gets shutdown in the evenings, but I'll try and let it running overnight to see what happens. Anyway I think this problem it isn't related to an overheating problem, as appears at turn on time, in the mornings.
    The first time it happened I run a series of test in order to check whether the hard disk was failing, but I got an OK on the HD (not that I trust these tests a lot, by the way do you know any reliable HD test?).

    Thanks again

  6. #6
    Senior Member Grimson's Avatar
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    Have you added any new hardware ? What I see alot of the time is that the pc is trying to boot to a usb device when you have that flashing cursor on startup.
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  7. #7
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    Hi, Grimson:
    Not that I have added new hardware lately. It is just like I explained in the beginning of this post.
    The only usb device that I got is a multifunctional one, an Epson (printer, scanner, etc).
    Anyway I'll check it up, too.
    Thanks

  8. #8
    SG Enthusiast The Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gort9k
    Thanks to the both of you, The Dude and YeOldeStoneCat, for coming to rescue.
    Your advice, as always, is priceless.
    I'll try what The Dude suggest, I'm not looking forward to reinstall each and every app I got in my system, at least in this way I'll save two or three hours.
    My computer gets shutdown in the evenings, but I'll try and let it running overnight to see what happens. Anyway I think this problem it isn't related to an overheating problem, as appears at turn on time, in the mornings.
    The first time it happened I run a series of test in order to check whether the hard disk was failing, but I got an OK on the HD (not that I trust these tests a lot, by the way do you know any reliable HD test?).

    Thanks again
    Go to the drive makers site. You should be able to download a free utility to check your hard drive.

  9. #9
    Elite Member TonyT's Avatar
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    Definitely sounds like a hardware issue, overheating, bearing bad a in fan, or failing ram. Easiest to eliminate heating-fan problem first. Open case and listen to fans and if hear whining replace the bad fan. Also may need to blow out debris. Try keeping computer ON and use Power Mgmt. setting to turn of hard disk after x number of hrs.
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  10. #10
    Junior Member cazman's Avatar
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    Is your video card working and are drivers installed for it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gort9k
    Hi:
    About ten days ago, when I turned on my PC (Windows XP PRO) I was greeted by a black screen, tried couple of times to reset it, but to no avail, it went through its post routine, and then a black screen with the cursor blinking in the upper-left corner. Not even safe mode.
    Well, as my data was safely stored on to a couple of backups, I formatted and reinstalled.
    Today it happened again. After working nicely yesterday, this morning, the PC showed the same blank (black) screen and refused to go on.
    Before formatting and resinstalling, again, I'd like to know whether is there a problem with windows Xp, that leads to this behaviour.
    What could be the cause?
    Can I fix this issue avoiding reinstalling?
    Thanks
    Hey,
    I had a similar problem with my machine one day. I reformatted the hard drive and tried to boot but it wouldn't boot, it would come up with the XP logo screen then screen just turned black (and i knew the system was still booting up because the hard drive light was still going). After formatting again thinking something went wrong with the install, same thing happened again.

    I figure it to be a problem with my video card or monitor (one or the other, I'm still not sure which), but what I did to resolve the problem was hit the F8 key during boot up and Enabled VGA mode, so that I could update the drivers and select a working resolution for my monitor. Apparently XP did not like my monitor at a current resolution of 800x600, so I had to boot just in VGA mode then reinstall the drivers for my video card, select a different monitor resolution and all was well. That worked for me, but your situation may be different.

    If you can get into windows in safe mode, make sure there are no devices trying to start up that may be malfunctioning or otherwise causing a problem. Check your BIOS settings too to ensure no changes are conflicting with the system upon boot up. I remember I enabled ACPI (that Power Management ****) on my system and it caused XP to hang during boot up and only a flash to the mobo would resolve that situation.

    Hope that info sheds some light on the situation.
    Mike

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