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Computer problem - Please help!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by ThomasC, Dec 28, 2005.

  1. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    My friend's computer won't boot up properly. It goes to the Windows XP loading screen, then reboots and goes to the "Windows did not load properly, pick an option" screen. It can't even load Safe Mode. It's an HP Pavilion 7940. Can anyone help me fix this problem?
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Have you ever made a disc with BART? (http://www.nu2.nu/) I'd recommend making one. Here's why:

    HP creates a hidden FAT32 primary partition on that drive to act as a recovery option. But if your XP is borked, and you have data you want, the recovery option HP provides is garbage.. you lose all your data, it formats up your drive and starts you off like you just bought the PC. Who the hell wants that?

    The other gripe is, even if you have a full WindowsXP OEM CD, it doesn't always find the Windows install properly because it isn't on the first partition on the drive (which is not always an issue) but because of the way the MBR is written in the box.

    A BART disc will provide you a way of at least scanning the PC and checking it for problems that would prevent a boot to safemode (like an AV scan, a spyware scan) by booting to a CD install of Windows.

    If this sounds really complex, bypass it. Find someone with an OEM CD and see if you can do a repair install.
     
  3. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    1. Most importantly, do you have the data (documents...E-mail, etc.) backed up somewhere...burned to CD...USB drive, etc?

    2. Have you tried, "Last Known Good Configuration" from the option screen?

    3. Typically when an XP machine can't boot into either of these modes either A) Windows itself has gotten corrupted, or B) there has been a hardware failure.

    4. Did the machine show any symptoms prior to this...slowness...pop-ups, startup errors such as "a disk check has been scheduled...", other error messages while in Windows?
     
  4. ThomasC

    ThomasC Lead Actor

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    My friend will get back to me about that.
     
  5. Paul Padilla

    Paul Padilla Supporting Actor

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    That makes me a little nervous. If there is a virus involved then you risk infecting your machine. "Last Known Good" would be the next step. There are some good floppy based virus scans you can create to scan the drive independently of Windows.

    Occasionally bad RAM will cause this symptom. I'd re-seat the RAM and all of the connectors...Hard Drive...CD, etc. If no change, remove half of the RAM (Assuming there are two sticks)...if no change, swap for the other stick, etc. Just trying to eliminate some possibilities.

    If you have access to a spare drive of any kind, you could remove the original drive and do a plain vanilla install of Windows on the test drive to eliminate non-hard disk hardware issues.
     
  6. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Joseph DeMartino
    You might also want to consider some of the suggestions offered in this thread as the problems described are sufficiently similar to suggest a similar approach in troubleshooting them.

    Regards,

    Joe
     

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