HELP! Windows will not startup correctly!!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Tom Rags, Feb 18, 2002.

  1. Tom Rags

    Tom Rags Supporting Actor

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    Hey guys-

    I really need some help on Windows 98. I just installed some new RAM, and after rebooting, everything was fine...until my system crashed. No big deal, this has happened to me numerous times (which is why I will soon be upgrading to Win 2000).

    After restarting, I get an error message telling me that Windows will not boot and it recommends that I enter safe mode (it gives me seven options with safe mode as the default). No matter which option I try, I cannot get back to a normal "windows environment."

    I do have the recovery disks that came with the system (generic HP disks that contain an image of the entire system as it was shipped from the factory). My question: If I need to use the recovery disks that they supply, will it wipe out my whole harddrive? I don't care if it wipes out all of my programs that I can reinstall, but what about "My Documents?" Do I need to use these recovery disks or is there a better option?

    As soon as I can get in to back up my C drive, I will be reformatting the C drive and installing Windows 2000.

    Any suggestions? Thanks for your help!
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    First, did you remove the memory you installed? If that is the problem, then removing it will hopefully fix things.

    Next, you're saying that you tried to boot into Safe Mode, and it couldn't do that? If so, then definitely remove the memory, and try safe mode again (press F8 during the boot sequence to get that list of options to appear, then select Safe Mode).

    What are your backup options? CD-RW? Zip? Second Hard drive? Networked to another computer? It's always a good idea to backup personal files before attempting a reinstall.
     
  3. Jon_R

    Jon_R Stunt Coordinator

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    Those HP disks will wipe the hard drive. They are preset for your hard drive, ususally, and just quick format the drive and then decompress the image on to your drive. Nothing you have on the drive currently will work.

    Remove the memory as mentioned and boot into Safe Mode. I've found, and I have no explanation, that if a machine won't boot into windows, that booting to safe mode and then restarting and booting to regular windows often works. I have no idea why.

    In safe mode, your cdrw, zip drive, network card or other peripheral will not work so you can't use them for backup. Of course the trusty 1.44 floppy drive will still fix your problems.

    Good luck

    Jon
     
  4. Tom Rags

    Tom Rags Supporting Actor

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    Believe it or not, I was getting on to backup all of my files before trying to format C: and install Windows 2000.

    So do you mean I should unplug and then plug back in my new RAM?

    If this doesn't work, will my backup disks (CD) erase all of my files?

    BTW Dave, do you go to school in Rochester? Are you an RIT man? I'm a grad student at the Cuse.
     
  5. ChristianW

    ChristianW Stunt Coordinator

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    Remove the new memory, then try to boot your PC, in safe mode first, then if that works try a normal boot.

    Then backup everything you want.

    Then reinstall the new memory and try booting again.

    Don't forget to antistatic yourself before touching the new memory.

    If you can't get into windows after removing the new memory, you could slave your HD in another PC and copy everything you want off it. Format it while it's in the other PC, then install 2000, and repress all memories of 98.
     
  6. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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  7. AndyVX

    AndyVX Supporting Actor

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    Sounds to me like you have some faulty ram there. Just try completely removing it, and booting the computer.
     
  8. Tom Rags

    Tom Rags Supporting Actor

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    Here is an update: I was able to get the computer to work correctly in DOS. I was able to back up (thank god) most of my important files in DOS to my floppy drive (I knew having all those disks around would come in handy some day). It also appears that a startup file (don't remember which) is either corrupted or missing which is why windows won't start. Does this mean my RAM is probably OK? Getting that case open was such a bear that I'd like to avoid the hassle if possible.
    I now don't care if I wipe out my hard-drive...I will now format c: and install Windows 2000. Before I do this though, I should know if my RAM is okay I guess. Does it seem the RAM is probably okay if I could work correctly in a DOS environment?
    Thanks again for the help guys!!
    DaveF- That's CENTRAL NY not WESTERN NY [​IMG]
     
  9. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    Tom, I strongly recommend you remove the new RAM and try running Windows. If you have faulty RAM or incorrect RAM, re-loading Windows isn't going to do you much good. If I were in your shoes I would definitely remove the new RAM and see what happens before I went through the hassel of re-loading Windows.
     
  10. Tom Rags

    Tom Rags Supporting Actor

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    Just to be clear: You think I should remove the new RAM and replace it with the old RAM to see if it is the problem? or do you mean just remove it all completely? Like I say, the only reason that I ask is that the RAM is very inaccessible and a real pain to get at.

    Let me ask again, if DOS was running correctly, doesn't that mean that the RAM is ok? or am I not safe in assuming this?
     
  11. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Tom - go back to your original RAM configuration, and try running windows. If it works, then you it's likely the RAM is the problem. Even if it does, archive all personal datafiles. Then, you can reinstall the new RAM. If things don't work (like now), then replace the RAM as it's faulty.
    If you still can't boot to Windows, then there's something else going on: corrupted OS files as you suggested, or other hardware problems(*). If so, then archive your personal files, as best you can. (it might be worth remov9ing your harddrive, installing it in a friend's computer, and then archiving your files onto his harddrive until your reinstall is done.) Then you can try re-installing Windows.
    (*) My roommate, last year, was adding RAM, I think, and ran into problems. After strange problems, he discovered his CPU had died at the same time. It was a weird set of problems not actually related to the seeming source of problems.
    Living large in Western NY [​IMG]
     
  12. Richard_s

    Richard_s Second Unit

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    Tom you did not say what motherboard etc you have or how many sticks. Use the following memory test it runs from a floppy and actually uses an old linux build. This test will show you if you have a memory problem. I use this all the time and it never fails me. Some motherboards for example have three memory slots and have problems if two sticks are used in slot 1 and 2 but work great with slot 1 and 3. The following test also tests your L1 and L2 cache so failing the test does not mean that you have a bad ram stick but almost always that is the case. I would highly recommend you make sure you can pass the memtest86 before installing win2K.
    memtest86
    Download the pre compiled window / dos version
     

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