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WINDOWS XP HOME EDITION - Startup Problem!

Discussion in 'Software' started by Barbusa, 5 Jul 2006.

  1. Barbusa

    Barbusa

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    I am trying to fix my niece's pc and would greatly appreciate some help on this one.

    She has installed Service Pack 2 and it worked ok for a couple of days but now it will not boot into Windows.

    No error messages appear but it gets to the screen with the Windows logo and the blue light going across, the two lights on her DSL modem come on then the machine restarts.

    Exactly the same happens when I try to boot into safe mode.

    I've tried to do a re-install using the Windows cd but after accepting the agreement the machine switches off and restarts with the same problem.

    I've also tried to use the recovery console and still no joy!

    I'm at a loss to know what to try next!
     
  2. gcol

    gcol

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    Sounds more like a hardware fault than something to do with Windows. Remove all non-vital hardware - soundcards, extra cd drives etc. Try and re-boot. No joy? Unplug and reconnect all the wiring..... try again. No joy? Ok remove and re-seat your cpu. No joy? Come back and tell us.
     
  3. Igorian

    Igorian

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    SP2 has been known to cause this problem with some older drivers, particularly with printers, scanners and other USB devices.

    You could try rolling back the SP2 install to see if the problem goes away or remove/upgrade any old drivers.

    Did you run the SP2 compatibility check? This will indicate if you are likely to have a problem with SP2.
     
  4. Expertboy

    Expertboy

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    Possible virus that, it may have corrupted your boot files, but just in case :
    press F8 right after you turn on your PC but before the Windows log-on appears (it may take a few attempts to get the timing right). At the resulting menu, select Last Known Good Configuration to restore your Registry to an earlier date.

    If this doesn't get your PC working, reboot and press F8 again, but this time select Safe Mode, and then choose Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore. Follow the wizard's instructions and pick an appropriate backup.

    If that approach doesn't work either, or if you can't even get to this menu, use your emergency boot floppy. If your hard drive's boot sector or Windows' basic boot files have been corrupted, this disk will circumvent the problem and boot you into Windows. If you don't have an emergency boot floppy, you may be able to use one created on another PC running Windows XP or Windows 2000, but there's no guarantee that it will boot your machine.

    To make one, insert a blank floppy disk into drive A:, select Start, All Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt, type format a:, and press Enter. When asked if you want to format another disk, type n and press Enter. Type the following commands, pressing Enter after each one.

    xcopy c:\boot.ini a: /h xcopy c:\ntdetect.com a: /h xcopy c:\ntldr a: /h

    Now type exit and press Enter to close the window. Remove the floppy disk and label it "Windows XP boot floppy." Put this emergency disk in the floppy drive of your inoperable machine and boot up. Windows should run with no problems. You could simply keep the floppy in the drive all the time, but to truly fix the problem, launch the command prompt as described above, type xcopy a:*.* c:\ /h, and press Enter.

    If the emergency boot floppy doesn't work, try the Recovery Console, a Windows utility that provides a DOS-like command line from which you can run some repair programs. It's tricky to use if you're not accustomed to command lines, and you can damage your data, so be careful.

    If you have a Microsoft Windows CD-ROM, you can get to the Recovery Console by booting from that CD and pressing any key when you're told to 'Press any key to boot from CD'. At the 'Welcome to Setup' screen, press r for Repair.

    If Windows XP or 2000 came with your computer and you don't have a Microsoft Windows CD-ROM, the Recovery Console might be on one of the CDs the vendor bundled with your PC. But it might not. Fortunately, the Recovery Console is hidden in a free, downloadable Microsoft program called Setup Disks for Floppy Boot Install. Visit Microsoft's site to download the setup-disk file that works with XP Professional; available too is the XP Home version, which will also work for Windows 2000, Me, and 98.

    When you run the download, it puts the XP installation program, including the Recovery Console, onto a set of six floppy disks. To get to the Recovery Console, boot from the first floppy, and then swap disks as prompted until you reach the 'Welcome to Setup' screen. Press r to open the Recovery Console.

    This is a list of the Recovery Console's most useful commands. For detailed information on a particular command, type the command followed by a space and /?, as in chkdsk /?. (Not all the commands will be available if you don't have a Windows CD-ROM.)

    Figure 1: Recovery Console Commands
    Command Function
    Chkdsk1 Checks disks for errors.
    Diskpart Creates and deletes partitions.
    Extract2 Extracts files from compressed.cab archives.
    Fixboot Writes a new boot sector.
    Fixmbr Writes a new master boot record.
    Help Lists the Recovery Console commands.

    Footnotes:

    1 If you load the Recovery Console from floppy disks, chkdsk may complain that it can't locate autochk.exe. When it asks for that file's location, point it to c:\windows\system32.
    2 Extract is not available if you load the Recovery Console from floppy disks.

    Sorry it's long winded, good luck.
     
  5. Barbusa

    Barbusa

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    Thanks for the suggestions. Sorry I have not replied but I have been away for a few days.

    The screen with the Windows logo and the blue light going across is the one that you see before the desktop appears.

    I have tried taking everything out the machine as suggested but I still get the same problem

    I have also tried disabling the 'on board' sound in the bios and also setting the bios to the basic defaults which has now allowed me to try an in-place upgrade using the original Windows cd.

    It is when trying this that I ran into another problem.

    The process ceased abruptly and I got a Fatal Error Message.

    The Error Log contains the following:-

    The signature for Windows XP Home Edition upgrade is invalid. The error code is FFFFFC06.

    The system cannot find message text for Message No. 0xFFFFFC06 in the message file for syssetup.dll.

    Fatal Error

    Setup failed to install product catalogues. This is a fatal error. The setup log files should contain more information.

    I would be very grateful if anyone could please throw any light on this problem.
     
  6. breezer

    breezer

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    you could always format the hd and start again.
    it works, but you will loose everything
     
  7. Expertboy

    Expertboy

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    have you tried what i suggested above?

    If that doesn't work, re-install your operating system it's dead.
     
  8. singalong

    singalong

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    I notice that "Barbusa" never posted as to how the problem he had was resolved. People take the trouble to offer advice and knowing if it worked or not only adds to the collective knowledge but is a vote of thanks to those posting.
    The original post was relevant to me as my computer recently went into a continuous 'bootup loop' after a power cut. I have just finished reloading XP etc from a set of recovery discs. It should have been a simple job but it was beset with problems and took me from 9am to 3pm to complete.
    At least I had all my data backed up.
     
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  10. empip

    empip

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    I wonder if it was this problem.. http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=310396

    Did you try this ... (a tip, scroll past adverts for info...)
    http://www.pcbuyerbeware.co.uk/Windows.htm

    ;)
     
  11. Agile

    Agile

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    On startup the screen briefly shows " HD S.M.A.R.T. CAPABILITY DISABLED! or something very similar.

    Its a modern PC running XP.

    What does this message refer to and why should it be disabled anyway?

    Tony
     
  12. Igorian

    Igorian

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    It's a bit like having a crystal ball in your hard drive. S.M.A.R.T or Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology, is a system that monitors a variety of parameters within the drive and allows it to predict when failures are likely to happen. The message you are getting just means that monitoring is switched off in the BIOS. If you can access your BIOS, have a look in the advanced section and you'll be able to switch it on. There is a small performance overhead, but it's unlikely you will notice the difference.
     
  13. Agile

    Agile

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    Thanks for the quick reply!

    I am amused by the apparent ability to predict when failures are going to occur. That would be a useful facility in the gas boilers that I repair!

    Now that you have explained what it does or can do, is there really any great advantage for me in having it on particularly if it slows down access time?

    Tony
     
  14. Igorian

    Igorian

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    As I said, the drop in performance is likely not to be noticed, unless you are a benchmark junky. I would say any mechanism that advises you of potential failure is a good one and worth enabling as it might allow you to move data before the big crash. It's still important to make regular backups.
     
  15. BruceLee

    BruceLee

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