Windows will not start successfully

HP 7935 Pavillion
July 16, 2006 at 15:03:07
Specs: Windows XP, 512
Hello. My system will no longer properly start. I am brought to a screen with the message "We apologize for the inconvenience but windows did not start successfully" It then goes on and gives me 4 options: Load Safe Mode, Load Safe Mode with Networking, Load Safe Mode with Command prompt, and Start Windows Normally. Any option I pick just brings me eventually back to that same screen. I'm guessing my hard drive is having issues which is ok since I have already replaced this PC with a laptop. HOWEVER, I need some of the files stored on this PC! My last backup is a couple of weeks old and there were several files that I use that changed daily. I suspect the biggest obstacle I am going to have to trying to retrieve my data is that I cannot find my Windows XP disk that originally came with that PC. We recently moved right after having a new baby so I can only imagine where I may have packed it. What do you suggest?

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July 16, 2006 at 15:20:36
You can try to use a Linux Live CD and see if you can access your files, or use another repair software like ERD Commander. With it you can have access to your windows even if it's not starting.

Another way is to go to microsoft support site and look for register recovery. In this case you will need a Windows XP CD to boot to recovery console.

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July 16, 2006 at 19:05:03
The safest way is to remove the drive and hook it up as a slave to another system.

Do yourself a favor BACKUP!

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July 16, 2006 at 19:53:19
Ok. I looked into the repair software ERD Commander and it's not offered as a standalone anymore so I looked for other options. I found one from that states I can boot and recover my data, among other things. It's not that expensive and I could not find any reviews on it. I'm just wondering if anyone has heard anything about it before I spend the money.

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July 16, 2006 at 20:06:33
<<The safest way is to remove the drive and hook it up as a slave to another system>>

Well I don't know that it is the SAFEST way, but it certainly is one way.

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July 16, 2006 at 20:39:42
There is nothing in that message you got or in your post otherwise that indicates there is anything wrong with your hard drive. It is much more likely your Windows installation is wonky.
What have you done or what has gone on since Windows last worked properly? - did it stop working after you had installed hardware, or software? There have a even been a few instances reported here lately of Windows not loading after Microsoft Updates were installed automatically.

The first thing you need to do is to check out your hard drive.

On another computer, go to the web site of the manufacturer of your hard drive and download a free diagnostic utility. Make the one or two floppy set by executing the download. Boot your own computer with the first floppy and test your hard drive. There are usually two non-destructive diagnostic tests - a quick and a longer one - it should pass both. If it has problems only with the data organization on the drive and there is nothing else wrong, that's also a pass of the hard drive itself, but there are problems with your Windows installation.
If it passes the diagnostics, you will then know the problem is caused by something in your Windows installation.

If you find the hard drive does not pass both diagnostics, then your only option if you want to copy something you want to preserve is to do as ham30 suggests and connect the drive to another desktop computer jumpered and connected as a slave or as a secondary master and copy the files you want to save to another hard drive, or a flash drive, or to a burnable CD or DVD.

If the hard drive passes the diagnostics, if you want to try to fix Windows without losing anything of significance, you will need to obtain or borrow an XP CD, of the same version installed on your hard drive - e.g. XP original, XP with SP1, XP with SP2, Home, Pro, etc.
The best way to go is to find that Recovery CD and use that (see the info below about a Repair Setup).
If you still can't find it, second choice would be someone else's XP CD of the same version.
Third choice would be the laptop recovery CD.
You may be able to use the CD that came with the laptop if it has the same version of XP - some recovery cd's are actually Windows cd's with extra files and programs added so you can access other software backups on the hidden partition on the hard drive, some just allow you to access the hidden partition on the hard drive and it is there where the Windows cd contents are - you would need the first type - it can be used the same way as a normal Windows CD.

Whatever CD you use, you want to try Repairing XP first, NOT re-installing it the standard way which will wipe out all the data on the existing Windows partition.

Once you have a Windows CD, or a Recovery CD that will function as a Windows an XP Repair Setup.

An XP Repair Setup will not harm your existing Windows installation, or delete anything you have added to your Windows partition, but it can only fix things Windows detects as wrong, and/or replace corrupted or missing Windows files that are on your original XP CD. If running it doesn't cure enough of your problems and/or the problems are caused by things not on the original Windows CD, you will probably have to make a clean install of Windows from scratch.
You will need a Windows CD of the same version as the one of your Windows installation, and the Product Key, preferably the one that was used to install it, but it can be one for the same version as the one of your Windows installation.
The preferable product key to use is the one that should be on the label on the desktop case.

how to do an XP Repair Setup, step by step:

If you updated the XP version originally on the desktop hard drive, (e.g. to SP2), you will probably have to run the update install (e.g. SP2) again after the Repair Setup is finished.

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August 11, 2006 at 15:10:11
I got the same problem! :-(
My Task Scheduler started MS Defrag program but I didn't wait it to finish so I closed my notebook and it went to suspend mode.
I went out and after return I opened my notebook, wake it up - it tried to do some operations, I waited and then blue screen appeared.
Could not start the system because it was not a system disk...
I boot from Windows XP Professional CD and choose Repair and went to Recovery console mode. I done CHKDSK /R and after reboot I got the same message with cycling - any optio I choose it shows for 1ms blue screen and reboots. I can't see what is written and I can't boot my system
What should I do?

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August 22, 2006 at 17:34:51
The Repair Setup in response 5 is the SECOND method of repairing XP. The FIRST method is what you used - the Command Console - but you must be familiar with how to use it, and it won't help with many situations - the SECOND method - the Repair Setup - is a lot more likely to get you out of the situation you're in. See the above link.
If running it doesn't cure enough of your problems and/or the problems are caused by things not on the original Windows CD, you will probably have to make a clean install of Windows from scratch.

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