|Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard. |
The specific model of a brand name system is shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site and loading a program they have available, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer.
For Dell computers, they have a Service Tag number - the specific model can be determined by using that on their site, or can often be determined there automatically by you downloading some software, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer. The Service Tag number should be on a label on the outside of the case, probably on the bottom on a laptop, on the back on a desktop, and is often also shown in the bios Setup.
The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.
Your symptoms may indicate a ram problem or a hard drive problem.
It sounds like Windows is not loading the stuff that should be on the desktop screen all the way, and is freezing at that point. That can be caused by a software problem or a hardware problem, but if you're actually booting the computer from the Recovery disk, the problem with that can only be caused by a hardware problem.
You may have a poor connection of your ram in it's slots.
If this is a desktop computer,
Make sure all cards are all the way down in their slots.
If this is a desktop or a laptop or a netbook computer,
Remove the power to the case (remove the AC adapter's connection and main battery if it's a laptop or netbook) , remove the ram, wipe off it's contacts with a tissue or a soft cloth, don't touch the contacts with your fingers after that, install the ram, making sure the notch in the bottom of the module lines up with the bump in the bottom of the slot and that the ram is all the way down on it's slot.
Try booting the computer - if that was the problem, you're done.
If that doesn't help....
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibility, on another computer if you need to.
Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
If the hard drive itself tests okay....
If you're using a USB connected optical drive, you must have the bios Setup Boot Order or similar settings set to boot from a USB connected drive (or removable drive in newer bioses) in order to be able to boot from a bootable disk in it.
Even if you manage to boot from a USB connected optical drive, the initial files loaded from an XP CD, or a Recovery disk that is an XP Re-installtion CD, cannot recognize most if not all models of USB connected optical drives. In that case, the CD boots then all you see is a blue screen.
What did/does it say one the blue screen when you attempted/attempt to boot from the Recovery disk ?
E.g. STOP: 0Xx00000xx
We recommend that you DO NOT load the Recovery disks or a Windows CD in order to install Windows or your original brand name software installation from scratch - usually that is NOT required - you will lose ALL of your personal data that's on the C drive if you install those from scratch, unless you copy the personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere BEFORE you install from scratch. (Even if you can't get Windows to work properly, you can boot your computer from a Linux CD and be able to copy data.)
Instead, you should try running certain commands in the Recovery Console (press R the first time you are asked if you want to Repair Windows) , or if that doesn't help, then you should try running a Repair installation of Windows - that WILL NOT delete your personal data on the C partition.
How to do an XP Repair installation step by step:
You will need the Product Key for the version of Windows installed on the computer - Home or Pro - that's on the official Microsoft label on the outside of the computer case.
If neither of those things work, THEN you could install from scratch.
If you have a SATA hard drive, the initial files loaded from an XP CD, or from a Recovery disk that is an XP re-installation CD, will NOT find any SATA drives if the bios has the SATA controller(s) in SATA (or AHCI) mode.
The easiest way to fix that problem is to set that bios setting to an IDE compatible mode of some sort, Save bios settings, then the files loaded by the CD will detect SATA drives, as IDE compatible drives.
Use a laser lens cleaning CD in the optical drive, or if this is a laptop, eject the drive's tray, and no disk on the tray, wipe off the obvious laser lens with a tissue or with a soft cloth.
When you insert a bootable optical disk in a drive then boot the computer, if your bios Setup Boot Order or similar settings are set correctly, you will see "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar early in the boot sequence - you must press the specified key while that line is on the screen in order to boot from the disk.
If you don't see that line "Press any key to boot from CD" or similar early in the boot sequence , either your bios Setup Boot Order or similar settings are NOT set correctly, or the optical disk is NOT bootable (only one disk in a set of Recovery disks may be bootable), or if you have a desktop computer that has more than one optical drive, some bioses will only boot a bootable disk from the first optical drive detected - try inserting the bootable disk in a different drive.