windows xp start up loop

March 10, 2007 at 10:53:00
Specs: windows xp, 250mb.. i think.?

so i have had this dell computer for a few years now. it has always ran smooth, no big probs until now. the power at my house went out for a second or two a few days ago... and ever since then my pc wont completly boot up. i press the start up button and it goes through the process normaly and then it goes to the power failure screen with the 3 options, safe mode, normal, and last working configure. no matter which option i choose it always comes out to the same outcome. it starts to boot and it goes through the dell logo screen and onto the windows xp logo... but once it gets there the screen goes black and the computer reboots in the exact same way. after choosing all three options i retarted computer and pressed f8 at the dell logo.. i went through that process choosing every option there and still, nothing. so i thought it was an internal problem so i opened my pc and took a look around. everything was was in the right place and all the wires connected. i suspected the problem was located in the power source, thinking that the power outage was the cause of the problem in the first place. i took it apart and again everything was fine. frustrated, i took a HD from another computer and put it into my dell.. and again the same thing. so i assumed that the problem was with the hardware or some broken circuit that i would be unable to fix. but still determined to fix the problem by myself, i took the HD from the dell and put that in my other pc and turned it on and again, the same problem. so i figure that the problem is in the HD and the hardware. i dont know if there is anything i can do. does anyone have any ideas?

hey my names mike, i'm only 17 going on 18. i have been fooling around with computers ever since i was little, taking them apart, putting them back together, ect. i'm no expert, but i know a few thing

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March 10, 2007 at 11:33:15

Have you entered the bios and checked that all the settings there are OK? Then you can start by removing every pci card that is unnecessary that you might have added and see if it will boot. Be sure to remove the memory and clean their contacts and ensure that they are properly seated. You might also try to reset the bios, either by using the jumper pin near the cmos battery, or by removing the cmos battery. Good luck!

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March 10, 2007 at 11:56:35

The power going out probably produced (a) power surge or spike(s).
If your computer and everything connected to it is not connected to something that protects it from that, or sometimes even if it is (e.g. if it was a lightning strike on the power grid that caused the power outage), that can damage anything connected to the computer.
Usually the most likely thing to be damaged is the power supply. Black screening and rebooting is often a symptom of a damaged PS.
You often can't tell there is anything wrong with a PS by removing it's cover and looking at it if it was damaged by a power surge or spike - usually nothing looks burnt, and the fuse in there usually doesn't blow, even if the PS went completely dead.

Check your PS, etc.
See response 4 in this:

The hard drive could be damaged physically or logically, but usually it isn't. However, the data on the hard drive could have been damaged - that can usually be fixed, or if not you can re-install the software.

check your hard drive.
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 compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.

If you transfer a hard drive that has XP installed on it to another computer that has drastically different hardware - a different chipset especially - and connect as master on the first IDE and boot from it, XP cannot handle the hardware change and will not boot into Windows - that is NORMAL. Often what happens is you get the begining of XP loading, then a flashing cursor on a black screen, forever (XP loads no further). That can be fixed by running an XP Repair Setup, in which case you won't lose any data already on the drive, but if you're just trying to see if the drive is okay you should not do that - that will set the XP installation to the hardware on the other computer. You are better off to just connect it as a slave or as master on the second IDE if you want to see whether the data is intact, or if you want to test the drive.

If the other computer re-booted when you connected the Dell hard drive to it, that could be caused by damaged data on the hard drive, or less likely by a physically or logically damaged hard drive. Run hard drive diagnostics on the drive, same as pointed to above.

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March 10, 2007 at 21:42:55

I have also had customers PC's with the same problem. It is a power spike that can wipe out the power supply, not a power drop. What I see is that at the time of the power sag or drop your PC was writting to the HDD. This has corrupted the data and can only be repaired by format and re-install of OS.

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March 11, 2007 at 22:07:36

thank you all for your help. i tryed everything that you all said but sadly nothing worked. i desided to just take the hd from my dell in use it as a slave in my other pc.. it didnt work good at first but a few hours later i was able to recover all of my files.

hey my names mike, i'm only 17 going on 18. i have been fooling around with computers ever since i was little, taking them apart, putting them back together, ect. i'm no expert, but i know a few thing

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March 11, 2007 at 23:41:00

Run the hard drive diagnostics on it. If the drive itself passes (data organization problems or data corruption problems are easily fixed) you can re-load the drive, then copy the data you saved to it. If you want to re-install all the Dell software it came with, if you have not yet made a Recovery CD set with the Dell supplied utility in Programs, you can order a Recovery CD set from Dell to re-load all that - if it's the same case as with HP/Compaq, the whole set of CDs plus shipping costs a lot less than an OEM XP Home CD.

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