Can't boot to windows! Not even safe mode....

Toshiba Satellite m115-s3094 notebook
September 8, 2009 at 16:09:46
Specs: Windows XP Media Center
The other day I uninstalled a bunch of Toshiba
software, now it was mostly stuff I didn't think
was necessary, like the toshiba zooming tool,
and configfree, stuff I didn't need cuz windows
utilities worked fine already and I didn't want
Toshiba clutter in my start menu. Anyway
today I came home and tried to get on the
internet, and it said it was connected fine to
"access point" but when I opened windows wifi
it said I needed to use my own networking
software. I was like crap configfree! But it
worked fine this past week with it uninstalled.
So anyway I thought maybe a simple restart
would cure the problem. I took it off selective
startup (I was working on a different problem at
the time) and restarted, and then the bios
startup screen loaded, the screen went black,
and it looped that over and over. Won't even
get to the windoze start up screen, I can't even
boot it in safe mode.


I'm thinking maybe when it found that it was
allowed to start up with configfree now, it
looked for it but when it found it had been
uninstalled, it didn't like that. I still don't see
why it won't get to windows just cuz of that
though so I guess it's something different. I
don't think I uninstalled any critical toshiba
software! What's wrong?!


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#1
September 8, 2009 at 19:44:24
"...when I opened windows wifi
it said I needed to use my own networking
software."

Wireless network adapter's software installations often install their own wireless configuration program along with the drivers for them. When they do, when you try to use XP's built in Wireless Zero utility, you get a message saying some program is being used for the wireless adapter or similar and you can't use Window's built in wireless program or similar. In most cases, if you un-install the wireless configuration program that came with the wireless adapter found in Add/Remove Programs, you can then use Window's built in Wireless Zero utility to set up the wireless connection.

You haven't mentioned anything so far that indicates you had a problem connecting to the internet, so there may have been nothing wrong with that.

If the wireless adapter's own configuration was being used and working fine previously and you had no problem connecting to the internet, then you don't need to be concerned about whether you can use Window's built in Wireless Zero utility - the message had nothing to do with your problems.

If you were using Window's built in Wireless Zero utility previously, and you couldn't get onto the internet this time, then the message you got is not normal.
.....

Your problems after that probably had nothing to do with that in any case.
......

I'm assuming you have NOT changed which ram you have installed since the computer last worked properly.

A common thing that can happen with ram, even ram that worked fine previously, is the ram has, or has developed, a poor connection in it's slot(s).
This usually happens a long time after the ram was installed, but it can happen with new ram, or after moving the computer case from one place to another, and I've had even new modules that needed to have their contacts cleaned.

See response 2 in this - try cleaning the contacts on the ram modules, and making sure the modules are properly seated:
http://www.computing.net/hardware/w...

For a laptop, you must remove both its main battery and AC adapter before you do that,

See the Owner's manual for your model if you need more info about how to properly remove and install the ram modules.
......

Once you have done that, check the hard drive.

Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
http://www.computing.net/windows95/...

(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities
http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm...

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 the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.
......

If the hard drive tests okay...

If the hard drive still won't load Windows....

You have OEM XP MCE on this computer.

You can fix MINOR problems with the MCE installation by booting with an OEM XP Home or XP Pro CD, SP1 or later, and choosing to Repair Windows at the first screen you see after the initial files are loaded from the CD, which takes you to the black screen interface called the Recovery Console, where you can try running commands such as chdsk /r.

NOTE that if your hard drive is SATA and the bios is running the SATA controller(s) in SATA or ACHI mode, the Recovery Console will NOT find any Windows installation on the SATA drives.
In that case, if you set the bios to run the SATA controller(s) in IDE compatibilty mode or similar, then Setup / the CD / Recovery Console WILL find the Windows installation on the SATA drive.

Recovery Console looks for Windows installations.
On a laptop usually it finds only one.
Type the number if the one you want to access.
E.g.
Usually it's 1. C:\Windows
(In some cases, it's C:\WINNT)
type 1, press Enter.

Then you see
Administrator Password:

- If there are no asterisks - "stars" - *'s - the upper case of 8 on your keyboard, there is no password - just press Enter.

- If there ARE asterisks, the password is the same as you normally use when you boot the computer into Safe mode and choose Administrator, then press Enter.
The case of the characters - upper or lower case letters - in the password has to be correct.

Type: chkdsk /r c: (press Enter).

That takes longer to run than chkdsk /f C: does in Windows itself (there is no chkdsk /f in the Recovery Console).

Type: exit when that's finished; the computer will reboot.

Don't boot from the XP CD next boot, try the computer.

If that doesn't help there are more commands you could try in the Recovery Console.
...........

If the hard drive still won't load Windows....

It is extremely difficult to fix MAJOR problems with the MCE installation unless you have the OEM MCE 2 CD set (same version of MCE; it's MCE 2005 SP2 if you bought the laptop in or after 2005), the first disk of which you use to boot the computer with, which does not normally come with a brand name system that had MCE on it when you bought it.

If you have a Recovery DVD (or a single Recovery CD along with the data contents of the second partition , or Recovery CD set) for your model, you could boot with it and run the Recovery procedure, but in most cases, you can't repair problems with Windows with that - it wipes everything off the hard drive (or off the first, C, partition) and installs everything that was on the computer when you first got it. In that case, if you have any data you don't want to lose that can't be replaced, you have to copy it elsewhere before you run the Recovery procedure, if you don't want to lose it.
.......

You can but the OEM MCE 2005 2 CD set on the web, or locally at some places that sell computer parts and software, but it's well over $100 (in between the price for OEM XP Home and OEM XP Pro).
However, if you know someone who installed the OEM MCE 2005 set on their own custom computer and has the two CD set, you could make copies of those, or if you can find ISO copies of those on the web to download and make the CDs from, you are legally allowed (as far as Microsoft is concerned) to use those with the MCE Product Key on the official Microsoft label on the outside of the laptop case, assuming the laptop came with MCE 2005.

What you need to do is run a "Repair Setup" procedure, if you don't want to lose the data you have added to the C drive.

You boot with the first MCE CD, then choose the SECOND choice to repair Windows.
See this - this is for XP Pro, but you'll see pretty much the same thing except MCE requires the two CDs.
How to do an XP Repair Setup, step by step:
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/win...

NOTE:
The MCE CDs have Setup related bugs that have never been fixed.
About 80% through installing the files from the first CD during Setup, you are prompted to insert a CD but it's title is NOT CORRECT.
Insert the second CD at that point.
Setup then installs files from the second CD, then you are prompted to insert a CD but it's title is ALSO NOT CORRECT.
Insert the first CD at that point.

If you get confused and don't insert the proper CDs at those times, MCE is NOT installed properly when Setup has finished!
.....

If running the "Repair Setup" procedure does not help fix your problems, you will have to use the model's Recovery DVD (or a single Recovery CD along with the data contents of the second partition , or Recovery CD set) to reload the software on your computer.
In that case, if you have any data you don't want to lose that can't be replaced, you have to copy it elsewhere before you run the Recovery procedure, if you don't want to lose it.



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