Windows Boot Issues

April 21, 2009 at 17:19:23
Specs: Windows XP
I'm noticing on a computer that the RAM test continues on and on and won't end unless you hit the DEL key to skip it. However, when you skip this test and the computer continues to boot to Windows, the only thing that you get is the windows splash screen and the mouse cursor. Does anyone know if these directly relate to one another and if there is a way to boot to the operating system. I've tried to nVidia graphics cards to make sure they aren't the reason for it.

Any help is appreciated.

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April 21, 2009 at 21:03:32
First try booting into some sort of bootable disc other than a Windows one, such as the Knoppix or Ubuntu live CDs, which you can obtain free. If you can open and run the applications from a live CD, then you probably have a Windows issue. Because the memory test during boot continues to run and run, though, I suspect it's not in Windows, because that process happens before the machine even starts Windows. There are also free troubleshooting bootable discs that will enable you to run Memtest (or similar) which might test your RAM more thoroughly than the built-in Dell test. If you're willing to open the machine, and it has two or more sticks of RAM, you can sometimes alternately pull one or the other to see if the trouble is in one stick. If you do that, however, be sure that the Dell will operate with only one stick, and check which slot the single stick must occupy. Turn off your machine and ground yourself before working inside it.

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April 22, 2009 at 09:27:42
I'll try that, however, the computer only has 1 GB RAM (1 stick).

I have also tried loading the windows recovery disc and that doesn't come up either. So the more I think about it, I'm sure that the RAM is at fault.

The funny thing is, when I asked the owner what he had done before the issue came up, he said he did these things:

-Accessed (to check and make sure it wasn't the conflicter virus).
-The site said files needed to be downloaded.
-He had two options, 'Block' or 'Ignore', he selected 'Block'.
-The computer restarted, and windows didn't come up.

I believe the operating system is XP Home (I know for a fact it is XP, but not sure on the suite).
We still think this a RAM issue, but could a windows update file cause something like this? I don't know much about the conflicter virus, but I have been told that you can't access the microsoft home page if you have it, so this may still be a possibility?

Any and all help is appreciated in advance.

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