Windows will not load up, just keeps saying 'loading'

December 18, 2012 at 13:17:31
Specs: Windows Vista
On my Dell laptop, Windows will not load. (I think it was Vista but I'm not sure) When I turn it on, some lights come on, and it says, 'loading' with a bar. However long it is left on, it does not load.
Not everything is backed up. My main concern is getting the data off, rather than getting the computer to work.
I need to get my data off it, but I'm unclear if this could be a virus that caused this problem, so I'm scared that ideas like booting from an Linux disk or something, and accessing files, could infect another computer or hard drive that I transfer my data too.
Can anyone suggest a solution?

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December 18, 2012 at 13:30:08
Try booting into Windows safe mode by continuously tapping F8 at start up. If you get into Safe mode you should be able to save your personal files to flash drive or CD.

You can scan any device you save the data to when connecting it to another computer.

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December 18, 2012 at 13:34:52
Thanks for your reply! Sorry this probably sounds silly, but if I can get it to boot in safe mode, how do I access the files and save them?
Once I entered in safe mode, and I couldn't seem to use it?

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December 18, 2012 at 15:32:37
Files are first priority you say?

Get yourself a Linux cd/dvd. There are are several variants about; Ubuntu, Knoppix and Debian (the last one possibly can be found on the Dell site?) being three that come to mind. They can all be found via a trawl/search on the web; download an ISO and burn to disk. Boot with that disk.

It loads itself into RAM (only) and the HD is merely a resource which to access/browse etc...

All three variants are "free".

With any one of those you can access the HD and copy of files etc to whichever media you like... Suggest use CDRW or DVDRW - whichever; as you can later re-use the disks? Check they (the copies) are readable on at least one other system such as the one you're using to get here?

Safe-mode (as per OtH in post-2) too likely will allow you to access and copy files of variously...; if you can get it to boot into safe-mode...

Memory problems can sometimes cause the problem in booting up. Similarly possible issues with the HD itself... If you know the make/model of HD there likely is a diagnostics util for it - possibly at the Dell site; and also on the site for the HD manufacturer itself.

But first concentrate on recovering files etc. as above?

And also - as per OtH - scan the disks once made in a working system - just to be sure they are "clear" of anything nasty..

For down the road... Do you have the recovery disk/s for the laptop?

Were there any recent issues with the system - prior to the current one?

Incidentally you may be able to access the web via the Linux boot up; and then run a freebie on-line scan to check the system out... Trend Housecall is an excellent freebie...

I use it occasionally to double check if I think I "might" have a pest lurking...

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Related Solutions

December 19, 2012 at 02:04:39
I will suggest you remove the PC HDD from it box and slave it on another working perfect PC with an upto-date Antivirus DB (preferably licensed AV) and scan for virus.

Then open the drive and backup all your data and reassemble the HDD to the faulty PC HDD bay and repair the windows OS with it(version of windows OS) installation CD/DVD. Once successful you can then have access to your data and do away with the backup data. But an unsuccessful windows OS repair then do a fresh installation and restore all backup data.

NOTE: The windows OS installation CD/DVD should be those ones that came with newly purchased PC and not the adulterated.


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December 19, 2012 at 13:02:27
Removing the HD etc. is a viable method both to scan the drive, and also to save data... But it may not be easy for some to do?

On most laptops it is relatively simple to remove the HD; but one needs smaller size screw-drivers... Also one has to be very careful not to let any screws slip inside the case itself - within the motherboard area itself... Having recently replaced an Acer HD, and had that happen... I say it from experience... (I have a lengthy life dealing with assorted electronic kit from the 1950s onwards...; and I'm no klutz...) It's usually when re-installing the drive and screws that this happens... A pair of tweasers is useful; and some means of temporarily holding the screw/s to the screwdriver both when removing and re-installing...

The Linux disk approach would allow perhaps an easier path to try - at least initially? If it works, then no need to remove drive.

I agree that once data is "safe"... it might/would be wise to restore/rebuild the system anew...; using whatever disk/s came with it?

And finally (as per Kronkite...) make and keep up to date safe secure regular copies of all your stuff/data; so that when problems may/do arise... most of it is already safe. Ideally(?) make duplicate copies of all saved data at all times - if really wanting to be safe; as in save to HD, then copy to external media...

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