Windows Will Not Finish Booting

Dell / Dimension xps t500
February 23, 2009 at 20:41:18
Specs: Windows 2000 Professional, ?

Well, maybe it does finish booting, but I get no desktop icons or taskbar.

I have Windows 2000 Professional and it won't boot in normal or any of the safe modes available. It gives me the box that says Windows is starting up, then I get the log on screen, and it gets to the point where it indicates that it is loading my personal settings. After awhile the message goes away and I get a light turquoise screen that never gets populated with any icons or taskbar, or anything.

Most of the safe mode options get me to the desktop with a black background, and 'safe mode' in each corner and... nothing else. No icons or taskbar here either. Even the 'Last known good configeration' fails to work.

In both normal and safe mode I can get to the security screen with CTRL-ALT-DEL to display the options to change a password, start task manager, lock the computer , etc. All of these options work, except for the Task Manager. Hitting that button only makes the security screen disappear.

This PC has no Windows CDs, so I can't access the recovery console. I did use another PC and dowloaded a 4 diskette set of floppies for W2K Pro that I was supposed to be able to boot from, but when I put in floppy one and power up, I get the blue Setup screen, followed by the msg "Ntkrnlmp.exe Could Not Be Loaded. The Error Code Is 7. Press any key to continue".

This was working fine until just a few days ago when my nephews were playing with it.

I did reload all the default settings in the BIOS setup, but got nowhere there either.

Any ideas?

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February 23, 2009 at 23:30:44
Just noticed that when I access the BIOS Setup I'm able to view the DMI Event Log.

It's LOADED with dozens and dozens of this message:
Single-Bit ECC Errors in Memory Bank 4

Could this be the reason for the problems I'm having?

Should I open the case and check if the memory is seated properly?

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February 24, 2009 at 11:36:21
Yes you should. Try removing and re-seating ALL the RAM 4 or 5 times each. If still no go remove the stick in slot 4 completely.

Be sure to unplug the computer, or better still, shut off the power switch on the power supply if one exists. Also take static precautions.

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February 26, 2009 at 13:36:30
What I noticed was that after clearing the event log file, rebooting (or, attempting to re-boot) would not generate any additional msgs into the log. I DID re-seat the RAM anyway, but none of it makes any difference. I'm still in the same boat.

I was, however able to create another set of floppies that actually got me to a DOS prompt. I ran chkdsk /r (it took hours... is that normal?), but there was no change in the booting (or lack thereof).

Is there anything I can do from that DOS prompt to either get W2K running or diagnose the problem?

Should I be reformatting the drive and trying to reinstall Win98 - the PCs original OS. I do have a disk for that...

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Related Solutions

February 26, 2009 at 14:34:56
Whereever you were you weren't in the BIOS screens. Windows keeps logs. The BIOS doesn't.

There isn't much you can do without a Win2000 CD.

You may have a hardware failure that is causing the OS to hang. Try removing anything you can. All non essential external hardware and disable all integrated hardware. Parallel port, serial (com) ports, sound, lan, etc.

You don't need to leave those disabled. Just for test purposes.

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February 28, 2009 at 01:20:34
I DO have an old Windows 98 CD. So...

On another PC I created a boot floppy, used it to boot into DOS, did an fdisk, created the DOS partition, formatted the drive, then put in my old Win 98 CD-ROM.

The install goes so far, then it reboots. When its finished booting I enter the product code and the install continues.

At some point where it says its loading system files and something about plug and play devices, the install just stops. It's always at about the 14 minutes remaining mark. The little magnifying glass stops circling, and it seems fairly obvious that its not going to start up again.

There is a message in the lower left hand corner of the screen that says to turn the machine off if the install hangs up, but it gives no indication of what I should do on the subsequent reboot.

Removing the CD and allowing a normal boot just gets me to a solid blue screen. I can do a Ctrl/Alt/Del to bring up task manager, but that means almost nothing in W98.

I can boot in safe mode, but that just gives me a solid black screen with 'safe mode' in each corner.

I don't know what to try next.

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