Can't load Windows XP; black screen on a Dell

April 18, 2011 at 16:24:41
Specs: Windows XP, 2.8 GHz
I have a Dell Dimension 4700 that won't load Windows XP. The Windows XP logo comes on the screen, acts like it's going to Windows, then goes black. All I can see is a little cursor.

When I try to start it in safe mode, I get the black screen with three lines stating something different about partitions. Then the black screen with the cursor is the end of it again.

I don't have an XP disc to reinstall Windows. If I did, I'd still be worried about losing my photos.

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April 18, 2011 at 18:21:36
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
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 compatibility, on another computer if you need to.

Seagate's Seatools will test any brand of hard drive.
Do the long test.

The bootable Dos versions of SeaTools can be used even if Windows is not working properly.

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

If the hard drive itself tests okay, you can
- boot the computer with something such as a Linux CD you have made on another computer and copy all the personal data you do not want to lose to elsewhere - CDs, DVDs, flash drives, external hard drives .
- or - connect the hard drive to another computer that is working and already has a operating system, don't attempt to boot from it on the other computer because it's not likely that will work, and copy all the personal data you do not want to lose to elsewhere.

You are probably going to need an XP CD to fix your problem(s).

Most Dell computers I've come across that originally had XP on them came with two Recovery disks.
The first one is an Dell XP Re-installation CD that can be used the same way as a Windows CD, the second one is a Dell CD or DVD with Drivers and Applications on it - black and white labels probably. If you. or someone you got it from, got the computer new, those should be around somewhere.

Or if you have or can borrow one, you can use a Microsoft OEM XP CD for the same version of XP you have on the computer, Home or Pro, along with the Home or Pro Product Key that's on the official Microsoft label on the outside of your computer case.
A Microsoft OEM XP CD has "For distribution with a new PC only."printed on it and has the Microsoft holograms.

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April 18, 2011 at 18:28:01
I would use this to get the photos first. could just drag them to a usb drive.

create a live cd and boot from it.


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April 18, 2011 at 21:21:26
well if i were u i try to connect hard disk into another laptop and it might work out

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April 18, 2011 at 22:50:47
I read a few post at Dell Support and they wrote about bad memory (ram)
As for your pictures your hard drive can be removed from your desktop
and put into another Windows XP as a slave and the pictures can be saved. If the problem is your hard drive than the pictures should be saved
first. Hard drives can have Error Checking run for them as a slave.

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