Compaq Presario SR1903WM will not boot right

Nvidia / Awrdacpi
March 25, 2011 at 00:11:59
Specs: Windows XP Home Edition, AMD Sempron 3200+ 1.8 GHz/512 MB PC3200
I am working on someone else's Compaq Presario SR1903WM PC that will not boot into Windows XP. It displays the Compaq splash title and the option to enter into the Setup and the Boot Options. Once this screen times out, there is a white flash underscore in the upper left hand corner for 5 seconds and then the screen goes black. At this point the system simply hangs.

I have gone into the BIOS and reset everything to default, then gone into the Advanced Startup Menu and attempted to load the Last Known Good Configuration and also Safe Mode with Command Prompt. As well, I put in a Windows XP SP2 disc and booted into the Recovery console, where I ran Chkdsk /r and attempted Chkdsk /f (to no avail). I did this on the D: Windows drive, the C: Minint and the C: I386 drives. Upon rebooting, the same result occurs, the screen goes to black and freezes.

The video is VGA and is on the motherboard, but as the monitor is displaying the splash screen and the BIOS stuff, I am assuming that there is not a problem with the monitor. I use this monitor when I working on older systems and never have had an issue before with it.

I do not know how this situation came about, just the facts as I posted above. Suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


See More: Compaq Presario SR1903WM will not boot right

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#1
March 25, 2011 at 03:34:18
In Recovery Console, did you try fixboot, fixmbr, and bootcfg /rebuild? Is windows on the C drive?

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#2
March 25, 2011 at 08:24:31
I did fixmbr for the harddrive but I did not do fixboot or bootcfg /rebuild. I will attempt them, which is going to be a new experience for me, as I have never tried to do them. The way that the system reports its structure is: D: Windows (Never seen that before as the main), C: Minint and C: I386.

I will post the result of fixboot and/or bootcfg as soon as I complete them. Thanks for the help!


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#3
March 26, 2011 at 14:23:35
Update:

Fixboot d:\windows successfully wrote new bootsector- Screen still goes black after Compaq splash screen. Fixboot c:\minint and Fixboot c:\I386 did the same.

Fixmbr (without device name) successfully wrote new mbr on physical drive \Device\Harddisk0\Partition0.

bootcfg /rebuild found the following:

[1] D:\Windows

I tried several times to add a installation to boot list. Each installed, but none work to correct the problem, even making them the default option. (Now I have 4 versions that I need to figure out how to remove).

Am I missing something obvious here? As well, is it possible that the MOBO video driver is the issue? (Like I said, I know nothing of this particular computers history prior to my getting ahold of it).

So I


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Related Solutions

#4
March 26, 2011 at 16:18:38
I'm not clear on what all that i386 and minint stuff is, but using the MS bootloader, XP does not like being installed anywhere but on the C drive (though it can be done with third party bootloaders). Can you make the D drive the master and set it as the machine's default boot drive in BIOS, and then run the three Recovery commands again?

After you boot up successfully, you'll be able to clean up the boot list easily in msconfig's boot tab.


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#5
March 26, 2011 at 19:13:04
I am assuming that the I386 is the file for the OS and the MiniNT is the recovery partition that Compaq, HP, Dell and others put on prebuilt systems that are sold to the general public. Though why either one would be in the C: position I do not know. I have seen how much XP likes being put in a different place in the past, so that much I understand.

There is only one harddrive and it is booting to it. I am not quite sure how to make the particular partition is the default though.(Earlier I used bootcfg /default and set the default to one of the new versions that I created). I went into BIOS and found only the ability to set the boot order.

Again, I appreciate any assistance given.


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#6
March 27, 2011 at 03:52:09
As long as D: is on the first disk in BIOS, that shouldn't be a problem. D also has to be a primary partition, though, or Windows won't boot. You could use a third-party tool on CD, such as Partition Wizard or Partition Master, to check these things. I doubt the Recovery Console would have overlooked that kind of problem, but I'm not sure.

Or you could do a Repair Install using the XP disk if the machine has one. Or rescue the user data and then fire up that recovery partition, which most likely will wipe everything.


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#7
March 31, 2011 at 12:18:40
Sorry it has been a few days since I posted but I have been working on a different system. But now back to this one.

It has been brought to my attention that WIndows XP Home uses boot.ini and XP Pro uses bootcfg. This machine has XP Home on it. Now I have been using an XP Pro disk to do the fixboot, fixmbr and bootcfg repairs. Is that a large issue? I now have a copy of XP Home, if necessary, to possible repair my own goofs.

I am still working on getting Partition Wizard onto a bootable disk.


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#8
March 31, 2011 at 12:37:47
bootcfg is the command that writes to boot.ini, which both versions of XP use. PW is on the Hiren's disk, if that helps.

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#9
March 31, 2011 at 13:12:24
OK, I get that bootcfg command writes to boot.ini and both versions of XP use it. As for PW being on Hiren's disk, can you explain that to me as I am not sure what or who Hiren is?

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#10
March 31, 2011 at 13:18:17
It's a free utilities disk that you can download and burn to CD.

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#11
March 31, 2011 at 13:32:45
I did a search and found the information and even the site, though I am having difficulty finding where to download it on their site though. I do like that it has multiple utilities on it.
Can you assist with a link to download the disk?

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#12
March 31, 2011 at 13:42:13
http://www.computing.net/answers/di...


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#13
March 31, 2011 at 13:54:49
Thank you. Now I just unzip it and burn it as a bootable disk? I noticed something was said about there being a bit of an issue with this.

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#14
April 6, 2011 at 22:42:42
Well, I got the disk created and put it into the effected system. Unfortunately, I think I did more harm than good. Somehow, I erased the i386 partition and the FAT32 partition that had the recovery files in it. Now I am left with what used to be the D drive, which held the OS. Now the system turns on, shows the Compaq splash screen and then hangs at a rapidly flashing underscore in the upper left hand corner of the screen.

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#15
April 7, 2011 at 04:49:43
You were just checking to see if the boot partition was primary, correct? I don't see how you got from there to wiping the partition. I suggest you go back and recheck the status of the partitions. It's possible, and actually more likely, that you only either removed their drive letters or Hid them (two separate functions), and that they're still really there.

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#16
April 7, 2011 at 09:54:40
No, I actually deleted them somehow. I checked again, they really no longer exist. Still have not been able to figure out how I did it.

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#17
April 7, 2011 at 10:52:40
Ok, all is not lost yet. If you need to recover the partition, IIRC Partition Wizard itself will do that. Or on the Hirem disk, under the DOS utilities there is TestDisk, that will restore lost partition tables. It's excellent, but documentation is sparse. Others are Partition Doctor, Easus Partition Master, etc.

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#18
April 7, 2011 at 10:53:28
... you should be able to revive the partitions with the software after booting into mini xp.

... try partition wizard << location


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#19
April 11, 2011 at 20:35:21
TestDisk from the Hiren's disk is really confusing and I do not quite understand how to use it. I am looking for the other programs that you mentioned, but have not yet done so.
I tried to use information found at http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Test... Unfortunately, I became confused and frustrated.

At present, when the computer attempts to boot, there is a flashing underscore in the upper left hand corner and it stays like that.


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#20
April 12, 2011 at 06:05:02
I just fired up PW. If you go to the Wizard Menu, Partition Recovery is there. It will be more straightforward than TestDisk.

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#21
April 12, 2011 at 06:57:59
... good luck! ... "paul1149"

... more good luck! ... "syndoc66"


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#22
April 14, 2011 at 12:33:32
OK, with the troubled HDD connected to another computer, this is what I see. The working computers HDD has Windows XP Pro on the C: drive and it sees the other drive and has assigned it the D: drive. Properties says that 6.02 Gigs is being used of the 80 Gigs.

I ran the Partition Wizard's Partition Recovery tool on the D: drive and it found the following:
3 NTFS partitions and one FAT32 partition. The first two NTFS' say Lost/Deleted and the other says Existing. The FAT32 says Lost/Deleted.

I can select FAT 32 no problem, but when I select any one of the NTFS' it turns the other two NTFS' status to overlapped. When I click Finish, I am reminded that the unchecked partitions will be deleted.

As I believe this may have been where I originally screwed up, I thought I would ask before I did something wrong. Which one of the NTFS should I choose?


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#23
April 14, 2011 at 14:11:40
I honestly don't know. It depends what you're trying to do. I never did get why this machine had such a weird partition scheme. It probably would be best to rescue all valuable user files and reinstall afresh. Because I have no idea how these partitions interact. Sometimes people outsource parts of the install to other partitions, and for the rescued install to work, all the partitions would have to have their original drive letters.

You might be able to restore a lost partition, rescue data, then restore the next partition, etc, without doing data damage. But I'm not sure. PW has an Explore function to help identify partitions, but you probably need to restore the partition first - again, not sure.


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#24
April 14, 2011 at 14:23:05
"...As I believe this may have been where I originally screwed up..."

... does it not give you any hints on the times/dates of those hosed partitions?

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#25
April 14, 2011 at 22:02:50
As a matter of fact it does, Mavis. The start point on the NTFS partitions is at 3 different locations, while they all end at the same point. I would think that the one I need is the lowest start point.

I am going to restore the FAT32 and the NTFS with the lowest start point. Then see what it does. I will let you know the results.


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#26
April 23, 2011 at 14:13:52
Sorry it has been a while since I updated this thread. Restoring any of the NTFS partitions and the FAT32 partition does nothing. Once it restores the chosen NTFS and the FAT32 partitions, the computer still does not boot up.

I have tried to make the NTFS partition Active and Primary and the FAT32 as logical drive. Same result. Then I tried to make the FAT32 partition as Active and Primary, with the NTFS partition as logical, same result.

I am at a point where I feel that it is best to simply wipe the HDD and start again. Now here is my question to those in the know:

As this is a Compaq computer and I do not have the Restore disk(s), is it possible to reformat the HDD with a partition for the Windows XP Home and another for the recovery area should the HDD go down again?

I do have a copy of WIndows XP Home and the original product key for the system.


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#27
April 23, 2011 at 19:05:08
If you have the XP disk, you don't need a recovery partition, as the recovery environment will be on the CD. You can partition the HDD if you want, for other reasons. And you can install the recovery environment on the HDD if you want, also: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307654

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#28
April 25, 2011 at 21:39:58
OK, I have now reinstalled Windows XP Home onto the HDD. Now, I am faced with the OS needing to be authorized. It will not let me into the OS until I do, but it cannot see the internet obviously. It gives me the option to do it by telephone, but that seems excessive.
I have ensured that the ethernet cable is connected.

Is there anything that I can do here besides making that call?


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#29
April 26, 2011 at 00:10:00
"...the option to do it by telephone, but that seems excessive..."

... it's automated and you just tap in the CD key.

... might aswell have your Drivers to hand.

......................................... XP service pack 2
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#30
April 26, 2011 at 07:35:04
That's strange. You should have a 30, I believe, day grace period, with full functionality.

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#31
April 27, 2011 at 16:10:46
Well, I had an issue that I fixed partially. After installing the OS again, the system booted up and immediately demanded that the copy of Windows must be activated before I could log on. Nothing was working to fix this. I found the answer at the following link: http://ask-leo.com/why_cant_i_activ...
As I did not have the disk with the drivers for the computer, the network adapter was not working. I put the drivers onto a disk and installed them while in Safe Mode. Once they were installed, the activation process completed without incident.
Then something odd happened, the activation demand showed up again. So I rebooted the computer thinking that it needed to clear it. Once rebooted, the activation message reappeared. When I followed it through, the whole process became necessary to be redone. I called the US number, then gave them the new installation ID and they in turn gave me the installation ID that they created. Once installed, it again said that it was activated. Any yet, when I tried to enter into the owner account, I got the same activation message.

Microsoft pointed me to a solution for activation at http://support.microsoft.com/kb/312... As I was following the path described, I was stopped at a missing registry subkey. The path was My Computer, HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE, Software, Microsoft, Windows NT, Current Version, Winlogon, Notify. The missing key is RESETS in the Notify folder.

That stopped me cold. I do not know what to do and Microsoft bounced me around like a rubber ball for over an hour on the phone, only to try to extort money from me to assist me. I know that there is an answer to this problem out there.


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#32
April 28, 2011 at 00:40:55
... the xp you've installed does it have any service packs integrated?

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/328874
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#33
April 29, 2011 at 08:23:09
No, I do not believe that the version of Windows XP Home that is installed has any of the service packs in it. I hadn't needed to use it in several years and only did so because I needed the Home version for this computer.

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#34
April 29, 2011 at 11:40:04
... click link in #29
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#35
April 29, 2011 at 19:24:36
Thank you one and all for your assistance. Once I put SP2 into the system, all worked correctly. The activation popup was gone and the updates all installed, including SP3. I kept running the Windows Update until nothing else came up that needed to be installed.

So is SP3 the highest service pack?

Again, thanks for the help!


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#36
April 29, 2011 at 22:39:37
Now I have a new issue to deal with. Due to not having the recovery disk and because I reformatted the HDD, I do not have the software to burn CD's and other programs that came on the PC. Is there any way to obtain them either through Compaq or through other sources, without incurring a cost?

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#37
April 29, 2011 at 23:43:55
... click drivers (+software) link in #29
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#38
May 1, 2011 at 12:53:19
I am still not seeing the CD burning software. I see that there is an update to it, but that is only for Windows 7 users.

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#39
May 1, 2011 at 12:59:02
... in xp the burning software is "built-in" with limited function ie right click file to burn "send to cdwriter drive"

........................... (freeware burning software): click here
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#40
May 1, 2011 at 17:18:07
Right I understand that in XP a function exists to burn CD's within the OS. I also have downloaded and installed the freeware CD burning software that you pointed out to me. Thank you for that information.

What I am curious to know though, "Is there any chance of obtaining the software that was included with the computer, without buying a new recovery disk?"


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