Solved Machine will not boot, not even in safe mode

September 9, 2012 at 13:06:45
Specs: Windows XP
Machine will not boot, not even in safe mode. I do have my Windows XP disk though and it looks as though it might boot from that. However, if it does boot from that, will I still be able to access the files on my hard drive? Will this disk overwrite anything? Will I be able to see my files? Can I try a system restore from this XP disk? (To hopefully be able to boot normally?) Should I try other stuff like chkdsk if the disk gets me in? The disk is SP2 and I had moved to SP3 - does this matter? Is there any way of forcing a safe mode boot?
I have downloaded Ubuntu and burned it to a CD but it doesn't work. However the Windows XP disk did seem to work; certainly it was doing a lot of stuff until I switched it off - scared that it might overwrite something and lose my files which would be disastrous.

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✔ Best Answer
September 9, 2012 at 16:07:56
Re Linux

Not sure what the "burn to disk" command is that you mentioned.

Whatever, most CD/DVD burning software has a "burn an image" feature (sometimes called ISO). If you are using XP's inbuilt burn it might not have that feature. In which case this small freebie wil do it:
http://www.imgburn.com/
Sounds like that's where it went wonky.

Sorry to hear about your lost post. Someone else had the same issue and if I remember rightly the webmaster seemed to be saying that this shouldn't happen. I'll give him an email about it.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks



#1
September 9, 2012 at 13:18:41
I'm afraid you can't use an XP-SP2 disc to repair an XP-SP3 installation. You'll need to wipe SP3 off the hard drive (re-format the drive with Windows Setup on the CD), then install XP-SP2.

Now you know why backing up your data before disaster strikes is so important.

Your data can be recovered BEFORE re-installing Windows by temporarily removing the drive and installing it into a friends computer as a secondary drive so you can copy the data from it.


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#2
September 9, 2012 at 14:10:06
"I have downloaded Ubuntu and burned it to a CD but it doesn't work"

When you say it doesn't work do you mean it does nothing at all?

Did you use the Burn an Image (ISO) feature to burn the disk?

Did you ensure that your CD/DVD drive was set ahead of the HD in BIOS?

Did you put the disk in the drive and then power up the computer ?

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#3
September 9, 2012 at 15:36:05
Firstly thanks. Secondly I have written a lengthy reply but prior to logging in. I got a message that the reply would be saved once I'd logged in - but no, it's gone. So another 45 minutes wasted. Why does this forum invite you to 'Post Reply' before you log in? And then scrub that reply once you have?
Well here it is again:
Thanks for your help - very disappointed that my XP disk won't help. I had hoped to get in and then do a system restore to an earlier date to see if it would boot normally. There seems to be some program stopping a proper boot: what happens on start up is that the Windows welcome screen appears but shortly after that the screen goes completely white; no Start box, no desktop, no nothing - other than the mouse arrow alternating with the hourglass, indicating that it is booting up in the background I think. There is no response to Ctr-Alt-Del or indeed anything other than pushing in the off button. Then my desktop display appears as normal prior to Windows shutting down. If I could just freeze it after pushing that off button I would be fine, but no, it closes every time.

It won't boot in Safe mode - I just get to see a long list of partitions and drivers.

Re the Ubuntu disk, yes, it does nothing at all. Now I did burn it to the CD but perhaps it wasn't an ISO image burn? I've really no idea. I downloaded Ubuntu to my Windows 7 laptop and in the 'Downloads' folder there is a command 'Burn to disk' - so that's what I did. It took ages so it has definitely been burned. Is that not an ISO image burn? If not, can you please tell me how to get it from my 'Downloads' folder to a CD as an ISO image burn?
Re the BIOS settings, yes, the CD drive was set as first but was ignored on power up. I therefore actually disabled the HD so that only the CD drive could be used to boot - still nothing, other than referring me back to the settings.
And the disk was indeed in the drive prior to powering up - roughly 25 times, but no response.

I have ordered a disk caddy to see if I can remove the HD and access it from my laptop. However, as with all I try, I have very little confidence that that will work either.

Any help is much appreciated.


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Related Solutions

#4
September 9, 2012 at 16:07:56
✔ Best Answer
Re Linux

Not sure what the "burn to disk" command is that you mentioned.

Whatever, most CD/DVD burning software has a "burn an image" feature (sometimes called ISO). If you are using XP's inbuilt burn it might not have that feature. In which case this small freebie wil do it:
http://www.imgburn.com/
Sounds like that's where it went wonky.

Sorry to hear about your lost post. Someone else had the same issue and if I remember rightly the webmaster seemed to be saying that this shouldn't happen. I'll give him an email about it.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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#5
September 9, 2012 at 18:05:32
Just to correct phil22 in that you can't use an sp2 disc to repair xp with sp3. Service pack 3 gets removed like any other update and needs to be reinstalled with all the other microsoft updates after doing a repair install with windows xp sp2 disc. Still is a good idea to slave harddrive to another computer to retrieve your important data. You have nothing to lose after you copied you data, by trying a repair install of xp after. If your computer now boots, your data will still be there.

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#6
September 9, 2012 at 18:40:19
"I have ordered a disk caddy to see if I can remove the HD and access it from my laptop"

It can be done, jumper settings will depend on whether the drives are IDE, Sata or a mixture of both.

http://www.newertech.com/products/u...
$39.99


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#7
September 10, 2012 at 05:30:23
Thanks for the help here, much appreciated. Firstly the 'imgburn' package has actually worked! The new CD did boot up, very slowly - took about 10 minutes - but I'm in and can start to recover files. (Have to thank M/soft for Windows 7's 'Burn to disk' routine being worthless - I now have 3 dud CD's.)

trek1701A thanks also, re the XP SP2 disk, what you say sounds right to me - the SP3 was an update and, if I can fix the booting problem with the SP2 disk, then I can update again later. If I choose to give it a try, can you tell me (a) that it won't loose me any files, it doesn't overwrite the O/S on the HD, it just sits on top so to speak? and (b) what repair options should I try? chkdsk would be one presumably, can you suggest anything else?

Lastly can I do anything to get this machine to boot from the HD in safe mode?


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#8
September 10, 2012 at 06:00:29
"I got a message that the reply would be saved once I'd logged in - but no, it's gone"

It wasn't gone. If you would have refreshed the page after logging in, your reply would have been posted. If you didn't do that, then you lost it.

"It won't boot in Safe mode - I just get to see a long list of partitions and drivers"

Seeing "the list" is normal. You probably didn't wait long enough for safe mode to kick in after the list was displayed. Sometimes it takes several minutes.

"Now I did burn it to the CD but perhaps it wasn't an ISO image burn? I've really no idea"

An ISO file has to be "unpacked" with burning software that supports image files, such as IMGBURN (as suggested by Derek). If you simply copied the ISO file to the disk, that's why it does nothing.

"Just to correct phil22 in that you can't use an sp2 disc to repair xp with sp3"

And I agree with trek1701A, you can use a SP2 disc to repair an SP3 installation, however, you will lose SP3 & any other MS Updates that may have been installed. You would simply have to reinstall them all after the repair is completed.

http://michaelstevenstech.com/XPrep...

"I have ordered a disk caddy to see if I can remove the HD and access it from my laptop"

Totally unnecessary. Either access your files using a properly burned LINUX live CD (IMO, Ubuntu is a poor choice for that), or simply do a repair-installation using the SP2 disc. Of course, if you have a hardware problem, all of this is a complete waste of time.


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#9
September 10, 2012 at 07:33:42
Re - the lost post (first para #3).

The webmaster has now made some changes.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


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