problem with windows starting

Microsoft Windows xp inside out
August 11, 2009 at 01:35:40
Specs: Windows XP
Hey there, I've had a hoke through the forum and I've seen that a lot of people have issues with windows not starting, but no-one had the exact symptoms that I have had, hence this new thread.

Basically yesterday I shut my computer down as normal but when I turned it on again last night it got as far as the windows logo and then just froze there. After a while I hit the power button to turn it off and try again. This time it went to the screen where it offers you options to start in safe mode/with network/start windows normally etc... tried to start windows normally and again it only got as far as the windows logo then stopped. Tried safe mode, which just thru up a list of things and then froze. Tried the other options, same thing. Then all of a sudden whilst trying to start the 'puter again it decides to go into some sort of self checking mode. It took half an hour to go through this process where the computer said lots of things about not being able to read files, then it said it was fixing some things, then it said it was deleting some things.

I thought this was fixing the problem. But now when i turn it on it just immediately goes to the start in safemode/start windows normally screen and no matter what i choose it freezes on that screen.

I've tried inserting my windows disk and tried to boot from that, but it just almost immediately goes to the safemode/windows normally screen. It doesn't even sound like it is giving itself a chance to boot from cd.

Is there anything else I can try? I really don't want to loose whats on my hard drive.

thanks in advance

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August 11, 2009 at 01:47:44
mmm - To boot from a CD... it usually has to be set as first boot option/device in bios; is that set?

Is this a desktop or laptop system - make/specs.details etc. are useful to allow folks to maybe help...

Also make of HD installed is useful as then you can go its web-site and download the drive's test util; which then use to test/check the drive - fully. Download that util; save to a floppy or cd/dvd and boot with that and run/use it fully? Most sites have an apppropriate util and full "how to use" info as well...

Also get a copy of a linux variant on a cd/dvd; Knoppix or Ubuntu etc. Boot with that and see if you can see/access the drive via that cd based OS. If so then copy off all data to optical media; and verify the copies will play etc. on at least one system - preferably two... Suggest this be first step - as to safeguard data regardless of what you may have to do anon....

Knoppix and Ubuntu can be downloaded as an iso resepctively; save to HD and then burn iso to a cd/dvd; and use that cd/dvd. These linux-variants on a cd/dvd do not in anyway touch the HD - other than to see/use it as resource; thus they do not write to it - unless you tell it to do so...

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August 11, 2009 at 04:59:07
It's a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop. The hard drive was bought from Dell but it's samsung model HM121HI

I've found out that the bios was set to boot from hard drive. I've changed that now and managed to boot from cd, but the windows disc might actually be damaged. I'm going to give the ubantu thing a go as per your suggestion.

This is bloody hard going, but I'm learning a lot so thank you for providing me with drections.


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August 11, 2009 at 07:19:47
Hey there again.

I've now got ubuntu working as an iso and I'm in my puter currently trying to make copies of all the important stuff. A lot of times it says there's a problem with a particular file so I assume those ones are lost to me :(

Anyway, I'm wondering what the next step for me is? Should I be trying the HD manu's util program as you suggested above or (now that i've managed to sponge a working copy of windows from a friend) should I be trying to run the repair console thing? I've read in a few places that people have had problems with it.

Also from what I've said so far would you conclude my HD is dead? Or am I likely to be able to get it fixed with the repair console or via formatting it?

thanks for all the help so far

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August 11, 2009 at 10:09:40
Dell systems and many other laptops have a prompt during boot that allows you to force the boot device when you see the logo screen. With the Inspiron generally it is press the F12 key and select a boot menu. The problem you described initially has been covered before. What it sounds like is that the system detected a problem with the hard drive and ran checkdisk. During the test it found problems with areas on the drive and deleted various files and changed settings in the structure. I would recommend getting the drive to a shop if there is any data you must recover. Frequently the checkdisk and other boot errors are from a failing hard drive. If data is critical it is best to get the files needed, test the drive and only then try repair/reinstall. Your symptoms seem to be getting worse the more you try various things, as a result that is why I recommend getting data while there is a chance it can be done.


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