windows xp does not boot

Acer / Aspire one d250-1bw
August 28, 2009 at 11:03:46
Specs: Windows XP
Hi, I just bought an ACER netbook with Windows XP preinstalled, which worked fine. Then I installed a ZIP program and everything was ok. Then I installed Partition Magic 8, without any problem. When starting it, the screen freezed. At restarting, the boot sticked on the splash screen (although the progress bar goes on moving). I entered in safe mode and asked for a scandisk; the PC asked for rebooting, but at the new boot scandisk did not start, and the freeze problem is still there. Worse, now safe mode does not work (sticks on empty black screen with blinking cursor in home). Can anybody help me, please? Thank you in advance.

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August 28, 2009 at 11:16:13
try safe mode and do a system restore to before you added Partition Magic 8

Some HELP in posting on plus free progs and instructions Cheers

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August 28, 2009 at 11:17:54
mmm - If it was all OK pre PM8x... might be useful to either remove PM - or at least see if you can get back to a restore point pre PM8x - you did set one didn't you?

PM8x does have reports (some horror stories for an unfotunate few...) of problems with XP...

If you have copy of Recovery Console (not usually installed by default on pre-built system (e.g. Acer/HP.Compa, Dell etc...) You may be able to boot up with that and then do a little repair routine? One can also download that util to a CD and run it from there if I remember correctly... Similarly if you have an XP CD (full version - although I think the Upgrade will also work) yo may boot with that to the same end (run Recovery Console).

The XP full/Upgrade disk must (I think) be the same SP (2 or 3?) as your installation...

Worst case scenario... check on the options allowed with Recovery CD/DVD which either came with the laptop - or you made as advised when you received laptop initially?

Depending on options you may be able to effectively repair the installation and preserve data etc...; although I don't think Acer options usually allow that. Acer usually allow only a restore/reset to delivery state (and thus all data is lost... Otherwise (and I do this regardless of option and before going any further...) get a Linux variant on a CD (Knoppix/Ubuntu) and boot with that. With this you can then transfer all data etc. off system entirely - to optical media... Verify those copies are truly accessible on at least one working system; then set about sorting out the current problems/mess?

Obviously data recovery/preservation is your prime conerne here - at least initially...?

But of course you seem unable to get into safe-mode; thus Recovery Console may be your way into that mode?

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August 28, 2009 at 11:46:35
Thank you very much for your prompt reply. Yes, I set the restore point at the original settings. But I cannot uninstall anything since I can't get in the system. Actually, I had no data in the PC yet, so my only concern is the original setting of drivers & co. I do have a full XP CD, but, unfortunately, the netbook has no CD/DVD driver (nor I have an external one at the moment, although I have a USB floppy drive, may it help?), and there is no way to get again in from boot (normal boot stays forever on the splash, while safe modes stay forever on black screen with blinking cursor). I don't know if it may help, but before hanging on the cursor, in safe mode quickly appears a sequence of paths at the bottom starting with disk(0)/... and ending with driver filenames (it's a very quick sequence, I can't read exactly). Thanks again. P.S. - Could I boot in some way from a USB pendrive?

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Related Solutions

August 28, 2009 at 12:03:45
Just a remote possibility... Can you get into bios settings and verify what the boot order is; and also if it allows a usb boot option?

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August 28, 2009 at 12:13:00
The BIOS recognizes USB FDD, HDD or CDROM. Do these include pendrives?

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August 28, 2009 at 12:48:31
I thinketh so... You have an XP (full version CD) and usb-floppy drive... what file format is the XP installation as exists (even though inaccessible/unbootable - completely)?

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August 28, 2009 at 12:54:08
This chap discuses his approach:

And this post has another chap's approach (scroll down a little):

And if do a trawl via google/yahoo etc... using:

install XP from a usb-pen drive

as the string/search term, you'll get the above and many more similar how to etc...

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August 28, 2009 at 13:00:22
I'm going through the links you suggested. In the meantime, I've created a dos bootable usb pendrive on another pc and used it to boot the netbook. Well, it does not see any C: drive. I suppose this could be a good reason not to boot, is this compatible with the hanging splash screen? In such a case, any hint to manage this? Thank you very much... By the way, the file system is (was?) NTFS

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August 28, 2009 at 13:17:39
If the bootdisk is not ntfs enabled (and if that bootdisk is '98 etc... it won't be) then it won't "see" the ntfs drive; but as long it's there in the bios settings (bios detects it etc.) then it ought to be OK...

That system hangs on a splash screen does at least indicate the drive starts to boot - presuming the splash screen is an XP one... - not the Acer default - pre-boot one... Wise to verify the drive is there in the bios nonetheless...

I would seriously consider inveating in a usb external cd/dvd drive - preferably a recorder... Without one you are really limited in many ways - no playback/record cd/dvd options at all...?

Liteon make OK externals; I have an external cd/dvd burner and it works fine. There are some that are very "litewaite" and some a little larger/heavier. Either way get one that allows you to use an external mains-powered psu option; avoids battery drain and overtaxing usb power source(s) on laptop/netbook etc. (even if laptop/netbook is also being powered via the mains supply).

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August 28, 2009 at 20:50:22
Ok, I'll be back after having a CD/DVD external unit Thank you very much for your help.

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August 29, 2009 at 08:52:51
ok, now I have a CD/DVD reader/burner, and an XP CD. What's my next move? It's OK restoring all XP original settings, but I would like to keep the manufacturer's programs and drivers.

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August 29, 2009 at 09:21:55

discusses the various options in repairing XP... There is one that allows(barring the unforeseen...) preservation of programmes/data etc.

Ensure you have set boot option to the usb external drive of course...

Is the XP CD an M$ retail version or an OEM from the manufacturer; and to confirm it "is" a full version - NOT a recovery disk? If it came with the netbook (from Acer) it may not be a full version; but rather a recovery version...? Be sure it is what you think/hope it is - a full version?

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August 29, 2009 at 09:58:54
Ok, I'll go through that link. The XP CD contains a full version downloaded from M$ based on an agreement with my University, that allows employees to have a licence.

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August 29, 2009 at 10:30:02
OK... It also will likely have the Recovery Console incuded too if all things as they might be. If so then investigate that path first - perhaps? If you decide to consider/run RC then havea good read on how to use it first; possibly at M$-land and also via a google trawl?

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August 30, 2009 at 00:48:54
Hello, I performed recovery as suggested by the link you provided me, and everything seems OK now. I would like to thank you very much for your precious support. One last question: can you suggest any good program to partition my HD? And do you think I can safely install Linux in dual-boot? Thank you again, regards.

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August 30, 2009 at 02:25:13
Good to hear you're back into system OK...

First thing I'd do is make a backup of system once you have it the way you want it - before you start tweaking partitions etc. (with OS still installed). That way you can get back to where you are now at least if it all goes pear-shaped again?

Also (if you haven't already) make a recovery set as per the "usual" Acer advice/instructions. I seem to recall that Acer provide on-board util to this end; or may even send you a set of disks? Their util is on my Acer Aspire laptop (4-5yrs old now); and I have disks from them too (came with it). But I also have Acronis images as they included all the "stuff" I have added in over time - Acer versions don't, although obviously I could make them... I prefer the Acronis overall and have had no problems with it at all.

I think Acronis also have a partition util that will allow you to tweak partitions on the fly... And there are several other out there too; some freebie and OK and some cost a "few..." pennies/sea-shells. I'd seriously discourage PM8x in this latter regard; even recently someone here had an issue with it and XP - and (s)he wouldn't be alone in that - although many have been very happy with it...

I'd be more inclined to rebuild system from start - as you have no data on it? This even more as you wish to dual-boot with Linux?

Not having done that - yet - I'm not really the one to advise you there? There are many here who have done it; and more than a few hits here about it; likewise a trawl on the www will bring up all manner of how to go about it; and the best I would do here is to trawl and point you there - so perhaps "you" do the trawl and see what/which grabs your attention best?

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August 30, 2009 at 08:00:50
Yes, I've already burned the recovery CDs through Acer's utility. Actually, I need no other backup at the moment, since there was no other stuff on the HD except the IZarc and PM8 installations. I used PM8 because in the past I've used it on at least 5 other PCs (one of which an Acer notebook), and have always been very happy with it. I created on the fly a data partition plus linux partitions in which I've installed Debian or Ubuntu. I'll do the trawl as suggested. Thank you!

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