Windows XP will no longer boot

August 27, 2010 at 21:38:46
Specs: Windows XP
First off, here's details/specs on my DELL laptop:

My computer has been working fine for a few years now. A few weeks ago, I started getting this BSOD message once every several days. I would reboot the computer and everything would still be working:

Today, I got the BSOD message. I was on the computer, left for a while, came back in and the message had popped up. Everytime the message popped up with during a random time so it wasn't a particular program I was using.

Since this last BSOD message, Windows will not start up for me at all. After the brief screen with the DELL logo, it goes to a dark screen and nothing happens.

I've tried starting Windows in safe mode but it stops at this screen:

I ran a diagnostics test and everything passed:

I wanted to try a Windows repair

But after the terms page, instead of going to a "setup can try to repair it" screen, it takes to me a screen where I have to delete a partition or install a 2nd Windows OS.

So the question is what can I do next and what my options are? Is it possible to reinstall Windows without erasing my data? Any help here would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

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August 28, 2010 at 00:50:26
mmm... I'd be inclined to first safeguard any files (mp3s, pics etc.) on the drive - by copying them to external media (another HD or to DVD)

Get your self a knoppix or ubuntu (linux on a CD/DVD) and boot with that; then you can access and copy those files accordingly. Afterwhich set abut resolving you problem as posted... and both have free ISO to download; which save to a HD; burn to a DVD; boot with that DVD etc.

Do you haved a full version (or even an upgrade) XP disk?

is all abut repairing XP variously... Have a good read, then follow the path in "skip to repair install".

If that doesn't work... - similar results to your earlier attempt - post back...

You mention tests you carried out that passed OK... What did you test and how - apart from the usual chkdsk routine...? It may be RAM is acting up... If you have two or more sticks installed then reduce to a single stick - min of 128Meg. Try with each stick in turn...; and if with one all is OK and another not so... then you know which to keep, and which to replace/renew.

Again - first secure data - to/on an external location...

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August 29, 2010 at 17:40:42
Thanks for the help, the problem has been solved.

Using the recovery console, I ran a chkdsk. It said it found and fixed errors.

When I restarted the computer, I ended up getting this error message after the first DELL screen:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt


At this point, I went into the recovery console again. I entered

cd \windows\system32\config

ren system system.bad

copy \windows\repair\system

I restarted the computer and Windows started up again. I had all my old files, all I had to do at this point was installed the latest Service Pack and drivers. Everything is working fine now.

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August 30, 2010 at 05:42:11
Good to hear you're back in again OK - and thank you for posting back - not the least with how you succceeded...

For the future...

Whenever I start to see "chkdsk found and fixed errors"... I feel inclined to prepare for a worst-case scenario...

Ensure you have all data (mp3, pics files assorted) copied elsewhere - off the system; to exteranl HD and/or optical-media. Also ensure you update those copies too regularly...

Then if (when...) the drive fails (and it may sooner than one thinks... orf equally may not) - your data at least is OK. If this is an elderly HD already... I'd be inclined to consider replacing it now; or be prepared to sooner than later...

If the installation is as you'd like it to be - everything installed and working OK... perhaps also consider making a bootable image of the drive? Acronis is one such well tested utility to this end... Then if you replace the drive you can either copy that image back to new HD; or if drive is still accessble etc. use the HD manufacturer's util to copy old drive to new. I favour rthe Acronis approach.

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