Windows XP Won't Load on Mom's Dell desktop

August 10, 2010 at 18:32:49
Specs: Windows XP
I use my mom's 2005 Dell desktop computer. I don't know the model or anything off the top of my head. Right now I am on my mom's laptop. Everyday my mom turns on the computer in the morning after I am at work. When I came home from work the computer was off. My mom said she didn't turn it off herself. When I pressed the boot button, it loaded to the Windows XP loading screen and just stayed like that with the little purple bar going and going. I googled my problem and put the Windows XP disc into the computer, went through the whole thing of repairing it and the computer restarted itself. Then it started cycling from turning on, getting to the Windows XP loading screen, shutting off, restarting, and so forth. I don't know what to do. Thank you for your time in advance.

See More: Windows XP Wont Load on Moms Dell desktop

August 10, 2010 at 20:05:43
That sounds like the computer is overheating. The most common cause of that is dust/dirt inside the case.

Go to the office supply or computer store and buy canned compressed air. Unplug the computer and then open the case and blow out everything. This will be messy so you may want to move the tower before blowing. Blow out the power supply too ( the box at the top where the power cord attaches).

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August 10, 2010 at 20:55:28
Thank you for responding. We happened to own a can of compressed air already so I just used it on the desktop. I'm going to turn it on tomorrow after I'm home from work and hopefully it works. Thanks again. :)

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August 11, 2010 at 04:16:23
Was the inside pretty nasty?

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Related Solutions

August 11, 2010 at 14:16:00
The inside wasn't that dirty. I just got home from work and the computer still won't fully boot up. It goes to the Windows XP loading screen, turns off, restarts, and cycles.

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August 11, 2010 at 14:43:55
Are there any blue screens with error messages? If so, post what they say.

Do you have any accessories connected. Printers, scanners, external drives, etc. Try removing them and rebooting.

You could also try booting into Windows safe mode. Tap F8 at start up and then select windows safe mode. Or last good configuration, if available.

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August 11, 2010 at 15:27:22
There aren't any blue error screens and I just unconnected the internet and printer from it.

I'm sorry I didn't notice this before, but it boots up and goes to the screen with the options to start normally, last configuration, and the safe modes. At the top it apologizes and says Windows did not start successfully.

Starting normally and last configuration go to the Windows XP loading screen and it starts the off/restart cycle.

Safe mode goes to a screen full of things starting with "multidisk" and the last one ends with "systems/drivers/Mup.sys and then it starts the off/restart cycle again.

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August 11, 2010 at 17:01:47
There can be many causes for that error message. Hardware configuration is one that is easy to try to fix.

You will need to open the case while the computer is unplugged and remove the silver coin shaped battery for just 20 seconds or so. Then replace it, taking care to insert it the same way it came out. Don't turn over.

Then restart the computer and immediately enter the BIOS (setup) screens. You will need to reset the date and time. Save and exit the BIOS to continue with the boot up. See what happens.

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August 11, 2010 at 18:29:04
I just opened up the computer and I don't see the battery in view.

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August 11, 2010 at 20:16:15

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August 11, 2010 at 20:58:33
This is a picture of the computer, I really don't see the battery.

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August 11, 2010 at 21:27:15
your computer has a virus. Format your hard drive and reinstall becouse you've done every
thing eles. besides this looks like a program
that restarts your computer for software instllation you have an infinite loop restart virus just format and reinstall'll see that will fix it

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August 12, 2010 at 04:52:29
I assure you there is a battery. However, with the crowded innards you would need to disassemble to get to it.

Do you need to copy any personal data from the computer? Might be best to do as #11 suggests. You will lose all your personal files if you do that.

There are ways to copy the personal files if necessary.

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August 13, 2010 at 10:25:00
I just put in the Windows XP cd back in to format the hard drive and it lets me boot from the cd, but after loading files it says "Starting Windows" I get a blue error screen saying something went wrong.

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August 13, 2010 at 10:39:45
In that case there may be a hardware problem.

I assume you have access to a working computer that you could download and burn a disk from.

Linux puppy is a live version of linux that installs to and runs from one disk. Puppy can configure and use most hardware.

Booting to a puppy disk and being able to run puppy OK would tell you if the hardware is OK. If puppy won't run either, then that would indicate a hardware problem. If that is the case you are probably not in a position to troubleshoot or repair the unit.

Puppy is free to download. Below is one link to get puppy from.

If puppy runs OK then the next step would be to wipe your hard drive before re-installing Windows.

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August 13, 2010 at 11:39:04
When I download it, it's Roxio Creator DE. Is that right?

When I wipe the harddrive, I insert the Windows XP disc and delete the C: partion from there, don't I? And then I create a new one and install Windows XP?

I just wanted to thank you and dennissdoty for helping me through this.

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August 13, 2010 at 12:26:13
If you downloaded puppy then burn it to disk and then boot to that disk. If puppy runs OK then the hardware is probably OK. Then you could wipe the drive.

I don't know if the version on your disks allows you to delete partitions and create new ones. If it does you need to use custom install.

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August 13, 2010 at 12:39:36
Might be a bit late at this juncture but...have you already reformatted the drive, or re-installed (or at least tried to) the OS?

If not... is there anything on the drive (data, files, music, pics etc....) that you wouldn't like to lose?

Incidentally I'm not sold on the virus idea/issue - yet.. and there are ways to explore that possibiliity even now...

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August 13, 2010 at 12:45:34
Is puppy Roxio Creator?

I put my disc in and burned lupu-510 onto it which is what I got from the puppy download (Roxio) and the desktop could not boot from it.

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August 13, 2010 at 13:03:01
No I haven't reformatted the hard drive yet. I attempted but before the CD fully booted I got an error screen.

There are files on the computer my mom would like to save, but how do I get them if I can't get pass the loading screen?

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August 13, 2010 at 13:06:27
You might try knoppix too (another linux vriant) or likewise ubuntu. and

both have free downloads of their respective iso file.; which save to a hard-drive; burn to a dvd usiing any burner software; boot with the dvd - ensuring CD/DVD is first boot device...

If system won't boot then there are issues to deal with re' the hardware... If it will boot and if data still on drive - copy it to optical media. then set about scanning the system fully - on-line - for free... and run their freebie housecall util. Allow a full scan.

If it finds "anything nasty" and if quarantiens anytihing on the system as is - delete whatver is quarantined.... Then rescan afresh; after-which redo the copies of any data you made earlier. If nothing nasty found then likely the first copies are also clean...

I am wondering if either the HD itself is acting up; and also if RAM is an issue here...? There are ways to check the HD.

Ram is best done by reducing to a single stick (min of 128Meg) and trying with each in turn installed (if two or more isntalled)... If nothing changes - then likely not RAM; but if one stick porduces a suitable benefit when on its own... then seriously suspect any stick that doesn't produce similar improvements when installed alone?

If only one stick installed... perhaps beg/borrow "steal"... a known good stick (min again of 128Meg - 256 is nicer) and test with that. Possibly you can acquire one regardless and if not needed return to vendor anon; or keep and use anyway.

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August 13, 2010 at 13:08:19
Make and boot with knoppix/ubuntu dvd as above... Then you can access and copy files to external media... Verify copies are OK (truly accessible on at least one other system) before doing anything further with the duff system...

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August 13, 2010 at 13:13:32
When you boot with a knoppix etc. disk the whole OS is on the cd/dvd; and the system itself is merely a resource to that OS. The OS is installed into RAM - and takes a wee while to load etc. But if all goes well... it will come up on a windows style screen and you can then navigate to the HD and files etc...

You can also go on-line from there too and run the trend freebie scan...

I suggest you create both knoppix and ubuntu disks and try both - in-case one works and not the other...?

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August 13, 2010 at 13:17:10
Okay, I'll make a disc of both and get back to you on how it goes. Thank you. :)

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August 13, 2010 at 13:20:55
each on its own dvd...

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August 13, 2010 at 13:23:51
Also on the back of the DELL PC there will be a tag number... Note it dwon; go to DELL website/support area; enter the tag info. It will take you an area that is all about that PC - and will lista nything that is still on the Dell support servers related to it... There are test utilities likely there too; and they may allow a full test of the HD.

Does this Dell have a floppy drive?

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August 13, 2010 at 15:34:06

I used to recommend Knoppix. It is hard to find a good download file and it is 696MB. I just tried puppy last week and it seems easier to use, the download files are essy to find and the file is smaller. Doesn't load ANYTHING to the drive unless you want to save the configuration.

Try it.

See #14 above for a link.

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August 13, 2010 at 15:49:17

Thanks for that snippet; I haven't had any problems securing a download; but have had some problems finding a version of knoppix that works with a given OS installation...

ubuntu seems to be less picky?

Will try puppy and see how it works.

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August 13, 2010 at 18:25:09
So (on separate discs) I've burned puppy and ubuntu and both haven't worked with the desktop. I'm currently downloading knoppix now. If it doesn't work there is a hardware problem, right?

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August 13, 2010 at 19:15:16
Knoppix didn't work. And no, this Dell doesn't have a floppy dic drive.

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August 13, 2010 at 19:58:47
Do not west your time call an expert pay him for the services after he rectifies your problem.

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August 13, 2010 at 21:05:52
You are not making the disks right. Did you download a file with an iso file extension?

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August 13, 2010 at 21:07:58
I don't know what that is. I just downloaded each thing and then burned the file I downloaded onto a disc.

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August 14, 2010 at 01:29:27
an ISO file is a file that can be accessed/read by any suitable "burner" application - e.g. Roxio, Nero and many others - some are also free...

Using your burner software, you follow the burn a disk routine - having located the file you download - so note where you put that file (or in your case all three of them).

Burn each to its own disk; and I suggest you use RW media not R only; as that way if you don't do it correctly... you can re-use the RW style of disk (obviously the R type are record once only...)

Providing you make/burn the disk correctly.., and you have ensured the bios is set to allow a CD/DVD boot first option and then the hard-drive..., you power up system, insert the disk and let it boot up.

Post the tag number for the Dell here as that will enable folks here to see what yo actually have to play with as well...

What actually happens when you boot with each of the disks? Do you actually see a message in to indicate effect booting from CD (or DVD); and do you see any evidence of the linux OS being booted up (be it puppy, ubuntu, knoppix)?

Depending on what you say you actually see on the screen etc., as you attempt to boot from a CD/DVD, determines what we can suggest next...

But critical item is to ensure you "are" booting from the CD/DVD first... (i.e. that it the first boot device system will look for - NOT the HD).

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August 14, 2010 at 05:29:52
In addition to the above comments you should check your boot order to verify that your CD drive is before the hard drive.

If the disk was created properly it should either start automatically, or you should see a screen that says to hit any key to boot from the CD. If that isn't happening and the boot order is right, then you haven't burned the files right.

Did you download the puppy from the link I provided above?

Did you copy the file over to the disk like you do for music? If so, that is your problem. Just click on the iso file to start the process. If you have Roxio burning software it should walk you through the process.

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August 14, 2010 at 06:40:11
I have a feeling the disk(s) aren't burnt correctly too...

And it would be useful to know exactly what shows on the screen with any (and all) of them and also as per norm - no CD boot etc...

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August 14, 2010 at 14:11:52
Sorry I forgot to say what happened when I tried to boot the discs yesterday.

All of the downloads I have are ISO files, but I did burn them on the discs like I would music. I'll use Roxio and redo them. I have been using RWs, I don't like Rs for the fact that if I mess up, I lose the disc.

Also, when I have been inserting the discs, including the Windows XP disc, I have been pressing F12 and then seletcing to boot from the CD/DVD, otherwise none of the discs boot, but I will see about changing that order, I think I know how. Next time I post I'll have redone and retried all of the discs and I will qoute what the computer says if they don't work and I'll have the tag number.

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August 14, 2010 at 14:31:43
Your BIOS may not be able to boot to CDRW/DVDRW.

All of those iso files will fit on a single CDR disk. I buy CDR 100 packs for NO more than $20, somtimes $13. They are cheap. Read the Roxio help files on how to burn an iso to CDR and then do it.

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August 14, 2010 at 15:46:57
current/latest knoppix is wee bit too much for a standard CDR/CDRW... and one is into DVD for that now...

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August 14, 2010 at 15:49:53
Puppy is only 105MB.

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August 14, 2010 at 16:17:00
So I tried puppy and ubuntu on CDRs and the same thing happened last night, it says "Selected boot device not available"

And trvlr, is the tag number you're talking about the service tag? If so it's b1ntbc1

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August 14, 2010 at 16:52:28
Go into the bios setting (aka setup) as system boots initially. There will be mesage on screen briefly telling you what key(s) to press to get there...

Verify that CDROM is detected there; and that is also set as first boot device and HD second.

If it isn't showing in bios... power down system; remove mains input entirely (no power connected to it). Open case and verify CDROM is still connected to ribbon cable - and check the other end to to the MotherBoard (MoBo); and also power connector to the CDROM is still in place.

Incidentally have you been inside it before - either prior to present problem or since?

There is something clearly amiss here, as even if the OS crashed for whatever reason..., I can't see why the CDROM wouldn't still be detected and shown in the bios - and working. It doesn't need an OS for that to work in order to run an OS setup CD (or an OS installed on a CD/DVD).

The "selected boot device not available message" suggests that the CDROM is either not being detected - in which case how did you set it as boot device? Or it isn't reading disks anymore (and that is a possibility - the laser may have failed...).

But again clarify if you have been inside physically; and how you reset CDROM to first boot device? In my limited experience... for Linux OS installed CD/DVD to work easily the CDROM is set manually as first boot device - in the bios settings; one has to g nto bios settings and change that boot order. Thus one doesn't wait for any message on the screen to tell one what key/s to press to boot from the CD/DVD-ROM

Once the CD/DVD is set (in bios) as first boot device - the system will automatically look for a suitable disk etc. (any bootable disk) in the CD/DVD-ROM - first - and boot from it; if it can't find one it will then hunt for next device - usually the HD...

That you get a can't find the device message... has me wondering just what is set as what in the boot-sequence...

So again clarify how you went about setting CD/DVD as first device; and that HD is the second...

Thanks for tag info... It's past mid-nite here..and I am off to bed...

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August 15, 2010 at 10:09:01
I'm really sick today and I'm planning on not leaving bed too much. I'll hopefully feel better tomorrow and continue working on the comp.

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August 15, 2010 at 22:04:34
I want to thank you all again. My mom said that she is going to take it to a repair place in town.

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August 16, 2010 at 02:58:00
Ensure you tells them to copy her files etc. off the drive "first" - before they set about rebuilding it...

They can do this by removing the HD and slaving it another working system; or (via a usb-adapter) connecting it to another working system via its usb port...

If they are not willing to do that to start with.. seriously consider another repair location... Unless the drive itself is truly toast... there is no reason why files etc. cannot be copied to external media - first...; using either method as above... And if the drive is apparently "toast" it may be quite possible to get files off it - and not beyond the ken (ability etc.) of any reasonably savvy techie...; but it would depend on just what the state/situation of the drive is in...

Likewise they may be able to use a knoppix etc. disk to boot up and do it that way. Also they may have (ought to in my view) a slightly more professional disk - ERD Commander 2005 which may allow them to both copy files etc - and also fix the problems overall... That disk is a repair disk in itself; and is a fully bootable basic version of XP - on CD/DVD..

You can also download an ISO of it too; and burn to a CD; then boot up with etc... They ought to have disk one way or another too; almost basic toolkit stuff today...

Would strongly advise you require (insist....) they set about file copy first; then fix the problems...

And perhaps post back with results when all done and dusted? That way folks here have possibly useful info for future use?

Incidentally - should it turn out to be the HD itself (something I seriously doubt without more info/tests etc..) a new one ought not to be more than a few $$/££ these days. What you have to watch of course is whether or not the original drive had a Dell recovery partition on it; that will of course be missing from the new one.. But again a techie ought to be able to clone the old drive to the new - and preserve that partition. Failing which you will need a full version XP CD to reload, have for future use; and stay legal... A lot of repair types put on bulk load version - and use one key for all of their rebuilds. This is not legal and can occasionally land you with more problems (technical mainly) if things go wrong anon...

An OEM disk (via eBay and also many decent repair outfits) is usually quite cheap; a full retail usually costs quite a bit more more...

Finally when it's all working again... either you make - or get "them" to make a bootable image fo the system as working properly. Keep it safe and you can always rebuild/restore the system if it crashes again anon... using that image.

Also request the drive be reconfigured to have two partitions; Primary for OS/apps/utils etc.; and Extended for files, pics, music etc.... That way allows more recovery/rebuild paths too; and secures data a little more while on the HD... And again data, files etc. should always be copied elsewhere too (DVD etc...) - so that if the system dies... files etc. are already safe... (at least most of them anyway...)

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August 16, 2010 at 08:47:57
Thank you for the advice. :) We're in a tiny town and only have two repair shops here, we usually take our stuff to a certain one because they're very friendly, fast, and help us understand what's wrong, what they're going to do, etc. I'm sure they will be willing to do everything if the computer is worth saving.

I will post the results when I know. It will be around the end of the month when my mom is paid next.

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August 16, 2010 at 10:13:00
You might take a copy of the assorted ideas posted here too; as they may give your local chaps some idea of how things have gone thus far? Although if they know their stuff likely when they power up and see what happens..., they will do many of the checks already suggested here. This to confirm for themselves just what is amiss etc... and possible resolutions.

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