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Computer down

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by briarpatch, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. briarpatch


    Jan 14, 2005
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    When I start my computer it loads the first window that has the dell logo. This is the window from which you can use the function to soft start. Etc. The next page will load and the cursor will blink at the bottom of the page but it will not load farther.
    I have tried to soft start but it will not. I can get to set up with f12 but don't have any idea what to do if anything.
    Anyone have any ideas? I am using windows xp. Thanks
  2. gdvan01


    Jan 17, 2008
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    Home of the first First Lady
    Sounds like the boot sector is hosed on the hard drive...just a guess.

  3. JimmyN


    Sep 29, 2006
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    I'd guess that either boot.ini, NTLDR, or the disks boot sector is corrupt. What you are seeing on the screen is coming out of the BIOS, it doesn't appear XP can boot.

    The first thing to try is the Windows Startup disk that you made for just such an occasion. But if you are like 99% of the users you never created a Startup disk, so you'll need to use your XP install disk to fix the boot problems.

    Put your XP install disk into the drive and boot it up, it will boot off the install disk. Choose the Recovery Console.

    All of the following assumes you only have one OS installed, and you're not running a multi boot system.

    From the command line prompt in the Recovery Console type in bootcfg /scan. That will scan the drives for Windows installations. If it doesn't find Windows then the OS, or maybe the drive itself is probably hosed. If it finds the XP installation then move to step two. At the command prompt type in bootcfg /rebuild. That will create a new 'boot.ini' which contains the information on what operating systems are on the drive, and which is the default to boot at startup. You will have to answer some questions as it progresses.

    If that doesn't fix it then boot with the XP disk again and this time at the Recovery Console prompt type fixboot C: , assuming you normally boot from C: drive. That will repair the boot partition which contains information on the type of filesystem being used and a small program needed to properly load the OS.

    If that doesn't provide any joy then reboot with the XP disk and go to the Recovery console again. This command requires providing the device name, and if you are booting from C: that would be HardDisk0. So at the command prompt type fixmbr \device\HardDisk0

    Unless the drive has failed and some of the OS files can't be found/read that should fix it and it will boot up.

    Good Luck !