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Ask Kate Your Own Question

Kate, Computer Support Technician
Category: Computer
Satisfied Customers: 98
Experience:  Can build computers from bare bones, setup small netwks, & POS systems. Graphics & software savvy.
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Customer Question

Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Computer
Expert:  Kate replied 8 years ago.


Thank you for asking your question here.


I'm sorry you're having this issue. The error you report is difficult to diagonse, but there are two primary causes, one is a problem with a device driver, the other is that the system has been inproperly installed or the installation has been altered (as with a virus.) Because of what you've tried and the way you're now experiencing the problem, I suspect it's a nasty virus.


At this point, I'm afraid that your best course of action is a hard drive format and software reinstallation. I'm sorry I don't have better news for you.


Best regards,


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Hello Kate,

i suspect a device driver as i had other blue screen errors before this one. how can i trouble shoot the drivers when i can't boot upCry

btw. this final error happened just as i was doing a second deep scan with a new norton anitvirus trial shareware version. before it crashed, it had detected one more item before going down.

It is a dell pc just over 3 years old and just past the warranty period so i have no parts replacement recourse. is there a way to partially format the drive and save all of the data on the drive.......if not, how do i do a format...

also, i have the original os disk from dell but i can't find the authorization i need this code to reload software or can i bypass it somehow....

thank you.

gus kutschker
Expert:  Kate replied 8 years ago.
Hi gus,

I don't know of any way to troubleshoot the drivers if you can't boot up.

I strongly recommend against Norton. I have never had a good experience with it. When it comes pre-installed on a machine, I remove it.

You can get AVG Free and Spy-Bot, at no cost. If you install these and run your Windows updates regularly, you will greatly reduce your chances of getting a virus or spyware.

You can TRY reinstalling Windows which should leave your files and programs intact. I don't know if it will work, but that's the first thing to try. (You shouldn't need your install code, but Dell should have placed a sticker somewhere on your machine with the OS keycode on it. Sometimes, they're on the back, but usually on the side or bottom of the computer. If you can't find it, we can get software that will find it once you're able to boot. Also, the OS and other original software may be on a partition on the hard drive, but one thing at a time...)

Here's the method:


Boot the computer using the XP disk. Insert the disk. Turn off the machine and turn on with the disk still in place. (Hold the power key down until the machine turns off, then turn back on.) The machine should give you a message saying something like, "to boot from cd, press any key." If you don't get this message, you may have to change your bios settings to boot from cd. (Let me know.)

When you see the "Welcome to Setup" screen, you'll have some options:

  • To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER
  • To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R
  • To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

Press ENTER to start the Windows Setup. DO NOT choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R." If you repair using the recovery console, you'll lose data, so DO NOT USE IT.

Accept the License Agreement and Windows will look for existing Windows Installations.

Choose the XP installation you want to repair from the list. (You probably will only have one.) Press R to start the repair. If REPAIR is not one of the options, END setup.

  • If the option to Repair Install is NOT available and you continue with the install; you will delete your Windows folder and the Documents and Settings folders. All applications installed that place keys in the registry will need to be re-installed and will require the original install media.

Setup will copy the needed files to your hard drive and reboot. Do not press any key to bott from CD when the message appears this time.

Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean installation, but your applications and settings will remain intact.

Once you are working again, you willl need to run Windows updates. You should run anti-virus and anti-adware programs before updating your Windows. If you think you have a virus and AVG and SpyBot have missed it, let me know and I'll give you some more information.


I hope this is helpful. If not, then post back with your questions/concerns and I'll continue to assist.


Best regards,

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thanks for the input Kate,

I tried using the "CD" in the cd drive, but it did not recognize the cd drive. However, the reinstallation disk is a dvd! So i did your procedure with the dvd in the dvd drive. It did not recongnize the dvd drive either. Also, it is not listed in the boot sequence menu. I tried it in both cd and dvd drive bays. No change. it prompts me with the windows not starting successfully and safe mode, start normally etc. options. i tried every combination, but get the blue screen IO1_INITIALIZATION...message.

Not sure why it's not seeing the dvd drive at all in the boot table. it doesn't see the dvd in the cd drive either...??

Any thoughts?? I'm about to order an apple/mac mini!!!

But, I have sooooooooo many important family picture and music files on this hard drive that i'd like to just get it to boot one last time so i can back it all up. Then I'll probably go for the mini. So tired of viruses and garbage in my pc!!!

Thanks again for the help.

Expert:  Kate replied 8 years ago.

Macs aren't trouble-free either, but I sure do understand your frustration!

You need to boot from the CD or DVD. Because you aren't getting that option, your bios may not be set up for this.
  • When you turn on your machine, there will be the words,-> enter Setup, or BIOS Setup, or Change Setup, or CMOS Setup, etc. Something similar to this. The Function key,(F1, F2, etc.), or another key to press,(Delete, Insert, Tab, etc.), will be shown along with the 'statement' above.
  • This screen goes by fast! This process of trying to read it, may try your patience a little, but you can do it. When you see it, write it down immediately. (Mine is F8, sometimes the ESC key works... you just have to look.)
  • You will now restart your computer, and will tap this particular key, in one second intervals. This will take you to the BIOS setup screen.
  • When you use the screen to make changes, you are not actually changing the BIOS program. That's 'burned' into a BIOS chipset soldered on your motherboard. You are altering parameters within the BIOS program. This is why it's actually the BIOS Setup Utility. The settings in the utility that came from the factory are the 'default' settings. Should you make a mistake within the BIOS Setup utility, it can be put back to the default settings.
  • When BIOS Setup screen comes up, you navigate around in it with your keyboard. You use the Up/Down Arrow key/s to 'highlight' the area you're going into.
  • When you have a submenu,(area), highlighted you press the Enter key. This simply opens the submenu, no changes are going to happen, you're just looking around. In this menu, you use the Up/Down Arrow key/s again, to highlight another submenu. You can look around all day this way, at anything you want. The only time a setting will change is when you use another navigation key,(Either the Plus(+), or Minus(-) key, or it may be the Page Up/Page Down key to Change Value.
  • If you look at the bottom of the BIOS Setup screen, you'll see a navigation guide for that particular BIOS Setup utility.
  • Navigate until you find the BOOT screen. You want the CD to be at the top of the list so the computer will look for a CD before it goes to the hard drive for start-up instructions. Make the change needed and SAVE it on exit.
  • Put the CD in and follow the instructions I gave you previously
I have a few other things to try, but I don't want to overwhelm you with options.

If you're patient enough to go through this process, I think we'll either get you up and running, or we'll be able to pull your files. I'm willing to try to help as long as you want to keep trying.

Let me know if this works.


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