Can you please clarify your problem for me. At bootup, (if the computer makes it there) what is the error you are receiveing?
Did you install any software prior to this happening?
I've sent this. Please try to respond on this post.
Please shut down your computer. Press the power button and immediately press the F8 key on and off until a menu appears. Choose Last known good configuration. Then see if the machine boots like that.
Please let me know if it makes it to the options screen (hope it does!).
Ok. Do you have an XP installation disk?
First, I think we should scan the hard drive for errors.
Sorry for the delay. Please place the cd into the drive and reboot. Press any key when prompted to.
When you get to this screen (after the loading screen):
Press R to enter the recovery console:
It will bring you to this screen. Press 1 to enter the windows installation:
Just press enter if there is no administrative password XXXXX
Let me know if or when you get there.
Ok. Good. Now type the following and press enter:
There is a space after the chkdsk.
Also, if it is not happy with this command just try:
then press enter. This will scan the hard drive for errors. This can take longer than an hour. You don't have to watch it, but check in time to time and take note if it says its repairing something or if any other odd text shows up. Other than the usuall checking ....
Let me know how this goes. Thank you.
Ok. Now remove the disk from the computer:
Then type exit at the prompt. This will restart the computer. Then see if it boots.
At this point I would recommend we either do a repair install or a complete reinstall. I generally recommend a complete reinstall, but we would lose your files. Since we don't want to do this, we should go with a repair install. This will leave all of your files and settings the way they are.
Unfortunately, the XP setup program can't slit the current hard drive into 2 partiitions to install a clean version on while having access to your original files. But if you have nothing of value on this computer, I would recommend wiping it clean (reformatting) and reinstalling.
Let me know what you'd like to do?
Please correct me If I'm wrong. The computer *does not* boot in safe mode rightf?
If it does boot in safe mode. We still have some options. Please let me know. Thank you.
Ok. The only way (without manually copying files from the recovery console using commands) or installing the drive as a secondary in another desktop, would be to buy something like this:
Which I have and it works perfectly for desktop hard drives, laptop hard drives and SATA hard drives. This allows you to take the hard drive out and plug it into a usb port.
Do you have another desktop computer around?
Certainly. I can assure you that the system will be fully functional after we complete the full reinstall.
Let me know when you have saved everything you want.
Also, while in safe mode, please try this. Click start, run. Type msconfig and press enter. Select the startup tab, choose disable all and click Ok and restart. Please try this when you get a chance.
Nothing in the msconfig lineup is required for windows to run. Nothing changed there should have affected whether or not you can boot into safe mode. Our plan was to do a fresh install of XP correct?
What happens when you try to boot into safe mode? How far does it get or what happens?
I can opt out if you'd like. But our ability to enter safe mode should not have been affected at all. Please clarify what happens when you use the F8 key to enter safe mode?
The hard drive can be taken out and placed as a secondary in another desktop, or it can be taken out and used with an adapter for the usb port as we mentioned earlier.
Either there is serious problems in the file system or some type of virus. Changing msconfig startup entries should have made no effect.
Would you like to attempt to place the hard drive an another desktop?
Certainly. Do you know where the majority of your files are located. Perhaps in the My Documents folder for example?
I belive we can go back to the days of Dos to get your files off.
Ok. You said you won't be able to do this until tomorrow?
Would you like to send a reply back when you are ready. Or I could send the instructions, then you could follow them at your convenience?
I'll do my best in preparing the instructions and commands. There is lots of room for missing just one character and the command prompt won't be happy.
I'll try to get it perfectly setup for you the first time.
There is one small issue with this. That is we cannot use the recovery console to access the My Documents folder. The recovery console does not permit it. Here is what we'll do. Clearly the registy is corrupt on the system. We will use the commands to manually copy the backup registry files into the correct system folder. Hopefully, this will allow you to boot at least into safe mode. Then we can copy file over.
Please see the following microsoft site: Follow the instructions exactly from "Manual steps to recover a corrupted registry that prevents Windows XP from starting"
Follow these. When you have got done with the bold text. Type exit to restart (you can take the cd out so it does't boot from that."
Let me know how this goes. If normal boot doesn't work. Try the safe mode.
Let me know how this goes.
We may be able to do a repair install. Then recovery your files, then perform a full insatallation.
Have you done a repair installation before?
Thanks for you patience.
There is no way to turn safe mode option on or off. If this never appears it means files of windows have become more corrupt. However, if the windows disk you have is not scratched, I belive the hanging would have been do to the errors on the disk that we got repaired.
Do you mean that the hard drive has more than one partition. If it does, we could format that one, do a fresh install of XP on that, then when it boots, the original partition would show up as another drive under My Computer.
Clearly, this desktop software has severly been corrupting the windows registry. And if all else fails, the last option we have is to get this:
Hopefully we can get it. However, there are two commands I'd like you to type while in the Recovery console. When the xp disk first loads, press R to enter the recovery console.
Type these commands and press enter. They will each ask for a confirmation.
Perhaps these will give us access back to safe mode.
Again, thank you for all your patience. Anyone else would have said "forget it" by now!
Looking online, there is a way of disabling safe mode but its not really disabling. It makes windows so it doesn't know it is there. But I do not think we could have done this by mistake. This requires manually editing the registry. And quite frankly I'm not sure why people would disable safe mode options. However you already tried the steps of manually loading the backup registy. It was this link:
It appears I did not give you this link before. Have you tried this already?
Please try the steps mentioned in the Microsoft article. I though you had done this already but it appears I forgot to post this link. Windows keeps a backup of the registy. With these steps, we will be loading the backup registy which is what "last Known good configuration" does. Except we can't get to there!
Perform the steps mentioned in the bold text
This will require booting the cd into the recovery console. But you must type the text exactly as shown. When this is done, hopefully we can get at least into safe mode and grab your files. Then wipe the hard drive clean and give you a brand new system.
I am sticking with this as long as it takes you make sure your system is all set in the end.
Again, heres the link. Perform the bold steps.
Good luck. Let me know how it goes. Thank you.