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IT Technologies
IT Technologies, PC, Network & CCTV Engineer
Category: Computer
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Experience:  20 Years as a Computer/Network technician & CCTV/Access system Engineer
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Windows XP freezes at start-up

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Windows XP freezes at start-up
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

OS: Windows XP; Browser: IE



On booting press and hold the 'F8' key, this should bring up the XP boot menu.


From the menu you could try 'last known configuration that worked

Or, if that doesnt work, try booting into 'safe mode' and then restarting

Customer: replied 8 years ago.


Already tried F8 and get no response. Also can't get into safe mode. Screen reads "DELL Bios 1.0.15" but is non-responsive to any commands.

Im fairly sure some Dells have a recovery tool on a hidden boot partition.


Try holding F11 and see if that does anything.


Failing that do you have a windows XP disk? You could boot of that and repair the current XP installation

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
F11 doesn't work either. I do have an reinstallation CD for XP. If I reboot with it will I loose my files and installed programs?

Not if you choose to 'repair' instead of reinstalling


If it is a standard XP disk it should give you this option.


DO NOT allow it to delete the current partition, or reinstall windows in a new folder, both of these options would be very bad as far as you're current data goes!

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

It's the original Dell disk that came with the PC. Just tried rebooting with it but the PC isn't reading it. The PC freezes at the very first screen that reads "DELL Bios Revision 1.0.15" and will not respond. Think that it's not progressing far enough to even recognize the CD.



Right, what model dell is it?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Vostro 200 desktop.

You got MSN messenger? this'll be much easier!!


mannyana (at sign) live (dot) co (dot) uk


If i fix it we'll have to come back here though to sign job off

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Sorry - don't use MSN Messenger. Should I see if it's installed on this PC?

No, its fine, it's just Im going offline soon as it's 3am here! lol


Right, reboot machine soon as it powers back on press and hold F2


This, according to the Dell site I've just visited, let you enter setup (bios)


In the BIOS you need to navigate to boot options, and set the CD drive as the first boot device


Then make sur you have the XP disk in, exit the BIOS saving changes, and reboot the PC


If you cant get in with F2 simply power on the PC and hold as many keys down as you can with the flats of you're hands, you should this way hit the setup (bios) key

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Nope - the screen says "F2 = Setup" but again I get no response when powering up. In fact, even holding down all the keys does nothing.

Hmmm, thats an odd one!


so as soon as it says F2=setup you're pressing it?


If thats the case and theres nothing happening then it's looking like a hardware fault, or a corrupt BIOS



Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes, I'm pressing it right away.

If it still wont enter BIOS, the next thing to try is to reset the BIOS to defaults


This can be done via a small jumper on the mainboard


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Not sure where to find that.

Im just looking for a shamtic for the mainboard now, but dells are usually quite technician friendly, and tend to have a big schematic sticker on the inside of the case.


Can you take the side panel/case off and have a look?


Basically, it is a small plastic blcok on the board which connects 2 pins, to reset the BIOS to default you simply slide it off the pins, and reposition in the 'reset' position with the power off, then replace back to origianl postiion.



You need to download the following file -


This contains the mainboard layout and shows where the BIOS reset jumper is


They term it as CMOS reset


It's pretty straight forward to do this, you should manage but may need a small torch to see the jumper markings correctly

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Did pull the cover but having trouble finding it. Since it's getting late, especially for you, perhaps we should call it quits and I'll take it back to the shop where I got. Appreciate your help, and willing to pay you the 15 USD for your effort.

Thank you for that.


I do think though you could now sort it, keep the link I sent you in any case cos it's useful to have the board layout!


And one other ting that sprung to mind, do you have anything plugged into the pC at present? Modems etc? Sometimes if they go wrong they can stop the PC from booting

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Actually, yes, I do have an external HD attached to the PC and was copying files over to it when it crashed. After disconnecting it I can get into set-up!



And now you might not even need to go into setup!


Just come back out and try booting first


If not reset and press F2, go into setup, boot options, CD as first boot device, then do recovery from XP disk


IT Technologies and 3 other Computer Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 8 years ago.

Your'e right - didn't even need to go into set-up!


It's fine now - thanks!

No probs, glad you got it sorted ;-)


I would recommend trying that external on another PC and see what happens, it may be faulty, or may simply be taking too much power from the USB port


Glad I could help out, and thanks ;-)

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