Can't start XP in normal or safe mode

By richwraps
Apr 12, 2009
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  1. Hi there. I had a problem with my PC hanging on a blank screen just after the XP logo came up. It wouldn't allow me to restart so I had no option but to switch off on the tower. Then I was given the opportunity to start in safe mode which I did but it still wouldn't start normally, even after a couple of system restores.

    Another forum suggested running a disk check from within C - right click- properties, then tools and error checking.

    Now when I reboot it hangs on the disk check page - even if I abort it, it just does nothing.

    I have tried rebooting in safe mode but it just gets stuck on the line agp440.sys and hangs there. It is clearly getting stuck but I cannot work out how to leapfrog the bottleneck.

    I've tried using my XP disk and no joy - now I cannot even get the PC into any form of starting.

    Anyone any idea on how I can get back to normal?

    Thanks very much
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,050   +84 Staff Member

    Can you provide more information on what you meant by "I've tried using my XP disk and no joy - now I cannot even get the PC into any form of starting"?

    If you aren't getting *any* power (no lights, fans, signs of any electrical flow) you can probably blame your PSU, although there's a less likely possibility that it's your motherboard as well.

    Otherwise, try running a repair installation with your XP disc.
  3. richwraps

    richwraps Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    More specifically, one of the following happens:

    1. If I try and boot normally, the screen goes passed the XP logo, then attempts a disk check, which I either let go ahead or cancel. If I cancel it, it then pops up a message saying "Windows has finished checking the disk..." but does nothing else and requires a manual reboot. If I let it go ahead, it takes a couple of hours before it then tells me the same message and hangs tehre requiring a manual reboot.
    2. If I try and open in safe mode, a load of programming lines come on the screen and then it gets stuck at the line "agp440.sys". It then hangs and does nothing else and requires a manual reboot. If I choose any other option like Last Know Configuration, it then tries to boot up normally and I get the problem above.
    3. If I try to use the XP boot up disk and press R, I get the options of attrib, batch, bootcfg, etc but I don't know how to progress from here. I tried chkdsk but it replied saying the volume is in good condition. Tried fixboot and was told it was successfully written but it doesn't seem to make any difference.
    4. If I try to use the boot up disk and press enter instead of R, it goes throught he disk and after 20 minutes or so tells me that it is restarting the PC and tells me to remove the disk. I then just go back to the same stage above where it hangs after the disk check.

    It's bizarre, because it seems to think that all is working fine, but it cannot manage to boot.

    Help!

    Any ideas? As you can see, I've certainly been trying to get it sorted!
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,050   +84 Staff Member

    Check your HDD with one of the utilities here to be certain nothing is wrong: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7602.html

    Guide on how to run a repair installation with XP: http://helpdesk.its.uiowa.edu/windows/instructions/repairinstall.htm

    [quoterichwraps]4. If I try to use the boot up disk and press enter instead of R, it goes throught he disk and after 20 minutes or so tells me that it is restarting the PC and tells me to remove the disk. I then just go back to the same stage above where it hangs after the disk check.[/quote]

    You're sure you aren't reinstalling Windows repeatedly?

    Annddd finally, regarding agp440.sys: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;324764
  5. richwraps

    richwraps Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Thanks Matthew. I have, in the meantime, tried reinstalling Windows completely. A brave decision, which is now being regarded as brave but foolish by my missus, seeing as I am now missing some important drivers. But I am persevering. Will let you know how I get on...
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,050   +84 Staff Member

    Good luck, I am sure things will turn out fine in the end, only a matter of time before something works :).
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