Help with computer - freezes at boot-up

By Qwertymann
Sep 24, 2008
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  1. Hello everyone, I need some assistance.
    My computer has been fairly faithful to me for the past four years, and now when I tried to turn it on today, it just froze on start-up over and over again. It freezes on the screen right after the memory check - the second black screen during start up. Which means I can enter BIOS, but I can't run in safe mode.

    I'm running on Windows XP Home Edition I believe. My computer is a Compaq.

    oh one other the thing, the past few days on this same black screen, it has often been saying "Disk boot error" or something to that effect. It would say it a bunch of times but eventually it would finish starting up and boot Windows after I restarted a few times.

    If any additional information is required, please ask and I will provide it.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,327   +49

    Probably a failing or failed hard disk. Hope you have your data safely backed up.
  3. chj2008

    chj2008 Newcomer, in training

    were i'd start

    I am by no means A uber computer guru, but with the disk read errors and able to access bios but not windows i might suggest start with the hardrive itself. If you have had it a few years and it's a compaq it is possible

    I'm thinking in the bios look for standard cmos settings(or a variation of this as it can be different from bios to bios), then look to see what it has listed as primary master. If nothing is listed then the drive itself is toasty and your gonna need to replace it. ( you will not change anything in the bios, your just looking so remember when leaving use the option to exit WITHOUT saving)

    If it does have anything listed then the next step i would take is to pull it out and slap it in as a secondary drive on a known working computer and run chkdsk, scandsk, and any Hard drive manufacturer specific diagnostic tools I could find(The HD manufacture would be listed on the drive it self, like western digital, fujitsu, maxtor, etc., etc.). If all of those check out, then the drive is likely good but you may have a failing Mobo.

    to check this i would take a known working Hard drive(not the one we tested on the other system), set in your computer as the master, install a clean copy of windows and see what happens. if it works then the drive is stil the problem, if it does the same thing then your mobo is dead and you need to replace it.

    If the Hard drive comes up as the problem in any of these, replace the drive and your good to go.

    If it's the Mother board that comes up bad and since it's a compaq your gonna have a real big problem replacing it.... unless it's under warranty. If it's not... now would be time to start shopping for a new computer.

    Of course any of the Uber guru's here are free to correct me as my knowledge mostly comes from cobbling a few systems together for friends and family and not a Huge amount of troubleshooting. ^.^
  4. Qwertymann

    Qwertymann Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I didn't - there wasn't anything to keep backed-up anyway.

    Well, I tried putting in my Windows start-up disc and running it then, and then my computer shut itself down, I was thinking it was just 'cause it didn't like that. Next thing I notice, it's smoking. Guess I need a new computer.
  5. chj2008

    chj2008 Newcomer, in training

    umm yeah

    ignore my earlier post then man, sorry about the bad luck, but smoke is definetly a sign it's time to buy a new one :(
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