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How Do You Reformat a Computer that Won't Boot Up

By Highspot
Nov 3, 2009
  1. Got a HP Laptop with Windows Vista on it. For whatever reason, when it boots up now, it just goes into an endless loop.

    Nothing comes on to the screen, can't get into safe mode, can't do jack.

    Last time I had this problem, I gave it to a friend of mine who got it going.

    I'd like to know how to take care of this myself.

    Please help.
     
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Your computer does boot up
    You can even select Safe Mode (except Safe Mode doesn't work of course)
    Is this correct ?

    You can only "format" a Windows installed computer, outside Windows
    ie: With the Windows install disc, or from selecting the Function button that allows you to get to System Recovery options
     
  3. Highspot

    Highspot TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well whatever the technical term is, I want to wipe everything off of it and return it to factory state.

    When I start up the lap top, NOTHING comes on to screen. Holding the F8 key, or any other key for that matter, does nothing. Not one single images comes to the screen. And after just a few seconds, the computer shuts down, and begins booting up again. And it will continue this until I just turn it off.
     
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

    Try disconnecting all externals connected to the laptop
    Also remove the Laptop Battery, and power adapter
    Then hold down the ON button for 30secs (dispersing internal voltage)
    - You can also add another step here, by refitting your Harddrive and Ram
    Then plug in your power adapter only (ie Battery out still)
    Then try turning on again
     
  5. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,444   +124

    If the computer doesn't boot, even if you wipe 50 times the hard drive it won't do jack.

    You need to check how many bips the computer is making, you might have an unplugged or burnt device, which again, has nothing to do with your drive.

    However, you might have better luck on HP forums.

    Good luck!
     
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 18,353

  7. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,444   +124

    Also, if you really think it is your hard drive, test it.

    Download and burn a live linux distro (Like Puppy, DSL or Ubuntu) or make a pendrive bootable, if it loads then your drive has something wrong, if it doesn't is something else.
     
  8. Highspot

    Highspot TS Rookie Topic Starter

    This started happening right after I downloaded something. So I'm almost certain it's not an hardware issue.

    Not to mention that the last time this happened, buddy of mine, somehow, got in there and erased then reinstalled everything and it worked.
     
  9. Kibaruk

    Kibaruk TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,444   +124

    But you haven't answered any of the questions myself and other users have asked in order to help you, without any more information we can't help you. Try:

    Checking how many bips the computer is making when you turn it on.
    See if you can get into the bios.
    (Then) See if you can get the boot menu up.
    (If that works) Try burning a live CD of something and booting from it.
    Does the screen power up when you try and boot the computer?
     
  10. racbhat13

    racbhat13 TS Rookie

    Hi Highspot,

    Have you tried booting from the windows CD.

    I do believe that this is not a software problem as your computer will tell you that it cant get into windows, if your software was the problem.

    More than likely, either you have overheated some component (in which case you will need to replace that component) or you have some hardware that's come loose, in which case you just have to remove it and put it in again.

    Either way the first step is still to try out the following:

    Just pop in the disc as soon as you turn the computer on. So even if it shuts off, you can always restart it.

    Next shut down the pc by pressing and holding the power key down until your pc turns off.
    Now restart the computer by first holding down the FN key and then pressing the power button.

    Does that change the way your computer boots up? Is there any text/image on the screen now?

    If so lemme know and i'll be able to help you out. Else you may have to take this back to someone who can actually see what's going on cause none of us here can see what is actually happening.

    Post back what happens when you try this, let's see if we can help.
     
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