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PC loads to Windows XP loading screen then restarts

By stensland
Sep 20, 2010
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  1. Ok so I got into work today and an employee was having issues with their PC. It's a Compaq built machine with Windows XP. The machine boots up into the loading screen, says it's loading and then restarts and gives me the option to go into safemode and all that because the machine was not properly shut down.

    I've been researching the problem for a few hours now, and the employee had said "the computer was acting up lately" but couldn't give me any information past that.

    So far I have replaced the power supply, checked the fans, checked the RAM, checked the IDE cable to the HardDrive, and made sure nothing is overheating.

    In short Im at a loss here and I can't seem to figure it out. He needs the PC back ASAP and I'm running low on time now.

    Any ideas or suggestions?
     
  2. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

    Does choosing safe mode allow you to boot the PC to Windows? It may be that Windows is crashing or hitting a blue screen and restarting because it's configured to do that.
     
  3. stensland

    stensland TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    I can start the boot into safemode, but once it gets going on that the machine restarts just the same as when I pick any other option. I can't even use the option which sets back the machine to the last known working configuration.

    I just talked to the employee and he said when he got into work the PC was on but frozen. He restarted it and the problem I described earlier began.
     
  4. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

    Boot with the XP setup CD and run CHKDSK on the boot drive. That may fix the issue.
     
  5. stensland

    stensland TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    So I put the disk in, it boots to that, and then it gives me the option of repairing the PC, it then starts into a process looking for previous versions of Microsoft Windows, and it seems to freeze there. I'm not sure if it is still looking for a previous version or if it's stuck and it's been about 10 minutes now.
     
  6. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

    You may want to try a drive diagnostic disk from the manufacturer of the hard drive. It sounds like a hard disk issue.
    If there is data on the drive that you need to recover you might want to do that before doing anything else. You can either put the drive into an external enclosure or boot with a linux live CD (or something similar) to see if you can even access the file system on the drive.
     
  7. stensland

    stensland TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    I did the DSKCHK in the recovery console, it said all was fine, then attempted to boot into safemode, it loaded all the way to the user selection screen and rebooted again.
     
  8. JMMD

    JMMD TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,177

    There's a way to stop the system from automatically rebooting using the setup CD but I can't recall what the option was called. It may be on the menu where safe mode is (accessed with F8). If you could see the error without the system restarting it may help to figure out what the issue is.
     
  9. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,715   +89

    Give the end user a loaner laptop or desktop. How are your profiles manage on AD on domain. Are profiles floating type where the user can walk-up to any PC on your domain an start accessing data from profile over server? If so then give the user a loaner setup his email an etc on that loaner. Take the system with the issue and the user going to take a few days.

    Now if the user profile is on your server, then you can backup the user:

    desktop icons
    cookies
    my documents including txt, office files, pdf, jpg etc
    favorites
    shared folders
    shared folders, files, printer over the LAN
    Printer you need a list of printers the end user uses

    You can backup these files over the service but that might take time. Best to use a external USB2 HDD large enough for data backup processor or another system you use for such backup.

    To fix the issue after the backup of user data, rebuild the system, with new image (also ghost it)

    See techs need to speed up the recovery time for end users system.

    1. Blow off the profile on the system and replace it with a new one.
    2. Users should not be allowed to save important data files to the system HDD
    3. All user data should be on the server in their profile on. Server space.
    4. Exception to this would be laptops, but a replication process you be implemented for such equipment

    I don't know how your infrastructure policy is setup at your company

    When the end user reports a problem saying the computer is slow, that's a dead giveaway meaning:

    A: HDD out of space
    B: HDD is fragmented badly where the R/W are slower
    C: HDD is full of junk temp files
    D: Registry Errors
    E: File Errors
    F: Pest

    On the HDD side I would have ran:

    CHKDSK C: /F /R
    Defrag C:

    On the Windows side some run CCleaner or Advanced System Care Pro.

    ASCP will scan for pest and remove them, but still need to run the AVS on the system.

    From this point you will need to determined how the system is running after all of the above.

    If the concussion is to re-image the system with a new image then make sure everything is backup.

    If the concussion is to give the user the loaner laptop or replace the prior system with a new desktop or system on hand.

    Backup user data
    Image
    Join the system to domain
    Login in as the end user
    Recover user data back to the new or old system
    Setup Email
    Test all user access to shares, shared printers and etc..

    Login off as the user reboot the system
    Login back as the user and test again everything
    Call up the user and tell them the system is ready, when would be a good time to bring it back to them.

    Setup it back let the end user check out the system while your still there.
    Most test seem to leave too quickly after this process.
     
  10. stensland

    stensland TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 65

    Thank you all for the help,

    it turns out the harddrive was bad, and to speed it all up i was given the go ahead to replace the PC with a new one and told to not worry about the lost files. We are currently not set up on a domain, but that's the next big project. We have things server backed up, but even that is only once a week.
     


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