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Windows XP help

By james_rt
May 9, 2008
  1. hi everyone my name is James,
    i tried to open up my computer this morning and it did not load the login window
    my computer has been telling me that i have low drive space. is it not loading because of the lack of memory or is something else wrong i need some help!
     
  2. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    James, you need to start by giving us information about your computer:
    Make
    Model
    CPU
    Installed RAM
    Hard Drive
    Operating System
    Any other particulars- for instance, did you get a black or blue screen? Did you get any message? Did you do any new installs yesterday? Did you make any major change in the system?

    Then maybe we can guide you.
     
  3. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi

    thanks for the quick reply
    im not sure where it was made or the model of the pc it was given to me from my sister . i know it has 160 gigs hd 512 ram and is windows xp pro umm its just pitch black after the loading process all i can see is the mouse cursor
     
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    You need to start Windows in safe mode and delete as much rubbish as you can to give Windows room the breath. To start Windows in safe mode, when you first switch on, tap repeatedly on the F8 key until you get a new prompt with vairous startup options. (you may need to try this several times before you succeed, the timing is very fine). Select the minimum startup option you can get to work that allows you access to your hard drive. If this is Dos mode, then I would be perfectly happy, but you sound as if you might be completely lost. Post back if you can get into safe mode and get advice on drive cleanup.
     
  5. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the trouble might be beyond that my computer wont run on safe mode, a bunch of windows messages show up and it just freezes. is there a boot drive that i would need to select? there is a total of 4 including the floppy. is there a different between whcih one i choose cause i am quite lost
     
  6. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    actually i let it run in safe mode and it did run. however the same thing occured. there was nothing on the screen besides the words safe mode
     
  7. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Do you have the Windows XP CD?
     
  8. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah its really weird i tried using the windows xp cd but it didnt work its really confusing is there anyway to remove info from hard drive without logging onto windows?
     
  9. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    Ok, if you can get into safe mode (screen shows the words safe mode in all four corners), that is all you need to clear space. Your PC should run Windows explorer as normal from the start menu, and you can delete files as normal. It just looks a little crude.

    As to using the XP CD you may be unaware that you need to alter the boot order in the bios to put the CD drive first, and then boot with the XP disk in the drive. There are several ways of accessing a hard drive without using Windows - booting from a Linux Cd is the most popular.

    I would think from your responses so far, you could easily do some harm to your PC and it is time to call a more expert friend to help you.
     
  10. AshXX

    AshXX TS Rookie

    Id say if you have got any important files needed on there i would back them up in safe mode if there is nothing you need , Recommended a full reinstall
     
  11. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    I asked about the Windows CD because you need to go into the BIOS and change the boot order to boot from CD first as mentioned.. However, as suggested, this might be too much for you to handle and this would be a good time to seek the help of someone who can do a hands on help.
     
  12. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i see thanks for all the advice i dont know anyone who would know how to do this so is there an option for me to do it without the windows xp cd? i tried to run it in safe mode and safe mode appeared on all 4 corners but i have a password for my accounts and that window which allows me to input the name and password does not pop up... if this really doesnt work is there a shop that u can recommend for me to visit for get it fixed.
     
  13. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    we are suggesting that if you can clear out a lot of rubbish like browser cache you might once more be able to boot Windows as normal and access those areas you need to backup in the normal way.

    Start in safe mode as before and click the start button. Find All Programs | Accessories | System Tools menu and from there 'disk cleanup'. Let it do it's thing on the C: drive and delete everything it wants to - it cannot do any real harm.

    Next in 'My Computer' right-click on the C: drive and select properties at the bottom. Click the second tab 'Tools' and click on the button 'check now'. Mark the checkbox 'Automatically fix file system errors' and click start. After that you may be able to restart normally - let us know.

    If that does not help, I can talk you through the next possibility, which is system restore (also from safe mode). In the meantime try to remember a date and time when the PC last worked properly - we will want to go back to just before then !
     
  14. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i understand that part but um the thing is is that when it is in safe mode there is nothing else on the screen. theres no start and no access to anytihng its just a pitch black screen with safe mode on all four corners
     
  15. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    im not sure if im describing it correctly but theres nothing i can do when i open the cmoputer. windows start loading and then (in safe mode) it loads into a pitch black screen with safe mode on all corners. other than there there is nothing i can click on no start button no my computer icon
     
  16. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    That is better information - and a worse situation for you !!, Chances are now some corrupt startup files, but dont panic yet, quite often simple steps can get you going again.

    view these two links and if you don't feel capable of following some of the instructions, it is time to look for hands-on help

    http://searchwinit.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid1_gci968110,00.html

    http://support.microsoft.com/KB/314503

    After reading these two carefully, you will (a) become aware of why we keep recommending expert help, but (b) you will know a lot more than you do now, and if you take a deep breath (c) you might solve the problem.
     
  17. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks for the links i tried to find a boot floppy but it appears i dont have one... so i found my windows xp cd. i put it into my drive but it wont load is there a reason for why its not being picked up by the computer?
     
  18. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    Silly question first, are you booting the PC with the CD already in the drive, as you must.....if you are, someone has changed the boot order in the bios. How to put that right? Hit the correct key as your PC boots.

    It varies depending upon what BIOS your computer has. Look for a message on the screen as soon as the computer boots. Common keys are F10, F11, Del, or ESC. You will have to check the screen or the manual that came with your PC.

    Once in the bios, the boot order is usually on the advanced page. You want to bring the Cd/DVD drive to the top of the order, and HD second. Save the new bios order. Reboot with the CD in the drive already and it will boot off it. Follow on from the above links. Watch your step, messing with the bios can cause trouble, picking an incorrect option from the install CD can loose your entire drive.

    I must be blunt. You are solely responsible for any bad results from our attempts to help you, and as you clearly have no idea what you are doing, I suggest evening classes would be a good step.
     
  19. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks so much for the help i finally got it to start up is there a way to clean info from my drive
     
  20. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    Before you do anything else backup any data you cannot afford to lose.

    Would you kindly say what you did to get it going, do you mean Windows is now booting normally again?

    then see post #13 above....
    Check the hard drive. Defragment.

    Use settings | control panel | add-remove programs to uninstall programs you do not need. Do NOT just delete them from Windows Explorer or you may make your PC unbootable.
     
  21. james_rt

    james_rt TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i tried looking at the program files themselves but it seems that they are not takiing up much space however i have a large chuck of missing memory that is being used by something unknown. i followed the instructions to change the boot order to dvd (stupid me) and i just used the recover command to get it working under safe mode
     
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