Windows XP Pro will not boot in any mode

By originalmeerkat
May 31, 2008
  1. My Windows XP Professional will not load in any mode, I have tried safe mode, with command prompt, etc. No options will load the operating system, and I do not see a single driver load at all. All I get when I hit any option is a black screen and nothing happens.

    This was a fresh install of Win XP Pro, and there was nothing wrong with the machine when I got it home. ( I just bought it today ) I tried to install an SMC brand USB wireless G adaptor, and when it asked to restart, I hit ok, then it kept restarting over and over again, until finally, nothing happens at all unless I hit F8 and then no mode will give me anything but a black screen.

    Could this possibly have anything to do with overheating? I think it may be possible that during transport, one of the loose cables inside may have got caught in the fan that cools the cpu. Not sure though. I took it apart and saw this could have happened, so I made sure the wires were all neatly put away, then tried to restart it, same thing happens.

    What can I do?! Please help!
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    No. This is likely something simple that will be difficult to find.. Suspect first that something shook loose on the way home... power switch wire, or other cable, or the cpu fan and heatsink became separated.
    Sit down with a flashlight and reseat every cable and connection buy pulling them apart, then firmly putting them back together.
    If that doesn't work, remove and reseat your video graphics card. New ones seem to arrive with a high failure rate. But it may be a driver. First thing you do is boot the computer to SAFE MODE by repeatedly tapping the <F8> key once per second until it boots. It will boot to a low resolution screen, and that will take a long time, if it works. If it does boot to a low resolution, that is usually an indicator that the video graphics driver has been lost or was the wrong one in the first place.
    then look at your BIOS settings if you can see them at all. It may be booting to the incorrect device. Check the boot order.
    Examine the CPU fan and heatsink. Be sure there is barely enough thermal paste. Check to see the CPU fan will turn, and that it turns freely. Assure that the CPU fan is firmly connected to the heat sink. Watch ti see if it turns when you turn on the unit.
    Next check your Power Supply. They are known to fail early if defective, and that rate can be as high as 15%.
    With a good light, watch the fan in the back of the power supply. If it turns only 1/4 to 4 turns when you first press the <ON> button the power supply is bad. To test, try another power supply, or buy a power supply tester for $10 to $20. It will pay for itself overtime.
    Next, Check the memory modules to assure they are seated correction. Then try the power switch. If no luck, remove one memory module and try booting with only the other. If no luck, revers the memory module so only the untested one is seated.
    This memory switching will quickly tell you if one module is bad. It is unlickley that both memory modules would be bad.

    Try to systemize this. One good way is to go back to the most fundamental setup... one memory module, power supply, and video graphics card. If it works with little, try adding something and try again until it fails.
    These are always no fun tests on a new machine... but it happens just often enough to drive you nuts. There are so many untested components in a new machine that will fail when brand new. Afterall, they were made by machine by the thousands very cheaply in Korea, Singapore, China, or the Asian South Pacific.

    Good luck. Let us know how it all turns out.
  3. originalmeerkat

    originalmeerkat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Win XP Pro wont boot at all

    No I said that I cannot boot into safe mode. I cannot boot into any of the modes I tried them all. The computer is 2 years old also by the way, but it was working fine then it started doing this. I cannot get anywhere, I already made sure everything was in place inside the machine, all of the cables are connected, nothing is wrong with the cpu fan, it works, and nothing is wrong with the fan on the power supply either. What can I do?
  4. xxdanielxx

    xxdanielxx TS Rookie Posts: 1,069

    you said you just bought it right? Also you said it started to happen as soon as you install a driver for a wireless card right?
  5. originalmeerkat

    originalmeerkat TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Yes I just bought it, it is a custom pc, 2 years old, and it was fully tested and works fine. When I try to install this SMC wireless G USB adaptor, it goes buggy and resets. It simply will not accept this installation. I have since been able to get Windows up and running again, how I did it, not sure.. But I did a system restore, and tried to re-install the software, and the adaptor, the same thing happens.

    There is nothing wrong with the wireless card and nothing wrong with the machine, it is a conflict between the two, or with Windows XP Pro. I cant figure it out.
  6. xxdanielxx

    xxdanielxx TS Rookie Posts: 1,069

    can you post the model of the usb wireless card brand also thanks.
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Security software, or residual files in the registry from an earlier install. If this install was a cleaned up version, then you might want to clean it some more with a simple and good registry editor such as RegCleaner by Juoni Viourno from
    Everything look OK in the Device Manager...
    Think of any possibilities of a previous install, which of course you have done.
    Do all other USB devices work on those ports?
    Anything suspcious in the way Universal Serial Ports are listed in the BIOS or in the Device Manager. Any red or yellow flags in the Device Manager?
    Do you have the original Windows XP install disc so you can run a repair using the Repair Console to thoroughly check every aspect of the current install?
    Have you tested the SMC device on any other computer to see if it will install elsewhere? How do you know "...there is nothing wrong with the wireless card..."
  8. originalmeerkat

    originalmeerkat TS Rookie Topic Starter

    card type

    model SMC2862W-G
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