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Windows XP will not load (I need some help, please!)

By venomized
Oct 8, 2005
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  1. Hey there,

    My computer will not load XP anymore. It just continues to go into a loop to where you can choose Start from last working config, safe mode, safe mode with command prompt and so on. I chosed each one and it still doesnt work, it just cycles through a reboot and sends me back to the list. My computer is a SONY VAIO and I dont have any other cds for back up. Everything was preinstalled from COMPUSA. My roomate has this GATEWAY windows XP Recovery console, but Im scared to use it and lose all my info. Someone on my car message board recommended to get a new hard drive and load XP on that and transfer the info (something like that). What can I do at this point? What do you recommend that isnt to hard to do. Thanks
  2. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,120

    ANY options could be hazardous to your data.

    Get your hands on a true XP CD with the same version that you have. If you Sony gave you an XP disk, that may work. You want to get in to Recovery Console. And the first thing you can do is run a CHKDSK.
    What you do is put the XP CD in the drive, boot up or restart, press a key when it says "Press any key to boot...".
    Next XP setup will start off the CD. It will come to the first blue screen and one option is "Recover" by pressing "R". Do that.
    Once logged in the consol, type "CHKDSK /R /P".
    This will fix any fixable hard drive errors. When it's done, type "exit", and take out the CD as it boots up. See what happens.

    If that doesn't work, do you know exactly when it started doing this? Was the system fine, then turned off, then it was bad? Was it in suspend mode or hibernate mode?
    If the system messed up while in suspend or hibernate, and is therefore trying to "wake up", you can try taking some RAM out of the PC. Or in some way make the system have LESS RAM. It then won't try to wake up, but will give and error and load normally.

    If that isn't it, obvioulsy any recent changes to the system, if you can undo them, do it.

    The last option, which is more risky. Is to do a Repair Install. This is NOT the same thing as "Repair with Recovery Console". This you will also do from the XP CD, use a disk with the same Service Pack that you have. In the setup program, if you choose to install XP, it will eventually give you the option to Repair Windows. It is quite an obvious selection. A Repair Install basically reloads Windows on top of itself, replaceing and refreshing the system files and hardware. Without deleting your files and programs.

    I might warn that if you do a repair install, it will eventually ask for your keycode. Which should be on a sticker on your case. But if Sony gave you an OEM keycode, and you use a retail XP CD to repair with, it may not accept the keycode. So if you can, if Repair Install and Recovery Console are available on the disk that Sony gave you, use that.

    Hope this leads you anywhere, just don't do anything if it says you will loose data or format etc...
  3. venomized

    venomized TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for your reply. I did the Chkdsk /r /p. and it said this "The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems". Basically on Thursday night I had too much to drink and was to lazy to think how to turn it off and basically hit the power button, instead of logging off properly. I came back Friday night after work to turn it on and thats when it started. So Im not sure what happened. I did DL some files that were from LIMEWIRE (MUSIC). But they seemed fine. I have a recovery XP console thing from my roomate that is from GATEWAY computers. But it seems thats not the best one to use. So now I have to order one from sony. Sucks, because I have to wait now. At the same time I want to repair without losing my files too. So when I order this CD will this take care of everything? How exactly does this work? Will my files be ok? Thanks again for the help.
  4. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,120

    Hey sorry to get back so late, I didn't see your response. Have you got any farther?

    The "unrecoverable problems" almost always means physical damage, which means replace the hard drive. But it's worth a shot to partition and format it just to see.

    You will need to backup your files to CDs or someplace, before running a restore. I'm not sure what Sony will send you, maybe a recovery disk just for your model? Or maybe they'll just send an OS disk. Either way, you'll end up repairing, reloading, paritioning, formatting, and whatever else. So a backup would be good no matter what you do.
    Your files WON'T be okay should you choose to format. Even if you choose NOT to format, but load XP right on top of the old XP, you will still have data sitting somewhere on the HDD, but you'll still loose all your programs.

    You generally have to fix things in this order:

    1) Windows based tools (data & programs safe)
    2) Recovery Console tools (data & programs safe)
    3) Repair Install (data and & programs safe)
    4) Load over the top (data safe and not programs)
    5) Partition and format (data and programs GONE)

    I don't think loading windows over the top of itself is a good idea at all. You end up with a seemingly fresh load of Windows, but with loads of old files laying around all over the place taking up space.
    And again, the error you got may mean you have a dieing hard drive.

    In any case, I think it would be wise to get your data safe!
  5. venomized

    venomized TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey thanks for the reply again,

    I was told to save my files, use another hard drive (I was going to use my roomates HD) as the MASTER on my computer and use my HD as the slave to transfer the files I wanted. So I opened my computer out and took off the two cables that were connected to the HD. I checked my roomates HD to make sure the jumpers and plastic sleeves were set for MASTER (which they were). So I connected the two cables to his HD from my computer. But my comp will not load up his HD. It just stays stuck on the black screen where it says PCI device listing...... and just sits there. So I went to the CMOS setting and it detects his HD because I checked the info on his HD and the info in the CMOS and it matches. Why doesnt it load up? Im trying to save my data this way and hope I can get it to work somehow. But its not! Is there something that Im missing? If not, I guess I will just lose everything on my HD. Looks like that might be happening anyway according to what you said. Thanks again for your response. Maybe you might now something that I missed. If not, I may just give up and just format the HD with the SONY WINDOWS XP recovery console disk. I will wait until you respond though. Thanks
  6. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,120

    Hold the phone!

    You DO want your roomates HDD to be master and yours to be slave, but you want to do this on HIS PC! In other words, leave his PC completely alone, with the drive in his case (and set to master). Then just take your HDD and set to slave and hook it up in his case.
    This way, his own XP should load just as it normally would, but with yours as a slave. Which means you'll get another drive letter in My Computer for your drive.

    Taking a working HDD with Windows on it and just plugging it in to a completely different computer, is something very few would ever recommend trying. And it's a lucky thing it didn't load, or else it could cause trouble on his HDD as well! It's a long story.

    So anyways, if you can get your drive successfully as a slave in his box, you can get your data as long as your drive is ok and still reads in Windows. If he has an Antivirus program, it would be good to update it and scan your HDD before copying off of it.

    Lastly, in case you didn't know, a PC can have only FOUR IDE devices. Meaning two HDDs and two CD-ROMs, or 3 HDDs and 1 CD-ROM etc... You have 2 devices on one cable (master/slave) and two devices on the other cable. So you can plug your HDD wherever you can just as long as the mas/slv is right. And slave is better just so the PC doesn't try to boot off your HDD first before his.

    Good luck!
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