Windows XP will not start.

By spingk
Jan 31, 2005
  1. When I turn on my computer I get this message:

    We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.

    If your computer stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to protect your files and folders, choose Last Known Good Configuration to revert to the most recent settings that worked.

    If a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure or because the Power or Reset button was pressed, or if you aren't sure what caused the problem, choose Start Windows

    Safe Mode
    Safe Mode with Networking
    Safe Mode with Command Prompt

    Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)
    Start Windows Normally

    Use the up and down arrow keys to move the highlight to your choice.

    Seconds until Windows starts: 30

    No matter what option I pick it just reboots to the same message. I have not even made any hardware or software changes, I tried calling Dell but they said I would have to reformat. I saw another thread on this website where someone had a similar problem. It was recomended that they do a repair install of windows. I asked Dell if this would work and they said no... is this true? Also if i boot to my XP cd it loads all the drivers and says press enter. If i press enter it says Analyzing 5721 MB on Disk 0 of Something 0 of Something 0. I let it sit like that for almost an hour and nothing happened. I will format but I would not like to if there are other choices.
    What should I do?

    All help is apreciated.
  2. Kevin16

    Kevin16 TS Rookie Posts: 92

    I would recommend booting from the XP cd and use the repair option.

    It wouldn't hurt to try :D
  3. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Well if you have a Dell chances are they didn't give you a real disc. So you won't be able to do a repair. But there is no reason why they should be telling you that a repair won't work. It might not be the solution to your problem, but I would think it won't hurt anything. But maybe Dell has some proprietary crap they put on there that I don't know about, have never had one.
  4. odin673

    odin673 TS Rookie

    I'm pretty sure dell disks give repair options. As said before, try the repair. It might work, it might not(most likely won't work). If you have important stuff on that hard drive it, slave it to another computer and have them backed up before you do the restore.
  5. AtK SpAdE

    AtK SpAdE TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,495

    Dell Disk? I dont think so

    Im pretty sure the majority of Dells use OEM version of windows and dont have a disk.

  6. spingk

    spingk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the support guys. To clarify Dell does give a repair option but I had lost the OEM disk they gave me so it didn't matter. I borrowed a Windows CD from a friend and downloaded knoppix. Then I downloaded a program to read the registry and used Wine (a windows exe emulator in linux) to execute the file. Surprisinly this worked and I could read my windows registry. I found my cd key and printed it out. Now it was time to back stuff up. I used the tar command to put the items I needed from my hard drive into a tar. I then uploaded this tar to my website. Now after I had backed up my files it was time to format. Now since Windows wanted to examine my 48 gigs for over 1.5 hours I decided it would be easier to just use a program named AutoClave to format. This program is a bootable linux floppy and it will write 0's over everything on your hard drive. This took about 5 hours. Now it was time to install windows. I put in the cd and boot to it. The setup started up and when I pressed enter it went right to the license agreement. This is something it didnt do before. I then could select the partition I wanted. It showed one unformated partition at which point I knew I would have to format the hard drive for windows. I knew the Windows format could take a while and after 4 days working at this computer trying everything before losing everything I was not in the mood for a formating of an empty hard drive to take hours. Luckily it only took about 15 minutes. Now it started to install windows. After 10 minutes it rebooted and after another 5 I could put in my serial number. Then it finished setup and Windows was back to normal.

  7. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    Wow, that was quite the work a way. I'm glad you got everything sorted out and I hope you can get your programs back to normal soon.
  8. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    The original problems sounds to me like a hibernate file got stuck somehow. I've seen this a few times.
    This would be the case IF:
    when you select a boot option, it basically comes right back to the menu. Rather than a FULL restart where you see the POST and so forth. If that's the case, Windows is trying to load off a hibernate file and can't do it.
    One way to work around that is to change your RAM size buy LOWERING it. Windows will see the difference in RAM and cannot load the hibernate file, thus it will ask you if you want to delete the file and start Windows normally.

    Just FYI
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