Windows XP won't boot, computer restarts

By Shazu
Feb 6, 2010
  1. I have a Dell Inspiron 6400 Laptop running Windows XP. Late last year, someone spilled a drink into the keyboard and the computer would not boot up. It was suggested that I purchase a new motherboard. I put that off for awhile, and when a friend tried to start the computer a few weeks later, it booted up and everything ran normally for a month.
    A few weeks ago, the computer shut itself down, and when I tried to start Windows, I received error messages telling me that some files were missing from the system32 folder. I managed to copy them from my XP cd, but also somehow managed to also install a second version of windows.
    Now, I have one working version of Windows, but my computer has no sound aside from the system beep, and no internet access. None of my programs show up in this second Windows installation, and It appears that my photos and music that was once on my hard drive are not there any more.
    When I try to boot from the first installation of Windows, the computer brings me to a screen asking if I want to boot in safe mode, last known configuration, etc. No matter what option I select, the system reboots and I have the choice of what Windows I want to load again.
    I have tried to use the XP cd to fix the installation, but it does not recognize the first Windows folder, onlly the second one I recently added.
    If at all possible, I would like to be able to recover my documents before I reinstall Windows and start fresh. Any suggestions on how I can fix my computer so I can access my original Windows installation?
  2. ucould2

    ucould2 TS Guru Posts: 271

    something spilt on my lap top....

    Something spilt on my lap top just sounds like lost data and heartache. I have not had this happen to me (no-laptop) and it started working again must been a small miracle!
    There are "Data Recovery Services" you can use some even offer ON-LINE services. Had you done a system Back-up prior to the accident? If so you may have a "Restore point" and you should be able to access this. However you mention that you had used the XP cd to restart the computer this may stop you from accessing the previous restore point. Do you think it might be a worth while prospect keeping the computer even though if might have fried some of it internals? If so would you also consider taking the unit to a retailer as you could get them to recover the information and assess the damage?
    At least you'd then know what you'd be likely to expect as far as future performance from this machine? :approve:
    Edit just a thought since thinking about this that if you are going to keep the laptop remove the keyboard and the touch mat below and allow it to dry out. This is more than likely why it has stopped working again, liquid sitting in the rubber mat beneath the keys (it probably evaporated there at the time of the original spill into the keys) descending in to the inner workings of the machine as you use it.
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