Guide: Windows XP wont start? wont boot?

By Zsj
Jul 19, 2009
  1. This is a beginners guide for people who can't get their computer to boot. Restarts at loading screen, or "Bad boot sector" text.

    I'm sure some people looking at this has had some problem like this. This is a guide to help you fix it.

    1. if your computer is restarting at the windows logo screen, when your computer restarts, or when you turn it on, at the first time the screen goes black press F8 repeatedly. The Windows Advanced screen should appear, select Last known good configuration (That worked). If that doesnt work and it still restarts at the Windows logo screen, then repeat the process and try Safe Mode. If your computer starts under Safe Mode go to: Start> Programs> Accessories> System Tools> System Restore. Select a restore point and restore your computer to a date that you know worked fine. (Note: Restoring your computer to an earlier date WILL uninstall programs that you have installed since then. but you wont lose any personal files like music, pictures, or documents)

    2. If that doesnt work then there must be a problem with your boot sector or a portion of your drive is corrupt. Restart your computer, after it says information about your video card, or goes to your computers manufacturers boot screen, Press the Delete key to go to your BIOS, select Advanced Peripherals> Boot sequence and set your FIRST boot device to your CD drive. Hit Escape until you get to your MAIN BIOS menu, hit F10 and Enter, your computer will restart (Put your Windows XP Install/Repair disk in to your CD drive) a screen should appear saying "Press any key to boot from CD" press ANY key.

    3. Now your screen should soon turn Blue, and it will load Windows Install/Repair CD.
    This can take a while. Once you get to the menu, you should see " To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, Press R" press R.

    4. Once you get to the Recovery Console you should see your drive letter (it should look like C: ) (NOTE: if your Hard drive that wont boot is different then C:, assign it by pressing the drive letter and colon ( : ) hit enter, your drive letter should be different) now, type in fixboot, this may take a while, but might ultimately fix the boot sector (if thats whats wrong), once thats finished, restart your computer and go into your BIOS and set your first boot device to your operating System, and remember to hit F10 to save to BIOS and exit. If your boot sector was bad, and thats all, then your computer should boot right up. :)

    5. If that didnt work, an alternative would be to: (go back to step 2 to change your boot device, then go to step 3, then back here.)
    once your in the Recovery Console: type in chkdsk, this will find errors on your disk, this will take some time. when chkdsk is done, type in chkdsk /r, this will repair your disk errors and bad boot sector. this will take even longer depending on how big your drive is.

    Now, once chkdsk /r is done, restart your computer and go into your BIOS and set your first boot device to your operating System, and remember to hit F10 to save to BIOS and exit. Now, if disk errors and/or bad boot sectors were the problem, this should have fixed them, and Windows XP should boot up.

    Also, this might be a bad Memory (RAM) problem, in which case you might want to test it at:
    If it is, go about replacing your bad RAM.

    If this doesnt work here is a suggested link from Microsoft:

    Hopefully this will help some people.
    Hopefully people will get their computer back to working order again after reading this.

    Thank you snowchick7669, I pretty much forgot about that. I usually always use chkdsk, LOL.<credit also goes to him/her<
  2. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 660

    What about running the command 'fixboot' in the recovery console. Have had this work quite a few times and saves the hassle of doing a repair install

    You may want to point out that doing a restore point will delete any data since that saved date.

    Also, testing the RAM may be a good step at some stage.

    Good to have a guide like this :)
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