My son's PC won't load drivers on start up

By gjet68 ยท 7 replies
Nov 2, 2008
  1. My son has an older computer running Windows XP Professional Edition. We bought it used and it looks like it has been overhauled before. (For want of a better term lol) anyhow this is the specs on the system:

    Windows XP Professional
    Version 2002
    Svc. Pack 2
    448 MB Ram
    Intel Desktop Boards

    Upon reboot there are no options for safe mode. I was finally able to get the thing to go into safe mode, however in the process I think I messed something up. Because now none of the drivers for games or anything will load at all. And when you look at Device Manager there is nothing listed. So I cant see if there are any conflicts..etc. I tried rolling it back to a prior date and that did not fix the issue. Like I said before upon reboot the only options are Restart,Shut Down or Standby. Even when the thing is in safe mode you still cannot view anything under Device Manager . So my dillemma is that I cannot fix it or return it to a normal state where he can play his games. Does anyone have any idea on what I can try to fix it? Or should I just chunk it? I bought it used and I dont have the Windows XP CD with it to even reinstall if I wanted to ever so bad. I thought about just erasing the harddrive and reinstalling windows but I have no clue how to do so and I dont want to mess the thing up worse than what it already is. Would appreciate some advice.

  2. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  3. gjet68

    gjet68 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the tip. I went there and followed the instructions however when I entered the phrase: set devmgmt.msc in the dos window, it returned the following message: Environment Variable devmgmt.msc not defined" Now what? Thanks again for the help!
  4. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    I'm sorry, but that isn't what the article said to enter.

    Take your time, read.
  5. gjet68

    gjet68 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry....didnt catch that second entry. So here is what I did:

    Opened up the Command Prompt then entered the following:
    Set DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS=1 (hit enter)
    start devmgmt.msc (Enter)

    So it brought up the Device Manager box but it was empty like all the times before, so I clicked on Show Devices by Connection and went through each one of those in that box and it gave me this message:

    "MMC has detected an error in a snap-in. It is reccommended that you shut down and restart MMC"

    Now what?
  6. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Did you get options:

    * Report this Error to Microsoft and then Shut Down.

    * Continue running and always ignore errors with this snap-in for the rest of the session.

    * Continue running and always ignore errors with this snap-in, regardless of user or session."

    Here's the answer:
  7. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +184

    One moment please.... I think we should reassess the problem

    That first KB (re: DEVMGR_SHOW_DETAILS) is about how to have device manager include detail about a device;s Plug and Play strings. (is not the problem)

    (in my own opinion) i wouldn't be too concerned about the MMC error as it occurred when the Device Manager display was totally screwed up (which could itself be the reason for the MMC error)

    First thing to check tho is if the Plug and Play service itself has been stopped. Click to see this KB and report back. (A quick look online indicates it might be due to other things as well but think that's best to check first)
  8. gjet68

    gjet68 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    I will try this because I think I remember getting a message at one time or another that some service was not started and I didnt know how to get into it to start it. I know I remember being in the Configuration Utility at one point or another and after I messed up the PC I could never get the Confg Utility to load again. I will try this tonight and will post the results in the morning. Thanks again!

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