My Windows XP won't start/boot?

By 3phemeral ยท 4 replies
Jun 16, 2009
  1. Everything I turn on my computer it starts in the black screen where I have the options to start it: with Safe mode, last known config, and normally

    All ways of starting it lead to it to the screen where the green bar is loading but soon after, the whole thing restarts/reboots itself and i find myself back at that black screen

    I cannot login, reformat it, or do anything to restore it

    Can anyone please tell me how to fix it and what the problem is?

    Thank You

    Update: I've been able to access the recovery console with the Windows XP SP2 CD, but now when i go into the DOS command thing I've no idea what to do
    for the most part I have typed "chkdsk /r" but it can't find the autochk.exe and i do not know how to direct it, nor its location

    Please help, with instructions
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Tell us the brand and model of computer or motherboard, and the configuration of your computer... particularly the hard drive and how old the computer is...
    Is this computer old enough or used enough to have a hard drive failure?
  3. 3phemeral

    3phemeral TS Rookie Topic Starter


    It's a windows xp home edition pavilion 732c and it's about 6-7 years old, nothing recently happened to it
    It was fine a week before
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Based on what little bit you have told us, I'll bet money that your hard drive has failed... Somewhere on the outer edge of one or more platters on the hard drive, the magnetic material has finally bubbled up and been thrown off by the centrifugal force of the spinning drive.
    The Pavilion 732C used Maxtor and Hitachi drives, mainly, with some Samsung and Western Digital drives. But any hard drive that is six or seven years old is past the end of its useful product life and should be replaced. Many of those drives start failing as soon as the warranty expires, and anything after three years is a gift. You apparently have used good care on your system to get three or four years more out of your hard drive than others expect on a Pavilion.

    Put that suspect hard drive in an external USB enclosure. Then install a new drive using the HP Pavilion restore/recovery disk. Then install the software that was on the suspect drive using your install disks. Once you have reinstalled a new hard drive, you should be able to copy by drag and drop or rescue software means, all the documents you have... Quicken backups and documents, Tax documents, accounting softwear... whatever. If you use AOL, that is much more difficult but can be done with $30 softrware.

    Once you install a new hard drive, install all the original software, then rescue the data, life will be back to normal.

    Just for reference, it takes us about 19 hours to do this, with all the Windows Updates, on a high speed internet connection. Without high speed it can easily take you two to five days depending on the software.

    This is all dependent on whether the old drive continues to spin in the enclosure. Since it is probably in failure mode, you want to do this work until all files are copied. Because you do not know when it will quit altogether... leaving you without access to your valuable files and folders. Do not turn off the drive until done.

    Good luck. Please let us know how it all turns out.
  5. ThexDarksider

    ThexDarksider TS Rookie Posts: 28

    Sorry to poke my nose into others' business but I got a message from a friend about this same problem (it would start to boot and after the boot screen it would reboot) and few minutes later he told me he took one (out of two) RAM module out of his motherboard and then it worked fine. Maybe you have the same problem. You could try Memtest86. Hope I helped. :)
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