Reboot problems

By Christina26 · 9 replies
Aug 29, 2009
  1. Ok, so I can no longer reboot my computer normally. I can start it in safe mode, but every time I try to reboot regularly it stops at the windows loading screen, if I get past that, it turns to black where I should be seeing my username to select. I tried to do a check disk, and now it's stuck in check disk....everytime I try to reboot it tried to check disk...I can't get into safe mode either, it just shows me the screen with all the /win 32 driver....all that data...but it doesn't complete. I have pictures of my children on my computer that I really don't want to lose, how can I get back to safe mode so I can transfer my pics to a memory stick?
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Tell us more about the computer... brand, model, memory, hard drive, and operating system.
    It sounds as if you have a hard drive failure.
    You will not lose your pictures and data, but it may cost you the price of an external USB drive. I recommend the Nextar 3 from NewEgg or Directorn... you install this suspect hard drive in the external enclosure. Then using a good working version of Windows XP or whatever, you can see your drive. Then drag and drop all needed files to a flash drive or burn them on a DVD using the second computer.
    But once we know your system and its age, we can comment further.
  3. Christina26

    Christina26 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have a 450watt Mushkin PS, motherboard is an ASUS A7N8X2.0, Processor AMD Athlon XP 2800+ MMX 3D Now ~2.1GHz, 2048MB Ram, and I'm running Win XP Pro.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    But you still did not mention the hard drive, nor how old your system may be.
  5. wefixpcsny

    wefixpcsny TS Rookie

    To Christina26,
    When tranfering data from one system to another, first rule of thumb is to make certain your antivirus is up to date, scan the drive externally if possible for viruses, some of the newer more persistant viruses now will disable the userinit file, the screen you see just before the black screen on no post, loop.... If your are able to get into safe mode you probably can transfer files to a thumb drive but scan them, viruses will tag along in this fashion infecting your "Good" system. I have seen this type of problem before, but if infact your drive is corrupted their are several approaches your could take to reslove this problem.

    at the command promt c:\Users\Your User Name\> Type chkdsk /f
    This is done first to identify file structure integrity, then wait about 20-45 minutes on a bad drive. Next time around type this command chkdsk /r then be patient it takes a very long time.

    Good luck
    wefixpcsnyc ; )
  6. Christina26

    Christina26 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My system is a few years old, as old as the motherboard so maybe 5 or so, and if I remember correctly the harddrive may have been replaced once already. I have no idea what type of hard drive it is or how to find out. I did try to do a chck disk and it's getting stuck there...every time I try to boot it says it's checking disk but it never finishes, it just freezes.

    I can no longer start it in safe mode. After asking it to do a check disk, safe mode doesn't finish loading, it stops and freezes. If I let it progress past that it starts the check disk and never finishes.

    The motherboard and the CPU are the only original parts in my computer. The hard drive may be, but I really don't know since my bf built this computer and then gave it to me after he built his new computer.

    He says the hard drive is done and I'm screwed. I just want to get my pictures off it before I start replacing parts and having to re install windows.

    Also, how do I get to the command prompt?
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Often times the problem with a non-booting hard drive is limited to the outer edge of the platters holding the magnetic material... The boot and startup code is found on the first 18 sectors... usually less.
    There are some drives where the bearings fail. Others where the plate break... or crack. Those are very difficult to rescue data.
    But the others have very high success rates.
    Part of our computer business is in the rescue of data... and we are successful in 87 percent of all drives delivered to us for recovery.
    What works for most people should work for you. Obtain a Powered USB in closure. Install the defective drive in the enclosure. Be sure you can read the drive when it is plugged into a computer with a working Windows drive with enough space to hold the data you need to save.
    Plug the external power source (adapter) into the wall and the power end into the enclosure.
    You can buy these external enclosures at,,,, and many other sites.

    Now keep a large notebook to make notes, then create a large number of empty folders that you have named in some way so you can go back to them later.
    Then begin dragging and dropping the files, images, etcetera from the defective drive to the working drive in those folders you have created.
    Then when you have moved copies of enough to test, go to those folders and be sure they are readable. If they are, as is usually the case, unless they are damaged, you can continue to save files until you get them all.
    If you need to save your email of Outlook Express or Outlook, you need to carefully study where those files might be on the defective drive... this is usually the most difficult part of the rescue.
    Now burn all those rescued files to DVD disks or other drives. You want to be sure you have extra copies so you have adequate duplicates. You do not know how long the old, bad drive will last.

    Once done, immediately check all the files using a good computer... once you have verified you have rescued the needed files, you can begin to breath a sigh of relief... but do not relax until that work of verification is done.

    Good luck.
  8. wefixpcsny

    wefixpcsny TS Rookie

    Chiristina26, If you have already removed the drive and placed it into and external enclosure then the option of the command promt is mute, but if not you will need a valid o/s disk preferably the o/s you are running not a recovery disk, plaese boot from the cd/DVD disk, and when windows starts to load and asks if your would like to repair the o/s select that option, this will bring you to a command promt after a few questions and this is where you could attment the previous suggested chkds repair, chkdsk /r takes a long time if there are corrupted clusters marked bad, think of these as speed bumps in the road with gaping potholes on the other side. Rabay is on point with his explaination of the first 18 secors, but did not explain how to get to the command promt if the o/s does not load. Just a foot note I have been in the it industry for the last 2 decades and been very successful in recovering data from badly corrupted drives as long as the platter is readable.

    Good Luck
    wefispcsnyc :)
  9. Christina26

    Christina26 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I'm taking the whole computer in to the computer store I always deal with to let them try to recover the data. I'm afraid that my harddrive is worn and I don't want to be the one to get the last time out of it, I'll leave it to the professionals. I only care about the pictures of my kids, the rest of it is not important to me.
  10. wefixpcsny

    wefixpcsny TS Rookie

    Christina26, You seem to be in the right mind set now, if all else fails and if the drive platter is viable then there is a company called they are not cheap but some of my commercial clients have used them in the past with great success stories.

    Good Luck to you on retrieving your children’s photos
    Wefixpcsnyc : )
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