Windows wont load and CD wont work

By celticlady ยท 5 replies
Apr 2, 2007
  1. Hi,
    I have a strange question. I have been pouring over this site for several hours now and can't really find anything to help with my problem.
    Here is what happened. Last night my computer came up with some error
    message that I didn't see. My son (11 mind you) told me about it and said he clicked the OK button.
    If I try and restart the computer without the Window's CD (the one used to re-install windows) then nothing happens. It is just a black screen with a flashing dash about 1/2 the time. The other half of the time, it will just sit at the gatway logo screen.
    If I try and start it with the WIndows CD in, it starts to go through the motions of a re-install then freezes up on the install window where it has been stuck for the last hour now.
    I can't boot up to safe made, I can't scan the hard drive or anything that has been mentioned before.
    Oh, also when it starts to go through the motions of re-installing windows, again, about 1/2 the time, it will tell me I have a "The error code is 4". SO I turn off the computer and restart it only to have it get stuck on the relaod screen.
    Is this a case of my hard drive gone bad?
    If it is my hard dirve, when I replace it, will I be able to put it in and load windows from the CD that came with the computer, or is totally usless.
  2. I'm not sure of what your original error was, but the error you have now is a common side effect of repair installs, that can occur for numerous reasons - though I'm assuming you're doing a repair install and not a clean install? The problem occurs a lot where you had a lot of specific drivers (not just the drivers that are bundled with XP but drivers for PCI cards and the graphics card and specifically motherboard chipset drivers), before you ran the repair install, and also Windows XP Service Pack 2 installed. The CD you used may have been an original XP CDROM or an XP + Service Pack 1 CDROM, this overwrites a lot of the newer drivers and Service Pack 2, but leaves some remnants and other bits and pieces behind that cause conflicts and device driver failures. The right way to go about this would be to remove all PCI devices and disable other things such as onboard network and onboard sound from the BIOS setup program. Then try a repair install again. After this it's a case of downloading the driver and reinstalling (and re-enabling for your onboard devices) each piece of hardware one at a time.
  3. celticlady

    celticlady TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, I am trying to do a clean install. The computer is manily used for my son's games and email. Nothing important is on the computer. So a fresh start is not out of the question for me.
    What you mentioned is way over my head. I don't understand any of the tech talk.
    How do I even start to uninstall anything if I can't even get to the device manager to start removing things?
    Thanks much
  4. Ok so you're trying to clean install. Different scenario then. Though when you go to reinstall do you actually get to the point where you select the partition (the disk drive such as C or D) you want to install on, and "formatting" the partition?
    It is not necessary to go to device manager, though now you've stated that you're reinstalling that is irrelevant anyway.

    If you're having this error on a clean install then it can mean that you have a hardware device that is unsupported by windows. Such devices need to be disabled before windows is installed and re-enabled afterwards. This is basically a job for an IT Professional as it involves either going into the computer's setup program to turn off the hardware or physically opening the computer and removing the hardware temporarily.

    The only other error I can think of would be faulty memory, though this usually causes a "Blue Screen" error.

    I had always though that gateways came with restore discs for this very reason?

    Sorry I can't be any more help. I hope you get it sorted.


  5. celticlady

    celticlady TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No I can't get to the screen where ask for a partition thing. It does a quick scan, goes through a few "debugging" messages at the bottom of the screen, then it tells me it is loading startup, and that is where it freezes.
    If I reboot, then it will chug along like it is doing something, then I get that "The error code is 4"
    Okay, power off, power on, then it locks up like I said before.
    And as far as I can tell, this computer, didn't come with the CD you mentioned. It came with a drivers CD, applications CD and the Windows CD. But nothing like they used to send in the case of the computer not starting.

    If I just replace the hard drive, will this even solve the problem? And again, if I just say the heck with it and replace the hard drive, can I load Windows from the CD or will I have to buy a new Windows CD?
    Thanks much
  6. alidabiri

    alidabiri TS Rookie Posts: 441

    try this:
    1-get a 98-se floppy boot disk from here:
    2-start your machine with this disk and choose "with cd-rom support"
    3-do "fdisk" - delete any partitions, and create a new one (fat32)
    4-restart same as in #2
    5-format the hd
    6-put xp cd in cd-rom drive
    6-a- go to bios, and select cd as the first boot device
    6-b- let xp install.
    if you can't go to bios or it won't install from cd then
    navigate to i386 directory on the cd
    7-run program winnt.exe. this will start xp install process.
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