XP Reboots on Start up (multiple errors)

By jersey
Jan 22, 2008
  1. Hello, I am looking for help to root cause an Windows XP Pro start up boot (reboot) issue.
    We have had XP pro on this machine (local built machine) w/ no issues for 2 years. We have not installed any new hardware or software within the last few months. I believe the error was created when my 2 year-old son pushed the power button a few times (while the system was on).
    Since it started acting up, I was able to get into XP using a boot disk (only twice); however, now I can not. The first error message was a "...system32\hal.dll" missing or corrupt; however, w/ the boot disk, all systems seemed to be fine. Note an operator initated soft reboot after I starting with the boot disk, XP would start up fine.
    From a cold boot up, the BIOS recognizes the hard drive; on a soft boot, I receive a "no hard disk... press F1" error.
    Other times I receive the following error message " ... could not start because the following is missing / corrupt: ...\system32\ntoskrnl.exe"...; however, when I booted from the XP CD, from the C prompt I could see this file on my hard drive.
    I have been able to use the XP CD to run chkdsk. It did find and 'repair' an issue (errors on the volume). But still no luck getting into windows.
    When the system is booting from a cold start; every thing seams to run normal until the XP screen appears for about 2 seconds, then the system re-boots. I do receive the option to start in safe mode; but the system just reboots.
    I do not want to loose any information on the hard drive. Would a restore / repair be in order (any tricks?) or a rebuild of the boot master record???
    I do not think this is a hardware issue, but you never know....

    Any help would be appreciated. Thank you...
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    To confirm this is not hardware, you will need to backup fully (which may be a good idea under the circumstances)
    Then boot off your windows cd and fully remove the partition plus format the entire drive, and loads windows clean
    Then test restart again

    Other than that, power supply !
  3. jersey

    jersey TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for the prompt reply. Currently I have no way to back up my hard drive, as I can not get Windows to start up.
    I could purchase a new hard drive, install windows on it and add my original hard drive as a secondary. Any foreseen issues in doing it this way?

    Thank you again for your help!
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    No that would be ideal

    You may need to set the harddrive jumpers and data cables correctly (usually just plug them in and that's it)

    The only other obstacle, would be if you had passwords on th harddrive, tht have been forgotten.
    And also if you had virus/malware on the old harddrive - in this case I would suggest that you also install/update AntiVirus, and then connect the old harddrive as slave.
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