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Computer Boot Problem

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Infinitebits, Oct 1, 2008.

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  1. Infinitebits

    Infinitebits Thread Starter

    Oct 1, 2008
    My laptop has Windows Xp, I think I have a virus because every time I try to start my computer everytime I go to the boot menu, the page is encrypted with exclamation marks. I cannot make out any of the letter, some words are replaced with numbers and different letter. Im trying to reformat my laptop, but I cannot read any of the options in the boot setting. Please help me. Here are some pictures so you can see what im talking about.



  2. haycg


    Jun 11, 2007
    Try going into Safe Mode by Tapping the F8 Key until you get to the last screen.
    If you still have the letters messed up use the arrow keys and go to this
    M'st ! koowo Good Coottgts
    What your after is (Last known Good Configuration) I forget the rest.
    Click Enter
    I don't know if the link will still be good but you can try.
  3. Infinitebits

    Infinitebits Thread Starter

    Oct 1, 2008
  4. TheOutcaste


    Aug 7, 2007
    Welcome to TSG!

    What it's saying is this:

    Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

    You can attempt to replace this file by starting Windows Setup
    using the original Setup CD-ROM
    Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair.

    The letters are off by one, looking at an Ascii chart shows that bit 0 is stuck High for most, for example the Acsii code for space is hex 20, exclamation is 21, so it's displaying ! for spaces.
    so to read it, replace h with i, o with n, u with t, ` with a., etc
    Sometimes bit 0 is stuck low though, so you'll see d for e and t for u sometimes.

    This could be a bad connection to the hard drive (if it's IDE and not SATA), but if that's the case, you should be able to get into the BIOS and read it just fine, as well as being able to read the info for which key to press to get into the BIOS or to bring up the boot menu.

    If those are readable, I would try removing the hard drive from the laptop and checking the connector on both the hard drive and the laptop itself, make sure none of the pins are bent, and that the sockets appear undamaged. Re-install and try again. If it still gives the same symptoms, then it's likely a hardware problem. Trying the drive in a different PC (another compatible laptop, a desktop via an adapter, or by using an external USB drive enclosure) should determine if it's the drive, or the motherboard.


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