XP startup problem

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MCROZ

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My daughter's laptop has sudenly refused to start WINXP. Shut down as normal last night - now we get the "we apologize for the inconvenience, but windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this" white text on black screen message. It gives the option to start in safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt or "last Known Good Configuration" ..together with "start windows normally" which is the default automatic restart. It says "if a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure or because the power or reset button was pressed or if you aren't sure what caused the problem, choose start indows normally".
None of the start options works - it simply keeps trying to start "normally" but reverts to te same message. Doesn't seem to want to start in safe mode at all.

Now it's frozen completely with 25 seconds to go on the automatic "start normally" clock.

She has not installed any new hardware or software - simply shut down last night and cannot restart tonight.

Any suggestions or help appreciated as always. Thanks
 

MCROZ

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thanks - it's Windows XP Home - will that make any difference ...as I think your link is for XP Pro ? and of course it needs a CD (which fortunately, I think I have, although the laptop of course came preloaded by the manufacturer...without any operating system CDs...
 
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Just put the XP cd in and let the pc boot from it. When it loads it will stop at an option page.. choose the repair option and away you go.
 

MCROZ

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Thanks Bill - will give it a go (probably tomorrow as it's late here in UK) - will check back in with the result ! Any idea what causes this problem by the way ?
 
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No real way to know what the cause is.. could be a corrupt driver or Windows file, the boot file, or even a hardware issue..any number of things.. I guess that's why ol Bill included a way to repair XP. maybe he knew in advance..:) I hope the repair works.
Good luck
 

MCROZ

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But ol Bill never (or the HW vendors who ship the boxes that run his SW)seems to bother to ship a CD from which anyone can reinstal or repair, does he ?
 
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Well, once upon a time they did, but like every other big business if they can find a way to save 2 bucks (pounds) on every unit then they will.. Multiply that by millions and well... we get to do the work.. They now use restore partitions which doesn't help if your hard drive fails.. Fun fun..:)
 

MCROZ

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Thanks for help so far - I think, however I MAY have screwed up a bit. I always follow instructions on this forum to the letter - but this time before trying the reinstal/repair from cd I read the laptop manual and noticed that you can "restore your system without discs" ...so I followed the "repair or restore from hard drive ...press F11 in startup" route. Unfortuntely I then realised I was into recovery not repair and I was into restoring to the manufacturer settings, and was presumably erasing data (photos, spreadsheets etc) from the hard drive ? Panic - "abort" - ie hit the off button (I know..I know...) - so now when I power on I get "NTLDR is missing - press ctrl+alt+del to restart " - but it doesn't restart. If I now go back to plan A and boot from the WIN XP cd will I be able to reinstall WIN XP and get back to a working system with data intact ...or have I already started to screw the data - in which case I may as well restore back to original from hard drive - if it will let me (and then I have to deal with the complaint from my daughter that Dad is fallible after all - and has lost all her photos ....and yes, we all know she should have backed up don't we...) !
 
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I suggest that you stop further attempts to repair your computer, until you recover the data. If your laptop's HDD is easily removable, you can connect it to a USB port on another computer [ you will need an adapter, which costs about $25 ]. You can buy OnTrack EZ recovery, which I have used. It is expensive, but effective. Here's a link from Kim Komando. I haven't tried the software.
http://www.komando.com/downloads/category.aspx?id=1727

Sincerely,
RF123
 

MCROZ

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That sounds like a pretty serious operation.....I don't think I want to do that to recover a few photos and non-critical spreadsheets (thankfully this computer isn't used for any mission critical stuff - just home email and web surfing with a few photos and an od spreadsheet so far....) - we'll live with lost data but can I now try the reinstal from the cd without "risk" ? Or have I gone just far enough down the incorrect route to make the recover from disk option the best in the circumstances ?
 
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Presumably the CD will give you the option to delete the partition, create a partition, and format the new partition. Presumably, that will take you on the road to recovery.

Sony's system recovery might be "better" in that it will put all of the drivers into place. The Windows CD might have the drivers, but it might NOT have the drivers.

Have you checked with Sony's web site for tips?

RF123
 

MCROZ

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I blew it - I reinstalled XP and thought I was doing it as a repair but now we have fully working laptop again but the we have lost all previously installed files and programmes ....I guess no way back - just have to reload programmes and live with lost data. The big problem isn't loss of data, but loss of everything that was originally pre-installed, like the DVD software. I am now in email dialogue with HP who are VERY responsive ..so a big plug here for their customer support. They tell me I cannot now restore from the hard disk partition ...but I'm hopeful they may be able to help me to get back to the original 7/2006 factory shipped settings and config .....which is all I can now hope for. The mistake I made was, I think , missing the "repair" option which didn't seem to be offered during the XP reinstal from cd. Be warned ....

So far my daughter is still talking to me ....just.
 
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