XP won't boot - help please!

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In XP Pain

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Joined
Jan 2, 2006
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Happy New Year - hope yours is starting off better than mine!

I've been running XP Home on this PC for more than a year. Stopped working yesterday - no new software or hardware recently installed.

When booting from hard disk, get error "... missing or corrupt windows\system\config\system."

If booting from CD, I can get a few different messages, all before reaching the setup menu:
"Line 1 of the INF file \i386\txtsetup.sif is invalid"
"File \i386\vgaoem.fon could not be loaded. The error code is 7"
Blue screen ... "Stop 0x0000007B ..."

The system won't start in Safe Mode under any option.

I've been running McAfee and don't file trade, so believe that boot sector virus is unlikely.

Am wondering about motherboard (Asus) or physical memory? I have two hard drives and the system won't boot from CD no matter which HD is connected (only one is bootable, but would have hoped the CD boot would at least get to a Setup menu using the other hard drive).

I've tried resetting the BIOS to default values with no success.

Any ideas? I don't have a bunch of spare parts to swap out and next stop will otherwise be the local repair shop.

Thanks!
 

In XP Pain

Thread Starter
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2
Thanks - had already read this article. Since I can't get on the computer by conventional means, I was looking for some way to narrow down the number of possibilities. I hoped that someone might have bumped into this problem before (especially with the boot CD stopping in different places, which seems to me to be extremely strange) and have some ideas on how to pinpoint the cause in light of the circumstances described. I'm admittedly no tech guru and can't test anything suggested in the Microsoft note in the absence of accessing my system... besides things like an IRQ conflict seem unlikely given that this system has been working for ages.
 
Joined
Feb 13, 1999
Messages
8,974
Try using only one hard drive and the CD ROM drive with both of them set as Master on a separate IDE channels. Also disconnect all devices such as printer and remove any additional cards. Make sure in BIOS that the CD is listed a the first boot device.
 
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