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PC fail to boot.

paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

PC fail to boot.

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Pc had been work normal then I noticed HD activity LED was permanently on and screen saver was on and frozen. I had to force the PC off by holding the on/off switch. When I swiched it on again it would not boot.
Got to the screen where it says 'PCI device listing...' 13 item are on the list, the last one being ACPI Controller.....then just a flashing curser.
I realise this could be a million different things wrong but where do I start?? Any help would be much appreciated.
I am running XP Pro,(or should be)
I can resist everything except temptation.
26 REPLIES
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: PC fail to boot.

Try booting from your XP installation CD?
Can you get to a command prompt and check your hard disk?
Regards,
Neil
paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Re: PC fail to boot.

Have managed to get into Recovery Console using my XP disc and have the prompt C:\>  but do not know how to take it further.  Will try to look up some articles on another PC but any help would be much appreciated.
Paulo
I can resist everything except temptation.
paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Re: PC fail to boot.

Have checked the HD and it comes up with no errors.
I can resist everything except temptation.
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: PC fail to boot.

paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Re: PC fail to boot.

Thanks Neil, I have now tried a repair using my Windows XP Pro CD but hit a snag.  After reading licensing agreement and pressing F8 to accept I get a message saying
"..cannot find a previous version of Windows on this PC....setup needs to verify that you qualify to use this product.  Insert Windows CD"
The CD is already in place as this was the only way I could boot and get this far.  I then press Enter and I get the message saying
"..could not read CD or the CD is not a valid Windows CD"
The CD must be readable otherwise I would not have been able to get this far and I know it is a valid CD as the original OS came from this CD and I have the key for it.
Any ideas what is going on?
Regards Paulo
I can resist everything except temptation.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: PC fail to boot.

Is it an update CD rather than one for a full install?
paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Re: PC fail to boot.

This is a full installation cd.
I can resist everything except temptation.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,476
Thanks: 1,479
Fixes: 17
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: PC fail to boot.

Have a look at this link.....

http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm
scroll down until you see the grey screenshot followed by th usual bluescreenshots.....
further down it gives instructions how to copy files from the XP cd if the boot sector is corrupt....
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here is another version that may be helpful.....
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Re: PC fail to boot.

Many thanks for the links.  i have read the articles and studied with great interest.
I can get to the Recovery Console ok but I dont get the page where it asks to choose "installation that you want to repair".  All I get is the prompt C:\>  Does this mean there are no longer any Windows OS (files) on my HD?
I can resist everything except temptation.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: PC fail to boot.

You've chosen the wrong option if you just want an automatic repair.
You need to choose to install not repair first.
Install then loads lots of files and then looks for existing installations later on and offers the repair option then.
Read the screens very carefully as some of the keystrokes are quite specific and odd!  Crazy
If you do actually want to use the command-line repair console then choose repair at the first opportunity.
Either way, if your system needs drivers to access the disk (e.g. RAID controller) you need to have them handy on a floppy and hit F6 when that prompt appears at the bottom of the screen, or it won't find the hard disk.
paulo
Grafter
Posts: 157
Registered: 02-01-2008

Re: PC fail to boot.

Have carefully tried all options and get no-where, one of the snags I get is outlined in my reply #5 above.
Cannot try F6 (RAID) etc because this PC does not have a floppy drive and I dont have the floppies.
Where now guys I'm at a loss!
I can resist everything except temptation.
Njal
Grafter
Posts: 290
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: PC fail to boot.

Buy another hard disk, put it into the machine, install XP on it, then put original drive in as a slave and see if you can get the info off it?
Not a terribly expensive exercise, a new 160GB drive is less than 30 quid from PC World.
You have checked all connections to your existing drive?
Regards,
Neil
James
Grafter
Posts: 21,036
Registered: 04-04-2007

Re: PC fail to boot.

You can buy half a terrabyte for under £50 now, so like Neil says, a replacement is really cheap.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,574
Thanks: 3
Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: PC fail to boot.

Is there no error message as normally you would get some sort of message?
Check your bios and make sure it can see the hd change it from auto and detect it so you know its right
Some things to try get to the recovery consul and try these command
chkdsk c: /f
fixmbr
fixboot c:
reboot after these 2 if it still doesnt work try
bootcfg /rebuild
Your problem if they dont work is I would guess you pc is up to date and have SP3 on it your windows cd which you are trying to repair it with will be either no SP or SP1 so if you try any repair it will muck it up as it will replace files with old ones. To do a repair you need to slipstream the SP which is on your pc probably 3 instruction on how to do it are here
http://www.helpwithwindows.com/WindowsXP/Slipstreaming_Windows_XP_Service_Pack_3.html you need a working pc to do this which may be a problem
If you get a c> prompt you can see your files by typing dir c:\ *.* /s