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blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,817
Thanks: 11
Registered: 30-07-2007

blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

I have a pc with xp which after trying to install recent ms update is now blue screening during boot.
bsod states something about trying access memory, also mentions mbr may be corrupt.
Also advice is to turn off memory cache etc. It's a dell pc and I can't see the cache settings in the bios.
I have tried to load MS setup using cd to fix the mbr but the process will not allow me to ge that far. 
So i have a pc where I can't boot into safe mode, recovery and don't see an obvious way to fix the mbr.
Does anyone have any other suggestions or am i only left with format and re-install.
Hoping to avoid the re-install process but if it's all that's left.
Pod
25 REPLIES
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Try this first. as long as you have a bootable XP installation CD. There is a utility on the CD called fixmbr, which err, fixes the MBR.
http://askbobrankin.com/fix_mbr.html
Community Veteran
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Registered: 13-04-2007

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Have you tried safe mode and last known configuration by pressing F8 on boot up.
Have you got a floppy drive if you have you could boot from floppy with a win98/dos disk and run fdisk /mbr that would rewirte the MBR. You can download boot disk if you havent got one.
You could try reseting the bios to safe setup or by removing the battery for 5 mins to see if that helps while your there remove the ram and reseat it if you have 2 sticks swap them around, also check for dust clean if required
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Ahh, hold on, I have realised I missed the bit where you said you had already tried the fixmbr. My apologies Embarrassed. (@Samuria, likewise, he said he couldn't get into safe mode!)
A BIOS reset might work, either by removing the battery, or there is often a jumper on the motherboard that forces a reset when it is shorted. Check your motherboard manual for details.
Are there any beeps coming from the system when you start it? The pattern of beeps can reveal the nature of motherboard problems. Again, your manual should tell you what they mean.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Do you have another PC that you can put the hard disk into a a secondary/slave?
If so, I'd do that and run some tests on it to check it's OK and then do a full chkdsk (or windows equivalent) withh all options including detailed surface scan. Then see what happens back in the original PC; it might progress further (or even boot!).
And you could back up critical data as well.
Assuming the disk was OK (but not booting) I'd then attempt a repair install from the original installation CD. This preserves user data and programs, but can only work if there's enough of recognisable system data to run it.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,817
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

no systems beeps other than the normal one at power on. no floppy but I can try via usb pen.
I have a few systems that I can swap the hd into and get critical data off.
The h.d is not chugging. I had to deal with a chugging one a few months ago and found that freezing it worked wonders. So far this one's not sounding simillar.
Will try tomorrow night. Where is the best place to geta xp boot disk image for a usb pen.
Cheers,
Pod
VileReynard
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Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Quote
bsod states something about trying access memory, also mentions mbr may be corrupt.
Also advice is to turn off memory cache etc. It's a dell pc and I can't see the cache settings in the bios.

Have you run a memory test?

Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Quote from: podman
Where is the best place to geta xp boot disk image for a usb pen.

Legally, nowhere Smiley. You don't need a whole XP boot image anyway. There are loads of sites where you can get a DOS boot disk image which will do the job, <a href="http://www.bootdisk.com/">here</a> for example.
Going back to your original attempts, what happened when you tried the install CD? Did it boot from the CD at all?
You can get a memory test utility from <a href="http://www.memtest.org/">here</a>.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

If it's a Dell PC with XP licensed any old OEM Dell XP CD (of the same type, e.g. Home) will work fine.
You won't even need to enter the key.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,817
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Using the an original xp cd,
i could hit the any key option loading progressed to starting windows setup process and then blue screened.
I have a oem xp disk and a dell restore disk. I'm guessing the dell restore disk will wipe and restore rather than fix.
Podman
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Hardware problem then.  Sad
StickyMick
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Registered: 29-11-2008

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

If I'm not mistaken, the Dell restore disk should just replace critical files that may have become corrupt. it should leave all your data, i.e images, documents and music files intact.
You may have to reinstall programs tho, because I think it replaces the registry with a clean default.
BUT, and that's a big but, if you have recently updated to SP3 and the restore disk is for XP/SP2, you could have problems doing a restore from that CD/DVD.
If you want to recover your files you could try booting from a Linux CD to get to them. I've done that myself with 100% success.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Quote from: podman
Using the an original xp cd,
i could hit the any key option loading progressed to starting windows setup process and then blue screened.
I have a oem xp disk and a dell restore disk.

Edit: oops, hit Post instead of preview!
In that case, booting from a USB key will probably do exactly the same thing. Try the memtest, then fi you can make an exact note of the BSD error message it will help as well.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Quote from: StickyMick
If I'm not mistaken.

You could be very badly mistaken. It depends how you use it.  Lips are sealed
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: blue screen of death on boot, (xp)

Quote from: podman
windows setup process and then blue screened.

Quote from: HPsauce
Hardware problem then.  Sad

Have you run the Dell hardware diagnostics yet?