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On restart, Windows 2000 startup ends with blue (blank) screen

I have a machine running W2K pro.  On reboot, W2K looks like it is loading, but all I get is blue (blank) screen.  No error messages, no logon screen, CTRL-ALT-DEL does not do anything.  Booting in Safe Mode yields the same result (although a slightly different blue (blank) screen).

I have tried running Repair using W2K CD.  This doesn't fix it.  

Running in console, chkdsk /r has everything looking good.

As further background, I suggested user reboot PC because clicking on an existing Excel worksheet seemed to partially load app... you could see Toolbar, but app didn't fully load and worksheet didn't appear.  Launching Excel and then opening file worked, but was a nuisance.  User admitted she had not rebooted machine in many weeks.

User had been keeping virus definitions up to date and had downloaded new definitions this morning and scanned PC (NAV 2003), so I don't think it's a virus.

I'm stumped.  Is it a dll issue?  A service that needs to be turned off?  Something else?  I was able to copy off data files by hooking up HD to another PC.  I was hoping not to have to repartition and reload O/S because of all the software that would need to be reloaded.

Susan

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srcameron
Asked:
srcameron
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2 Solutions
 
jvuzCommented:
Does it give a beep or several beeps, or none at all?
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NINECommented:
Wow this can be a tough one.  It sounds like your reg file got hammered.  Not a good sign.  Have you tried using Last Known Good Configuration by holding down the F8 Key at startup?

How long did you wait to see if the blue screen went away?  Try getting a cup of coffee, eat lunch, wait about 10 full mins.  Anything come up?

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Rob StoneCommented:
Can you put a build on that hard drive in another machine.

it could be a dodgy cpu/ram/psu.
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srcameronAuthor Commented:
jvuz -
no beeps

nine -
yes, I tried Last Known Good Configuration and got the same result.  I did give it at least 10 min. after the last sign that the HD was working on something (light blinking and listening for whirring).

stoner79 -
hmmm.  not exactly sure what you mean.  I haven't tried rebuilding drive because I didn't want to lose software.  

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jvuzCommented:
Open your pc-case and make sure everything is well connected.
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Rob StoneCommented:
If you have an identical PC (same hardware) then pop the hard drive in that and see if the problem persists. If it does then its a software problem, if not then its a hardware problem.
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srcameronAuthor Commented:
Stoner70 -
As it happens, I do have a mostly identical PC.  I tried your suggestion and get the same result.  So it's definitely a software problem.  

Susan
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Rob StoneCommented:
I'm out of ideas. Only the following things I can think of and thats what you wanted to aviod

How to Perform an In-Place Upgrade of Windows 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;292175


Repairing, Recovering, and Restoring an Installation of Windows 2000
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;268106


Differences Between Manual and Fast Repair in Windows
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;238359
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srcameronAuthor Commented:
Stoner79
Thanks for the links.  I've done a fair amount of outside reading at this point and can only conclude this PC picked up some weird voodoo someplace.  Probably best to start with a clean slate.  Just called the user and told her to start hunting up all the install CDs :-)  At least I've got her data.

Regards,
Susan
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NINECommented:
Its definately a corrupted registry.  You are right in thinking that a clean slate would be the best answer.  No sense iin putting a bandaid on a heart attack!  :-P  Sorry that there is no better answer.  The most likely culprit was a virus slipping in before virus definitions were updated.  These times viruses are coming out every 3 minutes it seems.  How often are you updating your virus definitions?  If you have fairly fast machines with a dedicated internet connection, lower the time for automatic updates to 1 hour.  Shouldnt affect performance much at all.

-NINE
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srcameronAuthor Commented:
NINE
You are dead on about viruses.  Most of my users are well trained, but just last week one slipped through.  W32.Beagle.M.  What a nightmare.  Thanks to everyone.  This is my first time posting a question and will be happy to split points for the help as soon as I figure out how to end this... which won't be until tonight as I've got to get this PC back to the office.

Susan
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NINECommented:
I still stand by my original answers regarding a corrupted registry and to decrease the amount of time between virus updates.... The poster seemed to agree with me.  
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srcameronAuthor Commented:
Hi - Sorry to have abandoned this.  This was my first (and only) question.  I will follow your link and split points between two people who gave advice.  I ended up doing what I suspected I'd have to do all along and repartioned and reformatted machine.  There was no easy answer :-)
Thanks. Susan
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srcameronAuthor Commented:
to Turn123 -
Hope I did this right.  No one really answered my question beyond the answer I'd already come up with :-)  But I'm happy to assign points for the effort to help.  

I use Experts-Exchange often to research questions as I do a fair amount of tech support these days.  Joining was well worth the fee!
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Rob StoneCommented:
Thanks Susan and glad EE is of help to you.
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