Windows XP not booting up

My problem started when I tried to install Scrabble (Win 95/98 compatible) The installation failed (didn't read the fail notice) and I restarted my computer. After the restart the PC would not boot in any mode. In safe mode it hangs on agp440.sys and then restarts the boot cycle. From this I could do recovery console, nothing.

Most frustrating is that i couldn't access any recovery/diagnostic tools via the CD ROM. All I could access was the safe mode/normal mode screen and the advanced options screen and all those options simple restarted the bootless cycle.

To compound the problem the XP disc got stuck in the CD drive and I couldn't get it out. After an hour of paper clipping at the CD door I got the bright idea (of a novice) to open the box and unplug my CD disc drive and replug it. The CD drive is not responding at all.

The floppy disc drive still works with which I can use the XP floppy boot disc and MS DOS.

So my questions are:

Can I troubleshoot and repair my PC in DOS mode and how? I need steps to follow.

Secondly, What did i do to my CD drive by unplugging it from the PC and how do I get them working again?


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Hello sajakea =)

Have u tried replugging ur cd drive, and immediately after starting ur system, hold down the eject button for 8-10 seconds so that it can open during the period when BIOS loads ??

Second, did u ever have an i386 folder on ur C: drive or on anyother partition ??
Have you tried the 'Last Known Good Configuration' entry on the 'Windows Advanced Options' menu? (to display this menu, press F8 as Windows begins to load).

As for your CDROM, check all cables (both ends) that go to the CDROM, are they pushed all the way in? are they the right way round?

Hope this helps

I hope you have attched the cd drive properly. Most cd drives have 2 cables to be attached. One should be ribbon like and another should have a couple of different colored wires. I faintly remember doing this once and then I had erroneously changed the direction of the power cord [that with different colored wires]
Instead of :

I plugged it like this:

Check it out!
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Oops... cosol27! posting at the same time!
It appears we have similar issues, check the progress here:

Getting a STOP: Error would be the place to start, but involves quite a bit of messing about.

As you have not tried to  re-install XP, I would recommend the "Last Known Good" as per Cosol27 above.  This should "roll-back" your sytem changes to the way they were the last time XP actually managed to start up correctly.

kind regards

sajakeaAuthor Commented:
Thanks All:

As I stated before...All I could access was the safe mode/normal mode screen and the advanced options screen and *all* those options simply restarted the bootless cycle. All safe mode options hang and restart when trying to load agp440.sys

...Sahil I don't recall a i386 folder. Where would it have been on the HD and what is it?

As for my CD drive...

Unplugging the DVD drive and CD/RW drive, cutting off the unit - unplugging/replugging, starting up and then replugging the drives got results.

Doing the above and replugging the DVD drive got the DVD drive working again, but if I then replugged the CD/RW drive then neither drive would work. The DVD drive would stop working.

Doing the above and replugging in the CD/RW drive did not work. CD drive still not working.

Both drives operate on the same string of cables and wires. Any suggestions?

Q). Can I run recovery utilities from the DVD drive? Any suggestions of utilities if so?

Q). I'm able to boot into DOS with a floppy. Can I troubleshoot and repair my PC in DOS mode and how? I need steps to follow.


Ok here's a few things to try/check to sort your CDROM problem

(Please do all changes when PC switched OFF and UNPLUGGED from power)

1) Check carefully for bent pin(s) on ribbon cable socket of CD-RW, also, sometimes pin will 'sink back' into socket, sometimes pin is missing completely (but if missing pin is near middle, this is normal)

2) Check that stripped/coloured edge of ribbon cable is on same side for both CD Drives

3) Check jumper links on back edge of drives, normally, DVD is set to Master (MA), and CD-RW is set to Slave (SL), or vice-versa (no jumper at all usually means Slave)

4) Possible that power connector to CD-RW drive is playing up (loose?), try another

5) Your CD-RW drive may be dead... :(

For your DVD Drive and CDRW to exist on the same cable, they MUST be either both set to CAble Select or preferably, one as master and the other as slave.

You could run the XP Setup from your DVD Drive, but first try the "Last Known Good" Approach.  Failing this, you really need to know the STOP Error Code to get much further.

Unfortunately, you cannot diagnose much with DOS Utils as the partion will be NTFS, although NTFSDOS is a good util, it's read only.

if u wud have an i386 folder on any of ur hard drive partitioin, we cud use 6 XP bootdisks to start the system in DOS and then from there we cud run the winnt.exe from that i386 folder, which is the DOS setup program for XP and u cud be able to Repair ur installation with it !!

and Now can u think to take out ur hard drive and put it in another system as a slave drive to copy this i386 folder from the XP CD on it ??
sajakeaAuthor Commented:
...Shahil if the i386 folder is apart of the normal XP Pro installation can't we assume that it's already on my HD? If so, I will obtain the 6 XP bootdisks today (from MSKB correct?)

Could you give me instructions as to runnning winnt.exe from the i386 folder to repair my installation...this sounds like a winner strategy to me.

If after trying we find no i386 folder exists then I'll consider hooking the HD to another system.

cosol27 -  I tested per your advice. The connections are seated pretty tight and it's all fool proof. All I did was unplug the working CDRW drive and replug it. Could it really be dead as a result? Seems unlikely. To test the connections further, because they look the same or similar, should I try the working DVD connections on the CDRW drive?

Thanks again all.
no actually its not a "normal" part of windowsxp installation, we have to copy it manually.... and OEM companies do it on their own..... i mean like if we buy OEM systems, we shud have an i386 folder already on the C: drive !!

if u have it, then from DOS, from C:\Windows prompt, u will have to write cd i386 and hit enter,
it will change the prompt to C:\windows\i386 folder, and then simply write winnt.exe and hit enter,
it shud start WinXP installation setup !! :)
Yes, please try DVD conections on CD-RW

If it still doesn't work then suggest pins MUST be bent over on connector, or drive is dead...

sajakeaAuthor Commented:
...Shahil I used the 6 bootdisk and I'm at the Windows XP Pro Setup with the option to setup XP or repair by typing r+enter.

I tried repair and came to the C:\> prompt. I don't know what to type from here. Remember my original problem was that agp440.sys caused safemode and all other modes tohang and then the system would restart itself.

I would like to repair if possible. What repair commands should type?

Will do cosol27, thanks

If ur problem was hanging agp440.sys then first u can try to disable this service from Recovery Console(where u are at present) and then restart to check if it still hangs >>;en-us;324764

if Yes then come back to Recovery Console, and try to type cd i386 from C:\> prompt... if there wud be an i386 folder in ur C: drive the prompt shud be changed to C:\i386>
and then from there u can type>> winnt.exe (hit enter)
to start the windows XP setup :)

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sajakeaAuthor Commented:
...Saahil, I got tired of trying and reinstalled. I'm sure you would've gotten me there.

Thanks cosol27. Disk drive still not working, but it was less important to me than getting the system back up. I'll test a new drive.

Thanks All
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