Win XP boots up into Configuration Utility rather than desktop

Why did my new Dell XPS400 (Win XP) start booting up into "Press <CTRL-I> to enter Configuration Utility" --- I just upgraded my MS Office to 2003 and followed instructions to re-boot the computer now.  I don't know how to through this or around it to my desktop!!!
I cannot execute a CTR-ALT-DELETE or anything....but turn off the power.   This is NOT good.

Thank you,
Who is Participating?
Can you boot from the XP CD? If so, boot to the Recovery Console and run chkdsk /r. Then reboot and report back.
Can you boot into safe mode?
Try "last known good configuration";
Have you tried a system restore to the restore point created before your Office 2003 install?
Does the BIOS report all drives as present and seen before the "config" error?
bcb123Author Commented:
Thanks for responding....
Isn't F-8 used for safe mode.  I tried that, but it will not take me there.
Ok. Boot from an XP CD into recovery console and try running chkdsk /r. If you do not have an XP disk, try to download a PE disk from here:

You can run chkdsk /r from within the "storage" tab.

I realise it is hard to download with a non-booting pc, but maybe you have a friend with a functioning comp.
bcb123Author Commented: seems that I gave myself a near heart attack for nuttin'
When I inserted the XP CD, it would not boot-up either....but then I noticed that I had left the SanDisk photo card in the side of my new fancy-schmancy monitor.  When I removed it, the system re-booted just fine!!!  That is the second time this has happened since I setup my new system.  The last time, I had an external hard drive attached to the system while transfering large video files.

If you have any advice on how I can re-set the 'system' so it doesn't look at these external drives before it boots up the main hard drives, I would appreciate it.  I need LESS STRESS in my life!

Thank you for attempting to help me anyway.
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.