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runs scandisk on boot and nothing else

I have a customer's PC running Windows XP home.  On boot it runs scandisk and then gives a black screen with only the mouse pointer working.  If I exit from scandisk, again I get the black screen.
I have booted into the recovery console from the CD and can run chkdsk /p which reports no errors, I have run Microscope h/w diagnositc on the disk which again reports no errors.  I have tried a Windoiws repair, it runs ok, but the problem remains.
Please can anyone help.
1 Solution
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
can you  boot into safe mode?

if so

Click Start >Run >type "regedit" {enter}

Navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager

Double click the "BootExecute" value, and remove all the entries
jcollesAuthor Commented:
No I cannot run windows in any mode.  Is there any way to edit the registry without windows running?
Justin CollinsIT Support TechnicianCommented:
There isn't a way to edit the registry w/o windows running.  I would do a repair from the XP Home CD.  Also, there is a link at the bottom for doing a repair to the registry.

HOW TO: Perform an In-Place Upgrade (Reinstallation) of Windows XP (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=315341)
  Read the "Before you perform an in-place upgrade" section of this article before proceeding.

--Method 1: Reinstall Windows XP by using Windows XP--
 To reinstall Windows XP by using Windows XP, follow these steps:
  1. Start your computer.
  2. Insert the Windows XP CD in your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive.
  3. On the Welcome to Microsoft Windows XP page, click Install Windows XP.
  4. On the Welcome to Windows Setup page, click Upgrade (Recommended) in the Installation Type box (if it is not already
      selected), and then click Next.
  5. On the License Agreement page, click I accept this agreement, and then click Next.
  6. On the Your Product Key page, type the 25-character product key in the Product key boxes, and then click Next.
  7. On the Get Updated Setup Files page, select the option that you want, and then click Next.
  8. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to reinstall Windows XP.

--Method 2: Reinstall Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP CD--
 To reinstall Windows XP by starting your computer from the Windows XP CD, follow these steps:
  1. Insert the Windows XP CD into your computer's CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, and then restart your computer.
  2. When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message appears on the screen, press a key to start your computer
      from the Windows XP CD.
      NOTE:  Your computer must be configured to start from the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. For more information
                 about how to configure your computer to start from the CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive, see your computer's
                 documentation or contact your computer manufacturer.
  3. You receive the following message on the Welcome to Setup screen that appears:

        This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

        To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

        To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

        To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.
       Press ENTER to set up Windows XP.
  4. On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
  5. Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.
  6. Follow the instructions that appear on the screen to reinstall Windows XP. After you repair Windows XP, you may have
      to reactivate your copy of Windows XP.

Finally, review the "After you perform an in-place upgrade" section from the referenced article.

Step-by-step visual guide (recommended for fast connection only):
  http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm (Last Known Good/Safe Mode/Recovery Console)
  Click "How To Run a Repair Install" from the list.

Other good sites for repair information:
  http://www.windowsreinstall.com/ (Choose Pro or Home from the side-bar)
  http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=306084 (Restore to previous state)

How to access Safe Mode:

How to access Last Known Good (LKG):

How to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks

Recovery Console:
  http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm - Click on How to access the Recovery Console
    Common commands for repairing a system's boot process include typing the following at the recovery console
    (check http://support.microsoft.com/?id=314058 for further information)

    Use this command for boot configuration and recovery. This command has the following options:
    bootcfg /add
    bootcfg /rebuild
    bootcfg /scan
    bootcfg /list
    bootcfg /disableredirect
    bootcfg /redirect [portbaudrate] | [useBiosSettings]

     bootcfg /redirect com1 115200
     bootcfg /redirect useBiosSettings

  You can use the following options:
  /add : Adds a Windows installation to the boot menu list.
  /rebuild : Iterates through all Windows installations so that you can specify which installations to add.
  /scan : Scans all disks for Windows installations and displays the results so that you can specify which installations to add.
  /default : Sets the default boot entry.
  /list : Lists the entries already in the boot menu list.
  /disableredirect : Disables redirection in the boot loader.
  /redirect : Enables redirection in the boot loader, with the specified configuration.

    chkdsk drive /p /r

  The chkdsk command checks the specified drive and repairs or recovers the drive if the drive requires it.The command also marks any bad sectors and it recovers
  readable information.

  You can use the following options:
    /p : Does an exhaustive check of the drive and corrects any errors.
    /r : Locates bad sectors and recovers readable information.

    Note If you specify the /r option, the /p option is implied. When you specify the chkdsk command without arguments, the command checks the current drive with
    no options in effect.

  When you run the chkdsk command, you are required to use the Autochk.exe file. CHKDSK automatically locates this file in the startup folder. If the Command Console
  was preinstalled, the startup folder is typically the Cmdcons folder. If CHKDSK cannot find Autochk.exe in the startup folder, CHKDSK tries to locate the Windows CD-ROM
  installation media. If it cannot find the installation media, CHKDSK prompts you for the location of the Autochk.exe file.

    fixboot drive name:

  Use this command to write the new Windows boot sector code on the system partition. In the command syntax, drive name is the drive letter where the boot sector
  will be written. This command fixes damage in the Windows boot sector. This command overrides the default setting, which writes to the system boot partition.
  The fixboot command is supported only on x86-based computers.

    fixmbr device name

  Use this command to repair the MBR of the boot partition. In the command syntax, device name is an optional device name that specifies the device that requires a
  new MBR. Use this command if a virus has damaged the MBR and Windows cannot start.

  * Warning This command can damage your partition tables if a virus is present or if a hardware problem exists. If you use this command, you may create inaccessible
     partitions. We recommend that you run antivirus software before you use this command.

  You can obtain the device name from the output of the map command. If you do not specify a device name, the MBR of the boot device is repaired, for example:
    fixmbr \device\harddisk2

  If the fixmbr command detects an invalid or non-standard partition table signature, fixmbr command prompts you for permission before rewriting the MBR. The fixmbr
  command is supported only on x86-based computers.

How to recover from a Corrupted Registry where XP won't start:
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jcollesAuthor Commented:
Thanks for your reply, but as I mentioned to begin with I have already done a Windows reinstall (sorry I called it a repair last time), but when it came to reboot, the same problem ocurred, it wants to run  scandisk. and then a black screen appears showing only the mouse pointer
I also tried from recovery mode to access the my documents folders to back up, but was refused access to documents and settings.
I will look at the other links you sent
Justin CollinsIT Support TechnicianCommented:
Sorry bout that, my bad.  I think your hard drive has failed/is failing.  I would make a ghost image of the drive and try doing a fresh install.  Then, if it fails again your hard drive is shot.  and if it does install w/o a problem, then all you have to do is push the ghost image back on and try other options.
Justin CollinsIT Support TechnicianCommented:
oh, did you try the fixmbr or the fixboot at the recovery console?
jcollesAuthor Commented:
I tried fixboot, but not fixmbr.  There is important data on this disk and the customer is not sure what his backup includes, so I have to go carefully so as not to destroy anything.
I have run Microscaope safe write diganostics for many hours without a fault, so I think the disk is physically ok.

Can I make a disk image without being able to boot to windows?

If I run scandisk it says there are one or more bad sectors, but if I run scandsk /r, it says the disk is ok.

Is there any way of unsetting the dirty bit ? I assum that scandisk should do this, but if it is, then something else is setting it again.

Another thing, is there any way of looking at the system fault logs without being able to boot windows, perhaos with another PC?
jcollesAuthor Commented:
I have installed windows on another disk and so the faulty one is now a second drive which appears to be readable and the data is still there.  Is there any way I can clear the dirty bit, or find what is setting it?  There is a lot of work to set up a new disk and I feel I am so close to getting the old one working.
Any more ideas before I start the long proces of re-building on a new disk?
I have also tried the manufacturers diagnostics and they also give the disk a clean bill of health.
jcollesAuthor Commented:
I have run scandisk again after booting from the new drive and checked it with 'fsutil dirty query' and the dirty bit has been cleared.
But if I boot from this disk, I get the windows splash screen, then it runs scandisk, so something must be setting the dirty bit, or can other things trigger scandisk?  Are there any more suggestions as to how I can find the boot problem
hello, only noticed this now.
after scandisk has run or after you have stopped it, you are left at a black screen with mouse pointer.
Try this.
press crtl-alt-del ( hold crtl, then also hold alt then tap del key)
If windows task manager appears click file new task (run...)
type explorer into the windows that appears.
If this helps get into the GUI let us know and we'll help finish the repairs.
jcollesAuthor Commented:
No there is no response from anything, not even Ctl-Alt-Del.

I have now replaced the HDD, reloaded the system and copied all the data from the old hard drive.  I am pretty confident that there is not a hardware problem with the old drive, I assume it is a registry corruption problem, but I could not risk loosing the data and as the system was needed urgently, starting on a new HDD seemed the  safest thing to do.
Thanks for all your suggestions, in this case I think the system beat us.
Regards John
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