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XP repair installation is stuck in restart loop

Posted on 2009-05-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-07
I had to do a repair installation on an XP machine.  The installation went well, but when the computer restarted to boot into normal windows, a blue information screen appeared stating "Setup is being restarted..."  It goes through the whole installation again, reboots, and I get the same restart screen.  It's now stuck in this loop.

I've run memtest through 7 passes, with no errors.  I've run checkdisk with no errors.  I've used the repair console to run fixboot, which didn't work.  I'm still stuck in the restart loop and out of ideas.
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Question by:Mr_Vrem
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23 Comments
 
LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:houssam_ballout
ID: 24415182
had you try to put the hard disk as slave on another Computer and try to scan it
also, remove additional hardware connected to the computer and try the repair
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24415199
Yes, my checkdisk scan was run while the drive was a slave in another computer.  No errors.
No additional hardware is connected to the computer.  Only a monitor, keyboard and mouse.
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LVL 17

Assisted Solution

by:houssam_ballout
houssam_ballout earned 150 total points
ID: 24415233
Had you fixmbr at the recovery console?
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24415355
No, I haven't.  I get the warning "*** CAUTION *** This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record.  FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed.  This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become inaccessible."

I'm trying to avoid risks like this, and am looking for other options.
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:Cameron_S
Cameron_S earned 150 total points
ID: 24415521
The message from FIXMBR means that the MBR is messed up, and that could be the reason you are experiencing the loops. If your system is inaccessible, (i.e., cannot enter in via safe mode and you have already tried a system repair) this might be the avenue to pursue if you cannot perform a clean re-install.

I personally have never had FIXMBR damage my partition tables, but I will let other speak from experience on this one. I have read that if the computer was infected with a virus, it may behoove you to do some research to make sure it does not bury itself into the MBR.
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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:houssam_ballout
ID: 24415760
I would recommend that you backup the data and make fixmbr
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:iamshaked
ID: 24415816
Did you try chkdsk /R  ??
if that doesnt work try the fixmbr, but back up your data.
if thats still a no go, id recommend a clean reload.
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LVL 30

Accepted Solution

by:
Wayne Barron earned 200 total points
ID: 24415953
What was your reason for having to do the Repair Install?
It seems to me that the Repair corrupted somewhere, either during the last
Bit of the install (or) after Reboot after the repair install was completed.

Suggest:
Remove drive and backup to another system when you want to keep.
Plan on deploying a Full Install of the System NOT Repair Install.

This issues usually happens when the system becomes corrupted during Repair installs.
Microsoft use to have a Knowledge Base Article up on Win2k for this same exact thing
But dumped it along with 1,000's of other useful artcles when they re-did there KB Server(s)>

Good Luck
Carrzkiss
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24416017
-> iamshaked

-Yes, I did
-This is looking like my next step (data is already backed up)
-This is my final option, which will cost $ to replace missing software (lost CDs)

-> carrzkiss

-Repair install was done due to lots of bugginess.  Previous IT company had heavily tweaked the user's computer.
-All the suggestions so far point in the same direction, so it looks like I'll try fixmbr first, then do a full wipe and fresh install if that fails.  I'll report back in a couple of hours, after I can make the attempt.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions so far.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 24416048
Yep, seems that the repair did not work, instead, it messed up.
Happens.

Good Luck
Carrzkiss
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24427525
fixmbr failed, as did an attempt to fix the repair installation.  Ultimately I've had to wipe and do a fresh install.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 24427594
If that is the case, and you did basically as I suggested.
Then it should have been an [A] Grade instead of a [B] Grading.
Please explain?
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24427613
Unfortunately the EE system doesn't allow for split grades, otherwise I would have given you an A.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 24427647
>>>>fixmbr failed, as did an attempt to fix the repair installation.  
If that is the case, then you should have just awarded me instead of the others.
As their information did not help in your issue.

>>Ultimately I've had to wipe and do a fresh install.
This is what you had to do, which is what I suggested, so that would put mine as being the primary.

Have a good one.
Carrzkiss
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24427693
fixmbr is a viable solution that has worked for many others in the past.  I did my research on it, so found it was an acceptable partial solution.  This was suggested by others before you.

Besides being a no-brainer for software problems, a fresh install had already been suggested by others.  As for your suggestion being primary, it is.  You go the most points and the "Accepted Solution", while the others are "Assisted Solution."

Are you done complaining now?
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 24427755
Mr_Vrem:
>>>>>Are you done complaining now?

I was not complaining.
People tend to take things out of it's original context when they do not see what it is about.

Enjoy.
Carrzkiss
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24432880
I'm not here for your ego, and my vision is quite clear.
I think we're both done with this thread.

Cheers,
Mr_Vrem
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 24433108
Do not want you here for my Ego. As you have taken everything I have said out of its original context

Your issue is resolved and now you can enjoy your newly installed XP system.
That is what this issue was about, not complaining, just helping to resolve issues,
That is what we are here for.
Sorry that you took what I said the wrong way.

Have a good one.
(Now this thread is done)
Carrzkiss
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24436607
carrzkiss:
---> That is what this issue was about, not complaining, just helping to resolve issues,
---> That is what we are here for.

This statement is belied by your desire for more points and higher status, even though your solutions were proposed by others first.

---> As you have taken everything I have said out of its original context
---> Sorry that you took what I said the wrong way.

I have not taken anything out of context or the wrong way.  Your intentions are plain.  I hope you can help more people, and fairly rise to your next level.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 24436974
Totally uncalled for and totally unprofessional.
For you to think that I am doing this for a power EE trip.

Ended
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24437072
carrzkiss:
---> If that is the case, then you should have just awarded me instead of the others.
---> As their information did not help in your issue.

Your own words, even though both your suggestions were proposed by others first, making your first statement unwarranted and your second statement untrue.  Also, this was your second declaration that I should have given you higher points/grade.

I call it as I see it.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Wayne Barron
ID: 24437221
Not worth my time.
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Author Comment

by:Mr_Vrem
ID: 24437225
Then stop posting.
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