xp computers wont restart

sio2y used Ask the Experts™
I have taken three calls in less than 24 hours from users with xp computers 4 yrs old or less and from completely different parts of town. In all three cases they have shutdown using by going to start turn off computer and now the computers wont restart. There were no signs of virus or interesting behavior prior to shutdown.

anyone have any ideas?

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go to start>run>msconfig
then go to services , click Hide all MS services
uncheck all other services
then go to startup, uncheck antivirus program
& uncheck the rest.
and shutdown
then turn it on, & try to restart again
Failed power supplies?

So they don't turn back on but does it not do anything at all? Do they get a POST screen? Anything on the screen at all?

If not, what kind of computer? I know many Dells have diagnostic lights on the front that should give some indication of what may be wrong - including a blinking amber power button indicating bad PSU or board (often PSU).


I appreciate the feedback - I wont have physical access to any of the machines until monday. I will add though that the phone support provided so far has led to no ability for access. No access to safe mode or lkgc, cmd line not tried yet.

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Yes if they don't start I would first unplug the power cable from the PC and the wall/power strip/UPS then plug it back in.
Some PCs have power supplies set at 200V, makes sure that they are set for 120V (america).
Turn it on.
If nothing than the power supply has failed.
Kelly Wilke
Interesting. Hopefully just coincidental then. But I definitely think you'll have to see them in person.


They do all start and post however from there the procedure stalls at load. So its doesn't seem to be hardware.....for now i'm leaning toward updates (much like the IE8 update that stopped internet access).

I will try a rstrui.exe from the cmd line when I get a hold of a machine.
Top Expert 2009
If no boot mode options dont work and your getting past the splashscreen but end up with a black screen and cursor, use Erd Commander to restore the machines(go back a week).

Then scan with Malwarebytes http://www.malwarebytes.org/mbam-download.php
and your other anti tools

I'm only assuming thats what they may appear like when you see them monday :)
It's conceivable that all three machines have Malware infections, although less likely than a MS update problem.
However, after a System Restore you could download then update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware (already suggested):
When updated, reboot into Safe Mode by selecting F8 at bootup & run some scans.

Tutorial available, if you require >

For the Update removals you could try a System Restore (as you intimated) by typing the following at a command prompt:


Also, are all three computers running SP2 or SP3?

You could then check to see which recent Update may have caused the issues, & we could investigate it from there ..


The points were broken out for the following reasons:

I had to visit each machine to resolve the issues:

- One machine had an intermittent power supply
- the other two machines were booting past a splash screen to a black screen with cursor and would not boot to safe mode with cmd prompt. I used the registry restore tool within ubcd4windows to get the systems booted properly (I find this tool works better than erd cmdr... for me anyway).
- Once booted I used malwarebytes (one of my favorite tools) to remove any viruses of which there were several.

Thanks for all the input!!!  
Top Expert 2009

Cool, got 2 outta 3 right!!

You're welcome, an interesting troubleshoot .. thanks.

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