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windows XP will not boot

Posted on 2011-03-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a client that says his computer will not boot. I came in and he said he was running out of spce, so he started deleteing things. I tried to boot to last know config and just acts like it will boot, bit stops at black screen. Then tried to boot safe mode, and stops and never progresses from isapnp.sys please help thank you
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Question by:zenworksb
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by:uescomp
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You could try and use ERD commander to restore back to a previous date, otherwise try running a windows repair
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by:zenworksb
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i am not familure with ERD commander and what is the steps to run windows repair thank you so much
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by:Randy Downs
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unless there is critical data on it, I would just wipe & restore. If you need data you might want to put his drive in another PC and copy files.

You mighty also try booting (not installing) another OS to just look at files - http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download
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by:zenworksb
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this is a very critical system toth ebusiness one of teh owners. I really need to get it back up and running :(
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by:Absntmind
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I came across this same issue a while back, and found this solution worked for me. I cannot take credit, other than copy and pasting (I saved the solution in a text file):

It is not problem with isapnp.sys. It's problem with pciide.sys which is loaded after isapnp.sys
Step :
Start Recovery console (boot with XP setup CD).
go to c:\windows\system32\drivers
type "expand d:\i386\isapnp.sy_" for expanding isapnp.sys
after that type "expand d:\i386\pciide.sy_"
Those commands expand from setup XP CD files isapnp.sys and pciide.sys into c:\windows\system32\drivers folder.
Just to explain : if boot sequence stop at one file *.sys, it doesn't mean there is problem with THAT file. It could be problem with driver which follow last shown driver.
If found at one forume one more step : While using recovery console, go to c:\windows\system32\drivers folder and start "dir" command. Check, if there any *.sys file with 0 length. Just delete it.

Good luck.
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by:zenworksb
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ok I boot from windows xp go into recover mode then expand both files, and the reboot? The step about looking for files with 0 confusing me? Thank you so so much i will start process and check back
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by:zenworksb
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ok real quick before I begin, They have a windows xp sp3 cd from dell Reinstallation cd is this what I use? It was probably not even for his computer he does have a dell though
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by:moonie42
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really the first question that needs to be addressed is what did the user  delete?

If the user deleted any of the Windows files, your best bet is to boot from the Windows XP installation disk, and run a repair install.  See this MS Article for instructions:  http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/helpandsupport/learnmore/tips/doug92.mspx
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by:timbrading
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I would boot from an XP disk, and press a key when prompted to boot from CD.  Choose install new OS option.  It will check for previous versions - at this point, choose to repair existing installation.

This way you will keep your data and your programs.  
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by:zenworksb
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is it ok to use the reinstallation cd windows xp sp3 from dell, he has a dell but do not think this goe sto his system?
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by:CHutchins
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As long as it is the same version of XP you should be good.  You wouldnt want to try it with SP3 if it has SP2 on it.
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by:zenworksb
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i do not know what version of SP he has on it, the system is down any thoughts? help :)
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by:zenworksb
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should I just try one that has no SP on it that would be ok no matter what SP he has correct?
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by:timbrading
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I have successfully used earlier SP discs - you just need to remember to apply the SP after the system is back up.
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by:willcomp
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To summarize:

You need to do a repair install of XP to replace missing system files which were apparently deleted by the user. Here are instructions: http://michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

Use the Dell CD with SP3. If an earlier version is installed, it will be updated to SP3.

There is a problem if IE8 is installed. The best remedy, since you cannot uninstall IE8, is to slipstream IE8 onto the Dell XP CD using nLite. Here are links to nLite and info regarding IE8:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/917964
http://www.nliteos.com/guide/
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by:zenworksb
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ok I did repair install completed. It came up to windows and i logged in and it hung. Rebooted and same thing arg :( thoughts help thansk gguys
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by:willcomp
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Are you logging on locally or to a domain?
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by:willcomp
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Can you logon is safe mode?
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by:willcomp
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Typo: Can you logon IN safe mode?
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by:zenworksb
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no safemode stops at isapnp.sys like before
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by:willcomp
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local or domain?
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by:CompProbSolv
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Safe Mode stops at isapnp.sys, but regular mode allows you to log in, then hangs?
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by:CompProbSolv
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If you could save all of the data, how tough would it be to reinstall all of the applications?
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by:zenworksb
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no i was able to login in one time to domain and then it hung. now i try to boot just goes black screen and safe mode stops at isapnp.sys thank you so much guys i hope we can get this going
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by:willcomp
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As described earlier, pciide.sys is not loading. Are there any error messages?

Before going any further, test memory using memtest86+ in case faulty memory is causing the problem. It also wouldn't hurt to test hard disk as well. All the testing tools you need are on the UBCD: http://majorgeeks.com/Ultimate_Boot_CD_d4981.html

I'll be gone for awhile but will check back later.
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by:zenworksb
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is there a ISO i can download and burn
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by:willcomp
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The UBCD is an iso. Were you referring to some other iso? If so, be specific as to what you need.
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Perarduaadastra earned 500 total points
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Might I suggest the following approach:

As four hours has elapsed so far without a successful resolution, whatever critical data is on the disk should be copied off it without further delay; this is most easily done by slaving the drive in another computer and doing a simple copy to other media – the hard disk of the host PC perhaps, or a network drive or external USB hard disk, it really doesn’t matter as long as the data is safely copied. Then get the user to confirm that everything he wants saved has been copied. If he complains, remind him, however tactfully, that he made the mess you're having to clear up, and that his eager cooperation is in his own best interest.

Then reformat the hard disk and install XP again, making sure that it's the correct version (that is, Professional or Home). If time is of the essence, choose the quick format option; if not, choose the standard format as it checks the disk integrity as it goes which is why it takes so long. As a perceived lack of disk space was the rock on which your user foundered, this might be the moment to replace his disk with a bigger one, in which case it would be reasonable to use the quick format option anyway.

If you use an SP2 or SP3 disc and the computer is fairly recent then the product key on the label stuck to the side of the computer is likely to work; if you use an early SP2 or earlier disc then the product key will be rejected and you'll have to start over. This will also happen if you try to use a Home product key when installing Professional, and vice versa.
If the machine is to be part of a domain then use a new name for it when you re-join it to the domain to avoid problems caused by re-using a domain computer account.

Once XP is up and running, and you've installed all the hardware drivers (especially the chipset and LAN drivers) and copied the user's data back to the new installation, re-activate Windows and re-install his applications - the disks for them are available, presumably? Then put his files back in the same locations they were in on the old installation, and he should be back in business.

If the user doesn’t need to install applications then it might be wise to limit his access to certain parts of the system, either as a limited user or by explicitly denying him access to things that shouldn’t be tinkered with.

You might also take the opportunity to discuss with the user some kind of backup strategy to avoid having to jump through all these hoops if (when) something goes wrong in the future...
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