Windows XP does not boot

Posted on 2011-05-10
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hi, one of my computers will not boot.
Its a laptop running windows XP.
After the BIOS screen all i get is a flashing cursor in the top left hand corner, I have left this for over a day to see if anything happened but alas nothing has happened.

I have tried running fixboot and a fixmbr from the recovery console. I have also performed a chkdsk -r to no avail

I dont want to run a repair as that would make all my programs not work and delete data wouldnt it?

I have no more ideas.

Latitude Laptop running Windows XP
Question by:RPUKsupport
    LVL 17

    Expert Comment

    Try reseating the RAM first.
    And if you need to re-install XP you can use Fred langa's no format procedure.  you won't lose any data or program installs, but you will need to re-apply XP security patches.  you can find procedure at Informationweek:
    LVL 8

    Expert Comment

    If you do a repair using the windows disk, you will not lose any data or programs, it simply re-installed windows system files and boot records. I would just use the windows disk and do a repair. Boot to the disk instead of doing a new install press "r" for the repair option. It will look like you are re-installing windows from scratch but the programs and data will be preserved in the end.
    LVL 35

    Accepted Solution

    A repair installation ("in-place install") of XP, if performed properly, does not touch your data, programs or settings; it only replaces the system files.

    Here are some good websites that explain the procedure: (the "classic", but a bit too detailed imo)

    Note: you'll need an installation disk with the exact same service pack version as the installed system you wish to repair. If you don't have that disk, consider slipstreaming the SP:

    Note 2: If your data is etremely important and you have still a bad feeling about repairing without a backup, consider booting your system off a live CD like Parted Magic:
    Connect an external drive, mount both drives via the Mount tool on the desktop, and backup your data.

    Author Comment

    well I have repaired the machine using the methods described earlier. It has come to the end of the first part (dark blue screen) and rebooted, only to stop in the same position as before.
    The data on the drive isnt as important as the applications, the apps are used to configure other machinery and its the only laptop i have that it runs from (mainly because this laptop is from the ark)
    I have taken the hard drive out and plugged it into my external caddy, the data is there as described but now i would think that the windows installation will be screwed, as it has not ran its repair properly.

    Is there anything else I could try?

    Author Comment

    Oh I have also reseatted the ram as instructed, this did not work
    LVL 35

    Expert Comment

    I suggest you first make a complete backup image of the drive with ToDo Backup Home:
    (Do not tick "sector by sector copy" because that would include the sectors that cause the issue)

    The try TestDisk on the drive in order to see if it has a damaged partition table which could be repaired:

    Follow the guide through till writing a new partition table to disk; also check out some of the other manuals on the site that may be helpful.

    If that didn't fix it, I think I'd personally go for wiping the unbootable disk completely, then repartition and reformat (use a third party product, like Partition Manager Home: ). Afterwards reconnect the drive to the original laptop, and install XP rudimentarily, just to see if it boots fine now. Then plugin to the other computer again and restore the full backup to it. Let's hope this does the trick.
    LVL 35

    Assisted Solution

    If none of the above will help, consider a hard drive failure of some kind.
    In order to make sure, run diagnostics as found on the UltimateBootCD:

    Author Closing Comment

    I have checked the hard drive. I noticed that the drive keeps having issues, sometimes data will be there and sometimes not, so I am recovering all the data I require off it now and I will purchase a new hard drive. Strange this problem should happen twice, must be the heavy handed user :)

    Thanks for your help guys, I'm sure some of these tools will come in very useful in the future

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