Windows XP system not booting past Dell splash screen

I have a Windows XP system that won't boot past the Dell splash screen.  There are no error messages.  Nothing.  The screen goes dark.  I ran Dell's diag and it finds nothing wrong.  

I'm thinking the problem is the OS but are usually error messages.  

Thoughts.

Thanks
CraigSNYCAsked:
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Red_TechCommented:
When it goes black do you get a little cursor in the left hand top corner, at all? Is this a new build of XP or existing implementation? Could be MBR - boot to XP CD go into recovery console and run fixmbr. You may want to try this as well - bootloader issues

http://www.ehow.com/how_4891476_reinstall-xp-bootloader.html
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
>>> I'm thinking the problem is the OS

Please boot with a bootable CD/DVD (any variety) and see if that boots properly. If so, then it is your operating system. If not, it is something else. .... Thinkpads_User

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CraigSNYCAuthor Commented:
Hey,

No cursor when the screen goes black.  I mean, nothing!  Never seen this before.  

I agree about booting RC from installation disk.  

Stay tuned and thanks.
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Dav GrayIT ManagerCommented:
Firstly check to see if the HDD is being detected.

Do you get any beeps after the Dell splash screen?
Have you reset the BIOS?
Rob MinersCommented:
Disconnect the AC power, remove the battery pack, press and hold the Power button for 20 seconds. Re-insert the AC adapter and see if it will power on. If the Notebook starts up, one of the battery packs may need to be replaced.

Disconnect the AC power, remove the Battery pack, remove and clean the golden edge of each Memory stick with a soft white rubber/eraser, remembering not to touch the golden edge of the Memory stick.  Re-insert one stick at a time to test. Re-insert the AC adapter and see if it will power on.


Check the movement of the Lid Actuator switch

The Lid Actuator switch is a small button or switch located above the keyboard near the hinge for the LCD. Pressing this switch 2-3 times when the computer is on may turn the notebook display back on.
nobusCommented:
is this a laptop?  post model please
i assume from your question you never see Windows trying to boot - but you should get a message
so i believe it could be :
-a BIOS fault --> try resetting the bios with the jumper (see manual if unsure)
-a motherboard problem  - if a desktop, it may suffer from bad capacitors - check for leaking or bulging ones near the CPU as shown in picture
c
CraigSNYCAuthor Commented:
*thinkpad: the system boots with an installation disk.

* no beeps after the splash screen.

the system is a Dell Inspiron 6000.

*nobus: everything but the battery, which i've removed, passes the diag disk that I downloaded from Dell's website.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
If the system boots with an installation disk and everything passes the diagnostics, then the operating system has probably become corrupted.  See if you can back up your important data to a USB key (or several) and then re-install Windows. ... Thinkpads_User
CraigSNYCAuthor Commented:
*thinkpad -- already pulled the drive and copied off data.

i'm being stubborn and don't want to give into the Windows OS gods.  ;)
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Check first, but I do not think Windows XP has a good repair install like Windows 7 has. I have used XP a lot, and when it gets like this, it is usually fastest to install it again.

...  Thinkpads_User
Rob MinersCommented:
Computer stops responding with a black screen when you start Windows XP

http://support.microsoft.com/KB/314503

Try this first as there are a couple of other things to try later

3. Repair the master boot record by using the FIXMBR command

eXample:

At the command prompt type:

fixmbr and press Enter


Partition settings can be viewed and manipulated with DiskPart to make the Boot Partition Active

diskpart
lis dis
sel dis 0
lis par

Now check the Partitions and select the one that you want Active which will become C:

eXample :

sel par 3
active
exit

close out and reboot.
nobusCommented:
i would :
-try a repair install : http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
if this fails , try this method :
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
An easier way is to boot from a Bart PE CD (or UBCD4Win CD) and use the file manager for manipulating files. Here  the procedure :
1. rename c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM to c:\windows\system32\config\SYSTEM.bak
2. Navigate to the System Volume Information folder.
it contains some restore {GUID} folders such as "_restore{87BD3667-3246-476B-923F-F86E30B3E7F8}".
The restore points are in  folders starting with "RPx under this folder.
3. In such a folder, locate a Snapshot subfolder. This is an example of a folder path to the Snapshot folder:  C:\System Volume Information\_restore{D86480E3-73EF-47BC-A0EB-A81BE6EE3ED8}\RP1\Snapshot
4. From the Snapshot folder, copy the following file to the c:\windows\system32\config folder
 _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM
5. Rename _REGISTRY_MACHINE_SYSTEM to SYSTEM
6. Exit Bart PE, reboot and test

Use a fairly recent restore point from at least a day or two prior to problem occurring .

** you can add the other hives also with this procedure

http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/       BARTPE
http://www.ubcd4win.com/            UBCD4WIN
CraigSNYCAuthor Commented:
I ended up giving in and reinstalling Windows.

I'm never sure how to award points when all the possible solutions posted are great and could have worked in other situations.  Thinkpad had the right answer in this situation.  Should he be awarded all the points, or should I divide them because the other solutions presented might have worked under different circumstances?

Thanks for the input!
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I have given you the correct answer but other people have helped. Suggest you divide as you see fit.   ... Thinkpads_User
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