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mkramer777Flag for United States of America asked on


I have a Win XP Pro laptop that begins to boot and then goes to the screen to choose safe mode.  No matter what you choose it will start to boot and go right back to that screen.  Must be a startup file corruption.  Any standard procedure for fixing this?
Windows XP

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8/22/2022 - Mon

If you have the Windows XP CD, you can try a repair install, but I would back up the system first, even if it means moving the drive in a carrier to another computer, or booting from a bootable CD.

Most likely, however, for XP, the best solution is to back up, format, and re-install Windows.

XP is dead, of course, and another better solution is to replace the laptop with a newer machine and newer operating system.

... Thinkpads_User

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Dan Craciun

On the startup screen you should have an option "Disable automatic restart on system failure".
Choose that. The laptop should then continue to boot until it reaches a blue screen (BSOD).

Note down the STOP error (should be something like 0x000000XX) and post it here. It will at least narrow down the possible causes.

Thank you.

This is a HP 6735b laptop.  I can click the esc key on boot to get into the bios.  I can't seem to find where to disable auto restart.
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Sounds like you have a bad hard drive or it is starting to fail.

I would try to run an install repair option if that fails

Time for a new hard drive.

If you can save any data now is the time to start copying off to a usb drive.
Dan Craciun

Advanced startup optionsIt is a Windows option, not in BIOS.
Just keep pressing F8 immediately after the initial "Press ESC to enter setup" and it will show Windows advanced startup options.

Does not show these options.  Also, I cannot seem to be able (on this model) boot to the cd/dvd drive to install a repair iso disk.  It says it is booting the the upgrade bay first and then to the hard drive.  I have told it to boot 1st to a usb disk drive but that does not work. Can't believe I can't get this to work simply.
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You should have CD or DVD option available in the boot priority menu. Otherwise you can make a bootable usb stick from the UBCD. You don't need to get PartedMagic additionally, as it is also included with the UBCD. In the \ubcd\tools\ubcd2usb there is a tool that creates such a stick.

I was able to boot to the computer using wondershare liveboot.  Problem is the cdrive says it is corrupted and not readable.  This is not good I need the data on this drive.  Any paid programs I can try to get it going.  I have it pulled from the laptop and connected to a device that I have plugged into the usb port of another computer.  It comes up as a drive letter but is not readalbe or accessible.  Can I repair it somehow?

You can scan it using getdataback, and if the files you need are there, register the tool so you can copy the data off.


there is also a utility which can sometimes revive bad drives, hddreg:


But i wouldn't keep on using it after you have gotten the data.
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William Peck

connected to a device that I have plugged into the USB port of another computer.  It comes up as a drive letter but is not readable

That is not good news and may be why the computer is restarting.

You probably should get a new drive for the computer and install Windows on that. Keep the old drive isolated and do not use it (as mentioned earlier) and try one of the recovery ideas suggested.

... Thinkpads_User

How can you tell if my hard drive is NTFS or FAT?

XP on installation immediately converts to NTFS. It is unlikely to be FAT32, so go on the assumption that it is NTFS.

... Thinkpads_User
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Run Disk Management from Control panel

It will show you the type of format it is

i always test the drive is working or not first - best use the ubcd :
Hardware diagnostic CD    UBCD
 i suggest the UBCD  to run some diags first - to be sure about the basics
go to the download page, scroll down to the mirror section, and  click on a mirror to start the download
Download the UBCD and make the cd   <<==on a WORKING PC, and boot the problem PC from it
Here 2 links, one to the general site, and a direct link to the download

since the downloaded file is an ISO file, you need to use an ISO burning tool
if you don't have that software, install cdburnerXP : http://cdburnerxp.se/

If you want also the Ram tested - run memtest86+ at least 1 full pass,  - you should have NO errors!
For disk Diagnostics run the disk diag for your disk brand (eg seagate diag for seagate drive)  from the HDD section -  long or advanced diag !  (runs at least for30 minutes)

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/                        ultimate boot cd
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/download.html             download page

here is how i handle bad drives : https://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Hard_Drives/A_3000-The-bad-hard-disk-problem.html