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a weird problem with my laptop...please help

new

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
59
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows XP - Professional
#1
Well first of all one day i was using my laptop (its an acer), then i was playing around with hide ip platinum and its settings then the taskbar and desktop disappeared.

So i thought it was nothing so i switched it off.
Then the next day i switched it on and logged on, the usual then the screen flashes and the icons on the desktop disappear for a few secs then appear again (this happens a few times) then they disappear and dont appear back. It now has my wallpaper blank with no icons or taskbar or anything.

Then the next day after i try and switch it on then it has that windows xp screen where that bar is loading and then the screen goes black (blank).

I tried safe mode then and it came up with the thing saying whether you want to use system restore, and i said no, so it comes up with the desktop and icons for about 1 sec and pops up the system restore window (even though i clicked no) and the desktop goes blank again.

Thanks for reading, and i have tried system restore with no luck. somebody please help me, im desperate and dont want to have to reformat. Also i installed photoshop cs2 recently.

Laptop specs:
Acer aspire 3683NWXCi
Intel Celeron M processor 430 (1.73GHz, 533 Mhz FSB, 1MB L2 Cache)
14.1" WXGA Crystalbrite LCD
Mobile Intel 940 GML Express Chipset
60GB HDD
DVD/CD-RW Combo
512MB DDR2
802.11b/g wireless LAN

yeh i noe its old and slow, running windows xp pro essential (looks like and says vista but its actually xp)
 

RandyL

Administrator
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,878
Location
USA, Nebraska
PC Experience
Very Experienced
#2
Hi new;
From what I gather you can't boot into Windows or Safe Mode. Also you are given the choice at bootup to perform a System Restore which when chosen leads you to a blank desktop.

By blank I assume you mean a blue or black or backround image with no taskbar showing. Am I correct on one of these?

Upon furthur reading can you clarify what you mean when you say “I have tried system restore with no luck”.

The point being we need to know exactly what your options are at this point.

RandyL
 

new

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
59
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows XP - Professional
#3
umm thanks for replying umm i can boot into safe mode but after i log in it comes up asking if i want to system restore or not.

by blank i mean black nothing on there at all.

I tried system restore to "last known good configuration" but it didnt solve the problem.

Normal startup= blank
Safe mode= asking system restore then black screen even if i click no
 
W

Wolfeymole

#4
Have you tried clicking Yes to system restore?
I'm assuming that by your statement "I don't want to format" that you have the XP disk yes?

yeh i noe its old and slow, running windows xp pro essential (looks like and says vista but its actually xp)
Have you installed some kind of obscure Vista type theme or are you running some kind of dual boot system here?
 

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,268
Location
Canada
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#5
Try going in Safe Mode With a Command Prompt. At the command prompt, run system restore by typing in:

%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
 

new

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
59
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows XP - Professional
#7
Wolfeymole said:
Have you tried clicking Yes to system restore?
I'm assuming that by your statement "I don't want to format" that you have the XP disk yes?

yeh i noe its old and slow, running windows xp pro essential (looks like and says vista but its actually xp)
Have you installed some kind of obscure Vista type theme or are you running some kind of dual boot system here?
alright i clicked yes and it comes up with the desktop for a few secs then the icons disappear and the windows pops up again asking for system restore again.
and yeh i have the Xp diisk but no i didnt install any vista theme


Seth said:
Try going in Safe Mode With a Command Prompt. At the command prompt, run system restore by typing in:

%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
i tried system restore already and no luck. so i tried this way again anyway but i dont have any restore points anyway. So it still doesnt work with system restore


AdvancedSetup said:
Was this program "Hide IP Platinum" from a P2P download?

Do you have a Windows XP CD ?

Do you have access to another computer with Internet connection and a CD/DVD burner?
No it wasnt P2P it was off another forum site.

I do have the Windows XP CD and yes i have access to my bro's computer with internet connection and his comp has a cd and dvd burner
 

AdvancedSetup

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 9, 2008
Messages
819
Location
34° 12' 35" N, 118° 29' 21" W
#8
Okay that's good that you have access to another system.

What I would do is try to start the Safe Mode with Command Prompt, we don't need the desktop.

If it won't go into command prompt then I would either create a bootable CD from Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows UBCD4W or I would take the drive out and install it in your brother's computer. If you can get into command prompt then change to the documents and settings folder and find your folder and verify that all your data is there. Most should be in either "My Documents" or in the "Desktop"
If you need help working id command prompt let us know.

The reason why is that I'm curious why icons disappeared and want to make sure that some Trojan or other issue wasn't deleting files on the system. By using an UBCD4W or placing in another computer you can then run some tools to verify your files are still in tact, or attempt to recover them.

Ensuring your files are okay is the most important item at this point. Attempting to fix the computer could potentially overwrite areas of the hard drive and make it difficult or impossible to recover you data, so I don't recommend attempting a repair until we know your data is safe.
If you have backups of your data or you're not concerned with losing the data then we could move right on to repair, but you need to let us know first.

Waiting to hear back from you before we continue....
 

new

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
59
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows XP - Professional
#9
umm okay but what do u mean "take the drive out?" <- do u mean like the cd drive and how do i change to the documents and settings folder?

sorry to sound like a noob but im not too good with this technical stuff.

so basically what ur saying is, i make that bootable cd and repair the computer with it and by doing so i wont lose any of my files or documents? is this correct?
 

AdvancedSetup

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Messages
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34° 12' 35" N, 118° 29' 21" W
#11
By taking the drive out I mean the physical HARD DRIVE unit.

Then place it into your other computer so that you can run a disk check on the drive to perform any repairs to the file and folder structure that might be causing the boot up issue.

Now with the drive in your other computer go through your drive and find and copy all your data onto the other computer so that you have it backed up.
You may have to go into the Tools - Folder Options and select to unhide everything. Then most data is stored in Documents and Settings often your name or profile and then My Documents, Favorites, and Desktop There could be other locations or profiles and you'll need to look at all of them to copy over.

With the drive in the other computer and viewing it within My Computer just chose Properties then Tools then under Error-checking click on the Check Now button. Then chose "Automatically fix file system errors"

Then once done take it back out of the other computer and place it back into your computer and start it up and see if you have the same issue.
 

new

FPCH Member
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Messages
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Windows XP - Professional
#12
ok thanks but what about the Ultimate boot cd method?

does that still require taking out the hard drive? cause ive never done it before and dont wanna screw up my laptop even more

also do u know what might have caused the problem cause i dont want this to happen again
 

AdvancedSetup

FPCH Long Term Member
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#13
Well replacing a hard drive is not too difficult.

Creating the actual UBCD4W may be a little difficult if you've never done it before though.

I can try to assist you, but you should do some reading on their site first.

It's difficult to tell what caused it, that's why we're being cautious about the repair. It could be a hardware failure (in which case not much you could have done to avoid it), it could be an infection from some type of malware, but if we can't get in we can't easily check for that yet either.

Read up on the UBCD4W site and let me know if or when you're ready to try and make a disk and I'll help you out.
 

new

FPCH Member
Joined
Jan 28, 2008
Messages
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PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows XP - Professional
#14
ok but i think i dont have the right screwdriver, cause the screws are so small.

so if i make the UBCD4W, i wont need to take out the hard drive?
 

AdvancedSetup

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#15
Correct. You take and burn a bootable repair CD and then boot up with that and then run some tools to find data and check the drive.

UBCD4W

Read up on it some here How To

On the other computer go here and download this file
UBCD4W ISO Image download 233MB

If that download link does not work then go here and find one that does work for you
UBCD4W Download Mirrors

Then you need to follow the building instructions (which will require the original XP CD) as well as the Windows Service Pack 2

Windows XP Service Pack 2 FULL this is a 266MB download as well.
 

new

FPCH Member
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Messages
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PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
Windows XP - Professional
#16
so both ways pretty much do the same thing. ie. repair the drive.

but if i use UBCD4W will i lose any data? will i need to back it up?

also which way do u think is better and easier
 

AdvancedSetup

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#17
Well difficult to say as everyone has different fears of the unknown.

I'm comfortable with both. No you shouldn't lose data (it might already be gone though that's why we're doing this).

Maybe see if you can find someone a little more comfortable with PC to lend a hand.

Just let me know which way you want to go and I'll try to walk you through as best I can.
 

new

FPCH Member
Joined
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Messages
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PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
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#18
ok so either way i most likely wont lose any data?

ill prob go with the taking out the hard drive way, so after i take it out how do i connect it to the other comp and also what should it look like?

thanks
 

AdvancedSetup

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#19
My Apologies - I re-read your first post and see that it is a laptop unit.

On a laptop without some experience it could be difficult to remove the hard drive and you could easily break something.

I would go with the UBCD4W creation and not attempt a hard drive swap. That would be a better choice.
 

new

FPCH Member
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Messages
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PC Experience
Some Experience
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Windows XP - Professional
#20
ok so for the UBCD4W i use that UBCD4W program and that xp sevice pack 2 link that u gave me?

even though my laptop was running windows xp pro essential?

cause it just says windows xp cd, so is it windows xp pro essential or sp 2?