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Windows won't boot

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#1
Yes its this old one, but we are a bit stuck so any help is greatly appreciated.

Basically Windows XP won't boot, we have no windows disk, nor boot disk or anything. All the help online seems to presume your not stupid enough to get yourself into this situation.

No new programs have been put on to the system so we really don't know why its happened, but it isn't the first time. Its happened twice before, the first time we accidentally restored it to factory setting. Probably not the most sensible thing to do but it got the PC working again. The second time a friend took it away to try and fix it and got as far as plugging the hard drive into his PC before it decided to work again. We have tried to find someone else who is running XP but everyone we know seems to using Vista.

This time we really don't know what to do, in desperation I've actually used the Ubuntu live CD to rescue our important documents and files off the Hard drive but obviously it would be greatly beneficial if we didn't have to start from scratch again.

Any suggestions are very welcome because we really do need to get the system running again.

And apologises for being too stupid to do anything sensible to prevent this from happening.
 

Tony D

Free PC Help Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2007
Messages
704
Location
Malvern, PA (USA)
PC Experience
Some Experience
Operating System
OSX
#2
can u boot to Safe Mode? This is done by pressing the F8 key while booting until the Start menu comes up- then choose Safe Mode.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#3
Hi, no whatever method we choose we just end up going round in circles.

Our main worries are the Microsoft money files, we also have free sophos running but since my dad has been paid off we are worried we might not be able to get it back.

I'm sure you can understand why we would rather save it than return it to factory setting again. Maybe we will make a boot disk this time.
 

RandyL

Administrator
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,878
Location
USA, Nebraska
PC Experience
Very Experienced
#4
Hi shrimply;
So you have your files backed up. Do you have your Microsoft Money files backed up too?

To know what your recovery options are it would be helpful to know your exact make and model.
I understand you have no CD's to boot from.
Depending on your computer the recovery options will be different.

Since you were able to reinstall to factory conditions once before there might be other options via the same method such as doing a repair install via the Recovery Console if it's been previously installed.

The other thing that concerns me is the reason this keeps happening. If this is the third time then there are probably underlying root causes. As such it will most likely keep happening. Usually this is software or malware related.

Get back to us;
RandyL
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#5
HI, thanks for the reply, I've copied all our personal documents and pictures etc via USB and they are all safely stored on my laptop. I was unable to locate the microsoft money files, I don't use the program and my dad is less good than me with computers so is no help. Any directions on where the personal files are stored would be helpful.

The computer is a hp pavilion a330.uk

I don't know how true this is but last time it happened I was told by someone that this was a common problem with the old compaq computers and the general solution was to give it a thump, which I don't really fancy trying.

The last time this happened was well over a year ago, but if we get it working again i would be glad to hear your opinion on any solutions available.
 

RandyL

Administrator
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,878
Location
USA, Nebraska
PC Experience
Very Experienced
#6
From HP support.

HP and Compaq Desktop PCs- Resolving Startup Problems in Windows 98, ME, and XP
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...173&lc=en&cc=us&dlc=en&product=367636&lang=en

More importantly here is your recovery options.
Recovering during startup See #5 in particular.
To perform a standard system recovery, click Next , and then click Yes .
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...lc=en&product=367636&lang=en&docname=bph07145

To order Recovery CD's see here. http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...lc=en&product=367636&lang=en&docname=bph07143
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#7
Thanks, this isn't going well I can't get into the recovery option and it looks like HP don't expect that to happen.

Looks like our computer too old to get a recovery disk for too.

Any more suggestions or do we need a new PC.
 

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,268
Location
Canada
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#8
You can obtain the Recovery Console from here:

http://www.pcguide.com/vb/showthread.php?t=49552

Burn it as an image then boot to it. At the command prompt, type in chkdsk /r (space between the K and the R) and press enter to initiate hard drive error checking.

When complete type exit and remove the cd when booting.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#9
Thanks ran this through and its made no difference,

First I get 1: D:\MiniNT
2: D:\I386

I ran the command for both of them in turn and its had no effect
 

Seth

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Dec 17, 2007
Messages
2,268
Location
Canada
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#10
Good job.

The D drives are the recovery partitions. It didn't show a C drive?

If not, go into either one and type C: and that should take you to the C drive where you can run the chkdsk /r.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#11
Thinking I'm stuffed now.

At 25%

The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems.

Thanks for your help but I presume this is the end of the road.
 

shrimply

FPCH Long Term Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
457
Location
Galashiels, Scottish Borders
PC Experience
Beginner
Operating System
Windows Vista - Home Premium
#13
Just thought I'd update this for anyone who cares. A friend took the computer away, we'd hoped that there may have been a way to copy the whole drive in it broken state. Obviously otherwise it would have meant us buying another PC, which we can't really afford to do.

As you lot probably know the drive couldn't be saved. However, he kindly fitted a new 80GB hard drive, which cost quite a lot but I guess if its a good one. And installed XP pro on it. So we are back up and running again.

The diagnosis for the drive was broken spindles I believe, although why i can't really imagine since the drive has never been out the PC. Anyway thanks again for all your help and rest ***ured there are plenty more questions to come.
 

RandyL

Administrator
Joined
Jan 22, 2003
Messages
4,878
Location
USA, Nebraska
PC Experience
Very Experienced
#14
Hi shrimply;
We greatly appreciate letting us know the final outcome. Glad you're back in business.

Sooner or later all drives fail. It's not your fault. It happens.

Good luck;
RandyL