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Computer will not boot normally or into safe mode

by Brian3931 / January 13, 2013 4:59 AM PST

I am running XPpro and Security Essentials protection. After 21 Windows updates and Security Essentials update last week I did a full antivirus scan. But the computer turned itself off and now won't boot not even safe mode. I just see alternate accesses to the hard drive and the CDROM. The screen is blank, can anyone help?

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All Answers

Best Answer chosen by Brian3931

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Re: computer will not boot
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 13, 2013 5:11 AM PST

I'd start with checking if the PC will boot from a bootable disk. First, check in the BIOS setup if it's set to boot from the CD/DVD-drive. Then insert such a disk. A good disk to try is the Windows XP setup disk, because it allows you to do a chkdsk from the recovery console.
But any other bootable disk you can find (or download and burn) is good also. Especially if you choose a Linux disk (Ubuntu is the usual choice), because you can browse the hard disk then to see if all your files still are there.

But I wouldn't be suprised if there is some hardware issue and it won't succesfully boot from a CD or (if it does) report a hard disk error if you try to access the hard disk.


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Cannot get into BIOS
by Brian3931 / January 13, 2013 6:59 PM PST

I cannot access BIOS as pressing DEL during startup does not work.

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Time to fix that BIOS access issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 14, 2013 1:13 AM PST
In reply to: Cannot get into BIOS

That's a sign the keyboard could have a stuck key or other issue. You will not be too successful until that's fixed.

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Cannot get into BIOS
by Brian3931 / January 14, 2013 4:05 AM PST

I have replaced the keyboard with a know good one.

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And if that didn't fix it, keep replacing parts.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 14, 2013 4:20 AM PST
In reply to: Cannot get into BIOS

Some PCs take only the maker's keyboard (some Dells) and many PCs only use the rear USB ports. This PC appears to need repairs but given the story so far I'd focus on getting the keyboard working for BIOS access since that's a very basic feature. When that fails, other things usually do as well.

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Re: Boot from CD
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 14, 2013 4:18 AM PST

It may well be the BIOS is already set to boot from CD first. It's a very common setting. So I'd try that without checking in the BIOS.

However, if the boot succeeds, and you want to do something useful, you'll need a working keyboard. So the prospects aren't so very good.

But there's the possibility that your keyboard is USB while the BIOS only sees a PS/2 keyboard (you didn't tell anything about the keyboards you used). Then using a PS/2 keyboard might solve all keyboard issues. And it could even be that Ubuntu or a Windows XP install disk come with a USB-driver for your keyboard.


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Boot from CD
by Brian3931 / January 14, 2013 8:23 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Boot from CD

I have tried startup with WindowsXP CD still just a blank screen.
I have tried both PS/2 and USB keyboards both known to work with this computer.

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Re: no boot from CD
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 14, 2013 8:51 PM PST
In reply to: Boot from CD

It starts to look like something is wrong with the motherboard. Time to start thinking about a new PC, probabky.


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no boot from CD
by Brian3931 / January 14, 2013 11:18 PM PST
In reply to: Re: no boot from CD

I tried changing the graphics card and removing both hard drives. This time it booted until it said on screen that there was no OS. I pressed DEL and got into the BIOS setup and checked all was OK.
Then I switched off, replaced the hard drives and switched on again. Now its back to nothing on screen!!!
What is happening?

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Re: boots
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 15, 2013 4:11 PM PST
In reply to: no boot from CD

Does it boot from CD without the hard disk? That's the very first step to re-install Windows? If not, still something is wrong with the hardware.


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by Brian3931 / January 15, 2013 10:02 PM PST
In reply to: Re: boots

After leaving the computer off overnight and without changing the graphics card I got the startup messages on the screen. I accessed the BIOS and set the first place to look for an OS as the CDROM.
Then restarted with the WindowsXP disc in the CDROM still with no hard drive in the system. It went through loading up and of course could not find a hard drive.
I switched off and restarted with a blank hard drive connected but this time just got a blank screen.

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Re: no boot
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 16, 2013 5:24 AM PST
In reply to: boots

For me, this means that either that hard disk or the motherboard is defective. The easy way to test the disk is in external enclosure. If it's the motherboard, it only makes sense to replace it if you can find one that accepts both your current CPU and your current RAM. If you can't find such a motherboard, it's time to start thinking about another PC.


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Problem solved
by Brian3931 / January 24, 2013 7:45 PM PST
In reply to: Re: no boot

After re-seating the processor all is now well.
So neither the motherboard or the BIOS were faulty.

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