Laptops forum

General discussion

Boot Up Issue (Very Strange)

Here is the issue: I have a Gateway Laptop that my wife uses in our house, which connects to wireless network in house. All of a sudden, after switching the wireless router, I am unable to boot the machine. Called Gateway support and their solution was to swap in a new hard drive, re-run the recovery disks (a lot of finanical info on computer that we couldn't loose), then all should be good...or so you would think.

This logic made some sense to me, I was able to turn the old hard drive into a backup using a conversion kit and was able to retrieve all old data into my machine, as well as burning a backup. Yet, after running the recovery disk (format all and reinstall like new machine), I keep getting the DOS error startup messages (Start up normall, safe mode, last good configuration, etc). Well, before I ran the recovery, I could at least get into safe mode, now I can't even do that.

Here are my thoughts on what to do to fix this machine, which isn't even 2 years old yet.

1. Get a Windows XP software package to install instead of Gateway version. I never liked how vendors turn Windows into their "own" version of XP. Then again, this may not fix the problem and you can't return used software in most cases.
2. Pull memory out and replace. Not sure if something is stuck in memory that keeps this machine from booting into Windows.
3. Bite the bullet and get a new machine??? If I take somewhere to fix, the cost could run up as high as buying a cheap laptop. My wife only uses for bills, email, and internet.

Any thoughts on how I can get this machine to boot up into Windows????

Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Boot Up Issue (Very Strange)
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Boot Up Issue (Very Strange)
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Guru style?

In reply to: Boot Up Issue (Very Strange)

I find that even guru's have a difficult time finding all the needed drivers for laptops. If you feel good about this, that is one option.

But this sounds sort of expensive compared to the cheap exit not to mention that a backup of what we can't lose could have been on some 20 buck 1G flash drive?

I don't see many questions here. Are you asking if that will work? If so, the answer is yes.


Collapse -
Response to Guru style

In reply to: Guru style?

So, of my 3 possible solutions to getting this machine to boot into Windows, you're saying any of these will work? Will removing the memory "clear" out any reference to old settings? How can a "clean" XP install overcome the Gateway XP (from recovery disk). Or, did you answer the wrong post?

Collapse -
That's a good example of what I meant by guru.

In reply to: Response to Guru style

While I could install XP onto said machine I wouldn't look forward to a day of driver hunts and windows updates. Even then I run into occasional glitches where something like a firewire or other device doesn't work.

Then we pull out the supplied OS CD, install that and chalk it up to yet another laptop without a proper driver set.

I've been there, done that and want to share that installing Windows XP is not as simple as it seems. I don't offer how to install windows in the forums since there are some thousand web sites about that. I only want you to be aware of the amount of work you are signing up for.

"Will removing the memory "clear" out any reference to old settings?"

That's an interesting question. I've never heard anyone pose that. Maybe you meant to ask something like does replacing the hard disk clear old settings? If so, yes. Some confuse hard disks with "memory" which is not well accepted. Usually when we talk of memory we mean RAM.

"How can a "clean" XP install overcome the Gateway XP (from recovery disk)."

It's known as the "CLEAN INSTALL." Or your basic windows install. There is nothing to overcome in my view here. But that doesn't give you a working machine. You still have all those drivers to hunt down.


Collapse -
Thanks Bob

In reply to: That's a good example of what I meant by guru.

I didn't think about the driver's if installing "clean" XP. I guess it has been a long time from the days of getting a PC with a Windows CD (or disks) and using that for your restore.

Basically, it looks like I have something fried with this laptop, whether it is RAM (wouldn't I see a RAM error in starup), the board, or who knows what else. All I know is that I can't boot into Windows and sit in an infinite loop until I pull the battery out of the machine to stop the instanity! The weird part is that after I install the recovery disk (did it 3 times), that after reboot after install, it gives the "Starting Windows Initiailazation" and does that for about a minute, then a quick flash (looks like the "blue screen of death")then to DOS mode stating that windows didn't shut down, pick an option, etc.

Thanks for the help, looks like I may have to start some shopping...

Collapse -
I have this exact problem

In reply to: Thanks Bob

I can't offer much help on the subject but I would love to hear a solution. I have the same problem, just out of the blue the machine will not boot. I get the same brief blue screen flash and then a restart, over and over.
I tried clearing CMOS settings which did nothing, and nothing in the bios was out of order that I could see anyway.
I even ran the short version of a hard drive test included in the Bios and passed that.
My biggest question is whether this is a problem with XP or a hardware foul-up. Anyone have a guess?

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


This one tip will help you sleep better tonight

A few seconds are all you need to get a better night's rest.