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Having boot up problems

Hi,

I have a Dell Dimension 8200 Pentium 4 with Windows XP Professional. I am having problems with bootup. Everything was working fine until one day I re-booted the computer, and after the initial Dell startup screen came up, there was a blank screen with blinking cursor on the upper left. This screen comes up within 5-10 seconds of power on, so Windows never even comes close to starting. The system then hangs right there. I can't exactly pinpoint what may have caused it... I do know that I installed a Windows Update application, but I had installed something else which I can't remember exactly.

Unfortunately, I never enabled System Restore, so I don't even have the option to go back to the last known good configuration. I tried using the Windows XP CD to go into System Recovery, but I couldn't use it because it asked for an Administrator password, but I didn't know what it was. So, I downloaded the Recovery floppy disks from Microsoft, and I was finally able to get into System Recovery. I tried a chkdsk, and it said the hard drive was fine. I can navigate through the hard drive in DOS without problems through System Recovery.

Another problem is that when I boot up and try to hit F8 to go into Safe Mode, it never goes to safe mode. It never even gives me the option to go into Safe Mode. The only choices I get on the Dell bootup screen is F2=Setup and F12=Boot Menu (this option asks me if I want to boot normally, from a floppy, from a CD, or from a hard drive - none of these work, and there is no option for Safe Mode)

What other options do I have here short of re-installing Windows? I saw that there is an option to fix the master boot record, but I see all the warnings about losing files or ruining the hard drive, and I get apprehensive about doing that.

Please help! Thanks.

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Re: Having boot up problems

In reply to: Having boot up problems

You have a brand name PC. What is their Tech Support saying about this non bootable problem ? As far as I know, their warranty applies for hardware problems and limited for software problems. That's why I see here since years guys who bought brand name PCs and are looking for help in freeware Forums.

This being said, yours could be interpreted in the hardware-software border, so it worth a try to your preferred manufacturer. However, in my experience brand tech supports are weak, so don't expect that they'd provide some insightful resolution procedures. Probable their standard answer to use Restore CDs.


Now, those warnings in fixmbr are standard messages. If you're afraid to try it, run fixboot and bootcfg /rebuild under command prompt after diskettes boot.


Good Luck,

Cetin


Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,


T. S. Eliot

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Re: Having boot up problems

In reply to: Having boot up problems

What do you get when you hit F8 while booting up ?
(you have to hit and hold - hit and hold every second until you get the menu. F2 is the system setup, F12 is the Dell Dimension 8200 boot menu, so it does not give you the Safe Mode option. F8 gives the Windows boot menu, which give you various boot methods, including various Safe Mode options, and also booting to Last Good Configuration, which is different from System Restore. Did Dell provide a Recovery Disc ?

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Re: Having boot up problems

In reply to: Re: Having boot up problems

When I try and hit the F8 key, absolutely nothing happens, it keeps trying to boot and then hangs at the blank screen with the blicking cursor. When I hit F2 or F12 however, it goes to the appropriate screen. Any other suggestions? Dell did not provide a Recovery Disc, only a Windows installation disk that has the Recovery Console on it.

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Re: Having boot up problems

In reply to: Re: Having boot up problems

I had problems getting into the safe mode using a USB keyboard. Try using a a keyboard that plugs into the PS/2 connection and see if that works.

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