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Help needed to repair bios/xp installation

Hi all,

Apologies if this has been answered elsewhere but my very limited access to internet (hence to potential solutions) and the fact that the problem machine is remote, means that I am trying to cover as many bases as possible in one set of questions.

I have had windows XP Pro installed, updated and running fine until about a week ago. I was away from home for about a week and left the machine plugged into the mains but powered down. When I returned home to boot up, it kept doing things like constantly hanging on parts of the bios POST screen, eventually booting up after thirty or so complete restarts. It finally booted into windows but after the last shutting down, it will now not boot up at all. I have replaced the bios battery and reset the bios (several times).

The machine exhibits odd symptoms. It will now go through initial POST and get to the first of the Windows XP loading screens - the one with the scrolling progress bar - but then it hangs slightly, screen goes blank, and it reboots itself.

I have tried various different bios settings, including disabling PnP, enabling/disabling ACPI etc but to no avail. The machine will always stop and reboot before fully loading windows.

If I try to use safe mode - same thing happens - and it goes most of the way through loading the list of drivers etc. before it reboots itself.

I can load the Winxp cd and it will get me through to the blue screen with options for the recovery console (so that I can run some commands), or even repair install windows, but whichever key I touch (press enter, or hit 'R') causes the machine to instantly reboot.

I am about to burn an ISO image to CD to boot up with a bios flash utility and updated bios, hoping this will solve the problems, but does anyone else have any suggestions as to things that could be causing me problems, so that I can download tools and prepare CDs etc while I have internet acess?

Since I can't boot into windows, I cannot create a bootable floppy, and since three other windows machines I have access to do not have floppy drives, it would appear I'm a bit limited in choice of tools.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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Collapse -
(NT) Sounds Like The Power Supply.. Replaced It Yet?

In reply to: Help needed to repair bios/xp installation

Collapse -
Power supply?

In reply to: Sounds Like The Power Supply.. Replaced It Yet?


Thanks for the suggestion. Would a faulty power supply provide the symptoms described?

Obviously I'm keen to fix the computer but with a tight budget, I need to be careful in my choices.


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Only A Couple Of Possibilites I See ..

In reply to: Power supply?

One.. the power supply is dodgy and is glitching every time you put stress on it...

Two.. the hard drive has failed and won't let you reinstall Windows because it fails to accept data.

Or Three... which is the motherboard has gone bad with swollen or leaking capacitors and it also won't function when any power or stress is put to it..

Your choice where to go from here but usually the power supply is the cheapest..

Hope this helps.


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time for a new computer

In reply to: Only A Couple Of Possibilites I See ..


Thanks Grif - good food for thought, and with the 'typical' power supply problems of small villages in France (ie every time the wind blows, the lights flicker) the idea that something electronic has failed after repeated environmental stress, makes sense to me.

In the circumstances - because the computer is by now something of a rag-tag of bits and upgrades etc. I think I'd be better off just having the data extracted from the hard drive and start again with a new machine. It was never very high spec and I don't need anything really fancy. By the time I've tried buying a PSU, then a Mobo, and then maybe discovering that the disk is fried - I'd be half way to a new computer anyways.

Thanks for the helpful suggestions

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