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HP PC with XP Media Center Won't Boot

by oldieguy / March 12, 2009 11:30 AM PDT

This pc worked ok when i turned it off this morning. It is connected to my big screen tv for a monitor via s-video. When i came home this evening i did not know my wife had cleaned and the s-video cable was unplugged. As i had no desktop i assumed there was some other problem and because i could not see the screen i opted to shut pc down with on-off switch on the power supply. I have done this 2 or 3 times in the past [turning it off this way for various reasons] with no adverse results. I found the s-video was unplugged so reattached it and turned the pc on. The screen looked normal but a blue screen shows abruptly and cannot read any info on it. Then the pc tries to reboot on it's own and comes to a black screen with startup options. The safe mode does not work nor the last good config. Can i use the restore feature without overwriting my files. I have thousands on the hd and don't want to lose them. Can i use the reinstall discs and do a repair without wiping the drive clean? You guys seem to always have the answers [tho not the ones we hope for]. Any help greatley appreciated.

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by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 13, 2009 8:21 AM PDT

The article above explains how to use System Restore from "Safe Mode with a Command Prompt" The problem is, you still need to login to an Administrator account.

If that doesn't work, then a Repair Install will not wipe the disk and should preserve all your documents and other personal files, but that is not guaranteed. You may need to re-install any software. How to perform a repair install.

Sadly it seems you have not made backups of those fies you don't want to lose. There are ways to extract those files. Some options there;

1] If you have an external hard drive, use a Linux Live CD, (Knoppix Live CD may be easiest), to boot up. This can explore your hard drive and allow you to copy those files across to the external drive.

2] If you have a bootable CD ROM and a 2nd CD/DVD R/RW drive, you can do the same as above and burn the files to CD/DVD.

3] Disconnect the C drive and re-connect it as a slave in a working Windows system, and extract the files.

4] As above, but enclose that C drive into an empty USB enclosure, connect to a working machine and extract the files.

5] Add another drive to your system, install XP, and connect the unaccessible drive as a slave or a USB.

Good luck.

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by oldieguy / March 13, 2009 9:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Possibly

The HP is SATA and my other desktop is IDE. likewise my usb housings are all IDE. You gave me good advice and i will probably opt for a new SATA drive and install OS in it and use old drive for storage.

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