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XP boot loop

by agavegrove / July 6, 2010 4:55 AM PDT

AMD Processor. Windows XP. Not sure about the other specifics. I'm at work and can't check.

I go to boot up the computer. It has me select whether to pick SM, last known good start, SM with network, and regular start up. No matter what I pick it goes to the Windows XP load screen (with the blue crawler at under the logo). From there it briefly flashes a blue screen - I can't see the error message. Then the process repeats. F10, F12, F8 nothing works. I tried to reinstall the OS with the CD and even it locked up. I've never had that happen.

If I can just get my data off my HD I'll be happy. Anybody have any ideas?

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Sounds like a corrupt . . .
by Coryphaeus / July 6, 2010 6:24 AM PDT
In reply to: XP boot loop

Master Boot record.

If you can start with the XP CD, try to open the repair console. If you can, when you get to the DOS-like screen, type this:


hit enter and type:


It'll reboot. If no joy, do it again and type:


accept any warnings and type exit, it'll reboot.

If no joy your only alternative is to put the drive into and external USB-2 case and connect to another PC for data retrieval.

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thanks for the responses
by agavegrove / July 6, 2010 11:28 AM PDT

How do I check for overheating? My wife has the same machine in the same room that isn't having the problem, FWIW.

I don't have an actual XP CD. Just the eMachines System Restore disk that came with the machine. That's the disk I originally mentioned did not work.

Considering the machines are the same, wouldn't I be able to disconnect my HD and hook it up to a spare IDE port on my wife's? Then I could extract my stuff.

Provided I can salvage my data, I'm guessing the ultimate solution would be a new HD?

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swap drives
by brlarson / July 6, 2010 12:05 PM PDT

if you have two identical computers you can switch the hard drives and see what happens. if the issue stays than it is a bad drive if not it is hard where.
but yes you can use the other one to extract the data then just use the restore disk to reinstall the OS. A new HD might be a good idea, but just reformatting it might work (not a great option but can work).

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You could certainly connect the drive to another machine
by Steven Haninger / July 6, 2010 6:54 PM PDT

in that manner. In fact, if you could download the HD manufacturer's diagnostics utility, you could check the drive for failures. That you said you attempted a restore of the system from a CD and got the same error is what leads me to believe you have a hardware issue. It would be nice to know the message you were seeing, however. It sounds as if Windows at least tries to load. To do this, it needs to read from the drive and load stuff into memory. If it cannot read from the drive or tries to load anything into bad memory, fatal errors can occur. Memory is very easy to test with the right utility. I'd definitely do that before disassembling the machine.

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Getting your data back
by Steven Haninger / July 6, 2010 6:25 AM PDT
In reply to: XP boot loop

Try connecting it to another machine via a USB enclosure. As for your problem, it does sound like a hardware error. I'd first download memtest86 and check your RAM. This boots from a CD or floppy. If it won't boot and run, some other hardware issue exists. It could even be simple overheating but you didn't mention checking into that.

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no dice
by agavegrove / July 8, 2010 12:58 PM PDT
In reply to: XP boot loop

Put my HD on the extra HD slot in my wife's computer (identical system). When my HD was attached when I booted then Windows didn't boot at all. After the Windows XP logo with blue crawler the screen went black. No error messages. I disconnect my HD and rebooted. Everything was fine and here I sit typing. Reconnected my HD but her computer doesn't find the new hardware; it doesn't show up in My Computer either. My next step is get a HD dock. I'm running out of options here

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dead HD
by brlarson / July 8, 2010 1:39 PM PDT
In reply to: no dice

If you have it hooked up right (internal should be just fine), and Windows does not see it then I think your hard drive is dead. I think that XP sees it on boot up and can not read it, that is why it will not boot (I have this issue with a dead drive of mine, or drive larger that 1TB).

you could get an external enclosure but I doubt if that would help much if an interal slot will not read it (double check that the pins are set up for "slave" not "master" that might cause an issue).


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by agavegrove / July 8, 2010 11:18 PM PDT
In reply to: dead HD

I don't recall seeing pins for slave or master. It's a SATA drive.
So even if the HD is in a dock Windows won't see it as a separate storage device?

Is there a way to get the data off of the drive any other way?

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it should
by brlarson / July 9, 2010 2:03 AM PDT
In reply to: &^%$

XP should see the drive, but if the drive has failed (stopped spinning), it might or might not see it (and if it did you would not be able to get any data off it).

I hope you regularly backed up your data because it sounds like your drive is dead. (you only loose what you do not back up)


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