Question

XP PC stuck in reboot loop

In Jan 2018, I opened an old but working HP Media Center 7350n XP PC and used a vacuum brush to clean out a lot of the dust. Upon completion, the PC wouldn't boot to Windows and beeped continuously. I finally got around to addressing the causes and after resetting the memory and a cable, the PC now boots to the F8 screen but is stuck in a loop. Doesn't matter if you select Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Last Good Configuration, etc... the PC goes through the motions, quick blue screen, then back.

Please advise any suggestions.

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Answer
I see this has a SATA drive.
https://support.hp.com/us-en/document/c00585745

So if you plugged that SATA drive into another port, you get a boot loop.

Also if you reset the BIOS you might get a boot loop as the default might be AHCI instead or IDE Emulation. This area is lost to the ages on new folk and old. The name of the BIOS entry might be something else.

If push comes to shove, just install some 120GB or smaller HDD and install XP while you still can or just move to a nice Linux.
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Message received

but not understood. Should I unplug/replug something? The drive, perhaps?

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The quick answer.

Only you know your PC. So while I can give some guidance to possible causes if folk are just using PCs and are not into repair then the advice is not helpful and the next stop is a service counter.

Here such a PC is never taken in as we can replace it for less than the 150 dollar minimum service charge at the counter.

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Response 1

Yes. I don't have the money to spare. But, it has a lot of documents on drive so I can wait till I have the money to have a tech look at it. I just thought I could give it a shade PC technician try

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So what SATA port should the HDD be connected to?

In thousands of machines the boot drive goes to the lowest numbered SATA port.

The BIOS should be defaults and depending on the model you had to set the SATA to IDE EMULATION since XP didn't have native SATA support. This PC has a SATA drive so these do BSOD or boot loop when that setting is not correct for the machine.

In a shop setting we check the SATA port selection and try the BIOS one then the other way.

As to files, we put in some Linux boot CD/DVD/USB and let the owner get the files out. No learning Linux. Example: http://tips.oncomputers.info/archives2004/0401/2004-Jan-11.htm

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very good point

I'd almost forgotten that for XP

"you had to set the SATA to IDE EMULATION since XP didn't have native SATA support."

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You mentioned plugging a cable back in.

My note above gave reasons for boot looping if the cable was in the wrong SATA port on the motherboard.

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Update 1

Thank you. I tried that. Long story short.
Still in loop.

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Only thing to do.

Slip in a blank drive and use the restore media or your last backups. If that boot loops then it's some other hardware issue.

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PS. Example Groupon bundle.
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do you have a windows install disc?

Can you boot to that? If so, you could run the windows repair software on it.

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Update 2

I hastily shot this video to give a better idea of the problem. No success of getting the PC to pause on the blue screen. https://youtu.be/lPjH1_GdEBY

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