HELP - computer won't reboot after software update

  PC_HelpMe 09:35 25 Oct 2009
Locked

Hi all,

Just a bit of background for you.

1. System is Windows XP.
2. Installed a number of software updates last night (35 in total).
3. Attached an external HDD (from our dvd recorder) to computer to access some recorded stuff (dvd player broke some time ago) which I was able to access and view with no problems.

OK, so here's what has happened this morning. Having left the computer on overnight to install all the updates, this morning it asked me to restart the computer for all the updates to install properly. I therefore selected to restart the computer (but the HDD was still attached using the USB2 lead that came with it).

My computer now won't load up. All that comes up is a black screen saying that Windows could not load up properly due to some new software or hardware that has been added and asking me to select the usual options: Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Safe Mode with Commands, or to just restart Windows normally. NONE of these work and it just takes me back to the black screen asking me to select one of the above.

One thing I did notice, was at the bottom of the screen it says "Boot from CD" but I don't know if I can override this part and just get it to boot from the main computer. Is there something I can press at this point?

If not, I have also put in the original Windows XP cd that came with the computer so that the computer tries to boot from that instead. It then gives me 3 options. 1) to install Windows XP which I am tempted to do but am worried it will wipe EVERYTHING (ie; all my work etc from the current setup) 2) to start a recovery and restore procedure which I HAVE tried but it asks me to enter an administrator password. Being the only administrator on the computer I do not recall actually ever setting up an actual password and if I had, it would only be one of three different words - none of which the computer is recognising. The computer only allows me 3 attempts before trying to restart the computer as normal so this option isn't working either, and 3) it just asks if you want to exit that screen and try to boot the computer up - again, this does not work because the computer can't reboot.

Is there ANYTHING I can do to bypass it trying to boot from the CD and get it to just boot up as normal, or if I try and re-install Windows XP from the CD, will it wipe everything I already have on the computer?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:33 25 Oct 2009

First switch off and remove any usb devices that are plugged in and see if it will boot.

  PC_HelpMe 11:17 25 Oct 2009

Hi Fruit Bat.

Have just tried your suggestion, but same black screen keeps coming up :-(

  GERS434 12:21 25 Oct 2009

If you have access to another PC you could try installing your hard disk on it as a slave drive and copy your data that you need across to its "C" drive before attempting a repair.
I would go ahead and do the XP repair and if it finds a version of XP on your system that is repairable, then it should leave your data intact. I have followed this procedure in the past and it worked fine. Only thing is you'll then be faced with installing all the Windows Updates. Depending on when you purchased XP, your installation disk will be at a low level, probably with only Service Pack 1. I would do the repair and then download SP3.This would put the majority of updates in and then I would selectively install the rest. And make sure the USB connection is removed as Fruit Bat suggests.
This is what I followed:-
click here
Make sure you follow the procedure from the heading:- "Windows Installation CD- Repair Current Installation" and NOT the Automated System Recovery which precedes it.
Since most purchased PC's have the operating system installed by cloning the image to the hard disk, you'll probably find that the admistrators password is "empty" or blanks. When you do a manual install, there is a point in the procedure where it asks you to enter a password for the account. PC manufacturers don't have the time to individually install operating systems so that is why they clone them.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:01 25 Oct 2009

Screen can stay black for quite awhile after installing updates especially as you have installed so many.

I would be tempted to reboot it and just go away for half an hour then seen if its finished configuring updates and booted into windows.

On the boot after that it should boot to windows quite quickly i.e. normal time to boot.

  PC_HelpMe 13:31 25 Oct 2009

Thanks for the info guys. I only seem to have the Restore CD which gives me the options I have listed above. Is this the CD that you are asking me to do the "XP repair" with? As I need the administrator password, are you saying that I should try and physically enter the word "empty" in or literally press enter when it asks for a password (ie; leaving it blank)? I have already tried to leave the password blank but without any success.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:58 25 Oct 2009

just leave it blank and press enter.

  David4637 14:03 25 Oct 2009

THINK ABOUT USING ACRONIS IN THE FUTURE. You then would not have this prob. David

  PC_HelpMe 14:42 25 Oct 2009

Thanks everyone - but thanks especially to GERS434 for the link you provided - it explained all the different repair options - and I was able to select one to "install (and subsequently repair) Windows XP" without it removing any of our files. Many thanks once again to you all for your time.

PS. What is "Acronis" as it might be worth looking into?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:05 25 Oct 2009

Acronis imaging software to backup your machine tranfer to a new harddrive or just reinstall after a crash approx 20 mins to reinstall much faster than reinstaling windows.

click here

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