Old computer goes into loop at starup

  griffon56 15:03 27 Sep 2012

I wonder if anyone can help? An old Duron 950 with 512MB RAM running WinXP SP3 was dragged out of retirement and started once normally. However, on re-starting it did not get beyond the WinXP loading screen with its moving progress bar, which lasted about 20 secs. Then after about 30 secs of black screen the Welcome screen flashed on briefly before returning, after another 30 secs of black screen, to the POST and BIOS displays and repeating the startup process as far as the WinXP loading screen again.

It then went round this loop over and over again. Any ideas?

  KRONOS the First 15:07 27 Sep 2012

As you have not used this PC for a while then adding a bit more RAM and a clean install of XP will work wonders.

  griffon56 17:24 27 Sep 2012

Yes, it probably would Chronus, if I could only get it started. That's the problem and I wouldn't think increasing the RAM would cure it. I need to get it out of the loop it goes into when the start button is pressed. Previously it worked faultlessly, I never had any problems when it was my main machine over 4 years ago. It has also started OK at odd times in that 4 years and hasn't been touched or modified in that time. It ought to work OK. As you will have seen, it did start OK earlier today, it was from the second startup that things went wrong. Any other ideas?

  KRONOS the First 17:39 27 Sep 2012

Try a repair install of XP perhaps? Or try system restore from safe mode.

  woodchip 17:41 27 Sep 2012

The Hard Drive may be Frozen, they do this if not used for some time. You could try removing the drive the flicking the drive edge to edge like starting a old clockwork watch to get it going. if not try F8 as its starting then last known good configuration

  lotvic 18:25 27 Sep 2012

In BIOS alter the setting for 'Halt on All Errors' then it should display error message instead of trying to reboot each time.

  Strawballs 23:23 27 Sep 2012

Sounds like a corrupt boot sector

  Diemmess 11:21 28 Sep 2012

I would follow lotvic's solution for starters (alter in the BIOS to halt on all errors)

This is non-destructive and may give a hint from the message which will appear on screen. Don't count on its accuracy or relevance, but has to be worth a try.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:26 28 Sep 2012

If its crashing back to BIOS on start then could be several things.

Try and start in safemode first by tapping F8 at boot and selecting safemode from the menu.

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