PC not starting up

  tenbapps 17:54 08 Jul 2007

My parents PC, an Evesham is not starting up. I don't know anything about what hardware is in it other than it is a Pentium 4 3.2 and it has an MSI motherboard.

The pc was working fine on Friday, I installed a Netgear wireless router for them which worked fine. Then on Friday night the computer hung. Nothing would work, not even the 3 fingered salute (control+alt+delete), so they pressed the reset button.

It started to boot but got the screen that explains that the pc wasn't shut down properly last time it was used and gives you options to start in safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt, start windows normally, or revert to previously know good configuration.

Not knowing what this means they haven't attempted anything. I came over to their house today to try and get it working.

No matter what option you choose from that screen the pc does the same thing:
resets itself and then presents the same screen of options. It will do this ad infinitum.

Pressing F10 while it boots gives me a screen that says press dell to enter set up, F11 for boot menu, but it also says something underneath it:
Starting flash recovery, press y to start and n to exit.

Pressing dell or F11 has no response at all, but pressing y to start Flash Recovery does make the pc do something. It sounds like the hard drive is spinning, but it doesn't actually get anywhere. I let it do that for half an hour before I stopped it.

Pressing F8 upon start up gives me the Windows
Advanced Options menu. On this menu I have:
safe mode
safe mode with networking
safe mode with command prompt

enable boot logging
enable vga mode
Last known good configuration
Directory Serivices Restore Mode
Debugging Mode
disable automatic restart on system failure
Start windows normally
Return to OS Choices Menu

Choosing safe mode only leads to the system resetting itself to the safe mode option screen.

Is there any of the choices Advanced Options Menu I could try.

I'll be honest, all this is a little above my knowledge. If it would just start in any mode, I think that perhaps removing the Netgear software would stop it from failing.

Or does this sound like something far more serious? I'm confident that if I could just get it to load windows I'll be able to sort it out. I'm just wary of messing with the BIOS and other such systems.

Any help would be much appreciated. I've used this helproom in the past to great success, so I'm hoping for help again!

  VoG II 17:58 08 Jul 2007


safe mode with command prompt

then when the > prompt appears type


and press the Enter key. This should launch System Restore and allow you to go back to when all was well.

  tenbapps 18:01 08 Jul 2007

the prompt doesn't appear, it doesn't get that far before it resets.

  daxian 18:12 08 Jul 2007

hi tenbapps...
the only way i can think of to get you out of this dilema is to boot from a windows disk ....as its a dell, this may not be possible...
did the pc come with a windows disk or did you make a set of disks when you first got the machine????
if you have access to a windows disk then booting from that and using the repair console to fix the mbr
will probably get you going again .....Dave

  tenbapps 18:38 08 Jul 2007

Thanks for you quick replys.

I do have access to a windows xp home cd, my own copy, my parents have been a bit rubbish and don't know where theirs is. No recovery discs were made.

I tried putting my cd rom in the drive, it makes no difference.

If I try to start it in safe mode, I get a list of code scrolling down the screen. This list stops and resets at this line in the code:


This is exactly as it appears. Does this give anybody any clues?

  VoG II 18:46 08 Jul 2007

To boot from the CD drive click here

You can then attempt a repair using your Windows CD click here using their Product Key when prompted.

  skidzy 18:47 08 Jul 2007

BartPe may help you out here click here

Ive never had to use this and someone with experience of the program maybe able to help further.I do know from recommendations this is an excellent piece of software.

click here may offer more help.
If this program lets you remove any corrupt drivers from device manager,this maybe the cure.

Sorry thats about it from me.

  skidzy 18:57 08 Jul 2007

If you cannot boot from the xp cd,you may need to change the bios boot order to boot from cd to carry out a repair.

If still no joy:

Just a shot in the dark here:
I maybe corrected.

Without knowing your motherboard details,try removing the graphics card (if one installed) and im hoping you have onboard graphics.
This should revert to the onboard graphics and may let the system boot correctly.

Like ive said,its a shot in the dark and i may well be right off track.
As your help is limited at the moment untill others come online,this is my first choice and what i would try.

You can always reinsert the graphics card if no joy.

  tonyq 19:11 08 Jul 2007

I have had the same problem on 06/06/07,to cure the problem (I hope),I booted up in Safe Mode used System Restore to revert to an earlier time which as it happens was a Windows Update everything seems to be back to normal.The problem may stem from the Windows Update but not sure.

  tenbapps 19:56 08 Jul 2007

Cheers tonyq, but I can't even get that far! It won't boot to windows in any way shape or form. I can't get to anywhere where I can use a sysem restore.

Will try removing the graphics card. That had occured to me to try, so I'll give it a go.

  tenbapps 20:05 08 Jul 2007

Thanks for your suggestions.

I did the BIOS changes like you said and I did get a different screen! It said press any key to boot from cd.

So I pressed a key and it went straight to the safe mode options screen. Booting from cd did not work.

As for the BartPe, it seems that you need to be in Windows to create one of these disks. As I can't get to windows, I can't create it. Even if I could, as it won't boot from a cd, I don't think it will work anyway.

This is looking like a major problem isn't it? I'm coming to the conclusion that it'll have to go to a shop!

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