Windows XP desktop not booting up correctly

  deuce22 16:36 09 Apr 2013


I have recently borrowed my mother in laws desktop PC because I have a Macbook and there are a few things that I need a Windows PC for.

It was working fine on the first day, but will now not boot up correctly. It keeps going to the page with safe mode on. If I don't press anything it just keeps restarting. I have also tried every other option and it always goes back to the start.

She does not have a Windows disk, so I can't use that. I want to remove everything off the computer anyway, so don't mind if there's a way of sorting this out, but deleting everything.


  lotvic 17:27 09 Apr 2013

"If I don't press anything it just keeps restarting" Could be a loose cable connection or the ram sticks, graphic card etc working loose. Take side off and reseat everything (remove and put back) and you might as well clean out the dust and fluff that accumulates.

Once you've got it booting okay - If you tell us the make and model of the pc it may be that there is a 'Restore to factory fresh' option and/or an option to make your own dvds to reinstall. Have a look in: Rightclick My Computer, Manage, Disk Management, and see if there is a restore partition still there (it might have got deleted sometime in the past).

Also look in Windows Explorer at the C: drive for a folder called i386 as that is XP and can be used as well (with a bit of tweaking)

Let us know which or any of the above you have.

  woodchip 17:46 09 Apr 2013

if you can get to safe mode, do a system restore to a earlier date

  deuce22 18:29 09 Apr 2013

Thanks for the replies.

I had already taken the side off, cleaned the dust and checked all the connections.

When through it all again and it's still the same.

The only option that takes me to a different option is Last known good configuration.

It says "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\system\config\SYSTEM

All the other option just go back to restart.

I have noticed a blue screen with writing on flash up for a fraction of a second, but it doesn't do it every time.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:45 09 Apr 2013

OK you are going to need a disk to boot the machine with either Beg borrow or steal a XP CD or download and burn a live Linux CD that will allow you to access the windows files on the PC.

You will need to

rename the c:\windows\system32\config\system to system.old

rename system.alt to systemalt.old (in the same folder)

then copy the system file from the folder c:\windows\repair\regbak to c:\windows\system32\config\

or use the XP CD to do a repair install

  deuce22 19:07 09 Apr 2013

Hi Fruit Bat.

No one I know is going to have an XP disk.

I've looked on Ebay and they have a few different types of discs. Does it have to be the original operating system?

They have recovery disks for £1.99, DELL Optiplex, Inspiron, Windows XP Professional 32-bit ReInstallation CD SP3 for £6.50.

Or a Microsoft Windows XP Home with SP2 / SP3 + CoA License Key Full Install Version for £17.99

Which one would I need? Are these genuine disks?

Would it be cheaper taking it to a repair shop?


  finerty 19:38 09 Apr 2013

a Microsoft Windows XP Home with SP2 / SP3 + CoA License Key Full Install Version for £17.99

but wait is there a sticker with the windows xp key on the computer. if not make sure the a Microsoft Windows XP Home with SP2 / SP3 + CoA License Key Full Install Version for £17.99 comes with a stciker or a product number.

  finerty 19:42 09 Apr 2013

again what brand is the computer, the reason im asking is becsue some conputers come with their own drivers disc and some don't. The drivers are software that are instlled on the machine afer installing xp. The rrivers help with sound, how fast the mchine runs etc.

  finerty 19:47 09 Apr 2013

i remebr my computer went through soemthing your machine is going throgh something to do with orphaned files and messed up machine. However i had Acronis which i used b4 and made a backup on a external drive an exact copy of xp home which i managed to reinstall using acronis. But we do not need to know make and model number as this will help other to bring in their expertise over the situation.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 19:51 09 Apr 2013

No one I know is going to have an XP disk.

Then download and burn a linux CD (they are free)

  deuce22 20:00 09 Apr 2013

Hi finerty.

The computer is a Packard Bell UTOW.

There are 3 stickers on the front, one which says designed for Microsoft Windows XP, but no serial number.

Hi Fruit Bat

I would much prefer to do whatever is the cheapest as I'll only be using this computer for a few things (ones that I can't use the Macbook for).

Is it easy enough to do and can I use my Mac to do everything.


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