Can't boot, even into Safe Mode


R

Rebel1

I rarely connect this Toshiba Satellite laptop to the internet, so the
likelihood of a virus or other malware is very remote. But I did this
morning and got a message that updates were available for XP Home. After
the 14 installed, it said I had to restart the computer, which I did.
Now when I try to boot, the computer completes the POST and gets to the
window with the Microsoft flag, complete with three small green bars
darting from left to right. After a few seconds it's like I pressed a
restart button and the cycle starts all over, and over, and over.

I tried starting in the Safe Mode. After seeing several dozen lines of
text with paths to drivers, I again end up at the MS flag screen, with
the green bars. After a few seconds it's again like I pressed a restart
button and everything cycles again.

I tried unplugging from the power supply, removing the battery and
letting the computer sit unpowered for about 15 minutes. Put the battery
back in; same problem.

I changed the boot sequence to try to boot from an XP CD; same problem.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

R1
 
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B

BillW50

I rarely connect this Toshiba Satellite laptop to the internet, so the
likelihood of a virus or other malware is very remote. But I did this
morning and got a message that updates were available for XP Home. After
the 14 installed, it said I had to restart the computer, which I did.
Now when I try to boot, the computer completes the POST and gets to the
window with the Microsoft flag, complete with three small green bars
darting from left to right. After a few seconds it's like I pressed a
restart button and the cycle starts all over, and over, and over.

I tried starting in the Safe Mode. After seeing several dozen lines of
text with paths to drivers, I again end up at the MS flag screen, with
the green bars. After a few seconds it's again like I pressed a restart
button and everything cycles again.

I tried unplugging from the power supply, removing the battery and
letting the computer sit unpowered for about 15 minutes. Put the battery
back in; same problem.

I changed the boot sequence to try to boot from an XP CD; same problem.

Any ideas?

Thanks,

R1

Yes, another update messed up the OS and made it unbootable. If you have
a backup copy, time to restore it. If you don't, you can try F8 (same
place where you can select safe mode when Windows first boots) and
restore to the last known configuration. Then cross your fingers and
hope that works.
 
P

philo 

Yes, another update messed up the OS and made it unbootable. If you have
a backup copy, time to restore it. If you don't, you can try F8 (same
place where you can select safe mode when Windows first boots) and
restore to the last known configuration. Then cross your fingers and
hope that works.



Or else System Restore
 
D

dadiOH

Rebel1 said:
I rarely connect this Toshiba Satellite laptop to the internet, so the
likelihood of a virus or other malware is very remote. But I did this
morning and got a message that updates were available for XP Home.
After the 14 installed, it said I had to restart the computer, which
I did. Now when I try to boot, the computer completes the POST and
gets to the window with the Microsoft flag, complete with three small
green bars darting from left to right. After a few seconds it's like
I pressed a restart button and the cycle starts all over, and over,
and over.
I tried starting in the Safe Mode. After seeing several dozen lines of
text with paths to drivers, I again end up at the MS flag screen, with
the green bars. After a few seconds it's again like I pressed a
restart button and everything cycles again.

I tried unplugging from the power supply, removing the battery and
letting the computer sit unpowered for about 15 minutes. Put the
battery back in; same problem.

I changed the boot sequence to try to boot from an XP CD; same
problem.
Any ideas?


Tried "Last Known Good Configuration"?

For booting from the XP CD, did you have the XP CD in a drive?


--

dadiOH
____________________________

Winters getting colder? Tired of the rat race?
Maybe just ready for a change? Check it out...
http://www.floridaloghouse.net
 
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G

glee

Rebel1 said:
I rarely connect this Toshiba Satellite laptop to the internet, so the
likelihood of a virus or other malware is very remote. But I did this
morning and got a message that updates were available for XP Home.
After the 14 installed, it said I had to restart the computer, which I
did. Now when I try to boot, the computer completes the POST and gets
to the window with the Microsoft flag, complete with three small green
bars darting from left to right. After a few seconds it's like I
pressed a restart button and the cycle starts all over, and over, and
over.

I tried starting in the Safe Mode. After seeing several dozen lines of
text with paths to drivers, I again end up at the MS flag screen, with
the green bars. After a few seconds it's again like I pressed a
restart button and everything cycles again.

I tried unplugging from the power supply, removing the battery and
letting the computer sit unpowered for about 15 minutes. Put the
battery back in; same problem.

I changed the boot sequence to try to boot from an XP CD; same
problem.

If you can't boot from the XP CD after changing the boot order, you may
have a damaged CD or a bad CD drive. Nothing involving Windows updates
would affect the ability to boot from the CD. Check again that you have
to boot sequence set to CD drive first, and that it is the CD drive you
are trying if you have more than one drive.

You are getting an automatic restart. Press (tap) the F8 screen before
the Windows logo appears, to get the boot menu. Instead of Safe Mode,
select the option to "Disable automatic restart on system failure".

This will probably lead to a blue screen Stop Error. If so, post back
with the details of the error on the screen.
 
R

Rebel1

If you can't boot from the XP CD after changing the boot order, you may
have a damaged CD or a bad CD drive. Nothing involving Windows updates
would affect the ability to boot from the CD. Check again that you have
to boot sequence set to CD drive first, and that it is the CD drive you
are trying if you have more than one drive.

You are getting an automatic restart. Press (tap) the F8 screen before
the Windows logo appears, to get the boot menu. Instead of Safe Mode,
select the option to "Disable automatic restart on system failure".

This will probably lead to a blue screen Stop Error. If so, post back
with the details of the error on the screen.

I wish I had read this and other suggestions a few hours ago. But I
didn't. I went to Best Buy and picked the Geek's brain. He suggested
using the Toshiba Recovery disk, but I couldn't find it or any of the
paper work that came with the laptop.

Anyway, I managed to get the laptop to recognize the CD drive, so I'm
attempting to reinstall a fresh copy of XP in the existing partition,
without reformatting the partition.

While reading various files into laptop, there were about 39 files XP
looked for, but couldn't find. So I just skipped them. I then took the
CD to my desktop computer and tried to find several of them. They don't
exist on the CD. Question: Why is the installation program looking for
files that don't exist on the CD (it's a legal Microsoft CD)?

Once I got further along with the installation, the program tried
reading five files from the i386 folder. Claimed it couldn't find them,
but when I browsed that folder all were present. All were checked as
Read Only; none were checked as Hidden. Question: why wouldn't the
program read files that were in the proper folder?

I skipped them and while the installation is continuing as I write this,
various error messages appear and I have no confidence that it will work
right or be stable. Maybe I should try installing on a reformatted c: drive.

I'm about ready to buy a replacement. This one is over six years old.
Sad part is that I so rarely use it. It's just a backup in case my main
laptop fails while I'm DJing an event. Never once has my main one
failed, but there's always a first time.

Thanks to all.

R1
 
R

Rebel1

R1 wrote:

While reading various files into laptop, there were about 39 files XP
looked for, but couldn't find. So I just skipped them. I then took the
CD to my desktop computer and tried to find several of them. They don't
exist on the CD. Question: Why is the installation program looking for
files that don't exist on the CD (it's a legal Microsoft CD)?

This laptop also has a diskette drive. Maybe those files were on
diskettes. I'm using a more recent CD for the installation, tut that
doesn't explain why a CD would be looking for file not on itself.
 
K

Ken Blake, MVP

I wish I had read this and other suggestions a few hours ago. But I
didn't. I went to Best Buy and picked the Geek's brain. He suggested
using the Toshiba Recovery disk, but I couldn't find it or any of the
paper work that came with the laptop.


Your choice entirely, but I *strongly* recommend that you avoid
picking the Geek's brain, or anyone else's from the Geek Squad or any
other big box store. These are the worst possible places to get help
or advice for any computer issues. Avoid them like the plague!

Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP
 
P

Paul

Rebel1 said:
I wish I had read this and other suggestions a few hours ago. But I
didn't. I went to Best Buy and picked the Geek's brain. He suggested
using the Toshiba Recovery disk, but I couldn't find it or any of the
paper work that came with the laptop.

Anyway, I managed to get the laptop to recognize the CD drive, so I'm
attempting to reinstall a fresh copy of XP in the existing partition,
without reformatting the partition.

While reading various files into laptop, there were about 39 files XP
looked for, but couldn't find. So I just skipped them. I then took the
CD to my desktop computer and tried to find several of them. They don't
exist on the CD. Question: Why is the installation program looking for
files that don't exist on the CD (it's a legal Microsoft CD)?

Once I got further along with the installation, the program tried
reading five files from the i386 folder. Claimed it couldn't find them,
but when I browsed that folder all were present. All were checked as
Read Only; none were checked as Hidden. Question: why wouldn't the
program read files that were in the proper folder?

I skipped them and while the installation is continuing as I write this,
various error messages appear and I have no confidence that it will work
right or be stable. Maybe I should try installing on a reformatted c:
drive.

I'm about ready to buy a replacement. This one is over six years old.
Sad part is that I so rarely use it. It's just a backup in case my main
laptop fails while I'm DJing an event. Never once has my main one
failed, but there's always a first time.

Thanks to all.

R1

I can tell you how I installed WinXP.

1) Create two FAT32 partitions. First partition is going to be the new C:
2) Copy files from CD onto D:. All you need from the CD is the
i386 folder, and the 5000+ files in there. So the hard drive
becomes the source. The purpose of the FAT32 partitions, is so
that a relatively recent version of MSDOS can read and write them.
3) Boot computer with an MSDOS floppy. On my Win98 system, I
could do "sys A:" to make an MSDOS floppy. Or, there are even
MSDOS CD compositions (that I've not really tested), that could
be used. If you wanted to test an MSDOS CD image, you could try
the one here.

http://www.infocellar.com/CD/Boot-CD.htm (link near the top)

http://www.virustotal.com <--- Upload files here, to test for viruses

Boot the floppy, and the prompt will be A:>

Change to whatever drive letter contains the i386 folder.
Let's say it is D:

D:
cd i386
winnt.exe

The first stage of install, copies i386 files to C:. MSDOS
is dog slow, and normally, you'd use the less-than-perfect
"smartdrv.exe" cache to speed up the transfer. But without
screwing around, and just letting an ordinary MSDOS floppy
do the job, the partition to partition file copy might take
an hour or so (one file a second maybe, that sort of thing).
With smartdrv running, it might take 20 minutes. I was never
able to get really decent (hardware limited) speed from it.
MSDOS sucks!

That's a way of doing an install, without the CD being read
"on the fly". All it requires, is your own ingenuity, to
find a way to get the i386 folder, to the second FAT32 partition
on the hard drive. You could use a Linux LiveCD and transfer
the files over the network. You could move the laptop drive
to a desktop and "fill it up" there.

I did my WinXP install that way, purely for fun. I read about
it, and decided to give it a try.

For some hints of no particular value, these are my MSDOS files.
This one includes an obscure CDROM driver in the fourth line.
The excluded area in EMM386.exe is due to the usage of a VIA
chipset on the motherboard at the time. The exclusion might be
removable on other systems. I had to painstakingly test that,
boot after boot, until I guessed what range to use. The
"?" on each line here, makes the floppy pause and you hit
Return for each pause to continue on. It's like a "single step"
flavor of booting.

config.sys:

DEVICE?=HIMEM.SYS /TESTMEM:OFF
;DEVICE?=EMM386.EXE /RAM
DEVICE?=EMM386.EXE NOEMS X=A000-CFFF
DEVICE?=XCDROM.SYS /D:MSCD001
FILES=20
BUFFERS=20
DOS=HIGH,UMB
STACKS=9,256

This is autoexec.bat. The first line has something to do with
CDROM drives again. I use the MSDOS floppy for more than one
purpose, which is why it has a few oddities in it. The smartdrv
line, is the one that improves copy performance for this job.
But if you just use a regular MSDOS floppy, start the copy and
walk away, it'll probably be finished in a couple hours.

autoexec.bat:

mscdex /D:MSCD001 /L:R
pause
a:\smartdrv.exe /V 32768 32768 /E:32768

Anyway, I wasted the whole day playing around with that.
And even though copying without smartdrv sucks, you
can probably use a much simpler MSDOS floppy and get the
job done.

So now all you have to figure out, is how to get the
files off the CD.

There are programs which will scan a CD and report the
raw error rate. That's one way to evaluate an optical drive,
if you suspect it's going bad. In this case, you can pull
the hard drive from the laptop, use an adapter cable, connect
it to a desktop computer, and prep the partitions you want
on it (two FAT32, big partition first).

Paul
 
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P

Paul in Houston TX

Rebel1 said:
I wish I had read this and other suggestions a few hours ago. But I
didn't. I went to Best Buy and picked the Geek's brain. He suggested
using the Toshiba Recovery disk, but I couldn't find it or any of the
paper work that came with the laptop.

Anyway, I managed to get the laptop to recognize the CD drive, so I'm
attempting to reinstall a fresh copy of XP in the existing partition,
without reformatting the partition.

While reading various files into laptop, there were about 39 files XP
looked for, but couldn't find. So I just skipped them. I then took the
CD to my desktop computer and tried to find several of them. They don't
exist on the CD. Question: Why is the installation program looking for
files that don't exist on the CD (it's a legal Microsoft CD)?

Once I got further along with the installation, the program tried
reading five files from the i386 folder. Claimed it couldn't find them,
but when I browsed that folder all were present. All were checked as
Read Only; none were checked as Hidden. Question: why wouldn't the
program read files that were in the proper folder?

I skipped them and while the installation is continuing as I write this,
various error messages appear and I have no confidence that it will work
right or be stable. Maybe I should try installing on a reformatted c:
drive.

I'm about ready to buy a replacement. This one is over six years old.
Sad part is that I so rarely use it. It's just a backup in case my main
laptop fails while I'm DJing an event. Never once has my main one
failed, but there's always a first time.

Thanks to all.

R1

Perhaps your previous install had downloaded updates?
The older CD might not have recognized the newer files.
 
P

Paul

J. P. Gilliver (John) said:
2) Copy files from CD onto D:. All you need from the CD is the
i386 folder, and the 5000+ files in there. So the hard drive
becomes the source. The purpose of the FAT32 partitions, is so
that a relatively recent version of MSDOS can read and write them.
[]
So that's like the (IIRR) "CAB" directory which was all you needed for W9x?[/QUOTE]

I think it even includes a couple CABs. But it's not as "CAB centric"
as what you're referring to. I seem to remember seeing a pile of CABs
like you describe, while working on my first PC (Win98). [I was late
to PCs, and used Mac before that, as we had Mac at work, as well as Unix,
and by taking Mac software home, it was natural to end up buying a Mac.
I used to do the equivalent of desktop publishing chores with the home
Mac at the time.]

The files in i386 are compressed, and the filenames end with the
underscore character "_". On extraction, the underscore is replaced
by the real letter. This is *very annoying* if you have the i386 folder
and want to look at the files with a hex editor. It means extracting each one,
before you can feed it to your hex editor for a look.

I still keep my installer CD, stored on the D: drive, and that is handy
if there is ever a reason to run sfc /scannow at some future time. (There
are two registry settings you can edit, so sfc runs properly against my D:.)
So as well as being able to do an install using an MSDOS floppy, you can
use it to fix bad files.

The installer CD is still useful though, when you want to do "fixboot" or
"fixmbr", and need to boot into the command prompt. With the installer
CD in hand, if you have a repair task to do and the PC is dead, it's
something to start with for a look around.

Paul
 
R

Rebel1

Your choice entirely, but I *strongly* recommend that you avoid
picking the Geek's brain, or anyone else's from the Geek Squad or any
other big box store. These are the worst possible places to get help
or advice for any computer issues. Avoid them like the plague!

Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP

That may be, but the Geek put one of his CDs into the laptop and was
able to get to the computer to read it. I had previously tried getting
the computer to boot from the CD drive and couldn't. His success gave me
to confidence to try again at home. That's how I was able to reinstall XP.

Also, I hadn't thought about the Toshiba Recovery disk. So in this case,
he was helpful.
 
R

Rebel1

Could be looking for files that are inside a .zip (or other, possibly
proprietary as it's MS - .cab for example) package.

That could be. Most of the files names ended in dll or sys. There were
three ending in exe and two in icm.
 
R

Rebel1

Paul,

I really appreciate your detailed post.

Despite being unable to do a really clean reinstall, I managed to get to
the point that the laptop will serve as a backup computer tonight when I
do a DJing gig. All my non-Microsoft programs work okay (after
reinstalling) and my collection of 3600+ mp3 songs is intact. In a week
or two, I will buy a replacement.

The only programs that don't work are MS ones, in particular Office.
Word and Access try opening, but give error messages. (I don't use Excel
in this computer.) I can't do a fresh reinstall of Office, no doubt
because of some of those missing five files from the i386 folder on the
XP CD that the computer refused to read.

Thanks, again.


R1
 
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R

Rebel1

Perhaps your previous install had downloaded updates?
The older CD might not have recognized the newer files.

My latest 14 updates were installed just yesterday. (My problems started
when I restarted when prompted to do so.) So I don't see how an older XP
CD could be looking for newer files.
 
D

dadiOH

Rebel1 said:
My latest 14 updates were installed just yesterday. (My problems
started when I restarted when prompted to do so.) So I don't see how
an older XP CD could be looking for newer files.

Not looking for newer files, just recognizing that what was there was newer
than on the CD and not overwriting the newer ones.

MS updates = recipe for disaster

--

dadiOH
____________________________

Winters getting colder? Tired of the rat race?
Maybe just ready for a change? Check it out...
http://www.floridaloghouse.net
 
G

glee

dadiOH said:
Not looking for newer files, just recognizing that what was there was
newer than on the CD and not overwriting the newer ones.

MS updates = recipe for disaster

Not really.... it's usually some other issue on a system that causes
problems. Updates often get blamed when they are not the real cause.
 
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K

Ken Blake, MVP

That may be, but the Geek put one of his CDs into the laptop and was
able to get to the computer to read it. I had previously tried getting
the computer to boot from the CD drive and couldn't. His success gave me
to confidence to try again at home. That's how I was able to reinstall XP.

Also, I hadn't thought about the Toshiba Recovery disk. So in this case,
he was helpful.


Glad to hear that he was helpful, but if that was the case you were
lucky. It would be foolhardy to assume that they will always be
helpful.
Ken Blake, Microsoft MVP
 

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