HELP!!! Computer will not boot into Windows!


M

MS

One of my computers (running XP Pro SP3) will not boot into Windows! I have
no idea what caused this!

It starts up, goes through the first part of the boot process, but will not
boot into Windows, other than safe mode. When it gets to a certain point, it
always reboots and starts over, never loading Windows at all. I've gone into
the BIOS setup utility (Thinkpad R60), but cannot find anything to fix it
there.

I can boot into safe (regular, with networking, or command prompt) mode, but
not into regular mode.

While in safe mode I did a "System Restore", back to a restore point when
the system was functioning.

Yet still, it does not boot, other than safe mode. So--if the problem had to
do with registry, services, drivers, etc., one would think that it would be
fixed by a system restore to a time the system booted fine.

While booted in safe mode, I tried the following also--I went to msconfig,
and chose diagnostic startup, which is supposed to startup without loading
drivers and services. I rebooted, and again it would not boot into Windows,
unless I chose safe mode.

What other diagnostic steps can I take? What else should I try from safe
mode, to get it to boot in normal mode again?

Thanks to anyone who can help.
 
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N

neil

If you press F8 during boot you can get to a startup menu. (which is perhaps
how you are accessing safemode) There is an option to disable auto reboot on
error, then you can post the error message.
Neil
 
P

PA Bear [MS MVP]

Did this behavior start immediately after you installed WinXP SP3 and
rebooted?
 
M

MS

PA Bear said:
Did this behavior start immediately after you installed WinXP SP3 and
rebooted?

No, definitely not. I was working fine with SP3 for weeks, months (I forget
when it first came out), and this boot problem just occurred last night.
 
P

philo

MS said:
One of my computers (running XP Pro SP3) will not boot into Windows! I
have no idea what caused this!

It starts up, goes through the first part of the boot process, but will
not boot into Windows, other than safe mode. When it gets to a certain
point, it always reboots and starts over, never loading Windows at all.
I've gone into the BIOS setup utility (Thinkpad R60), but cannot find
anything to fix it there.

I can boot into safe (regular, with networking, or command prompt) mode,
but not into regular mode.

While in safe mode I did a "System Restore", back to a restore point when
the system was functioning.

Yet still, it does not boot, other than safe mode. So--if the problem had
to do with registry, services, drivers, etc., one would think that it
would be fixed by a system restore to a time the system booted fine.

While booted in safe mode, I tried the following also--I went to msconfig,
and chose diagnostic startup, which is supposed to startup without loading
drivers and services. I rebooted, and again it would not boot into
Windows, unless I chose safe mode.

What other diagnostic steps can I take? What else should I try from safe
mode, to get it to boot in normal mode again?

Thanks to anyone who can help.


Try running msconfig again...
but do not select "diagnostic startup"

Instead go to the startup tab and take all applications out of startup...
then reboot.

If the machine boots up normally,
you can start putting things back into startup to see where the problem
lies...
but chances are there are more applications running in "startup" than you
need.

You may be able to get by just fine with just your anti-virus running
and possibly a third party firewall if you use one.
 
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B

Brian A.

MS said:
One of my computers (running XP Pro SP3) will not boot into Windows! I have no
idea what caused this!

It starts up, goes through the first part of the boot process, but will not
boot into Windows, other than safe mode. When it gets to a certain point, it
always reboots and starts over, never loading Windows at all. I've gone into
the BIOS setup utility (Thinkpad R60), but cannot find anything to fix it
there.

I can boot into safe (regular, with networking, or command prompt) mode, but
not into regular mode.

While in safe mode I did a "System Restore", back to a restore point when the
system was functioning.

Yet still, it does not boot, other than safe mode. So--if the problem had to
do with registry, services, drivers, etc., one would think that it would be
fixed by a system restore to a time the system booted fine.

While booted in safe mode, I tried the following also--I went to msconfig, and
chose diagnostic startup, which is supposed to startup without loading drivers
and services. I rebooted, and again it would not boot into Windows, unless I
chose safe mode.

What other diagnostic steps can I take? What else should I try from safe mode,
to get it to boot in normal mode again?

Thanks to anyone who can help.

How to perform a clean boot in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310353/en-us

How to perform advanced clean-boot troubleshooting in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/316434/en-us

How to troubleshoot by using the System Configuration utility in Windows XP
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/310560/en-us


Windows XP Shutdown & Restart Troubleshooting
http://aumha.org/win5/a/shtdwnxp.htm

--

Brian A. Sesko { MS MVP_Windows Desktop User Experience }
Conflicts start where information lacks.
http://basconotw.mvps.org/

Suggested posting do's/don'ts: http://dts-l.com/goodpost.htm
How to ask a question: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555375
 
L

Leonard Grey

If you can boot to Safe Mode, you're half way to a solution.

Boot into Safe Mode and go to Control Panel > System > Advanced tab >
Setup and Recovery - Settings button > System failure > remove the
checkmark from 'Automatically restart'.

Now start your computer as you would normally. Instead of restarting
when it hits a snag, your computer will stop and display a blue screen
with lots of text. Look for the word STOP (near the bottom, I think)
which is followed by a hexadecimal number beginning with
0x000...<something> and an error code that looks LIKE_THIS.

Make note of the hex number and the error code and post back with that
information.

Briefly: The blue screen is your friend. It means that Windows has
discovered an error while booting and has stopped your computer to
prevent further damage.
 
S

styxblue

I was having a similar problem but it would load windows at times. I found
the culprit was called Spy Doctor, I had downloaded it to check for spyware.
I deleted it and I have not had a problem since.
 
M

MS

Thanks for the suggestion, Neil.

I tried that. But even though I chose the option to disable auto-reboot, and
saw that option listed at the bottom, it keeps auto-rebooting anyhow. I
don't see an error message on boot, just the rebooting.

I did find a file in c:\temp, which looked like some kind of log of booting.
It had an error message in it:

Error code = 0x15

Boot manager is missing or corrupt

I checked my root directory, and the ntldr and ntdetect.com files are there,
as well as the boot.ini file.

How can I check if they are corrupt?

Can I replace the first two with those same files from another computer (all
sp3)?
 
M

MS

philo said:
Try running msconfig again...
but do not select "diagnostic startup"

Instead go to the startup tab and take all applications out of startup...
then reboot.

If the machine boots up normally,
you can start putting things back into startup to see where the problem
lies...
but chances are there are more applications running in "startup" than you
need.

You may be able to get by just fine with just your anti-virus running
and possibly a third party firewall if you use one.

Yes, I really blew it with trying the "diagnostic startup". That turns off
the System Restore service, and one screwy bug of XP (don't know if it's
been fixed in Vista) is if that service is turned off for even one second,
even accidentally, all system restore points are very thoroughly deleted.
(Not in recycle bin.) Later I wanted to try to system restore still back
farther than I had before, to see if that would solve it, but I have no
restore points left. I even tried a deleted file recovery app, which spent
hours scanning the drive, and found nothing from the System Volume folder.

So, everyone be very wary of "diagnostic startup", unless you have your SR
points backed up, or use some kind of alternative to SR.

Yes, I'll try as you say, adding things one by one. However, I actually have
very little starting automatically. I check regularly, and don't like to
have much in the background. I don't even have any mouse software, just
using windows default drivers. I have clipmate starting, my antivirus and
windows defender in the background. That's about it. Nothing new added
recently, that could have caused this. So I doubt a startup app is causing
this, but I'll try that.
 
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M

MS

Leonard Grey said:
If you can boot to Safe Mode, you're half way to a solution.

Boot into Safe Mode and go to Control Panel > System > Advanced tab >
Setup and Recovery - Settings button > System failure > remove the
checkmark from 'Automatically restart'.

Thanks as well.

I looked there. I had no checkmark by "automatic restart". It was unchecked.

Yet, it always ignores my instruction, and automatically restarts anyhow.
What can I do?
 
M

MS

I've tried a few more things.

For instance, as I said, I had gone back to yesterday with System Restore
earlier, before I had the problem, didn't fix it.

As I said, now I wanted to try going farther back, but lost all my SR points
due to that "diagnostic startup" in msconfig, so could not.

However, I found a registry backup (made with ERDNT, good freeware registry
backup app) from 9/22. I didn't really want to go back that far, but I
figured I'd try. I first backed up the current registry, then reloaded the
backup from 9/22, and rebooted.

Damn! Still exact same problem. No boot into Windows, other than safe mode.

That kind of negates the idea of trying the clean boot thing, adding one
startup program or driver at a time. Any app, driver, or service changes
would be in the registry. I went all the way back to 9/22. The computer was
booting fine since then, until last night. If something changed in my system
last night to prevent start up, going back to an earlier registry should
have solved it.

Now I tried something else. I booted up with a Windows CD, into the Recovery
Console. I executed Fixmbr and fixboot, to fix the mbr and boot sectors.I
hoped that would work.

Rebooted, and same problem--no boot into Windows, other than safe mode.

What on earth could be going on?
 
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N

neil

When you booted the recovery console did you try chkdsk (I think chkdsk /f)
to fix disk errors.
Neil
 
P

PA Bear [MS MVP]

MS wrote:
One of my computers (running XP Pro SP3) will not boot into Windows! I
have
no idea what caused this!

It starts up, goes through the first part of the boot process, but will
not
boot into Windows, other than safe mode. When it gets to a certain point,
it
always reboots and starts over, never loading Windows at all. I've gone
into
the BIOS setup utility (Thinkpad R60), but cannot find anything to fix it
there.

I can boot into safe (regular, with networking, or command prompt) mode,
but
not into regular mode.

While in safe mode I did a "System Restore", back to a restore point when
the system was functioning.

Yet still, it does not boot, other than safe mode. So--if the problem had
to
do with registry, services, drivers, etc., one would think that it would
be
fixed by a system restore to a time the system booted fine.

While booted in safe mode, I tried the following also--I went to msconfig,
and chose diagnostic startup, which is supposed to startup without loading
drivers and services. I rebooted, and again it would not boot into
Windows,
unless I chose safe mode.

What other diagnostic steps can I take? What else should I try from safe
mode, to get it to boot in normal mode again?

Thanks to anyone who can help.

No, definitely not. I was working fine with SP3 for weeks, months (I
forget
when it first came out), and this boot problem just occurred last night.

1. Free unlimited installation and compatibility support is available for
Windows XP, but only for Service Pack 3 (SP3), until 14 Apr-09. Chat and
e-mail support is available only in the United States and Canada. Go to
http://support.microsoft.com/oas/default.aspx?gprid=1173 | select "Windows
XP" then select "Windows XP Service Pack 3"

2. Unexplained computer behavior may be caused by deceptive software
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/827315

Run a /thorough/ check for hijackware, including posting your hijackthis log
to an appropriate forum.

Checking for/Help with Hijackware
http://aumha.org/a/parasite.htm
http://aumha.org/a/quickfix.htm
http://aumha.net/viewtopic.php?t=5878
http://wiki.castlecops.com/Malware_Removal_and_Prevention:_Introduction
http://mvps.org/winhelp2002/unwanted.htm
http://inetexplorer.mvps.org/data/prevention.htm
http://inetexplorer.mvps.org/tshoot.html
http://www.mvps.org/sramesh2k/Malware_Defence.htm
http://defendingyourmachine2.blogspot.com/
http://www.elephantboycomputers.com/page2.html#Removing_Malware

When all else fails, HijackThis v2.0.2
(http://aumha.org/downloads/hijackthis.exe) is the preferred tool to use (in
conjunction with some other utilities). HijackThis will NOT fix anything on
its own, but it will help you to both identify and remove any
hijackware/spyware with assistance from an expert. **Post your log to
http://spywarehammer.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php?board=10.0,
http://forums.spybot.info/forumdisplay.php?f=22,
http://aumha.net/viewforum.php?f=30, or another appropriate forum for review
by an expert in such matters, not here.**

If the procedures look too complex - and there is no shame in admitting this
isn't your cup of tea - take the machine to a local, reputable and
independent (i.e., not BigBoxStoreUSA or Geek Squad) computer repair shop.
 
B

Bill in Co.

MS said:
No more suggestions? Has everyone given up?

IIRC, you used both System Restore and ERUNT at various points in this
juncture, so it's getting a bit confusing to me as what to suggest. But I
may be misremembering this.
 
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M

MS

Did you by any chance use a Registry Cleaning tool before this issue popped
up ?

--
Peter

No, I didn't.

And, as I wrote, when I restored an earlier version of the registry, that
did not solve the problem.

Please Reply to Newsgroup for the benefit of others
Requests for assistance by email can not and will not be acknowledged.
 

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