can't boot windows xp

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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm am using windows xp.. sometimes I have the trouble of the OS not booting.. What I usually do is I reinstall Windows again..

what causes this problem, and how do I prevent this from happening..
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Alkatr0z
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Post 3+ Months Ago

We'll need some more information than that. There could be a multitude of reasons why it won't boot up.
What would be helpful is..

Where exactly it fails to boot up.

Whether you can get into Safe Mode or not. If you can't note down the last thing it loaded before crashing. Then do a Confirmed Startup(I think thats right?) where you have to select Yes or no to loading each item. Select no for the one that wants to load immediately after the one you noted down previously.

Whether you can access the Recovery Console. The recovery Console can be accessed by booting of the XP CD and selecting to Recover and existing windows installation. You then just have to put in your Administrator password and you'll be at the Console.

Have you tried doing a scandisk of your hard drive? You can do one by just right clicking on your C drive and selecting Properties from the popup menu. Its Tools -> Error checking.

What sort of software have you been installing? - Try running a program such as Spyboy Search and Destroy, Adaware or Hijack This. By the way I have no experience with Hijack This but I notice that many of the people in this forum swear by it. Could be bloatware.

Are you leaving enough spare space for your paging file? - Depending on how much RAM you have it could be using a large amount of space or a small amount of space for your paging file. General rule of thumb is probably to leave between 800-1000Mb for it, if you have heaps of RAM then you wouldn't need as much.

Anything you have been doing prior to it not booting up would be valuable as well. - Such as windows optimizers or something similar to that. Ones that change settings in the Operating system to make it run faster.

Check your drivers. - Make sure they are all the most current or at least are Microsoft Certified that way they've at least been tested by them to work on XP. I believe they also have quite an extensive testing procedure.

I think thats all of it, can anyone else think of anything?

Alot of the things mentioned above are things to do when it does happen. Some things can be done now such as checking that you leave enough room for the paging file(You can make it remain static at a certain size which can be a good way to make sure you have enough room provided you give it enough, not enough and she won't boot cap'n), scanning the disk for errors.

If it isn't even getting to the point where you can press F8 to get the menu to bring up Safemode then try using your XP CD and getting into the recovery console and fixing the Master Boot Record. I believe the command is simlpy FIXMBR.

Theres my essay finished for the day anyway, hope you slogged through that alright, I tried to break it up a bit. :)

Alkatr0z
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Post 3+ Months Ago

ey...thanks for the tips man.........


I'll try to do the stuffs that you told me...I did scan my drives though, and no bad sectors were found...

I also wan't to ask 1 more thing. I have 320 RAM, whats the paging size you suggest? I'm currently running with 1000-1600...

thanks
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm glad you slogged through it alright, its a bit of a bad habit of mine to list all the ideas I come up with in one go rather than in bits and pieces. I did try and break it up a bit but I must try and remember not to make them quite so long, I know how disheartening it can be slogging through a long message.

Glad to hear there are no bad errors, that most likely makes it a software/driver issue rather than a hardware issue.

As for how much space for the paging file you are definatly giving it plenty. Its up to you in many ways, I'd have it set for at least 500Mb minimum with a nice high Maximum size so it has room to expand if necessary. I've read all sorts of rules of thumb for how to figure it out, some of the other guys on here probably have some good ideas for it though. Hopefully get some more people adding into this Thread.
Good luck with your Computer trouble.

Quick thought.. Do you play with the BIOS at all?

Alkatr0z
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Post 3+ Months Ago

your page file is good man
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Just a quick thought that occurs to me. Do you have the boot menu coming up? Like the select what Operating System you want to boot menu? If so does it freeze just after that with a blank screen. If you don't does it freeze just after the point you can press F8(ie once windows itself should be loading) with a blank screen? If so it might well be that your Boot.ini file is becoming corrupted. Its hard to see how but you can fix it in the Recovery Console using the command bootcfg. Here is how to use it:
First type "bootcfg /copy" then "bootcfg /rebuild"

Alkatr0z
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Post 3+ Months Ago

yes..I'm using a boot loader man..particularly GRUB from redhat 9.. I'm using 2 OS's... I haven't tried that "bootcfg" command..

thank you so much for that advice man..I'll do that then.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

by the way..I forgot to mention.. Yes, you were right about that.. it freezes before I do F8.. so.. I guess I will have to boot from the cd then .

thanks for the advice .
  • Alkatr0z
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I'm not sure exactly how boot loaders work, I know how the boot.ini file works but not how 3rd party boot loaders work. I think(someone correct me here if I am wrong) they rewrite part of the Master Boot Record to point to the location of the boot loader. Rebuilding your MBR(FixMBR) will destroy the data that it includes in here, I think I suggested that previously, so you might want to avoid that by skipping the use of fixmbr.

I don't think the boot.ini file would be affected by the linux system as the 3rd party loader avoids any changes to the boot.ini file as well as I'm unsure as to whether boot.ini entries to non-MS file systems would actually work even. Is there an update for the Boot loader you are using by the way? Might be an idea, as if its after you select XP from that menu that it crashes it would come down to one of a couple of things only.
Couple of possible causes. Corrupted partition boot sector, this would prevent Windows from being booted. Corrupted boot loader software. Corrupted boot.ini file.
Idea: Try editing the boot.ini file to have the line under the header Boot loader, if after its crashing again mount the partition into your linux system to edit it : timeout=2

Question for someone else on this forum to hopefully answer: Does the 3rd party bootloader cause XP to bypass the boot.ini file altogether? I don't think it would as it would be a bit more trouble for the programmer to make it do that and wouldn't be any real benefit coming from it.

Heres the relevant commands for the Recovery Console, minus the "'s and <>'s naturally.
"bootcfg /copy" then "bootcfg /rebuild"
"fixboot <drive letter>"
fixmbr is a bit more complex and I'd advise reading the help and support document on it, a search for fixmbr should bring it up.

Hope this one isn't too long.

Alkatr0z

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