You need to run a series of test diagnostics to try to locate the source of the problem.
Hardware and File System Test Procedures
-) Run a hard drive file system check on the system drive:
In Explorer right-click on the system drive (usually the C: volume) and select: Properties
tab > Error Checking
: Check now
and then check the box Automatically fix file system errors
then the Start button. A message will display about having to restart to run the scan - agree to that and then restart the PC.
If you can't boot into your account or any of the Safe Mode account options from the F8 boot menu, BUT you have an XP Installation CD (not
a Restore/Recovery CD) then you can boot off of the CD to start the installation program but then choose to run the Recovery Console repair utility instead of an install. From this command-line program you can issue the command:
> chkdsk C: /r
Which will repair any problems with the file system on C:
With either method only
the file system will be checked and repaired if necessary. Any corrupted files will remain corrupted and unusable.
-) Bad memory: Download the Memtest86 CD ISO file and burn it to CD from: http://www.memtest86.com/
Set your BIOS so that the computer tries to boot from the CD/DVD drive before trying to boot from the hard disk. Memtest86 will thoroughly test the RAM endlessly. Let it run for at least, say, 3 passes. No errors should be listed. If errors do show up and there is more than one RAM module, test each one individually until you can isolate the bad one.
-) Failing hard disk:
Run a HDD test utility from your drive’s manufacturer to make sure the drive is functionally OK. Use the diagnostic according to what brand drive you have: Seagate/Maxtor/Quantum http://www.seagate.com/www/en-us/support/downloads/ Western Digital http://support.wdc.com/download/ Hitachi/IBM http://www.hitachigst.com/hdd/support/download.htm Samsung http://www.samsung.com/in/products/harddis...ities/hutil.htm Fujitsu http://www.fujitsu.com/us/services/computi.../utilities.html
-) Bad or Failing power supply: Download and run Everest Home V2.20 from: http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html
Look in Computer > Sensor. The +3.3V, +5V and +12V should be within +/-5% of their nominal values.
3V 3.135V to 3.465
5V 4.750V to 5.25V
12V 11.400V to 12.60V
-) Overheated CPU: In Everest Home 2.2 (free) look in Computer > Sensor. The CPU temp should never
be over 50 degrees Celsius. Overheating can happen as the result of a failing CPU fan (aka "cooler" fan) or excessive dust buildup there. It can also be due to an improperly mounted cooler (heatsink+fan) assembly.
Everest Home 2.2 (free) http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4181.html
These tests will go a long way to confirm whether or not your PC is in good shape. Remember that any corrupted files will remain corrupted until reinstalled.