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Unable To Boot Windows Xp Pro With Toshiba Laptop


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#1 Mel529

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:29 PM

Hi,

I have a Toshiba Satellite A-60 (model no PSA60C-JL100E, Windows XP Pro SP2, 512 Mo RAM) and I'm not able to boot into Windows XP anymore. I get the Toshiba logo and right after that, I see a cursor with no bips and then nothing but black. I can access the screen where I can choose to open in safe mode but choosing that option (or any other on that page) does nothing. I don't have a Windows XP CD, all they gave me when I bought it was the label with the serial key under the laptop. I'm really worried about losing important files I didn't have time to backup on my external hard disk...

Here's a recap of what I did yesterday before shutting it down for the night:

My computer was slow so all I wanted to do was to speed it up a bit before sending it to a computer shop for a RAM memory upgrade (+1Go). I produced a highjackthis log and after having it analyzed by the site www.hijackthis.de/fr , I opened msconfig and unchecked the following (which all are in your startup database so that's how I knew it was safe to unactivate them):

04 - Global startup: HP Digital Imaging Monitor.lnk = C:\Program Files\HP\Digital Imaging\bin\hpqtra08.exe
04 - Global startup: Logitech Desktop Messenger.lnk = C:\Program Files\Logitech\Desktop Messenger\8876480\Program\LDMConf.exe
04 - Global startup: Microsoft Office.lnk = C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office10\OSA.EXE

The log also showed a line that I wanted to erase but I haven't done anything with it yet (that's what I was supposed to do today). I'm copying it here anyway just in case. It's related to P2P.
016 - DPF : {1D6711C8-7154-40BB-8380-3DEA45B69CBF}

The day before that, I ran a scan with Spybot and Ad-Aware and nothing important popped in those programs.

I can't see what I did other than that, might have nothing to do with what happened but that's all I can think about. Fortunately, I have my office laptop here so I can still write to you guys!

Thanks for any advice.

Mel

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 02:41 PM

Black Screen (fixmbr) - http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;en-us;314503

Borrow a CD, show some imagination. There must be several billion floating around on this planet.

Louis

#3 Budapest

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 06:18 PM

What happens if you select "last known good configuration" from the safe mode menu?
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

—George Bernard Shaw

#4 Mel529

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 09:48 PM

Hi and this quick reply is really appreciated.

What happens if you select "last known good configuration" from the safe mode menu?


I tried that and no reaction at all, just like all the other options from that screen.

Black Screen (fixmbr) - http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;en-us;314503

Borrow a CD, show some imagination. There must be several billion floating around on this planet.


I went out to get a little fresh air and borrowed my sister's CD so I'm glad to see that's what you were suggesting. I'm new at this, so I have a few "dumb" questions about the steps described in the link.

- The method 1 suggests I restart my computer in safe mode, which like I said I'm not able to do. Should I change the boot sequence (since that's the only panel I can access on my computer).

- Also, at the end of method 1, a line says : If you do not have a current backup copy of the data on the computer, contact a computer specialist to determine the best method of data recovery and configuration. Isn't that something I should worry about since I have important files I couldn't back up on my external hard drive before the system crashed and that I have no other way to recover.

- If I use the borrowed CD, will I enter my own serial key or the one I borrowed ? (obvious answer for you probably but I'm not sure).


Thanks for your patience and advice!

Mel

#5 DaChew

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 10:39 PM

will it boot up if you are connected to the internet?

I had one older malware infection I fought that would not let me boot into safe mode and only into normal mode if it could have access to the internet, I formatted that hard drive and told my friend to quit doing whatever(limewire?)

Edited by DaChew, 24 March 2008 - 10:40 PM.

Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#6 Crizz44

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Posted 24 March 2008 - 11:17 PM

If your information is important you may want to look into a professional that can hopefully recover your data and repair your installation.

If you try the repair so that you can save your files. Look at this link and see if it helps.

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm#RI

Read thru it all, but the "Skip to Repair Install" is what you are looking for if you want to do a repair.


I find if the repair installation doesn't work, then usually the boot sector needs repair. You may want to get help with that if you are not familiar with DOS.

Be sure to read everything carefully before you decide to do this on your own. It's not very hard to do, but with important data at risk you want to be cautious.

#7 DaChew

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 02:30 AM

3. Repair the master boot record by using the FIXMBR command from the Windows XP Recovery Console.
...................................................................
Warning If your computer is infected with a virus and you use the FIXMBR command, you may be unable to start the computer. Before you use this command, make sure that the computer is not infected with a virus.


catch 22

hadn't see this before, from Louis's link
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#8 hamluis

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 10:10 AM

<<The method 1 suggests I restart my computer in safe mode, which like I said I'm not able to do. Should I change the boot sequence (since that's the only panel I can access on my computer).>>

To boot from the XP CD, yes, you should change the boot sequence so that it does not try to boot from the hard drive.

<<Also, at the end of method 1, a line says : If you do not have a current backup copy of the data on the computer, contact a computer specialist to determine the best method of data recovery and configuration. Isn't that something I should worry about since I have important files I couldn't back up on my external hard drive before the system crashed and that I have no other way to recover.>>

Yes. Backups should, IMO, always be the first concern at the hint of system problems. Since these can occur anytime...a systematic backup strategy/behavior is important to any user who wants to minimize the irritations accompanying system hiccups.

<<If I use the borrowed CD, will I enter my own serial key or the one I borrowed ? (obvious answer for you probably but I'm not sure).>>

Always use your own key...and make sure that you always use the appropriate version of XP (if you have XP Home, don't use an XP Pro CD).

See comments by DaChew re using fixmbr.

I normally disregard these warnings because I do systematically backup...and I have never had an infection of any sort during my 12 years of playing with computers.

Another important factor for me...I'm obviously at the end of my rope if I have to resort to running the fixmbr or any number of other commands...in attempts to get my system going. If the system doesn't boot partially or completely, I find that I have little to lose by attempting remedies that might result in the loss of data or clean installs of the O/S.

But that's just the way that I look at things...you need to make your own decision and also bear in mind that there is nothing which makes my attempts at guessing solutions...any more valid that Joe Smith's guesses (and he doesn't even have a computer) :thumbsup:. I can only tell you the steps I would take, based on my limited experiences and what I read.

Louis

#9 DaChew

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Posted 25 March 2008 - 10:36 AM

I am starting to see more reccomendations for using optical media as the safest backup, this is contrary to my extensive experience with dvd burning. But it seems using another partition on a hard drive or even another hard drive has some vulnerability to newer industrial strength malware.

Pulling even a laptop hard drive and using another computer to grab the data seems well within the technical expertiese of the average user, the adapters are affordable, professionals are not.
Chewy

No. Try not. Do... or do not. There is no try.

#10 Mel529

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 11:00 AM

Thanks for all the help and suggestions, I was indeed backing up my data regularly and was actually planning to transfer the last important data I had the day my system crashed.

I took the laptop to a tech shop and they had to replace the hard drive since that was the problem, and were able to recover almost everything from the old one.

Appreciate the time you took to answer, this is a great forum !

Mel

#11 hamluis

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 11:56 AM

Sorry to hear that you had to replace the hard drive...but it does happen. But glad to hear that you have it resolved and are now a happy computer user again :thumbsup:.

Louis




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