It can be difficult to determine what exactly caused this problem. Bootup failure can be due to a variety of issues to include application faults, hardware failures, loose pin connections or malware. Startup failures that occur before
the OS loader (Ntldr) starts could indicate missing or deleted files, or damage to the hard disk master boot record (MBR), partition table, or boot sector. If a problem occurs during
startup, the system might have incompatible software or drivers, incompatible or improperly configured hardware, or corrupted registry/system files. However, the first thing to do is check all your hardware connections and ensure they are fitted properly.
If you cannot boot up in Normal or Safe mode, you may be able to use a Windows XP bootable Floppy Disk
to boot from a diskette instead of your hard drive. If your hard drive's boot sector or Windows' basic boot files have been corrupted, this disk will circumvent the problem and boot you into Windows. If you don't have an emergency boot floppy, you may be able to use one created on another PC running Windows XP but there's no guarantee that it will boot your machine.
"Resolving Boot Issues with a Boot Floppy Disk
"How to obtain Windows XP Setup boot disks
" and select the download that's appropriate for your Operating System. The Setup boot disks are available so that you can run the Setup program on computers that cannot use a bootable CD-ROM.
Another option is to create a Bootable CD
• Bootable CD FAQs
• Bart's way to create bootable CD-Roms
, Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE)
• Ultimate Boot CD
• How to write a CD/DVD image or ISO
• Creating A Windows XP Recovery Console CD Image
You can try doing a "Repair Install with Recovery Console
". The Recovery Console is a Windows utility that provides a DOS-like command line from which you can run some repair programs. If you have a Microsoft Windows CD-ROM, you can get to the Recovery Console by booting from that CD and pressing any key when you told to 'Press any key to boot from CD'. At the 'Welcome to Setup' screen, press r
"Langa Letter: XP's No-Reformat, Nondestructive Total-Rebuild Option
"Langa Letter: XP's Little-Known 'Rebuild' Command
" easy fix for "Missing HAL.DLL," "Invalid Boot.Ini," and several other fatal startup errors
"How to perform a Repair/Reinstall
" (with screenshots)
"How to install and use the Windows XP Recovery Console
If you don't have your XP CD you can download an ISO of the Recovery Console files:
• Recovery Console ISO file
• NTFS4FreeDos ISO
• XP Recovery Console zip file
Burn it as an image to a disk to get a bootable CD which will startup the Recovery Console for troubleshooting and fixing purposes. This is especially useful for those with OEM systems with factory restore partitions or disks but no original installation CD. If you are not sure how to burn an image, please read How to write a CD/DVD image or ISO
: If this is a virus/Trojan related issue, you should know that some types of malware can result in a system so badly damaged that a Repair Install will NOT help!
. Reinstalling Windows without first wiping the entire hard drive with a repartition and/or format will not remove the infection. The reinstall will only overwrite the Windows files. Any malware on the system will still be there afterwards. Starting over by wiping your drive, reformatting, and performing a clean install of the OS removes everything and is the safest action
. Please read "When should I re-format? How should I reinstall?
" and "Help: I Got Hacked. Now What Do I Do?