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XP continual reboot


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#1 JeffWP

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 10:48 PM

I am working on a friends Dell computer and it continually restarts after the welcome page comes up. I tried to do an XP repair with the disc, but I never got the repair option. After consulting with my buddy, I did a fresh install of XP. Everything was working fine until I installed SP2 and did all the updates that went along with it. The SP2 installed fine and after the reboot I downloaded the ensuing updates to go along with SP2, but only the high priority (I hadn't even messed with the optional ones). After it promped me to restart I did, the perprtual reboot problem started again. I had an extra memory stick I swapped out with the installed memory to rule out a bad stick but no change. I can't boot in safe mode but I can get to the Setup (BIOS) page. It has a PCI ethernet card that I removed to rule out a bad PCI card and again no change. Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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#2 fairjoeblue

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 11:01 PM

What was the original problem you were trying to fix ?
If the unit just started rebooting & that is what you were fixing open the case & see if the heatsink/fan on the CPU are dirty & clogged,
Overheating will cause rebooting.

If that wasn't the case3 see below.



Reinstall following the directions.
As soon as you get a working desktop install ALL of the correct drivers .

Turn the unit on and put the XP disk in the drive.
Leave the disk in the drive and restart the unit,
Watch the screen for a message that says "Press any key to boot from CD,
Press a key on the keyboard,
Wait while it goes through starting from the disk,
[You may have to press F8 during startup to accept the EULA]
When you get to the screen with the box that shows the current version of XP installed press "D" on the keyboard,
Press "Enter"
Press "L"
You now should have a screen asking what file system you want to format to, NTFS should be selected by default,
Press enter,
The disk will be formatted and the installation will automatically begin when the format is finished,
During the installation the computer will restart DO NOT press a key to boot from the CD again !
At that point the unit will boot from the hard drive and continue the installation.
After awhile you will be asked to "name" your computer,
I suggest naming it the same as the main user ID
[Example, I have an XP unit named "testbox" the user name is also "testbox"]
You will be asked if you want to turn on automatic updates, select NO or Not now,
You will be asked if you want to setup a network connection, click on skip,
You will be asked to enter a user name and password,
Enter the same name you used for the unit ,
Only enter a password if you want to have to log on every time XP starts,
[If you have more then one user you can enter passwords later]
Follow the prompts to finish.
When you get to the desktop the only icon showing will be the recycle bin
Click on the "Tour XP balloon [or icon in the taskbar by the clock] and click "Cancel"
Go to Start>Control Panel,
Double click "Taskbar and Start Menu"
Click on the "Start Menu" tab
Put a dot in the circle by "Classic Start Menu"
[That will put the icons on the desktop]
Click OK
Double click on "Folder Options"
Click on the "View" tab
Go down the list until you find "Show hidden files and folders"
[for future use]
put a dot in the circle by it
Click OK
Close the Control Panel
Double click on "My Computer"
Right click on the "C:" drive
Left click on "Properties"
Click on the "Tools" tab
Click on "Defragment Now"
Defrag the drive
When you are done start installing your other programs and applications
[Defrag again when finished]
When they are installed if you have the "activate XP" notice do the activation,
When you have gotten this far either go to Windows Update and do the updates or go to "My Computer" and right click on it
Left click on "Properties"
When the box opens click on the "Automatic Updates" tab
Put a dot in the circle next to "Automaic [Recommended]
Click OK.
In order for the Automatic Updates to begin right away turn the unit completely off then restart it.

Edited by fairjoeblue, 13 May 2009 - 11:04 PM.

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#3 JeffWP

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 05:54 AM

The continual reboot was the problem I was trying to fix initially. I was able to do just as you said. I reinstalled XP and it worked fine. I installed all the programs and it worked fine. I downloaded the updates from Microsoft and it was fine. Actually, I had to let it download overnight (there were many many updates) and it ran fine. I got SP2 downloaded and had to restart, no problems there. I then downloaded all the SP2 security updates (only the high-priority) and it prompted me to restart. When I did so, the reboot problem showed up again. I wouldn't think an overheated CPU would do that, as it had downloaded updates for 6 hours or so and was functioning fine at that point.
So, am I looking at a funky motherboard? Oh, another tidbit of info, the reinstallation of XP, loading of programs and all the updates happened over the course of 3 days. After the new copy of XP was installed, it ran fine for 2-1/2 days or so. Interesting.....

#4 JeffWP

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 06:17 PM

Anybody???

#5 hamluis

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Posted 20 May 2009 - 07:34 PM

Disable Auto Reboot On System Crash - http://www.theeldergeek.com/auto_reboot_on_system_crash.htm

If you disable auto reboot...you may get a genuine error message indicating what might be wrong.

Louis

#6 JeffWP

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 05:56 AM

How can I Disable Auto Reboot when the system won't boot?

#7 Stang777

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 06:17 AM

There MIGHT be a place to disable that at the advanced start menu screen, the screen where you would select safe mode from. If not, there MIGHT be a place in BIOS but I THINK the most likely place is in the advanced start menu.

Although, considering the time, I could be totally wrong :thumbsup:

#8 hamluis

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Posted 21 May 2009 - 11:36 AM

Do another clean install...I don't see where you have anything to lose.

Install SP2...then change the auto reboot setting.

Then attempt to do the critical updates remaining.

Louis

#9 JeffWP

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 06:42 PM

Thanks for all the pointers. After doing a clean install, I installed service pack 2 and everything was dandy. However, after the critical updates, reboot loop again. So...I did another install and skipped SP2 and installed SP3. Again, after SP3 install everything OK, after critical updates, down the tubes. I conferred with my buddy and he said the computer was going to be used by his son for his homeschooling. All of his lessons are going to be on a hard-drive supplied by the school and it will not be connected to the internet. My quick fix, and hopefully a permanent one, is that I loaded SP1 and all the critical updates for SP1 and everything runs OK. I guess if its never going to be connected to the web, this fix should be OK. Again, thanks for all the pointers, I'll file them in my head (plus a shortcut to this thread!) for future reference.
Jeff

#10 Stang777

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 06:59 PM

I would probably load SP2 without the critical updates afterwards since it worked ok with SP2 before adding the updates that came afterward. I would do that just in case they want to add programs to the computer as a lot of programs do require SP2

#11 JeffWP

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:22 AM

Sorry I waited so long for a reply, but I got the problem fixed. The errors were a compatibility issue between the critical updates for SP 2 and (believe it or not) the firmware in my harddrive. I found a few links that suggested this fix so I gave it a shot. I installed a quality harddrive in place of the cheap Dell OEM drive it came with. ALL the problems disappeared immediately. Thank you for all your help. Please pass this info along if you come across someone with a Dell Dimension 4400 desktop with reboot issues.
Thanks again!!

#12 hamluis

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Posted 18 August 2009 - 09:32 AM

Glad you solved it :thumbsup:.

FWIW: The hard drives used in any system (Dell, Gateway, etc.)...are the same as retail drives purchased by you and I. A hard drive (like anything else manmade) may develop problems at any time and I suspect that it was just your time on that particular drive.

Happy computing, thanks for the feedback :flowers:.

Louis




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