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Help fix repeating start up cycle


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#1 GabrielWithoutWings

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 10:43 AM

So, I ran AVG and did a reboot. The computer is now cycling through its start up over and over again, so I'm assuming one of the system files is damaged. I've tried starting in Safe Mode, but nothing gets past the Windows load screen. Just shuts itself off and turns itself on again.

I don't have a Windows XP disk (this is a hand-me-down). I DO have a recovery disk from a Dell computer (my computer is NOT a Dell).

Would the file I need be there? I assume I'll need to create a boot CD. Is there any place I can go or anything I can do online to get the repair file I need? I have access to a second computer with Nero (hence, this post).

Thanks for the help.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 11:36 AM

I would not suggest...using anyone's recovery/restore disk...on a system that was not made by that manufacturer or which may require a totally different restore disk.

Louis

#3 joseibarra

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 12:40 PM

Since you have another computer, make your own bootable XP Recovery Console CD as follows and report back.

Then we will have something usable to investigate further:


You should first boot your PC into the XP Recovery Console using a bootable
XP installation CD or a bootable CD with the XP Recovery Console on it.

You can make a bootable Recovery Console CD by downloading an ISO file
and burning it to a CD.

The same XP Recovery Console commands can be run from the bootable
Recovery Console CD.

The bootable ISO image file you need to download is called:

xp_rec_con.iso

Download the ISO file from here:

http://www.mediafire.com/?ueyyzfymmig

Use this free and easy program to create your bootable CD:

http://www.imgburn.com/

It would be a good idea to test your bootable CD on the computer that is
working.

You may need to adjust the computer BIOS settings to use the CD ROM drive
as the first boot device instead of the hard disk. These adjustments are
made before Windows tries to load. If you miss it, you will have to reboot
the system again.

When you boot on the CD, follow the prompts:

Press any key to boot from CD...

The Windows Setup... will proceed.

Press 'R' to enter the Recovery Console.

Select the installation you want to access (usually 1: C:\WINDOWS)

You may be asked to enter the Administrator password (usually empty).

You should be in the C:\WINDOWS folder. This is the same as the
C:\WINDOWS folder you see in explorer.

RC allows basic file commands - copy, rename, replace, delete,
cd, chkdsk, fixboot, fixmbr, etc.

From the command prompt window run the chkdsk command on the drive where
Windows is installed to try to repair any problems on the afflicted drive.
Running chkdsk is fine to run even if it doesn't find any problems.

Assuming your boot drive is C, run the following command:

chkdsk C: /r

Let chkdsk finish and correct any problems it might find. It may take a long
time to complete or appear to be 'stuck'. Be patient. If the HDD light is
still flashing, it is doing something. Keep an eye on the percentage amount to
be sure it is still making progress.

Remove the CD and type 'exit' to leave the RC and restart the computer.

You do not have to adjust the BIOS again to boot on the HDD since the CD will
not be present.

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#4 GabrielWithoutWings

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 01:17 PM

I got the disk to boot, but there's apparently a system admin password and I have no idea what it is.

Any ideas?

#5 hamluis

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 01:35 PM

When attempting to use the Recovery Console...just hit Enter when asked for a password.

You should then move to the next line, where you type a command (e.g., chkdsk /r).

Louis

#6 GabrielWithoutWings

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 01:40 PM

Hitting enter doesnt work. says password is not valid..

#7 joseibarra

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 02:48 PM

I am glad you at least got the CD working. That is good.

An empty Admninstrator password is the Windows default and the RC wants the Windows password - it is not on the CD.

If pressing the Enter key does not work for the Administrator password that is going to be a problem since that is the only RC login I know about.

That Administrator password will be the same one that you would use for Administrator if XP was working properly, so somebody set one up after XP was installed. Who is that person. You may need to just try some things - if your regular account has a password, try that.

I am not sure if suggesting passwords to try for Administrator is considered an improper post here (assisting in a possible security breach), but you can use your imagination for ideas on a simple Administrator password that somebody may have assigned :thumbsup: I would start trying things that might make an Administrator password.

I will noodle alternatives and we can see if other folks have ideas.

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#8 hamluis

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 03:24 PM

Not germane at this point...but it may be useful to some of the members/visitors reading this thread:

Link summarizing various ways/programs employed to burn an .iso file to CD/DVD: http://iso.snoekonline.com/iso.htm.

Louis

#9 GabrielWithoutWings

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 06:23 PM

I am glad you at least got the CD working. That is good.

An empty Admninstrator password is the Windows default and the RC wants the Windows password - it is not on the CD.

If pressing the Enter key does not work for the Administrator password that is going to be a problem since that is the only RC login I know about.

That Administrator password will be the same one that you would use for Administrator if XP was working properly, so somebody set one up after XP was installed. Who is that person. You may need to just try some things - if your regular account has a password, try that.

I am not sure if suggesting passwords to try for Administrator is considered an improper post here (assisting in a possible security breach), but you can use your imagination for ideas on a simple Administrator password that somebody may have assigned :thumbsup: I would start trying things that might make an Administrator password.

I will noodle alternatives and we can see if other folks have ideas.





*sigh* Great.

It's a hand-me-down from my friend Jeremy who is currently in Kuwait. I have no contact number for him. I'm not sure if he [purchased it from an online pc company], or if he assembled it from scratch. I *think* it was an PC company purchase because everything on it is high-end and is consistent in its hardware.

So... basically I have to install Windows from scratch and buy a new key?

Figures one little thing would keep me from fixing it. I appreciate you guys. I'm still open to suggestions for the rest of the night since I'm at work now.

[Blah, I keep thinking of things to add on edit]

I've tried a few simple passwords that might've been it before I left for work but no luck. Gives me three chances them gives me a prompt to restart so I have to cycle through all over again. I'll try and find some, too. Maybe I won't have to reinstall.

Edited by GabrielWithoutWings, 17 September 2009 - 06:54 PM.


#10 joseibarra

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 09:40 PM

My thoughts were:

Administrator
administrator
Admin
admin
123456
asdfasdf (my all time favorite)
etc.

Some Google searches might reveal some ideas for:

xp lost admin password
xp forgot admin password
etc.

I have heard of such things and have never tried them (yet). I think some are suspicious and you don't want to mess up the computer that works by downloading some junk.

If it quit working after AVG, I a would bet they have a user help forum on their site. Maybe this is not a new problem for them.

What are the identifying marks on the CDs you do have?

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#11 GabrielWithoutWings

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Posted 17 September 2009 - 09:54 PM

My thoughts were:

Administrator
administrator
Admin
admin
123456
asdfasdf (my all time favorite)
etc.

Some Google searches might reveal some ideas for:

xp lost admin password
xp forgot admin password
etc.

I have heard of such things and have never tried them (yet). I think some are suspicious and you don't want to mess up the computer that works by downloading some junk.

If it quit working after AVG, I a would bet they have a user help forum on their site. Maybe this is not a new problem for them.

What are the identifying marks on the CDs you do have?


CDs are a Gateway Recovery disk and a Dell recovery disk (blah). The boot disk is working fine (after a bit of a tussle with the BIOS).

I think I may have a password from a mutual friend that he uses a lot. If that doesn't work, I'll try and look for generics.

#12 GabrielWithoutWings

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 09:22 AM

All right. I've got good news, better news, and worse news.

The good news is I actually managed to get my friend's cell number and he told me the password and it worked.

The better news is I completed the chkdsk command and it 'found one or more errors and repaired them'.

The worse news is that the computer is still doing what its doing, and on last shut down and restart it instead sent me straight to the BIOS page with a message that said something like "During the last shut down cycle, or or more of your configurations was changed. Please check to ensure that (basically all settings are correct with the hardware I have)" It was defaulted on my processor speed.

So... yeah. Any ideas?

#13 eastonch

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 11:45 AM

There is a certain method of 'Defaulting' these trypes of errors. one which we are not allowed to discuss. but using common sense and 'cough' g00gle' might help ;)

Just be nifty within the inside of your computaa ;)

usually that sortsi t for the BIOS though. i dont know past there. possibly a 'back' door but saying that, you cant boot windows so.. it wouldnt really work for a Rec CD. ;| lost from here mate.

#14 GabrielWithoutWings

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 03:01 PM

There is a certain method of 'Defaulting' these trypes of errors. one which we are not allowed to discuss. but using common sense and 'cough' g00gle' might help ;)

Just be nifty within the inside of your computaa ;)

usually that sortsi t for the BIOS though. i dont know past there. possibly a 'back' door but saying that, you cant boot windows so.. it wouldnt really work for a Rec CD. ;| lost from here mate.


A, I don't understand 60% of what you said.

B, Part of the 40% is that you can't tell me what can be done to fix it but I'm supposed to google some vague, mysterious topic that you can't bring up.

Why even post in the first place?

#15 joseibarra

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 03:47 PM

Good for you.

I am glad chkdsk ran and fixed something. I would run it again and make sure it completes without finding anything to fix.

Chkdsk generally is not the solution to your issue, but it levels the playing field a bit.

I think you are seeing is not the BIOS but the Windows Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) (aka, Stop Error, Stop Message). I'll bet every Windows user has seen a BSOD at least once in their life. It is sometimes easy to fix after the right information is provided.

If you look at the screen there are good clues. Here is some examples:

http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/images/Windows_XP_BSOD.png

http://techrepublic.com.com/i/tr/downloads/images/bsod_a.jpg

The info from the second picture with the red arrows is what is needed. There is usually one important line at the top and three lines at the bottom, so that is 4 lines of info you need to provide. I think they will all have a STOP message of some kind. All the other generic looking text is not useful right now.

Not all BSOD messages look exactly the same, so do the best you can copying the information and try not to make too manytypoes :thumbsup:

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