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Computer shuts down before Windows opens, but stays on in BIOS


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#1 Jjaye424

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 10:44 PM

I'm trying to fix my mother's computer and am at a loss. When she turned it on this morning, it kept shutting off before Windows could load. So I picked it up, but can't figure out what's wrong with it. I don't have a clue what to do in BIOS but thought I'd make sure the boot up thing was right (C drive) but couldn't even find that.

When I turn it on it seems to go directly to the screen where you choose which start up mode you want-normal, safe, safe with networking, last configuration that worked. If I choose normal, it shuts off immediately. If I choose safe/ safe with networking, I get the screen with line after line of white letters and numbers but only for a few seconds, then it shuts off. I can't remember how fast it shut off when I chose last configuration that worked, but it wasn't long. I was kind of surprised when it stayed on in BIOS.

I know she's been using it in safe mode the past few days, and I'm sure it's because of some computer virus. I'm also fairly sure she's mentioned that sometimes she's had to try more than once to get it to safe mode (hasn't been starting normally for her). I've been trying to get her to let me pick the computer up so I could see what's wrong but until this, she wouldn't let me.

Does this sound like an expensive or hard to fix problem? Something that someone with a little computer knowledge could fix? Thank you for any help!

Edited by hamluis, 16 January 2011 - 08:44 AM.
Moved from XP forum to Am I Infected.


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#2 Misaki

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 11:18 PM

Hi,

I'm trying to fix my mother's computer and am at a loss. When she turned it on this morning, it kept shutting off before Windows could load. So I picked it up, but can't figure out what's wrong with it. I don't have a clue what to do in BIOS but thought I'd make sure the boot up thing was right (C drive) but couldn't even find that.

If the case were a wrong boot drive, Windows would stop at a black screen momentarily before doing an endless reboot. However, you said you can access the Advanced Options Menu (the screen where booting options are presented) which leads me to a conclusion that it is booting up the correct drive, probably C:.

When I turn it on it seems to go directly to the screen where you choose which start up mode you want-normal, safe, safe with networking, last configuration that worked.

Is the latter (Last Good Known Configuration) still working, or does it also reboot?

If I choose normal, it shuts off immediately. If I choose safe/ safe with networking, I get the screen with line after line of white letters and numbers but only for a few seconds, then it shuts off.

Just briefing you on how Safe Mode works. The "white line by line" stuff you mentioned is a normal occurrence when booting into Safe Mode. It should then lead to a black screen, with an enlarged user interface. Seeing as this didn't work for you, we'll skip the discussion.

I can't remember how fast it shut off when I chose last configuration that worked, but it wasn't long. I was kind of surprised when it stayed on in BIOS.

Well, you cannot do anything productive over there except if the problem is related to hardware configurations, which I doubt.

Does this sound like an expensive or hard to fix problem? Something that someone with a little computer knowledge could fix? Thank you for any help!

Not really. It would require work, though. I would like you to answer the following though, so I can think of the best solution for you.

  • Do you have a spare USB, at least 2GB in size?
  • Is this a laptop or a Desktop?
  • Does it have a CD-Drive?
  • Who is the manufacturer of your computer (Dell, Hewlett-Packard, etc.)?
  • Do you have the Windows XP disk?
  • Does it contain data or files that must be recovered?
Misaki

#3 Jjaye424

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 11:35 PM

It's a desktop with a CD drive. I'm not sure who the manufacturer is. A relative built it for her (lives too far away to visit right now). Also, I don't have a Windows XP disk or USB. My daughter has a thing she keeps music on that she's used to transfer files from one computer to another, but that's about it. I'm pretty sure she doesn't have any files she needs.

I do have E-machine restore disks for an old computer, but I think they can only be used on an E-machine. I also checked for a file named I386 (?) so I could burn on a CD to try and fix hers, but I don't have it. Just one for drivers.

#4 Misaki

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Posted 15 January 2011 - 11:52 PM

Hi,

My daughter has a thing she keeps music on that she's used to transfer files from one computer to another, but that's about it. I'm pretty sure she doesn't have any files she needs.

At least a spare blank disk? I believe that's a USB drive. Mind finding out its size?

I do have E-machine restore disks for an old computer, but I think they can only be used on an E-machine.

Correct, precisely why it was from that manufacturer.

I also checked for a file named I386 (?) so I could burn on a CD to try and fix hers, but I don't have it. Just one for drivers.

Are you referring to the I386 directory? If so, you can find it in C:\I386, and you can use it to restore this computer. I doubt you can get it though, even if you do have it, in this condition. Unless you connect your hard drive to another computer as a non-bootable drive. That would be too much of a hassle, frankly speaking. The other option you have is to create a rescue disk, preferably from either Avira or Kaspersky, since this is likely to have happened because of an infection.

Misaki

#5 Jjaye424

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 12:12 AM

Right now the rescue disk seems like the best option. Or at least the only one I can try tonight. Since I didn't even know something like that could be done, I very much appreciate you mentioning it! Thank you! :)

#6 Misaki

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 03:09 AM

Hi,

No problem. Should you require assistance in setting one up, inform me.

Misaki

#7 hamluis

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 08:50 AM

I've listed this topic on our Unbootable Computers (due to malware) listing...someone should address your issues shortly, have patience :).

Louis

#8 Jjaye424

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 01:15 PM

Well, I've been trying to get the Avira Rescue Disk to work. Now instead of going directly to the screen where you choose which mode to open with, it does open with the initial load screen, then to the other. But there's no option anywhere to run the rescue disk.

Also, I can't find the unbootable computer listing. Last night was my first time here so I'm not familiar with the website yet. But thank you for the help so far.

#9 Jjaye424

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Posted 16 January 2011 - 01:40 PM

I think I screwed it up even more. I tried pressing F8 to see if it would make a difference and more options did come up. Tried a couple more, but the computer kept shutting off. Then I tried the debugging mode. Now the computer is still running, and has been for awhile now, but there's nothing on the screen at all.

#10 Elise

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 03:26 AM

Hello, can you reboot the computer and tap F8, than select Safe Mode. Please let me know what the last driver is you see on screen before it turns off.

regards, Elise


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#11 Jjaye424

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 03:35 AM

Nothing really worked so I talked to a cousin who does some work with computers and he picked it up this evening. Hopefully he can fix it because I've just never seen anything like this before. I do appreciate everyone trying to help, I just decided it was more than I was going to be able to handle. Thank you so much.

#12 Elise

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 03:59 AM

I hope you'll get it back soon in working order! :)

In case you need any more help, just post back here.

regards, Elise


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