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Unable to get into "Safe Mode" using F8 key


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#1 Jim Long

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 10:26 PM

This is my grand-daughter's computer.

It is a Compaq Presario SR2037X, running XP Media Center Edition 2005.

When I was called to take a look at it I observed a couple of things that caused me some concern:

1. No power on indication and no fans running.
2. Two keyboards attached, the original PS2 and a newer USB one.

Problem 1 was resolved by replacing and upgrading the OEM PS with a 350 Watt Antec PS.

Unplugged the original PS2 keyboard.

The computer now boots as far as the Compaq Splash Screen, before windows begins to load it displays the following:


Windows could not start because missing or corrupt file....

<Windows Root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.

Please install copy of this file...


This appears on a black screen and the computer is locked up at this point. A physical shut-off is the only option.

If I insert my XP-Pro disk it will load far enough to generate the "Press any key to continue booting from CD" when

I hit the space bar a short series of periods (6) appear and then the afore mentioned error message is displayed.

Every resolution I've been given for the ntoskrnl problem starts out with booting into "Safe Mode" which I can not do.

I find myself between a rock and a hard place.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in Advance - Jim


P.S. I also noticed that none of the Splash Screen options (ESC to Boot Menu, F1 for Setup and F10 for System Restore) work either.

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#2 James Litten

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 11:20 PM

Hi Jim

That's an interesting situation. There are a few things we can try.

First, it sounds like it might not be responding to the keyboard properly. Have you tried it with the PS/2 keyboard?

The error you are getting indicates that it is seeing a hard drive with a bootable partition on it. The fact that you still get the error with the CD may be because it is not detecting the key press at "Press any key to continue booting from CD" and is proceeding to try to boot from the disk.

The periods you see are usually ntoskrnl.exe beginning to load boot device drivers (one period is displayed for each driver).

This means that NTLDR has already loaded and NTLDR contains the code to detect whether or not the user is pressing the F8 key so that points to a keyboard issue also.

Let me know if the PS/2 works and if it doesn't, does the CAPS LOCK light work on the keyboard when you press the CAPS LOCK key?

James

#3 Jim Long

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:11 AM

Hi James,

Here are this mornings observations:

Caps Lock, Num Lock and Scroll Lock keys do not illuminate the LED's of either the USB keyboard or a known good PS2 keyboard.

With no keyboard plugged in I attempted to boot the machine with my XP-Pro CD in the drive, when it got to the "Press any Key" prompt

it started displaying the elipses as though a key had been pressed? Does this indicate a short, or is it inconclusive because no

keyboard was attached at that time?

With the PS2 keyboard connected I was able to reach the BOOT menu by pressing the ESC key, however after getting there I could not

select anything because the keyboard was not responding to the key presses I was making on the arrow keys?

Thank You for your help.

Jim Long

#4 James Litten

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 10:57 AM

Hi Jim

Do you know the circumstances of how the original power supply was damaged?
This could be an issue with the motherboard.

Unplug the computer.
Double check all the connections from the power supply to the motherboard (I think there are two for that motherboard. The big one and a 4 pin one.).
Make sure that all the ports are clear of debris and are not broken (especially the USB ports, they have tricked me before :) )

Start it and press F1 to see if you can get into the System Setup (BIOS settings)

If you can, let me know if the keyboard stops working while you are in there and also, what version the BIOS is if you can see it.

James

#5 Jim Long

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:22 PM

Hello James

Your suspicions were right on the money.

A closer examination of the front panels USB ports revealed a badly mangled port that was shorted to the shell.

This may or may not have killed the marginally sufficient OEM PS. After unplugging the cable from the mobo's

header the machine booted up normally, what a relief. I can't thank you enough, your understanding and patience

got me to the resolution I was seeking. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I'll have a talk with the girls about

using excessive force when plugging things into ports on their computers.

I wish you the best of everything,

Jim

THIS PROBLEM IS RESOLVED!

P.S. I'm so much of a newbie that I don't know how to close this thread. Oh well, I'll try to figure it out.

#6 James Litten

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:30 PM

I'm happy to hear that!

Thanks for letting us know. It may help others who find this thread while searching for a solution.

James

#7 AustrAlien

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 07:18 PM

THIS PROBLEM IS RESOLVED!

P.S. I'm so much of a newbie that I don't know how to close this thread. Oh well, I'll try to figure it out.

Jim, there is no way you can possibly "close" this thread, so don't feel badly about that!
  • Threads are normally left "open" and not closed on most of the BC forums.
Well done! :thumbup2: Thank you for letting us know the problem/solution.
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