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Windows XP won't load on Dell Optiplex


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14 replies to this topic

#1 kcguru

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 12:39 PM

Computer was working fine and then it just crapped out. Running Windows XP. When I start it up, it flashes the Dell screen, and then it goes to a blank black screen with the cursor in the top left corner. If I do F12, I can bring up boot options and system diagnostics but that's all. No safe mode option. I was going to reload the operating system as there is nothing on the computer worth saving. I put the windows xp reinstall cd in and it says "Push any key to boot from cd.." and then it just hangs no matter what I push. What should my next step be, please! It's a work computer which we need to have operating if we can.

 

 



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#2 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 01:12 PM

Hi

 

From the symptoms you described, i suspect a HDD failure. Follow the below steps.

 

1 ) Remove the side cover and replace the HDD cable (IDE or SATA). If you don't have a spare cable, borrow the CD drive cable. This step will solve any potential connectivity problems.

 

2 ) Run built in System Diagnostics. Press F12 during power on and select the "diagnostics". Allow it to run a full extended test. Post the result of the test in next reply.

 

3 ) If Dell diagnostics didn't find any problems, download and run Seagate seatool for DOS.

 

    http://www.seagate.com/support/downloads/item/seatools-dos-master/

 

Burn the ISO to a CD using Imgburn or any ISO burning app. After booting from the CD, select long test and allow it to check the full surface of the HDD. Report the output of the test displayed by seatool. 

 

Here is an example video on how to use seatool.

 


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 20 May 2013 - 01:12 PM.


#3 noknojon

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 06:09 PM

 I was going to reload the operating system as there is nothing on the computer worth saving .......... It's a work computer which we need to have operating if we can.

Have you given any thought to purchasing a new computer with at least Windows 7 installed ??

If this is a work computer but has nothing worth saving (as you say) then I think you are wasting good time on a (minimum) 10 year old system, when you need updated equipment that you can rely on. I use an old XP desktop, but it drags compared to updated systems.

 

I have had a Windows 7 system for home use for almost 3 years now, and would only use an XP if it was needed - XP Pro was a great system, but it has now been overtaken by better and upgraded equipment that every company should use -

 

Just my personal view -

 

Thank You -



#4 kcguru

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Posted 20 May 2013 - 11:09 PM

 

 I was going to reload the operating system as there is nothing on the computer worth saving .......... It's a work computer which we need to have operating if we can.

Have you given any thought to purchasing a new computer with at least Windows 7 installed ??

If this is a work computer but has nothing worth saving (as you say) then I think you are wasting good time on a (minimum) 10 year old system, when you need updated equipment that you can rely on. I use an old XP desktop, but it drags compared to updated systems.

 

I have had a Windows 7 system for home use for almost 3 years now, and would only use an XP if it was needed - XP Pro was a great system, but it has now been overtaken by better and upgraded equipment that every company should use -

 

Just my personal view -

 

Thank You -

 

Would love to just get a new computer but owner isn't real keen on spending money on something we can "band-aid", my terms not his. So I am giving this a fighting try I guess lol.



#5 noknojon

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:17 AM

Hi -

I do know that the boss can be a bit ....... at times, so Anshad Edavana has the better ideas -

 

Thanks for the reply -



#6 kcguru

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 08:56 AM

Ran the Seagate Seatool on the hard drive and everything came back ok but I have no way to paste the report... It read the cd just fine but when I try to run the reinstall windows xp cd, it just hangs on the "Press any key to boot from cd..." screen. Should I try a different cd or upgrading to a different operating system? I would just say screw it and tell the boss to buy a new computer but it wouldn't get approval until after the weekend and the weekend is when we need it lol.



#7 kcguru

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:28 AM

Ok, I got the reinstall cd to work and it brings up the Recovery Console and it is asking for the administrator password, which no one has any clue. I have tried the usual options here and leaving it blank, no luck. Research suggests using a program to reset the password. Any suggestions?



#8 hamluis

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:53 AM

The password request line in the XP Recovery Console...typically requires nothing more than hitting the Enter key to move on to the command line.

 

Louis



#9 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 09:53 AM

Hi

 

Make sure you are booting in to the recovery console in the right way. Read this guide : 

 

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproblem/ss/rconsole.htm

 

 

You can rest the password using "Offline NT password editor" - http://home.eunet.no/~pnordahl/ntpasswd/

(BC approved method )

 

Step by step guide : http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ss/ontpre-screenshot-guide.htm

 

Once you got access to the recovery console, run a check disk on the C drive by entering CHKDSK C: /R . 


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 21 May 2013 - 09:58 AM.


#10 kcguru

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 10:26 AM

Ok, tried using Offline NT password editor... have no access to burnable disks here so had to use a usb drive. I have the computer set to check the usb first but it doesn't find anything. It won't access the flash drive.

 

 

----Never mind, got it to run, going to check if it worked now!

 

Ok, got into the Recovery console, ran a chkdsk and it came back saying the hard drive was just fine. When I go into the "Install Windows Xp" and go to the option of "If you have a previous version of XP installed, you can try and repair it if damaged." I select the repair thing and then it goes through this whole setup thing and says to reboot to finish. When it reboots, it shows up the "Press any key to boot from cd..." screen and hangs without loading anything.


Edited by kcguru, 21 May 2013 - 11:13 AM.


#11 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:26 AM

Hi

 

Did you able to finish the repair install  or it just hanged after completing the first stage "Copying files" ?

 

At the end of the testing Seatool either displays a "PASSED" or "Failed" message. Are you sure Seatool certified your HDD as passed ? . If yes, one more time boot in to the recovery console and enter the following commands one by one - FIXBOOT and FIXMBR . Press "Y" to confirm if you are asked for permission to write new MBR and boot sector.

 

If the above steps are not useful , check whether the system have more than one RAM stick installed. If yes, try plugging only one at a time.



#12 kcguru

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 12:20 PM

Just ran the test again and HDD passed all tests. When I do the command FIXBOOT, it says "FIXBOOT cannot find the system drive, or the drive specified is not valid."



#13 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 01:41 PM

Hi

 

That is weird. Only reason i can think is may be there is no active partition in your system. Follow the below steps to verify the "Active" status of C drive. 

 

Download Partition Wizard bootable CD from http://www.partitionwizard.com/partition-wizard-bootable-cd.html

 

Boot from the CD and you will see all your partition in the main window. You will see witch partition is active in the "status" tab. Right click on the first partition and choose "Explore". You will see "Windows" and "Boot.ini" file if that is the correct OS drive. Now again right click on it and select  Modify-->Set Active .  Restart the system and boot from from XP CD. Now enter FIXMBR command first followed by FIXBOOT.



#14 kcguru

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 12:00 AM

Ok, I managed to just do a clean reinstall of the operating system and after updating drivers and everything, the computer is up and running and back to normal!! I still have no clue what happened to it in the first place, but after some tense moments of wanting to throw it out the window, it is running lol. Thank you all for all your help and suggestions, especially the seatool, I will be using that in the future!! You guys rock!! Thanks again!!



#15 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 22 May 2013 - 02:25 AM

Hi

 

Glad to hear that the issue is solved  :)






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