Hey guys. I have a problem that I don't think will be very hard to fix, but I need a little help.
There was a thunderstorm in my area today. My computer's plugged into a surge protector, but the outlets in this house aren't grounded. I safely removed the flash drive and card reader I had plugged in, and figured it would be safe for me to extract the archive I'd just transfered to the hard drive before shutting down. Bad call.
While 7-zip's doing its thing, the lights in the room briefly flickered off and on, and the CRT monitor went dark. I looked at the PC and saw its power light was still on, so I turned the monitor off and then back on, but the screen remained black. I then forced a shutdown by holding the PC's power button.
Restarting, I saw it wasn't the monitor that was the problem. This message came up:
We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this. If your computer stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to protect your files and folders, choose Last Known Good Configuration to revert to the most recent settings that worked. If a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure or because the Power or Reset button was pressed, or if you aren't sure what caused the problem, choose Start Windows Normally. Safe Mode Safe Mode with Networking Safe Mode with Command Prompt Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked) Start Windows Normally
I selected the last of those choices. The Windows XP loading screen appeared, but after several seconds, the computer restarted and I ended up back at above screen. This happened again when I choose Last Known Good Configuration. I ran through the Safe Mode selections as well with almost the same result, only instead of the XP loading screen, a list of drivers was displayed as they loaded before the system restarted.
This computer's running XP (with Service Pack 3, I think) and I have the "Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition Operating System Disc" it came with. If I press F11 while the machine's booting, I'll be taken to a prompt to insert that disc, but it doesn't seem to give me any options besides a factory restore, something I obviously don't want to do without backing up everything first.
But I'm thinking the problem is just that a driver or other system file was corrupted. I'm not sure how to go about identifying and replacing a corupt driver when I can't start Windows, though. I'm looking around for info along those lines, but I appreciate any help or other suggestions.