this is my first time here. Hopefully someone can shed some light on this problem, as it has made everything grind to a halt.
My main computer just died, so I figured I'd take my old computer, which was never hooked up to the internet (in order to always keep it clean as a baby's rear end), and use it to run either diagnostics and/or data recovery software on my malfunctioning C drive from my dead computer.
The old computer had XP pro sp2 on it, with a P4 3.4 processor, and an Intel board. The first obstacle, was getting it online. Simply plugging in the networking cable did nothing. After endless amounts of reading, it seems that because they computer was never meant to be online, the networking (or "LAN"?) drivers were never installed. After many tries and much confusion, I finally had someone find them online for me, put the drivers on a thumbdrive, and after a few attempts I was able to get this old girl connected. But I must say, for those who don't really know what they are doing very well, the procedure for setting up the network connections was anything but easy. The automated system for doing it failed every time. No reason way. So I finally managed to do it manually, somehow. To be honest, I don't even remember now. When you attempt to do something for 12 hours in a row, trying every possible solution, it's easy to forget specifics.
Anyway, I got hooked into the internet. The next step was upgrading to SP 3, which I had already placed on the desktop of the computer years ago. That seemed to go well. In addition to the LAN drivers, I also had a bios update. The person who got those for me knows far more than I do, so I simply clicked on the exe for the bios update without questioning it, which I assume was the latest version made for this old motherboard, the Intel D875PBZ. After it was started, it said to wait at least 3 minutes. An hour later, the screen was still black. Something was clearly wrong. After more exhaustive trail and error, it seems the bios update changed what I guess is called the "Boot order", I think? So I figured out how to get into the bios (I'd already been warned to NEVER change anything there without advice from an experienced individual). Sure enough, the 1st boot device was set to a "floppy drive", which the computer doesn't have. Not knowing which of the three hard drives the OS was on, I simply kept changing the boot order, and on the second try Windows booted up. All was well! Or...so I thought.
I started the long process of putting Firefox on it, and making small changes. All of this was for no reason other than gearing up for the upcoming data recovery attempt on the dead C drive from my other system. I started browsing all of the many programs available for this purpose, and R-Studio was decided upon. Again, all seemed well.
I had not yet even got the point of downloading the R-Studio recovery software yet, when something horrible happened. Sorry for taking so long to get to the point, but I am always afraid I'll leave something important out, which will help you guys advise me.
At this point, I had to restart the computer for some reason. Can't remember why. After seeming like it was going to restart as usual, it was taking to that black screen which asks you if you want to boot up in safe mode, safe mode with networking, normal mode, or the last known good configuration. Huh??? Why on earth did that happen?
I hoped it was just a minor glitch, and it would be resolved after the restart. So I selected "Start Normally" (if that's what the terms were), and it didn't work, it just brought me back to the same black screen asking which mode I wanted to boot up into. This time I selected Safe Mode. Same thing, right back to the black mode selection screen. So I tried "Normal" again, and it didn't work of course. But I did notice something which might be important. During the first few seconds while it was attempting to boot into Windows normally, I got to see the Blue Screen Of Death. However, it was gone in a fraction of a second. Far too quick to write down any of the details, which I'm told are important. So I tried again and again to start windows normally, hoping to catch a glimpse of the numbers in the BSOD, but it is impossible to see much of anything in the 1/10th of a second that it is on the screen. I gave up.
I tried the other "safe" modes a few more times, with the same results. So then I chose "Last known good configuration", and it started windows. But from what I gather, it is a state of windows which is older than some of the changes I recently made?
Anyway, this phenomenon continues. If I restart, I am always taken to that black mode selection screen, and "Last known good configuration" is the only one which works.
It's now two days later, and I've still not been able to begin the process of attempting data recovery on that C drive from the dead computer due to this booting issue. I'd like to resolve this before I start putting time into retrieving data from that drive.
I don't know what else you might need to help advise me. It's a P4 (old, I know), with the intel D875PBZ. 2 gigs of ram, 3 hard drives (only one of which is SATA...that's how old this thing is). A mediocre video card, can't remember the model, but it wasn't a terribly high performance card for that time period.
Everything seemed perfect for a while, and it looked like this would be a suitable system to use to recover data from my dead C drive from the other computer. Now this happened, and I am at a standstill. The computer works though, and I got firefox up and running, and I can browse obviously, since I'm using it to write this post.
Oh, just thought of something else which might help someone assist me. Seems that the guy who set up this system, probably 10 years ago, didn't use a store-bought copy of Windows. I think I recall him saying it was a "developers copy", and that I shouldn't hook it up to the internet, since Microsoft would immediately recognize it was not a legit copy of windows. I guess I forgot about that while trying to get this computer up and running. Now, my desktop went black, and I get pop-ups alerting me that I might have a counterfeit version of windows. Still works, of course. And from what I read, I can keep using it this way. But the black desktop and pop-up reminders that it's not a legit copy of windows is a form of Microsoft shaming you into fixing the situation, I suppose.
I don't know if that has anything to do with the problem. As before, I can't exactly remember if the Microsoft "shame" pop-ups started after my current problems, or after...but my guess is that it was after, and might be unrelated.
Sorry for this post being so long, but my inexperience tells me that the more info I list, the better.
Thanks very much in advance too all of you who might have a suggestion to fix this boot problem, and hopefully I can move forward and try to install and then use the R-Studio software after this problem is fixed.
Thanks very much!