Problem starting windows after f-d up XP install

By david_m_kamara ·
Looking back with hindsight, I was proable vey stupid, but heres the problem.

I installed Vista- full format of both drives, working splendid. The only problem was that my printer was not working. I spent hours trying to get drivers and nothing worked- HP were not supporting the printer any more and the phone helpline spent hrs on the phone with absolutely no luck. Now it was late, I was exhausted, angry and hungry, and my brother needed to print off schoolwork for the next day.

So in my sleepy state, i stuck the XP disk in, rebooted and tried to install it on the second drive. About half way through, the install stalled, and my mind kinda woke up abit and i knew i had done a big dudu!

I tried to cancel out- no luck.
I tried to restart, and it would not. I would get the initial boot screen- checking master and slave drives- then it would freeze. Ive tried disconnecting the drives- one then the other, and i cant even get to the 'boot from cd' screen to allow me to format the second hdd and possibly save myself.

Q: am I F-d? Is there any hope?

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All Answers

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Try a Startup Repair from your Vista DVD

by Jacky Howe In reply to Problem starting windows ...

Overview of the Windows Vista Repair options


Figure 5. Startup Repair window

The automatic repair process can take quite a while. So please be patient as Vista attempts to find and repair any problems on your computer. During this process your computer may reboot multiple times, which is normal and nothing to be worried about. During this process you may also be presented with a dialog box asking if you would like to restore your computer using System Restore.

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Just to add

by Jacky Howe In reply to Try a Startup Repair fro ...

if you do go back to Vista you may need to purchase a new Printer that is compatible.

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Cabt get to the BOOT FROM CD screen

by david_m_kamara In reply to Try a Startup Repair fro ...

The problem is that I cannot get the BIOS to start, and I cannot get to the screen that asks to press any key to boot from CD.

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What are you saying here that the unit is no longer POSTing?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Cabt get to the BOOT FROM ...

That it is not showing the makers Logo and giving a single beep?

If that is the case you have done a lot more than just muck up the HDD's partition Information.

If the unit was working correctly but no longer booting you can enter the BIOS make changes to things like the Boot Order and save those changes. However if it's no longer even POSTing that is signs of a shot M'Board, CPU and or RAM.


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RE: Q: am I F-d? Is there any hope?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Problem starting windows ...

Well it depends on what it is you want to do here as to how far up the creek you are without a paddle.

If it is to install XP and blow the downgrade to Vista away all you need do is Open the BIOS set the Boot Order to Optical Drive First then a HDD and boot from a Boot CD and delete the Vista Partitions.

You could use the CD Version of Boot & Nuke to wipe the HDD if you like it's available here and AutoNuke should suffice in wiping the Drives though you may be promoted which drive you want to wipe first.


You generally speaking can not install XP to a drive with Vista on it and this will be why the install hung up initially on you. I'm also unsure who you spent hours on the phone to after learning that the Printer was not Vista Compliant as there is nothing you can do to make it work under Vista short of writing your own drivers which no one is going to do for the fun of it.


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Diskette to the Rescue

by Lowlytech In reply to Problem starting windows ...

This is where you dig out an old bootable floppy with FDISK and reformat the drive and start over from scratch.

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by david_m_kamara In reply to Diskette to the Rescue

Whats a diskette? lol. I will need to install one coz i didnt think I would ever need one. I have to say I was 10 the last time I used one.

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RE: Whats a diskette? I have to say I was 10 the last time I used one

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to eerm..

Don't use a computer much at all then do you?

If you have not used a Floppy Disc in a long time you have never had to do any work real work on a computer trivial unimportant things like Flashing the BIOS to newer versions when required and other diagnostic tests require Floppies.

Personally it's been nearly a day since I last used a Floppy and I need to use these several times a day normally.


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