Urgent help requested - Machine wont boot and PHD thesis is stuck on it!

By ateam4.grant ·
I have a dell dimension 8400, it has been working ok until today. When I start it up I get the black screen that tells me to either start in safe mode, last known config or start normally. I have tried everything and nothing works.

I thought I could boot from CD but no luck. I have checked in BIOS and the onboard or USB CD ROM drive is at boot sequence 1 but i noticed that at number 4 it says. ONboard IDE Hard Drive (not present) - what is this? is it serious..

Can any one help. I am due to hand in my PHD on tuesday and it is on this machine. Please

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All Answers

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got another computer? got a friend?

by CG IT In reply to Urgent help requested - M ...

put the HDD in another computer as a slave then save to a thumb drive/CD/DVD.

or have the friend print it out.

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Great minds

by Churdoo In reply to got another computer? go ...
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4 hours

by Churdoo In reply to Urgent help requested - M ...

And Tuesday comes 4 hours sooner for you than it does for me. Sorry, a little timezone humour.

So what happens when you try to boot the computer? In normal mode? In Safe mode? In Safe mode with Networking? Is this Windows XP Pro? XP Home? Vista? 2000?

The BIOS is seeing some sort of boot device, since it's at least getting to the Select Startup menu, so I'm not that worried, yet.

Not sure how much time you have to still work on your thesis versus how much time you have available to play computer tech, so the quickest thing may be to pull your hard drive out of the dell and bring it to a friend's house, slave the drive his machine to copy your paper off of it. Or we can try to troubleshoot your problem.

With what's at stake though, honestly you should probably look for some local tech support.
Good Luck!

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Thanks everyone - bit more info

by ateam4.grant In reply to 4 hours

When it starts it goes to a black screen which starts - We apologize for the inconvenience but windows did not start successfully a recent harware or software change might have caused this.

Safe mode brings me back to this screen
Last known good config does the same
start windows normally also does the same.

It is windows xp pro.

I am not even sure what the hard drive looks like so pulling it out would be difficult.

I really appreciate all your help and support.

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Disable Automatic Restart

by Churdoo In reply to Thanks everyone - bit mor ...

On the Safe mode startup menu, there should be an option called something like "Disable Automatic Restart on Error"

Select this option, and instead of restarting and recycling back to the same menu, the computer should halt on the error screen and allow you to see the error. Probably a Blue Screen with white lettering and a STOP error code in the first couple of lines.

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I really appreciate all your help

by ateam4.grant In reply to Disable Automatic Restart

Tried the xp disc but there is no option to press R after I agree to the licence.

I cannot get it through Restore

I tried your suggestion about disabling automatic restart on error but I end up with the blue screen which states under technical info

STOP: 0x00000024 (0x00190203, 0x833D9EF0,xC0000102, x000000000)

Any other suggestions?

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STOP 0x00000024 NTFS File System

by Churdoo In reply to I really appreciate all y ...

STOP 0x00000024 that's the key, thank you.

You do need to boot from a Windows XP install CD. After all of the drivers and the system load, the first menu will be something like Install XP yadda yadda, or Repair an XP installation. Select Repair. The next screen should have an option that says something about Recovery Console, select this option. There may be another screen before this, and I don't recall the exact wording without it in front of me, but select options having to do with Repair instead of Install, and the last screen will have an option for "using Recovery Console".

If all goes well, it will go to a black screen with white lettering asking which installation you want to repair, and hopefully the only choice will be C:\WINDOWS. Select that option (number 1 by default) and then you'll get to a simple C:\WINDOWS> prompt.

At that prompt, type "chkdsk /r" without the quotes and press enter. The computer will busy itself for awhile (potentially hours depending on the size of the hard drive) checking your hard disk.

When complete, remove the CD, type EXIT, and the system will restart. See if Windows will launch properly as there's a fair chance that it will. If it first stops at the same Safe Mode Startup Menu, find and select "Start Windows Normally"

Good luck!

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Hey Churdoo

by ateam4.grant In reply to STOP 0x00000024 NTFS File ...

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

It worked - everything there - may have to include you in my acknowledgements.

Best wishes

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Repair install/Live CD

by UAnimosity In reply to 4 hours

You can have a friend help you with a repair install of XP. you should be able to put in the XP disk, and Press R at the bootable install screen. This is a non destructive reload of the operating system.

All data files will be there after you do this.

Another option is to use a Linux bootable OS like knoppix to get into the machine, browse to the file, and e-mail it to yourself. Knoppix can be a life saver in these kind of situations.

You'll need someone else to download and burn the cd/dvd for you.

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It is taking the windows xp pro disc - what now?

by ateam4.grant In reply to Repair install/Live CD

Sorry I know I am being a pain but think I am drowning a bit here.

I put in the xp pro disc and it started to click through it on a blue screen - what do I do now?

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