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Windows XP - Not Booting to Login Screen

By mr.sweetchuck ·
My parents rang me up saying that their Windows XP PC wouldn't boot. So I droped over to have a look, but I can't resolve the problem.

When windows boots, it fails to get to the login screen. It sits on the loading screen. I can however, boot into safe mode.

I thought the OS was currupt so decided to re-install. Unfortunately, when I tried this, I received an error stating that the OS couldn't find the hard drive. I tried installing the HD drivers at the same time as the OS installation, but this didn't resolve the issue.

I then decided to swap out the hard disk. Again, I am getting the same issue of not being able to find the HD.

At this point I'm stumped and would appreciate any suggestions.


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All Answers

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Quick check

by Jacky Howe In reply to Windows XP - Not Booting ...

Check the hard disk controller options settings in BIOS. Make sure that the settings reflect your drive. Check cables and power by disconnecting and reconnecting them.
If it isn't detected in the BIOS it has most likely failed.

Let us know how you get on.

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Or if this is a SATA HDD

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Windows XP - Not Booting ...

In which case you need to install the SATA Drivers for this M'Board and XP when the First Blue Screen of the Windows Installer Appears by pressing the F6 Key and having the SATA Driver copied to the Root of a Floppy.

Or you could save yourself a lot of time & effort by making your own Slipstreamed Install Disc for this computer by either following the directions here


or in this download here


Or you can use a product like nLite to make the Disc available free from here


If you chose to use nLite make sure you read the Guides here before burning any CD's.


Also it wouldn't hurt to run a test on the HDD with either the makers Test Utility or Seatools available here


The Hard Driver Makers Testing utility is always the best to use but if you don't know who made it Seatools will give you a result that is OK. Also if you get a fail on the computer that it is fitted to you really should remove the HDD fit it to another computer and test again if it still fails the test it is the HDD but if it passes the second test it is either the M'Board, Data lead or Power Supply.

Of course if it is a IDE Drive check the Jumper Setting and make sure that it is either set to Master or Cable Select.


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by mr.sweetchuck In reply to Or if this is a SATA HDD

Unfortunately it was none of the above. I could never fix it and neither could anybody else i brough it to. In the end we just wrote it off and they got a new one.

Thanks for your suggestions,

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by bryanmuts2000 In reply to Nope

You guys are lucky, a seemingly simple problem, you fail to fix and then you buy a new PC.

I am an I.T guy in Zimbabwe and I can't even afford to buy a second hand PC. If I had been the one in your position I am sure I would have found the solution at all costs.

Next time you can't fix a PC please just send it to me as gift. I will give you my postal details if you are interested.

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