Windows XP won't Load

By janitplanet ·
I have a Gateway Athlon computer. Awhile back, my friend's brother reformatted the computer, loaded Windows XP (was previously Windows 98), and more memory. It worked fine afterwards.

About 1 month later we replaced the DVD ROM with a DVD burner. It worked fine, but awhile after it was in use, the computer just completely shut off. It wouldn't go back on with the power button.

We waited awhile, tried it again, and it worked. This happened a few times, then the computer was packed up because me moved.

It's been months now, we've finally settled into our new place, and I just set up the computer again. I turned it on, and it worked fine. Then, the same problem began to happen.

On the last attempt to start the computer, it got stuck on the black Gateway screen, but it wouldn't load windows. None of the function keys work - nothing works. It can be shut off by pressing the power button, but when it's turned back on it just stays at the black Gateway screen.

Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. My baby's newborn pictures are stored on the computer - and that's the only place they are stored - so I hope there's something that could be done that doesn't involve losing data. Sadly, the last time it died is when I was about to e-mail the pictures to myself so I wouldn't lose them!!!

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Janit- I'm guessing here

by Tig2 In reply to Windows XP won't Load

You upgraded the computer quite a lot. It is possible that the native architecture is strained.

So grab a thumb drive or other removable media. Give it several hours between attempts. See if you can get to anything that you want to save. Try to only be on it for very short periods of time. 30 to 45 minutes.

See how that goes and let us know how you are getting on.

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Four choices, none good.

by Mayhem1969 In reply to Windows XP won't Load

Given it works initially and then shuts down, it sounds like its either heat (too much), bad power supply, a bad cpu, or a bad hdd.

1.It initially turns on but after some use begins to build up heat and then shuts off. This could be because of a bad fan, old thermal paste, or dust.

2.It could also be a power problem. Your PS could be going bad or you've added some peripherals (like the dvd writer) that use more power and your PS is insufficient.

3. Your cpu is going bad. As you use your computer, you use more programs and more memory, requiring your computer to use more of your processor's power. It is defective and can't supply it and shuts down.

4. Your hard drive is defective and when certain sectors are read over and over eventually crashes and shuts down.

I would start by cleaning out the case. I'd check to make sure the fan is working. I'd also run it with the case open to give it more air and see if it still shuts down. If so, heat is not likely your culprit.

Unfortunately, PSs are harder to determine. The easiest way to test one is to remove your pci cards, peripherals and other things that use power and run bare minimum. If it starts begin adding one at a time. You might also swap it out with another one or check the voltage after its warmed up.

A new cpu may be needed if the problem doesn't resolve after trying 1 or 2.

Finally, the computer may not be able to access the OS from the hdd due to a defect. Try booting into your bios on startup. If you can boot into the bios but your OS won't load, its likely the hdd. Swap it with another if you can.

Let us know what happens.

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Depends on what you want to do here

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Windows XP won't Load

If you only want to save the pictures then it should be possible depending on what has happened. You can always remove the HDD fit it to a USB Caddy and then read the data from it to something else.

Just Remember that Kodak recommends that if you save pictures to a CD ROM and I would Imagine a DVD Rom you need to replace the Disc regularly to prevent picture degradation as CD or for that matter DVD isn't a permanent Storage System.

As the system was working but shutting down I would tend to think that you have a Heat Problem either something is blocked maybe a Heat Sink has fallen off or the PS has died. Since you now have a permanent failure occurring it's fairly safe to say that you have a hardware problem that may not be economical to cure particularly as this unit came loaded with 98 originally so it's now getting a bit long in the tooth and may be too expensive to repair.

Unless you have run it to death the HDD should be usable to at the very least copy your pictures and any other data that you have saved. Even if the HDD is dead it is still possible to recover data off it but it gets expensive when this happens so it may not be worth your while to consider this option.


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Almost certainly a HW problem

by Nodisalsi In reply to Windows XP won't Load

My faithful old Athlon running Linux now freezes while in init level 1 - I've had to mothball it 'cos I can't find time to fix it.

It might be OK to swap the Hard Drive into someone else's system (Pref.. XP) and then you can recover lost data.

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