XP will not boot either regularly or in Safe Mode

By MelKnip ·
My husband obtained a second-hand computer before he and I met. It is a COMPAQ Presario C500. The sticker on it's underside says it came with Vista. Evidently someone replaced it with XP as that's what it's currently running.

My husband doesn't know anything about computers and got himself a wicked virus. I don't know what it is because he didn't tell me when he first got it and now I can't get anything to load at all. The computer starts up and gets to the main login screen and freezes. Not even the mouse will move. When I try Safe Mode, the black background boots, but no icons or the start bar come up. I ran both a HD scan and memory scan in Setup and it passed.

At this point, I don't care about saving anything. I want to wipe the HD, but I don't have any Windows boot disks since it's second hand and I'm not sure if I can use my own Dell Vista boot disks to reinstall. I don't want to try it, cause then I'll really be up a creek if it doesn't work. If anyone can help me, I'd really appreciate it!

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All Answers

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The Dell CD will NOT work on your Compaq....

by Darryl~ Moderator In reply to XP will not boot either r ...

The original Vista may be on the hard drive so you may be able to restore to it.

You can launch the "Recovery Manager" by pressing F11 during booting...if the partition wasn't deleted, you should be able to go back to factory settings.

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Is Compaq Presario the problem

by bodonnell11 In reply to XP will not boot either r ...

I had the same problem once upon a time with a Compaq Presario. It's not the op sys, I eventually found out that some Compaq Presario's (the one I had) had a problem in the Motherboard. I can't remember exactly what the problem was at the moment but the fix required use of a hot soldering iron. I guess this was the reason the Compaq was being thrown out and given to me. I subsequently forgot about getting it going, used the rest of it for spare parts and haven't had a problem with it since. A big waste of time.

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You may want to try this

by markp24 In reply to XP will not boot either r ...


I would recommend trying the following, Download a Live CD (UBCD4win or Bart PE or Ubuntu Live cd or other linux dist), boot from the CDrom and backup any data you have on the system, to an external hard drive or other media.
then if that cd works then you know the hardware is most likely ok. At that point, if want you can load Ubuntu Linus, Ultimate edition linux or any other linux for free,
or purchase a new OEM or Retail vista cd and reload the system.
either way at least you will have your data to use on another computer, if you choose to toss this compaq system.

hope that helps.


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try a boot disc

by Snuffy09 In reply to XP will not boot either r ...

avg has a antivirus rescue disc that is bootable, try to cleanup the computer using this.

or try UBCD for windows, this disc has some good utilites on it too

both are free of charge and you can download as .iso and burn to cd

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Tried AVG

by MelKnip In reply to try a boot disc

I downloaded the AVG Rescue Disc and was able to boot up with it. It found 10 trojans. I tried to delete them or rename them, but I think I did something I wasn't supposed to, cause now when I boot up the computer, Windows will not even get to the log-in screen. It just goes to a black screen then reboots over and over. Did I just screw myself or what?? Oops.

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Happens all the time.

by seanferd In reply to Tried AVG

You may have removed the malware, but that doesn't repair the damage done to the OS.

Also, run the AVG Rescue again, and keep running it until it doesn't find anything.

<i>Did I just screw myself or what?? Oops.</i>

Nah, if you are screwed, your were screwed from the beginning.

<i>It just goes to a black screen then reboots over and over.</i>

This is a major pet peeve of mine. What is almost certainly happening is that you are getting a Blue Screen Of Death, which would actually provide useful information, but - by default Windows is configured to reboot on failure. Since the failure is permanent until the problem is fixed, you get an endless reboot.

So now, see if there is a recovery partition from which you can reinstall XP.

Otherwise, you'll need to buy a copy of XP or whatever if you want to stick with Windows. You may be able to get copies of the Compaq install media for that system cheap

further support - pick your exact product

Unless you want to try the aforementioned Live CD method, which will probably still require some Windows files, and an ability to mount and fix the registry in some manner. At least far enough to turn off System Failure - Automatically Restart, which is found normally by right clicking My Computer → Properties → Advanced → Startup and recovery settings →

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by markp24 In reply to Tried AVG


Since your not worried about the data on the system.Itmay just be better (and safer) to wipe and reload it then to troubleshoot it. I know you dont have the XP cd, but if you dont care about the particular OS you may want to tree the free OS options.

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Try this

by prrethish In reply to XP will not boot either r ...

If u r getting windows login screen at this screen press alt+ctrl+Del button this will bring Task manager Go to file click on new task click on browse go to windows directory click on explorer click open & give ok

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