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Can someone here maybe help me with a little 'puter trouble shooting?
My 2 year old Compaq laptop when turned on, will go thru the boot-up, but when it reaches the XP welcome screen, that's it! That's as far as it will go. I used it one morning to log on to VTXOA. That afternoon when I turned it on, XP welcome, and that's all she'll do. I don't recall anything damaging happening to it. (But it's used by two teenagers also) I'm thinking excessive heat may have damaged the hard drive. Any suggestion please?
 

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First off, take it away from the teenagers or get them their own. Second, if it has a floppy drive or cd drive, insert the windows startup disk that should have come with the system and let it try to boot up from the disk. Sounds like somebody found a virus.
 

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Push F8 and start it up in safe mode.

What was the last thing added to it (hardware or software)??

When did you last do Windows updates?

Do you have anti-virus software loaded and current?


Nate
 

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As NMEAD mentioned, if you can get into safe mode, you have something to work with.
 
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Instead of safe mode try booting into Last Known Good Configuration. Probably a corrupt registry. Or if you can get into safe mode, try a System Restore back to before you had the problem.

Doubtful it's a virus. I see this all the time when registries get corrupt.
 

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It is probably a driver issue. Use F8 to get into safe mode and then perform a system restore. Right click on the my computer icon on the desk top or find Help and Support / system restore...Go back a couple of days. The will only change the system state and will not affect your documents etc..

Good Luck
 

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DallasRider said:
Instead of safe mode try booting into Last Known Good Configuration. Probably a corrupt registry. Or if you can get into safe mode, try a System Restore back to before you had the problem.

Doubtful it's a virus. I see this all the time when registries get corrupt.
I fix these types of problems at work all the time. Either the system restore from Safe Mode or Last Known Good Configuration should get you back up and running. If not then we're dealing with something else completely.
 

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If the fixes above work, then you won't need this part. If, the fixes don't work, you will need to decide if there is information on the hard drive that you need or can do without. If you need information off of the computer, you will need to get a copy of ERD Commander. You can find it on the web, an emergency copy is only $1.50. Boot with ERD and see if the hard drive is still good. You will see the C: drive and you can copy needed information to floppy, zip or usb device. Then you can reimage the hard drive with the system restore and you will be back to new. I do computer work for a living and this is a common problem.
 

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DallasRider said:
Instead of safe mode try booting into Last Known Good Configuration. Probably a corrupt registry. Or if you can get into safe mode, try a System Restore back to before you had the problem.

Doubtful it's a virus. I see this all the time when registries get corrupt.
This would be my suggestion as well
 

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As long as you haven't gotten past the logon screen since the troubles started, the "last known good" would be your best and easiest option to try (press F8 before XP starts to boot to access the boot menu where you can choose this option).

If you've gotten past the signon screen and then it locked up, the last known good will then become "last known bad" :( In this case Safe Mode would be a good choice - followed by a System Restore to a point in time when the system worked.
 
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Good point, JD, I agree 100%. Last Known Good should only bu used when the system has not been booted. Otherwise it can cause problems. Thanks for the clarification.
 

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"nother question: How to retrieve/restore deleted files/folders?
 

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Honestly, I have NEVER seen last known good work. Ever.

Usually you have tried booting several times by the time you get around to trying this option, and then it is too late, as the backup copy of the registry has already been overwritten.

XP has safe mode, I would use that.

You can then get in and disable/remove the hardware or software (drivers) that is causing your issue.

hth,
Nate
 

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captvelcro said:
"nother question: How to retrieve/restore deleted files/folders?
Hey Captain!

I dont think the ability to retrieve deleted items (Really deleted from the recycle bin) is native to XP. There are several "undelete" programs available and inexpensive..

Deleted data stays on the harddrive until the blocks they are located on are overwritten..
 

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Maybe way to simple, they will do that if some CDs are left in the drive, check to see if there is one in it.
 

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Download some tools to check er out

Important Data? Remove hard drive and install in good working computer and remove data. Pictures etc before you do anything a computer shop will usually charge 50.00 for the service.

Try the stuff mentioned above Press F8 etc.

Next insert the Windows Cd that came with the system and when it says it detects another copy of windows XP select repair the Cd contains the files necessary to repair your system in some cases.

If you suspect a hardware problem them

Go to www.ultimatebootcd.com and click on downloads. Be carefull when you use the tools there are some good technical documents covering the utilities on the CD. BE CAREFULL SOME OF THE TOOLS CAN HOSE YOUR SYSTEM DO NOT USE THE TOOLS WITHOUT READING WHAT THEY DO> YOU WILL NEED A CD BURNER TO CREATE THE CD. The directions on the site clearly tell you how to make the CD

To check out your system for viruses use the following link if you can still get on line.

go to www.trendmicro.com click on free PC house call its a start to cleaning out your system. It will remove most viruses and spyware.

Go to downloads.com and download
SPYSWEEPER
AD Aware
Spyware Blaster
SEARCH & DESTROY

If you have windows XP

go to www.microsoft.com/spyware and download the Microsoft Antispyware Beta 1 DO NOT USE IT ON BUSINESS PRODUCTION COMPUTERS unless you back-up your computer data.

also goto www.microsoft.com/malware and dlwnload the malware removal tools.

Run them and get rid of the junk on your computer.

ALSO DO NOT RUN ANY FILE SHARING PROGRAM MORPHIS, KAZZA, or any of the other 10 or so FILE SHARING PROGRAM. THEY ARE ALL BAD. Unless you like problems avoid them. GET Norton Internet Security 2005 and remember to get 2006 in 2006 and 2007 in 2007. DO NOT GET MCAFEE it sucks IMPO. I own a computer company and have been doing this for 20 years. Good Luck

Make sure you do all Microsoft Windows Updates and check for updates on a weekly basis to make sure your system is up to date. Windows XP will automatically update your system if you set it up correctly.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks everyone for the replies. I just got in from work and read the thread. I haven't done any trouble shooting yet, but I'm getting ready to try your suggestions. I will post what I find. But I can say that:

1. There are no discs in the drives.

2. I do have Norton Internet Security 2005. (not sure when last updated).

3. I do have Microsoft spyware program, which was download from a link posted by Ricster. It auto runs daily.

4. Windows XP is set to update weekly.

Thanks again, I will keep you posted
 

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NMead said:
Honestly, I have NEVER seen last known good work. Ever.

Usually you have tried booting several times by the time you get around to trying this option, and then it is too late, as the backup copy of the registry has already been overwritten.
Last Known Good is only updated after a successful login. If the system is hanging up before then, you've got a reasonable chance of success using LNG. I've fixed a few machines with this, but usually the problem happens after login, and by then the LNG has been updated with the "bad" copy of the registry.

It's worth a shot at least...
 

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X Man said:
Can someone here maybe help me with a little 'puter trouble shooting?
My 2 year old Compaq laptop when turned on, will go thru the boot-up, but when it reaches the XP welcome screen, that's it! That's as far as it will go. I used it one morning to log on to VTXOA. That afternoon when I turned it on, XP welcome, and that's all she'll do. I don't recall anything damaging happening to it. (But it's used by two teenagers also) I'm thinking excessive heat may have damaged the hard drive. Any suggestion please?
Can you explain excessive heat? Heat doesn't necessarily have to damage a harddrive to make the machine quit working. If one of the integrated devices get damaged, that could be enough to hang the system. While you are following the advice of the posters above, give the laptop a good visual once over. Look for evidence of drink spills, points of impact...etc. Your mentioning of teenagers is the only reason I say to at least consider a non-software related event.
 
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