XP is not playing nice
June 24, 2008 4:36 PM   Subscribe

Windows XP pro is failing to load. There was a brief power failure which shut the machine down, and now xp won't load. I get a BSOD that flashes so quickly I can't read it.

I then get some text giving me the option to start in safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt, start the last known good configuration, or start windows normally. No matter which option I choose, it ends up giving me those options again. At some point, when I'm given the option to"press ctrl-s or f4 to enter RAID utility" (which doesn't work, it briefly flashes "primary channel: drive not found" then "secondary channel: drive not found."

I don't have the XP discs; the software may not be exactlylicensed to me. I don't mind buying the thing if I need to, but I'd like to have some feeling that it would work in the first place.

Just typing this had pretty much exhausted my computing knowledge. I don't even know how to google this. Any ideas?
posted by Shohn to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Something similar happened to me once a couple years ago, an error message flashed up for half a second or so and then it rebooted, and repeat. The error message was too fast to read so I used my digital camera to get a picture of it. It took 3 tries to get a picture. In my case, it said that gdi32.dll wasn't found or was corrupt or something. I replaced the file somehow, I don't remember now. Maybe using the recovery console on the original XP disk. Anyway, it was fine after that. Probably one of your basic system files has got a similar problem.
posted by DarkForest at 4:59 PM on June 24, 2008


Typically at this point you use the original CDs to perform a repair installation (different from repair console). During that process you'll be asked for the product key again, so it's going to be important that you have matching discs and keys.
posted by odinsdream at 5:25 PM on June 24, 2008


The RAID thing is not likely related, unless you have your hard drives in RAID configuration. That key sequence is used to enter the configuration of the drives before the operating system loads.
posted by odinsdream at 5:26 PM on June 24, 2008


Yeah, I can't get into the recovery console, and I don't have the original disks.
posted by Shohn at 6:18 PM on June 24, 2008


Are you running a RAID configuration? A power loss can really hose them.

A "repair install" may help fix this but that would require an XP install disc.

If you have important data on the hard drive you maybe able to remove the drive, install it in a second computer, and then back it up before proceeding.
posted by wfrgms at 6:25 PM on June 24, 2008


A thought, probably a bad one: I had this same issue when I upgraded to SP3. If you have an AMD processor machine, it might be worthwhile to check out whether you have this problem. But it generally shows up only after SP3 is installed, so odds are slim. Still...
posted by maxwelton at 7:29 PM on June 24, 2008


You might be able to get your data off the hard drive by using a bootable Linux CD. I´d recommend making a backup before you try reinstalling windows or taking your computer to a shop.
posted by yohko at 9:52 PM on June 24, 2008


If you cant get into safe mode then you'll need the disks. You can try a repair install. You might have a bad disk on your hands so you should budget for a new drive too if you continue to have problems after install.
posted by damn dirty ape at 9:55 PM on June 24, 2008


AFAIK Windows XP doesn't ask for a CD key during repair. Borrow a friend's XP disk and run through the repair process.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:06 AM on June 25, 2008


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