What is a "boot loop" and how do I tell my friend how to get outof it?

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by Grandpa Chuck, Mar 22, 2007.

  1. I have a friend on the phone who can't boot up in WinXP Home.
    A tech support person at our ISP told him it is called a boot loop and
    could not help.

    When he tries to boot up, even in Safe Mode, it starts to boot and it
    goes back to "Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or
    software change might have caused this. If you computer stopped
    responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to
    protect your files or folders choose last known good configuration to
    revert to the most recent setting that worked. If a previous startup
    attempt was interrupted due to a power failure (which he didn't
    have)or because the power or reset button was pressed or if you aren't
    sure what caused the problem choose start windows normally."
    Then there is a list:
    Safe Mode
    Safe Mode with networking
    Safe Mode with command prompt
    Last known good configuration (most recent settings that worked)
    Start Windows normally

    He has tried the choices except for "with network" since he doesn't
    have a network.

    His computer is HP Pavilion 7935
    bought from Tiger Direct in about 2002 and they did not provide a
    Windows system disk. He called HP tech support and they longer have
    information for this model.

    He said he's about ready to take a hammer to it, but I told him to
    just get away from it till he cools off.

    Do any of you have an suggestions how he can get it to boot into
    Windows without a system disk. I sure don't.

    Grandpa Chuck
    Grandpa Chuck, Mar 22, 2007
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  2. Grandpa Chuck

    WhzzKdd Guest

    Get him a disc. Any Microsoft XP Setup CD should work. (Obviously, "system
    restore" or "system recovery" discs probably won't be any help.) By default,
    HP didn't install the Recovery Console boot option, which is where he
    probably needs to go.
    WhzzKdd, Mar 22, 2007
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  3. Grandpa Chuck

    pcbutts1 Guest

    Have him check his mouse and keyboard connections for a tight fit. If any
    are USB replace with a ps2 and then try it.


    Newsgroup Trolls. Read about mine here http://www.pcbutts1.com/downloads
    The list grows. Leythos the stalker http://www.leythosthestalker.com, David
    H. Lipman, Max M Wachtell III aka What's in a Name?, Fitz,
    Rhonda Lea Kirk, Meat Plow, F Kwatu F, George Orwell
    pcbutts1, Mar 22, 2007
  4. I just got a bit more information from my friend who is having the
    problem. He had just moved the computer downstairs so his wife who is
    no longer able to climb stairs can use it. The first time he booted up
    it looked okay with the background and all of the icons, but then it
    froze. He tried pushing the reset button and nothing happened. The in
    order to kill the power he shut it off at the surge protector. It was
    then when he turned the power back on and attempted to boot up that
    this boot loop stuff started.

    When I just talked to him he said his mouse and keyboard connections
    are plugged all the way in. He lives across town from me and I am not
    going out tonight. I did tell him if he doesn't have it running by
    tomorrow evening I will bring him my original WinXP Home disk. He is
    concerned about the registration number, but I assured him since he
    has his registration number written down he should be alright.

    I told him your suggestions and will talk to him again at about 10:30 CST.
    Grandpa Chuck, Mar 22, 2007
  5. Grandpa Chuck

    WhzzKdd Guest

    There is something he could try tonight: remember the F8 boot menu? It
    should have one more thing that the "windows wasn't shut down properly" menu
    doesn't have. If he does the F8 to force the boot menu, he should look for
    "Disable automatic restart..." or something similar to that.

    The CD Key isn't important at this point anyway. He's got a valid install of
    Windows; he's probably not going to have to re-install.

    With the XP CD, I'd start by running the Recovery Console and doing a chkdsk
    /f on the hard drive.
    WhzzKdd, Mar 22, 2007
  6. Grandpa Chuck

    w_tom Guest

    Simpler would be to start by breaking the problem down into parts,
    and first analyzing those parts. For example, hard drive manufacturer
    and HP both provide comprehensive hardware diagnostics. I don't know
    how to boot those diagnostics on that HP. However the point is to not
    even let Windows get into the problem. Boot the diagnostic or boot
    the disk manufacturer's diagnostic from (maybe) a floppy to first
    establish what is and is not working. Trying to restore software when
    hardware is unknown - risky and too often makes a problem more

    Once a diagnostic reads disk data correctly (by many different
    methods), only then move on to a next sub-part of the problem.

    Maybe 30 different problems could cause this. Let's take one as an
    example - that somehow the BIOS setting has changed. If trying to
    restore an Operating System on a 'changed' BIOS, then system may
    overwrite other data - write in the wrong place - further complicating
    the problem and destroying good data.

    Better is to first establish disk is even working. Then establish
    whether BIOS settings are OK. Once we have established everything in
    hardware and firmware OK, only then are we ready to address a last
    part - restoring Windows.

    Do not fix anything until first is established what is good.

    As an alternative; it is probably a small disk anyway. Get a larger
    disk. Load the OS on that new disk. Once a system has been
    established, then connect the original disk. This way data is not
    lost, system is verified before disk data is put at risk, original
    hard disk can then be verified, confirmed, data recovered, etc. And
    finally he has a second disk to use for data backup, to boot system
    after another failur, or whatever.

    But again, notice how it works. Don't start fixing things. That's
    simply asking to make a problem more complex. Step through the
    problem. Those who try to fix problems rather than first learn what
    has failed only get more complex problems. emotionally distraught -
    and don't learn from their event.
    w_tom, Mar 22, 2007
  7. Grandpa Chuck

    Meat Plow Guest

    Pull out any PCI cards and reseat them. Do the same with the ram.
    disconnect everything outside except monitor mouse keyboard. Remove any
    add on cards except for video (unless it's built in.) Reset bios defaults
    to normal or safe mode if present.
    Meat Plow, Mar 22, 2007
  8. A mutual friend says his hard drive has probably failed.

    Can I take that hard drive out of his computer and put it in one of my
    old computers as drive X or something and then copy his files either
    on to my C drive or on to recordable CDs?

    Any other ideas?


    Grandpa Chuck
    Grandpa Chuck, Mar 24, 2007
  9. Grandpa Chuck

    WhzzKdd Guest

    That depends on the failure. If it is a hardware failure, probably not. If
    it is a software failure, sure. But judging from the symptoms you posted
    before, I think Windows has a problem, not the physical hard drive.
    WhzzKdd, Mar 24, 2007
  10. Okay, so refresh my memory about how I, or he, can change the boot
    order so his computer will try to start from the rescue CD instead of
    drive C. I can't believe I have forgotten how to change the boot
    order. Maybe it's just a "senior moment"?
    Grandpa Chuck, Mar 24, 2007
  11. Grandpa Chuck

    meerkat Guest

    Press the Del key, when you boot the machine up.
    It`ll take you to the BIOS page.
    Tab thro` the pages, to find Boot order, make the
    CD the first bootable device.
    Save settings, and exit.
    meerkat, Mar 24, 2007
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