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Computer crashes on startup (can't launch in safe mode, can't boot off disk)

Recently my sisters computer has been unable to start, it goes to a screen which has 3 options (BIOS setup, BIOS update and Boot Device). Once that screen passes the computer shuts down and immediately try's to restart. I tried booting off a windows 7 disk but it crashed immediately after that. It is a very old PC, it has an i3 2100 processor and was full of loads of dust a few hours ago until I cleaned it out (I cleaned out the dust after the crashing started). I had recently done a virus scan using Microsoft Security Essentials a day or two before the crashing started
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  1. When you say it crashes when trying to boot from a Win7 disk, does it hang? does it give some error? does it happen before or after asking for pressing a key to load from the CD/DVD?
  2. RaDiKaL_ said:
    When you say it crashes when trying to boot from a Win7 disk, does it hang? does it give some error? does it happen before or after asking for pressing a key to load from the CD/DVD?
    The computer has optical drive as it's higher priority boot device, so it reaches the screen with the options (BIOS settings, BIOS update and Boot Device) then it reaches a black screen saying "booting from disk" or something similar before immediately shutting down and restarting
  3. I see, it could be an overheating issue, you mentioned you cleaned the dust off of it, but did you reapply thermal paste to the CPU? it could have worn off already, specially if it's been 2+ years since the last reapplying.

    Get into BIOS and watch the CPU temperature, if it's constantly raising towards 60ºC+ then that's the problem.
  4. Have you tried to do a sfc for your computer? To see if there is corrupted windows system files.
  5. Best answer
    It isn't finding a bootable disk so it tries to go straight to the hard disk and that system is failing. Try a different DVD - a borrowed one of the same level of Windows will do for repair purposes. It could also be your optical drive that fails. Download a copy of a Linux OS to test it andif necessary, buy a USB external.
  6. daviddooper said:
    Have you tried to do a sfc for your computer? To see if there is corrupted windows system files.


    A bit difficult to do if the system can't start but a good thing to do if it ever boots up.
  7. RaDiKaL_ said:
    I see, it could be an overheating issue, you mentioned you cleaned the dust off of it, but did you reapply thermal paste to the CPU? it could have worn off already, specially if it's been 2+ years since the last reapplying.

    Get into BIOS and watch the CPU temperature, if it's constantly raising towards 60ºC+ then that's the problem.
    It's hovering at around 72/73 degrees, doesn't seem to be any cause for alarm at that temperature
  8. It isn't finding a bootable disk so it tries to go straight to the hard disk and that system is failing. Try a different DVD - a borrowed one of the same level of Windows will do for repair purposes. It could also be your optical drive that fails. Download a copy of a Linux OS to test it andif necessary, buy a USB external.
    It seems to be recognising the disk as a boot device but it seems to crash because it is missing a system32 file or some hardware is failing at launch. I believe the Linux OS could work
  9. The Linux LiveCD would prove the optical drive works although that seems to have been covered now. It would also give you the chance to check the hard drive for errors which, when fixed, might make Windows fly again.

    To me, there's still the possibility of the DVD disk itself having an issue. Smooth a fingertip of toothpaste gently over the disk face and carefully clean it off with a piece of lint cloth but DEFINITELY NOT any wood-based kitchen or toilet paper.

    If it is hardware, try resetting the BIOS to default settings.

    Do you have another other Windows CDs or DVDs - the original XP or Vista perhaps? It would tell us if the 7 disk is OK and leave hardware as prime suspect.
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