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windows startup problem

Last response: in Windows XP
February 8, 2006 7:19:10 PM


Could somebody help me. Everytime I start my computer it asks just before the windows-screen to choose between two options

Microsoft windows home edition
Restore Microsoft windows home edition

If I choose the first it will stop with the massage that I should restart and do a repair by pressing r.
If I take the second, my computer starts promptly.

However I tried to press r, but nothing happens. I looked on other forums and their they show that you will get a windows repair screen. I, on the other hand get nothing, and startup will continue as mentioned above.

I tried to perform a reboot from the windows disk, but it refuses to do that.
I do not know a lot of this BIOS stuff, and does not dare to change a lot.

Has somebody an idea what could be the problem here, and in which way I can circumvent this double startup system. If I do restore, the computer runs normally. (Otherwise, I wasn't able to write this mail :-) )

Could somebody help me???

PS; I have an DELL Dimension 8300 with Windows XP home edition


February 8, 2006 7:49:20 PM

Please copy your boot.ini file (on the root of "C"), and paste it into your next post.

Next, try to determine what key you have to press, when you first boot up, to get you into the BIOS. Usually F1, F2, Esc, or Del.

When you get into the BIOS, look for the page that has Boot priority (or order), or something to that effect. Check to see that the CD-Rom drive is first, in front of the hard drive.

Now, when you pop the XP install cd in, it will start like it wants to install. Let it! Accept the option to install on the "C" drive. In a minute or so, you will see an option for Repair. Press R; this gives you the Recovery Console. At the prompt choose 1 and Enter; then type both of the following: fixmbr fixboot.

Let's see if that helps.
February 8, 2006 7:49:20 PM

Your computer is functioning as Dell intended.
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February 8, 2006 7:51:40 PM

You need to use the Windows CD to boot off, let the setup deal load, then you can choose the R option to do a repair
February 8, 2006 8:53:21 PM

Ever heard of Murphy's law, well, this is the case

Indeed, if I want to install my windows I config the BIOS to boot from the CD-rom...

Unfortunately, My computer has two Disc-drives:

A DVD-rom and a DVD-rewritable..

Strange is the fact that in my BIOS I can just put a IDE CD-rom to boot from.

So If I now change boot-sequence to CD-Rom as first and I put the CD in my DVD-rom drive he tries to load, but shortly after goes in a loop-sequence (You hear the sound changing.) I think this thing is broken, also because it was not able to read DVD's or CD's under windows, I had to use the rewritable drive

Does anyone know how to change the booting in such a way that I can boot from the CD using the rewritable drive?

BTW thanks for the fast replies...

I now I have a Dell, but hey it was for a good price... :) 


February 8, 2006 10:43:21 PM

Change what you think is the good dvd, to Master, with the jumpers. I'm assuming the two of them are on the Secondary IDE connection on the mobo. I would disconnect the power on the "bad" one.
February 9, 2006 5:25:50 AM

Ok, this is CHinese for me....

Can you explain a little bit more about this. Do you mean that should change the cables internally? And if so, will this automatically be recognized by my system or do I have to change somethings in my BIOS.

Concerning BIOS or Hardware issues, I have no idea how to start with that...

Could you explain a little bit more in detail, the things I most change to be able to boot from the rewritable?

Thanks in advance

February 9, 2006 11:36:47 AM

You have to enter BIOS to secure this task. You have to make sure that CD-Rom drive is first in the boot order. If you know this to be true, then we proceed to manually changing the Rom drive configuration.

You have to open the box. Leave the power connected, but the comp is off. Briefly touch the power supply.

Carefully remove the data cable from the roms. You can leave it connected to the mobo. Now disconnect the power plugs from both. Now you unscrew both from the cage and remove from the pc.

Put aside the problematic drive for now. On the rewritable, check the back jumper setting. You want to be certain that it is set for Master. There most likely is a diagram on the top to follow. If not, look right at the jumper pins. Most likely you will see letters stamped like M S C somewhere around. You want the M position.

One way or another you should be able to figure out how to set that jumper to make the rewritable Master. Install it back into the comp, and secure the end of the data cable into the drive. Plug in the power connector.

We should be good to go. Don't close up the box yet until things go as planned. Fire up your comp, and quickly pop in the XP cd. If the computer gods are with us, you should be looking at an install process from where you can do the repair.
February 9, 2006 1:50:36 PM

Dells don't use Master / Slave, they use cable select. To make the other drive the master, simply move the bottom drive to the top and vice versa. You do not have to change the jumpers, simply swapping positions is the easiest thing to do.

Most major OEMs are now putting a system restore option in the start-up menu before Windows loads. As I said, the PC is functioning as Dell intended. (Other that the seemingly dead DVD-ROM, that is).

If you go to your computer's properties, you can change it so that the menu doesn't display at all. Go to the Advanced tab, then click the Settings button under Start-up and Recovery. You can set the amount of time the meunu is displayed for, as well as which option will be your default. If you want to eliminate the menu completely, simply make sure Home Edition is your default and set the menu timer to zero. That will take you right into Windows without the menu. However, your ability to recover Windows may hinge on that other menu option, rather than an actual boot CD. You could always set the timer to say 5 seconds... that way you have time to hit recovery if you need to... and you don't have to stare at the menu for 30 seconds. (Not that you have to anyway... just hit enter and away it goes).
February 10, 2006 6:06:11 AM

Thanks everybody for their good and "to the point" advice.

I followed the 'protocol' as explained by you and it worked like a charme.

Thanks y'all


February 10, 2006 5:36:32 PM


Thanks for the elaboration. But I still don't like Cable Select. I've had numerous problems in the field with that selection in place. If the top piece goes out, you can't access the middle; which is what happened to this guy.

I always change to Master/Slave. With two Roms on the Secondary, in M/S, if the top one goes out, you can still use the Slave.
February 10, 2006 6:36:22 PM

I agree... but some Dells are problematic after setting Master / Slave... they seem to prefer cable select. Besides, with the proper cable, it isn't a problem... simply change the device's position on the cable, and you've changed the M/S relationship.