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Computer won't boot; factors: msconfig, system restore, malware doctor

Last response: in Windows XP
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July 21, 2010 7:46:33 AM

hi all; i'm a bit emotionally shaky because my computer at home won't boot up as of yesterday. hopefully i might find some help here! (i'm posting this message on various communities -- you're the second --, hoping that someone might have the answer)

my computer won't boot up. here's what happens when i try:
- i get the usual white screen with the Hewlett Packard logo, that says something like "press F8 to go to the boot menu". (i'm able to do that if i wish).
- then after a few seconds, the screen turns black. and then nothing. (usually, it would display the colourfull Windows XP logo with a sort of progress bar underneath it).
- at this point, if i press the "on/off" button on my computer, the computer shuts off instantly. (this is in contrast to when in windows xp normally, where pressing the on/off button is like choosing 'Start>Shut Off', in which case it takes a while for the computer to turn off).

here's what happened to cause my computer to stop booting:
- i went into Start>Run and typed in "msconfig", and then went to (i think) the "BOOT.INI" tab, and checked off some checkbox called (i think) "/SAFEBOOT". i have done this a number of times this past month in order to get into safe mode. i need to do this because a) my DVD burning software has stopped burning DVDs properly since about a month ago, but in safe mode it does work, and b) i can't figure out how to get into safe mode by pressing F5 or F8 while the computer is booting up.
- while in msconfig, i noticed my computer's hard disk thrashing, which was suspicious. then i noticed some program called Malware Doctor had installed itself somehow on my computer.
- so i exit msconfig (choosing the option "Exit without Restarting", because msconfig asks if i want to restart or not after exitting it), and load up System Restore. i choose a restore point from about a week ago. the operating system then loads the system restore checkpoint (ie it has a progress bar), and then restarts the computer.
- at this point, the computer won't boot. it does what i described at the very beginning of this post: the screen goes black.



does anyone have any ideas?

some background:
- i bought this computer from a second hand store. it ran Windows XP professional. the store owner said that the serial number printed on the sticker stuck to the casing of my computer is legitamate, but he didn't have any windows xp professional CD to give to me.
- i have since gotten a bootable CD of windows xp professional.

i mention this bit of background because i am wondering if my serial number will in fact work if i try to reinstall windows.



i am also confused by the options i get when i boot from the CD. i read from a Sticky thread on a different community (http://forums.techguy.org/windows-xp/499568-guide-reins...) that a reinstall doesn't change my data anywhere else on my C: drive; it only replaces Windows files. i'm a little bit nervous about trying this option, for some reason. can anyone reassure me that my personal data on my C drive will be safe?

i'm also confused by what the "Repair windows Through the Recovery Console" option does.

does anyone have any advice on what i should try doing?



thank you so much for anyone who has any ideas; this is really shaken me up, i'm afraid.
July 21, 2010 6:19:44 PM

Doing a reinstall will "reformat" the computer. You might want to isnert the disc, and run from the DISC instead of from the hard drive. You should then be able to run a check of windows from the disc which will check to see if all of the windows files are correctly placed and are all there. This should also fix anything that anyone did wrong.
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July 21, 2010 6:37:34 PM

What model HP is it?

Tap F8 on startup, and boot into safe mode with command prompt. Can you get to that? If yes, run this command:
%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
This will open the system restore application. You can roll back to a restore point before the problem started.

If that doesn't work, boot off that XP disc. Use the first R option you see, to enter the repair console. At the admin password prompt, just hit enter. At the command line, run the fixboot command. When that's done, run chkdsk /r.
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February 7, 2013 1:43:44 AM

aford10 said:
What model HP is it?

Tap F8 on startup, and boot into safe mode with command prompt. Can you get to that? If yes, run this command:
%systemroot%\system32\restore\rstrui.exe
This will open the system restore application. You can roll back to a restore point before the problem started.

If that doesn't work, boot off that XP disc. Use the first R option you see, to enter the repair console. At the admin password prompt, just hit enter. At the command line, run the fixboot command. When that's done, run chkdsk /r.


Hi ! You are GOOD !!!! With your help I fixed “ White Screen” virus …..
Thank you !
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