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Need Help with start up problem

  • Laptops
  • Msconfig
  • Windows XP
Last response: in Windows XP
May 30, 2002 7:36:20 AM

I reinstalled WinXP Pro on my new laptop because I was having some problems. I was advised by Microsoft e-mail support to start my laptop using selective startup in msconfig to determine if Microsoft Bicycle Card Games was the reason for excessive cpu load on my laptop. The game appears to have an open ended code loop causing cpu load to max out at 100% when the game is running.
Anyway when I tried to load selective startup in msconfig the msconfig utility failed to respond (locked up) and requested that I close the application. So I did what was suggested. I closed msconfig and then reloaded the application and successfully ran selective startup. I ran Bicycle Card Games and verified it was the cause of the excessive cpu load when the game was running.
Now when I reopened msconfig to resume normal startup my laptop would not return to its normal startup state. I tried several times to resume normal startup but it appeared that when msconfig froze the first time I tried to run selective startup my normal startup files were lost.
I tried to use system restore but it wouldn't load. I had minimal video driver, no sound driver, no nic driver, no system restore, couldn't open devices under system in control panel. It appeared my valued configuration of WinXP Pro was lost.
I reinstalled WinXP over itself to see if it would resolve my problem, but it didn't.

So I spent the day doing a traditional reinstall.
I booted from the WinXP CD provided with my laptop (Dell Inspiron 8100) and deleted my existing partition and reformatted my hard drive with one NTFS partition. This was my first time installing WinXP Pro and I found it very different from installing WinXP Home. One thing I found unusual was I told I had to set an admistrator password. It wasn't optional. When I reinstalled WinXP Pro without reformatting I was asked for a CD Key and I had to register after the installation. When I deleted my existing partion and reformatted and did a clean install, I was not asked for a CD Key and I did not have to register after the installation. Very strange. ?????
Anyway when I start or reboot my laptop now, after the BIOS post a DOS window opens asking me which copy of WinXP Pro to boot from. I am given three choices. The First Choice boots WinXP normally. The Second Choice does nothing. I get a response that WinXP can't be booted from this choice. The Third Choice is for premimum option start up with choices like safe mode, etc.
I have seen similar DOS windows like this when I start an NT Workstation at work. Accept the second choice allows you to start Windows in VGA mode.
I guess the Window I see opening asking me where to load Windows from is a Dual Boot prompt.
Is it possible to set my copy of WinXP to automatically boot from the first choice? If I need to start in safe mode I can always press F12 at boot. I don't need the second choice. I really don't even know why it asks me to choose which copy of WinXP to load because I only have a single partition with one copy of WinXP installed.
When I did the clean install of WinXP Pro I did not see any reference to this boot option.

So to recap, is there anyway I can set WinXP Pro to boot from the first choice automatically? If not the first boot choice loads in a 30 second default time. Can the default time be reduced to a couple seconds? I imagine a regedit could do this but I have no idea what to look for.

I called dell for support on the problem I am having with the boot prompt. They told me WinXP loaded incorrectly and I had to reinstall WinXP to correct the problem. Well after spending 8 hours setting up my laptop to the way I had it previously configured I really wasn't to keen on having to redo everything again.
Everything works fine now accept when I boot up my laptop I have to press the enter key to load WinXP from the first boot choice. There has to be some way around this. There is only one user (me) setup on my laptop and the user is set as the administrator. What also is weird is that I have never been asked to enter the administrators password I had to set at the initial install. I suppose if I set up another user on the laptop then the admin password prompt will be activated.

Anyway any insight will be appreciated.

<font color=red><i>Doctor Hooter</i></font color=red> <A HREF="" target="_new"><b>(·Y·)</b></A>

More about : start problem

May 30, 2002 8:08:55 AM

Right-click My Computer. Properties\Advanced\Startup and Recovery\Settings. Under System Startup, the default operating system should be "Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect.

Clear the box entitled: Time to display list of operating systems. Click the Edit button, under "To edit the startup options file manually, click Edit".

The startup file (boot.ini) should look like this:

[boot loader]
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect


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May 30, 2002 12:26:35 PM

I can't believe it was that simple! :smile:
I can't believe the Dell support person told me it was an error and I had to reinstall WinXP to clear the Startup Message. :eek: 
Now after deleting the original partition and reformating the entire disk drive, I wonder why the clean install of WinXP Pro did not ask for a product key or ask me to register at Microsoft?
I bet in 30 days I'll start my laptop and Windows will not load and I'll be calling MS for a new product activation key.

<font color=red><i>Doctor Hooter</i></font color=red> <A HREF="" target="_new"><b>(·Y·)</b></A>
June 14, 2003 12:18:52 AM

Not necessarily - if Dell gave you the OEM Corporate edition there is no activation. And quite right too.