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Windows XP Machine Wont Boot Without Help

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#1 flynempire

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 16:41

Hello once again. A customer of mine has a business with two PC peer network. The machine that is failing contains a accounting program which they have used for years and it just works. This is why I cannot get them off XP even though I would love to.

I know I could find alternatives but this is the reality and I have to leave as is.

 

As to what occurs. The machine is quite old now but as long as she leaves it on or does a reboot it runs and stays on. If it shuts down and is off that is where the problem lies. Once it is off and you turn it back on it will no boot to XP. She told me she had to use a boot disk to be able to get back into her desktop and then as long as it is on it will work fine.

It is crazy this is happening first off and I told the owner to get a newer machine even if refurbished. She could not explain to me without being there how she uses the boot disk to get back in as she is in the hospital.
 

I went online and found something called Hiren Boot CD but I dont know if that will help. Does anyone know the steps to get the machine running so I can start to backup files?

I have personally never seen this where it can run once on or rebooted but not after shutdown

 




#2 Dot Matrix

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 16:47

Have you given XP Mode a thought?



#3 Max Norris

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 16:48

Don't suppose you've already tried the recovery console and done a FixBoot/FixMBR?

#4 OP flynempire

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 16:50

No the XP mode wont work for them. I logged in there but then she could not explain what else to do. One of things that worries me about fixboot etc. Is that the program relies on the autoexec.bat and some other config file. I hate to loose those and then the program wont work.



#5 Max Norris

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 16:53

One of things that worries me about fixboot etc. Is that the program relies on the autoexec.bat and some other config file. I hate to loose those and then the program wont work.

It won't touch them, they repair/recreate the boot loader/MBR. Could always toss on a Linux live CD to boot from and copy the data too if you're paranoid, or use that Hiren's, either or.

#6 simplezz

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 16:54

Could be the PSU. I had a similar problem once. Once booted the machine would run fine (well occasionally rebooting itself, but not often). However, trying to boot it cold could take many tries. Eventually it stopped booting entirely.

That's one avenue of investigation at least. In the long term however, I'd back up the application and its data (if possible).

Backing up should be relatively easy. Any Linux distro CD / Pen drive would do the trick. I'd recommend Xubuntu. Enter the live environment, open up the file manager, click on the windows partition on left hand side where the data and program is stored. Then just browse to its directory and make a manual backup to another pen drive / cd.

#7 OP flynempire

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 16:59

Had not though of the PSU. I may bring a spare in.. With the fixboot what is the command?



#8 Max Norris

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 17:00

With the fixboot what is the command?

Fixboot ;D It'll create a bootloader on the partition you logged into, or you can optionally specify a drive. Be careful if you dual boot though, it'll happily gobble whatever bootloader that may already be there.

#9 simplezz

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 17:01

Had not though of the PSU. I may bring a spare in.. With the fixboot what is the command?

fixboot [drive] (C: for example)


#10 OP flynempire

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 17:10

Thanks a lot. Been a long while since I have done this and in XP! so it would be fixboot c:  after I get inside the recovery console



#11 Max Norris

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 17:13

Thanks a lot. Been a long while since I have done this and in XP! so it would be fixboot c:  after I get inside the recovery console

NP, and yes, I usually toss a FixMBR in there as well too, just because, If that's what the problem is of course.. as mentioned above it could be hardware too, but personally I go for the obvious first to rule it out. Pop in the XP CD and boot from that, when it says "Welcome to Setup", press R. It should ask for the installed Windows administrator password.. pretty sure that's how it goes, working from memory, haven't touched an XP recovery in a good number of years.

Of course, it would help if you could say what the system says when it tries to boot. Error message? Just hangs? Etc, would help narrow it down.

#12 simplezz

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 17:15

Thanks a lot. Been a long while since I have done this and in XP! so it would be fixboot c:  after I get inside the recovery console

If it's the same system partition as you're currently logged into (most likely), then you can omit the disk I believe.

Here's the official docs for it:
https://www.microsof...ns_fixboot.mspx

#13 shastasheen

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 17:55

Hopefully this will get them operational for the short term. Long term they need to consider some newer hardware, a newer OS, or maybe even a P2V capture of the XP box. I hope they have reliable backups. It could definitely be a failing PSU - once the power is insufficient to boot, the BIOS wont even be accessible. You'll just hear fans and see the power light is lit.



#14 OP flynempire

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 19:00

I already told the owner he needs to get a newer machine and not prolong it. I take care of his machines in his home and office for the last 5 years. He trusts me. It is this woman that gives a hassle but in the end he is the one that decides and pays.

I got him a Dell Optiplex Refurb 770 and it has been fantastic! Quiet, fast and runs XP fast. I may get him in the same one or an HP Elite refurb. I thank GOD I have had very good experiences with refurbs/used machines and all his machines (3) fall into this category.

If it works it works :D



#15 OP flynempire

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    It's called the bat and yes Mr. Wayne it comes in black :)

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Posted 22 August 2014 - 19:04

I should have also mentioned that all we get is a black screen. There is no message after the BIOS info goes off screen

NP, and yes, I usually toss a FixMBR in there as well too, just because, If that's what the problem is of course.. as mentioned above it could be hardware too, but personally I go for the obvious first to rule it out. Pop in the XP CD and boot from that, when it says "Welcome to Setup", press R. It should ask for the installed Windows administrator password.. pretty sure that's how it goes, working from memory, haven't touched an XP recovery in a good number of years.

Of course, it would help if you could say what the system says when it tries to boot. Error message? Just hangs? Etc, would help narrow it down.