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Windows XP stuck in startup loop


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#1 neti5

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 03:53 PM

Hello. I have been having a very serious problem with my computer (details below) in which the computer will startup as normal , but before it gets to the "Welcome" screen , a blue screen rapidly flickers and then goes back to the Gateway loading screen. Then , a black screen that comes up due to the restart comes up and gives me the options to try safe mode , safe mode with networking , safe mode with command prompt , last known good config. , and start normally. The safe mode options worked.

There was barely any data on the computer(I backed up everything) , so I had attempted to completely reinstall Windows with the F11 recovery option. Unfortunatley , when the computer restarts to finish the installation process , it goes back into the loop. Now I have an error everytime I try the 5 options due to the fact that Windows is now not fully installed. I understand it was a bad idea to try the reinstallation , but I had hoped it would work.

Currently , it cannot startup and is stuck in a loop. I do not have any of the Windows disks , but I do have other computers with burning drives. I was going to try to run chkdsk using this method. Sorry if it is confusing , I will try to make answers clear as possible.

http://forums.pcpits...nsole-wo-xp-cd/
Computer: Gateway Notebook
OS:Windows XP
HD:60GB
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#2 caintry_boy

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 06:34 PM

Hi neti5 and Welcome to The PIT!!

It seems to me that if the recovery is botched that your alternative is a clean format and reinstall. I see that you mentioned that you don't have the Windows disks, but you're going to need one. Do you have XP Home or Pro? You could probably attain a disk/set of disks from Gateway...> http://support.gatew...AGE01su44.shtml




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#3 neti5

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 06:59 PM

Thanks for your reply. I am using Windows XP home edition. I'm not exactly sure on how to reformat the hard drive. I did manage to get it to stop restarting (in advanced settings)and I have the error: IQRL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. Unfortunatly , I do not think I will be able to get the disk. Would it be possible to use Recovery console , or a 3rd party disk(such as Ultimate boot disk)?
Trying is better then doing nothing. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu)

#4 Y kawika

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:16 PM

Hey neti5 Welcome aboard! :wp: It may not help, but it sure won't hurt to try, changing the IDE settings in the BIOS . The Gateway BIOS won't have a lot of options, but they may have an option listed for your hard drive controller. If it is currently listed as AHCI, try changing it to IDE or if it's currently listed as IDE, try AHCI. :) Y

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#5 TomGL2

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 12:49 AM

What is the exact and complete model of the laptop?

Start Windows in Safe Mode. Click Start, right-click My Computer and click Properties. Click Advanced. Under Startup and Recovery, click Settings. Unselect Automatically restart, then click OK. and OK.

Restart the computer normally. The blue screen with the error details should persist. Please provide all the information reported.

#6 neti5

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 04:02 PM

Thanks again for the replies. I cannot access safe mode , as when I had attempted the reinstall of Windows it simply went back into a loop during the restarting required to finish the setup. This made it impossible for me to use safe mode , as every time I try , it gives me a "Windows was not properly installed.Please run setup again" error. I could use another OS , such as linux. I am not sure on how to change the IDE setting in BIOS. I pressed F2 to look at all the BIOS settings , but did not find such an option. I was researching on how I would access the Recovery Console , which right now may be my only chance. Any tips on how I would do it exactly , without the windows discs? I found an ISO of the RC ,which i plan to burn onto a disc and run on the computer. Computer Model: 3550GZ Blue screen error: IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Edited by neti5, 14 March 2012 - 09:07 PM.

Trying is better then doing nothing. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu)

#7 TomGL2

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 06:08 PM

...when I had attempted the reinstall of Windows it simply went back into a loop during the restarting required to finish the setup.

I am not sure on how to change the IDE setting in BIOS.


SATA is not available on the 3550GZ, so there are no SATA/AHCI/IDE-emulation settings to worry about.

As there is no material on the laptop not backed up, I suggest abandoning this recovery effort. It is simple to perform a destructive restore that places a pristine copy of Windows on the drive. Power up the laptop and press F11 to invoke System Restore, select Full System Restore (Destructive) and click Next, then at the Format and Recover prompt, click Yes.

#8 neti5

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 09:05 PM

My issue with doing a full system restore is the inablity to restart to finish the process(including destructive , which I tried). The restart just leads back into the loop , so the full destructive restore does not work. I also have been trying to load Knoppix from a disk , but it didn't work(when I selected boot from cd - drive , no result occured. Cd - drive was listed as the first thing in the BIOS boot settings). I may have to try RC or another temp. OS from a flash drive , but I am not sure on how to do that. I am completly open to any suggestions at this point , so thanks for the help so far.

Edited by neti5, 14 March 2012 - 09:13 PM.

Trying is better then doing nothing. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu)

#9 TomGL2

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:16 PM

the full destructive restore does not work.


My thinkng at this point is to do a clean installation using an OEM XP CD (with SP2 or later). The product key attached to the 3550 should work. If the XP CD doesn't boot, then ikely some nonobvious BIOS setting needs to be changed.

#10 neti5

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 03:47 PM

Unfortunetly , I don't have any Xp discs of any sort , which I know makes my problem much more complex to solve. My only idea right now to is to try running chkdsk/fixmbr/fixboot from Recovery console or any other application(like Linux , if it has it) from my flash drive or disc drive(if I can get it to work). Were my disc drive not to work , would it be possible to buy a usb disc drive and boot from the "removable devices" with a RC burned onto a disc instead? Also , could I use a 3rd party disc in place of the Windows disc(like ultimate boot disc)?
Trying is better then doing nothing. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu)

#11 Joe C

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 04:54 PM

Why don't you get the gateway recovery disk that was suggested by caintry_boy in post #2 ?

#12 TomGL2

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:21 PM

I don't have any Xp discs of any sort


A copy of any OEM CD will do, provided it matches your version (Home or Professional). A friend running XP, or a local computer shop, could burn a copy (it's legal to do so — the license requirement is not an original CD, but a legitimate Product Key).

You might possibly download an XP ISO to burn (≈ 550 MB), but that carries obvious risks, so I'd recommend a copy of an original disc.

#13 Joe C

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 07:07 PM

I don't think you can legally download an XP iso to burn

#14 TomGL2

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 12:16 AM

I don't think you can legally download an XP iso to burn


TechNet and MSDN have long provided subscribers downloads of Windows (currently 3.1 through 8). The XP ISOs are upgrade and "full retail" versions; OEM versions were available to system builders via another route.

The real essential is a genuine Product Key. The source of XP CD (or more precisely, the installation files), whether Microsoft, the system manufacturer, or an acquaintance, seem fairly inconsequential. From the EULA, "By installing, copying, downloading, accessing or otherwise using the SOFTWARE, you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA" — so the license terms obviously cover copied or downloadied files.

#15 Joe C

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 07:27 AM

TechNet and MSDN have long provided subscribers downloads of Windows


Do you honestly believe the op is a technet or an msdn subscriber?

#16 neti5

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 03:07 PM

Thanks for the help. I can't get any gateway recovery media from their website due to the laptop being illegible(according to tech support). I will try however to get a recovery disc from a computer shop , someone I know , or if I can find someone selling one(which I doubt will be impossible). I really appreciate the help that everyone is giving me.
Trying is better then doing nothing. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu)

#17 caintry_boy

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 04:16 PM

TomGL2 is right, you can download an XP .iso from MSDN. I just did it this morning for XP Pro. Download it and burn it to cd with a program like ImgBurn. :geezer:

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#18 TomGL2

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:03 PM

Do you honestly believe the op is a technet or an msdn subscriber?


Doesn't matter, the language of the EULA is the criterion: "By .. copying, downloading ... the SOFTWARE, you agree to be bound by the terms of this EULA". If one adheres to the licence agreement, and possesses a legitimate Product Key for that Windows Edition, the installation is legal, regardless of how the files were obtained.

Windows 7 ISOs are made available on public servers by Microsoft (msft.digitalrivercontent.net) — no TechNet or MSDN membership, not even a password is needed.


I note that multiple queries have been posted on Microsoft's discussion boards regarding downloading an XP ISO. In one case, an MS support engineer responded that XP ISOs are not available (not entirely true), and recommended copying a friend's CD. In another, a moderator stated that the poster could download an XP ISO from a 3rd party, without mentioning if the act was legal or not.

#19 TomGL2

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Posted 16 March 2012 - 05:16 PM

I will try however to get a recovery disc from a computer shop , someone I know ...


As long as it's on OEM version of your edition of XP (Home or Pro), you should be fine. With the CD in the drive, open My Computer to view the cd label. In most cases, the label will include "OEM".

In some cases, however, a generic label like "CD_ROM" might be used. In that case, open the SETUPP.INI file in the I386 folder to view the product ID (PID).

#20 neti5

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:36 PM

When I went on MSDN , I could only find ISO's of service packs. Is it the ISO of a recovery CD that I am downloading , or another disc?
Trying is better then doing nothing. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. (Lao-tzu)




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