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We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully

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luis2423
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When Windows XP tries to load, I get the following message: "We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this." My options are:

Start in safe mode.
Safe mode with networking.
Safe mode with command prompt.
Last known good configuration setting (most recent setting that worked).
Start Windows normally.

Note: I can start windows in safe mode, but I don’t know what to look for or how to troubleshoot the problem. I did a scan for viruses and spy ware using McAfee and Ad Aware. McAfee didn’t find any viruses, but Ad Aware found some cookies and other files, I removed them, and didn’t make a difference, I still get same message. I also did a disk cleanup and defragmenter my hard drive and still no difference.

If I select Start Windows Normally, it tries to load windows again, and it ends up at same place, it just goes in cycles. I tried to restore to a couple save points and it does not make a difference. Please advice!

Thanks in advance,

Luis

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Killer_Typo
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Have you unistalled/installed added/removed any software/hardware??

also do you have your windows xp cd?

if so start windows in safe mode and try this:

put your windows XP CD into the cd rom drive, close any windows that may pop up. and then open up the command prompt (start run cmd) and type sfc /scannow

it will scan all major system files and replace them with known good ones (from the CD) after its finished reboot the machine, if problem still persists, it could still be any number of things, but this will elimnate that it could be a windows file.

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dlh6213
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... or try System Restore, set it to a date before you started having the problem.

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Wires
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How lucky for me (or unlucky), I have the exact same problem..
When I try safe mode i get a bunch of multi(0)disk(0)partition(1)\Windows\System32,Fonts,Drivers,etc... Afterwards I get a blue screen (that I think has text on it) and it goes away almost instantly.

I dont know how this could have caused this problem, I had just gotten back into town after a long busness trip, opened my laptop, updated my nortons, (which had been un upgraded for 200+ days) and FINALLY rejestered my ZEN microphoto mp3 player. Thats it.

I dont know yet weather or not this is relevent but when I get that screen before it pops up I am able to press f2 and a "PhoenixBIOS Setup Utility" program pops up, sinse I dont know what this is, so I'v left it alone.

Please Help

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SnowDog
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It's quite possible that the update to Norton has caused it (we get occasional calls where the machine suddenly becomes unbootable after a Norton update etc.).

Just to clarify, the message 'We apologise... etc.' is a standard message telling you that Windows didn't start up properly last time. Each time it fails to start up ensures that the same message is displayed the next time either you or it tries.

If you can't get to Safe Mode either you can safely assume that whatever files are needed to start Windows are affected. It is extremely unlikely you're going to suddenly find it working again and it is 50:50 at this stage whether it is a hardware or software problem. So, you are going to have to do something proactive to find out if something has broken.

Ideally, you don't have data on it you need to recover.

You can either download a HDD test utility and run that or run the restore package that came with your machine. If the HDD has a fault it will probably become apparent at this stage (ceratainly with the HDD test disk).

If no fault is found then the next step is to restore the machine anyway and get it working again. You can take things from there because you can't predict what is going to happen more than a step or two ahead.

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Wires
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Well your thory seems possible, I however dont want to rule out the possibility that extended neglect to use my laptop for thoes 200+ days may have harmed my power core or something and ultimitlly my files.

In eather case there are numerous ways this problem could have surfaced which makes knowing the cuse of this problem far less important then just solving it.

Iv spoken with a few people now, in both real life and online and the majority of them have said that I should restore the damaged/missing files with my windows xp startup cd (which is unfortunatly missing) I have a compaq presario 2500 I have the cd key but not the cd.

I think that (if i want to keep my settings, files, etc) I need this cd, otherwise I will be forced to system restore and re install everything... (not what I want to do) So Is there a way for me to get the cd that I need emailed to me. (the files not the literal cd) then I can burn the cd and use the codes I have saved to fix everything?

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Wires
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Thanks for your help everyone and thankyou daniweb this seems to be a good and helpful community of computer experts that I will go back to if I ever get a problem that is out of my league.

Unfortunetly I dident resolve the problem on my own... my friend, that repairs computer problems is doing it for me :)
Thanks a lot.

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SnowDog
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You've hit the nail on the head with being more interested in solving it that finding out all about it.

Most times, that's what people want: a quick, easy fix so they can use their computer productively.

If I were you I'd call Compaq and buy a replacement set of disks. They aren't expensive and you get the correct drivers for your system.

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Wires
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Oh my god... meny weeks of waiting for my laptop to be returned to me I finally get it back... With nothing changed, the computer guy... well I just guess he sucked. Because he really sounded ignorent when I was talking to him.

When he was at work I managed to find the missing disks and give them to him. He couldent fix it and now my laptop is back in my company.

I have put in the correct disk and started The Recovery Console and when I get the message:

Which Windows installation would you like to log onto
<To cancel, press ENTER>

Now, heres the thing... When I try to type ANYTHING I can only type one letter. So.. I cant even type in a symple command like help..

Thanks Pls Help

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xcellpro6
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Oh my god... meny weeks of waiting for my laptop to be returned to me I finally get it back... With nothing changed, the computer guy... well I just guess he sucked. Because he really sounded ignorent when I was talking to him.

When he was at work I managed to find the missing disks and give them to him. He couldent fix it and now my laptop is back in my company.

I have put in the correct disk and started The Recovery Console and when I get the message:

Which Windows installation would you like to log onto
<To cancel, press ENTER>

Now, heres the thing... When I try to type ANYTHING I can only type one letter. So.. I cant even type in a symple command like help..

Thanks Pls Help

Hi there

Does it give you an option to choose from for example 1 for windows ??

If not you may have a corrupt hive !

Try this to resolve it

CAUSE
This issue can occur if the System or Software hive for the Windows XP installation is missing or damaged.

RESOLUTION:
To resolve this issue, use one of the following methods.

Use the Recovery Console Tool:
To restore a damaged registry hive, use the Recovery Console to restore the backup copy of the hive from the Repair folder. The Repair folder contains a copy of the system's registry hives that were created after the first successful startup of Windows XP.

WARNING : Although data should not be affected by the following procedure, you may need to restore changes you previously made to programs or system settings since the first time you successfully started Windows XP.

To replace the damaged registry hive and restore the backup copy of the hive from the Repair folder: Start your computer to the Recovery Console.

Determine if the file that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section of this article is present, and if it is, rename it:

In Recovery Console, change to the c:\Windows folder.

Type cd system32\config , and then press ENTER.

Type dir system , and then press ENTER.

If you cannot run the preceding command successfully (because the file is missing), skip to step 3. If you can run the preceding command successfully, type ren system system.bak , and then press ENTER.

NOTE : If the message that you received referred to the software file, replace "system" with "software" in the preceding command. For example, you would type ren software software.bak (instead of ren system system.bak ), and then press ENTER.

Type copy c:\windows\repair\system , and then press ENTER.

NOTE : If the message that you received referred to the software file, replace "system" with "software" in the preceding command. For example, you would type copy c:\windows\repair\software (instead of copy c:\windows\repair\system ), and then press ENTER.
You should receive a "One file copied" informational message.

Restart

Hope this helps

Darren
South Africa

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caperjack
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Now, heres the thing... When I try to type ANYTHING I can only type one letter. So.. I cant even type in a symple command like help..

Thanks Pls Help

As posted above !!thats because you need to choose Which Windows installation would you like to log onto, by typing 1 [if that what showes like this #1 c:\windows #1]then enter ,then password if you used one if not just hit enter ,then you can type commands.type help for a list of commands.

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rohit5145
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hello sir
I am rohit and was facing same problem(We apologize for..... ,system cannot boot automatically) i read your soln and it clicked .thanks for ur precious help i really appreaciate ur nature to help others
thanks alot
keep helpin
regards
rohit5145

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ashleynichole
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When Windows XP tries to load, I get the following message: "We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this." My options are:

Start in safe mode.
Safe mode with networking.
Safe mode with command prompt.
Last known good configuration setting (most recent setting that worked).
Start Windows normally.

Note: I can start windows in safe mode, but I don’t know what to look for or how to troubleshoot the problem. I did a scan for viruses and spy ware using McAfee and Ad Aware. McAfee didn’t find any viruses, but Ad Aware found some cookies and other files, I removed them, and didn’t make a difference, I still get same message. I also did a disk cleanup and defragmenter my hard drive and still no difference.

If I select Start Windows Normally, it tries to load windows again, and it ends up at same place, it just goes in cycles. I tried to restore to a couple save points and it does not make a difference. Please advice!

Thanks in advance,

Luis

I have the exact same problem; only I can't even get into system restore. I can't do anything. The only pages I can see is the error message. I have NO discs for the computer either... please help. =[

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caperjack
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You have no disks, how could we possiably help you ,time to take it to a computer shop

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wiggie
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I get the same "windows did not start sucessfully message" as mentioned previously. I put the Recovery and Applications CD in and reset the BIOS. When I restart the computer and accept the Microsoft agreement terms, I get this message: Continuing with this process will erase the current contents of your hard disk drive and replace with the original default system install. I am wondering how--if it's possible--to do a repair so I won't lose all my files. When I abort, I am taken to the A: drive. In DOS, I have tried to change to the d: and c: drives but I get a message that those are Invalid drive specification." I would appreciate any help you may be able to give.

Thank you. Wiggie

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gilbarcomv
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Friends:
My laptop was very slow...After going to msconfig and disable most (or all) of the startup programs, and some on the services....my laptop was fine...And it did it again. ...Super slow...(This happens when my daughter goes on the messenger)...Do not yet know why but it goes slow...Well...This Sunday I just was fed up with this problem; my laptop was super slow..I needed to go on the internet and I do have a Knoppix bootable cd that I have used before with good success...But this time my computer did not boot up....It went to the blue screen that said the same message..."we do apologize...."....It seems one of the boot section on the hard drive was damaged by this knoppix bootable cd...(I think!) And I could not get my laptop going...I decided to reinstall windows...Everything was fine. ..BUT>>>>>!!!!My laptop is working very good...fast....!!! BUT..........Where is the rest of my files !!! My Documents, ect...Is there any
way I can recover these files?

Certainly I will appreciate your help!
Gilbarcomv

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GrungeIsDead
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When Windows XP tries to load, I get the following message: "We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this." My options are:

Start in safe mode.
Safe mode with networking.
Safe mode with command prompt.
Last known good configuration setting (most recent setting that worked).
Start Windows normally.

Note: I can start windows in safe mode, but I don’t know what to look for or how to troubleshoot the problem. I did a scan for viruses and spy ware using McAfee and Ad Aware. McAfee didn’t find any viruses, but Ad Aware found some cookies and other files, I removed them, and didn’t make a difference, I still get same message. I also did a disk cleanup and defragmenter my hard drive and still no difference.

If I select Start Windows Normally, it tries to load windows again, and it ends up at same place, it just goes in cycles. I tried to restore to a couple save points and it does not make a difference. Please advice!

Thanks in advance,

Luis

Well, I have the same problem, AND my XP disks, yet my problem is this: I have no idea what to do. I booted the disk, and am currently in Recovery Console. My command options are:
ATTRIB
BATCH
BOOTCFG
CD
CHDIR
CHKDSK
CLS
COPY
DEL
DELETE
DIR
DISABLE
DISKPART
ENABLE
EXIT
EXPAND
FIXBOOT
FIXMBR
FORMAT
HELP
LISTSVC
LOGON
MAP
MD
MKDIR
MORE
NET
RD
REN
RENAME
RMDIR
SYSTEMROOT
TYPE

Now, I am alright with computers, but I am borderline retarded when it comes to this sort of thing, I.E. Programming, partitions and the like. Perhaps one of you kind, wonderful nerds can help me *Lol*!

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caperjack
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first one to try would be this one"CHKDSK" with the /f switch added to it ,

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GrungeIsDead
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first one to try would be this one"CHKDSK" with the /f switch added to it ,

Well, that worked beautifully. My laptop is functioning perfectly once more!
Thank you very much, Caper. You are my knight in 256-bit armour.

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caperjack
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Well, that worked beautifully. My laptop is functioning perfectly once more!
Thank you very much, Caper. You are my knight in 256-bit armour.

LOL, your welcome

You
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