I know there are many discussions and threads around this subject. I have tried many of the suggestions in other threads, without any luck.

The PC with this problem is my friend's pc, and it boots up until the desktop, and while loading desktop items, shuts down, and re-starts again, in an infinite loop.

I took my own windows xp pro cd, and tried to reboot from cd, using the R command as well as enter and the repair options, without any luck.

We can not format and do a clean install, as my friend has stuff on the pc that he doesn't want to loose, and I am really not clued up to perform back up for this.

I can however reboot successfully in safe mode, and browse the control panel if I'm locked in as administrator. The thing is, I do not know what to look for, to try and fix this problem in safe mode.

Any suggestions, tips, and how to's will be so appreciated. Remember, that I followed most of the already posted suggestions in other related threads without success.

I know that I will get some positive how to's here on daniweb to solve this problem, and I thank anyone in advance that wants to share their expertize with this monkey.

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This could be caused by a myriad of things. But if you can get into safe mode go to control panel and the Administrative tools, open the event viewer and have a look at he system log and application log. THis will show any errors and warnings. Post them back here and someone should be able to help.


Hi Dave

Thanks for your response. Administrative tools just have nothing in it when I open it. It is empty. Any suggestions?

When you tried the repair option was that the first one for the recovery console . Cause the second repair option comes up after you accept the terms. The second will just replace all the os files leaving the others intact. Let me know and I will think on other options.


Hi Dave

I tried both repair options, First, I tried to do the one where it asks you to accept the terms, reloads the files, and asks for the windows key, and when that did not solve the problem, I tried the chkdsk /r option, a couple of times, also with no success.

Okay then, may be a hardware problem, I would probably try changing the ram next. If you have more than one stick of ram in try removing one, if the same thing happens replaceit and remove the other one. Or ry totally different ram.



I forgot to mention, there are two windows xp pro installed on this pc. I don't know why. Both goes into this loop. Is that not maybe the problem? What wil happen if I format the one where there is no files on that needs to be backed up, will the other one with the files on it still be untouched? I am trying to back up those files from safemode, but the system does not recognize the cd inside the drive, or the external memory stick that I want to use to back up to. Any suggestions on this as well?

Are they both on the same drive and partition?


I presume it is the same drive, I don't think there are more than one drive on this pc. When I boot up, it let me choose which one I want to boot, number 1 Windows XP or 2 Windows XP. Each one opens briefly with a different desktop display, before it loops again, so I think the drive is partitioned?

Hi, if you boot into safe mode cn you get run to work? If you can try running msconfig and go to boot.ini. You should get something like the image attached. Just click on "check all boot paths" and let me know the results.

The results are: "It appears that all BOOT.INNI lines for Microsoft operating systems are OK" on both the xp operating systems.

Does it show them on separate partitions?


Have you tried changing the ram yet?


It says:
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS="MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect


multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)WINDOWS.0="MICROSOFT WINDOWS XP PROFESSIONAL" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

I marked the only difference in description in bold.

Have you tried changing the ram yet?


I havent tried the ram thing yet, as I do not know how to do it, I must first try to educate myself on it, or perhaps if there is a shortcut to a step by step to do it?

I am following the steps as per http://support.microsoft.com/kb/888023

I am in windows explorer now, to delete WINDOWS.0 but on confirmation on delete, I get this error message: " Cannot delete flash.ocx; Access is denied. Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not in use."

I havent got any other applications open in safemode exept windows explorer.

Hi, why exactly are you in windows explorer? You should be in notepad.
Right click My Computer, select Properties, Select Advanced, in Startup and Recovery select Edit Remove and this line "multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS.0="Microsoft Windows XP Home" /fastdetect" ,select save from file menu, close notepad and restart pc.
Good luck

I am in windows explorer because that was the first step to delete the folder called WINDOWS.0 and after that I can remove the entry in notepad as per your description.

Anyway, I skipped the delete folder step, and did what you suggest here above, and now when the system boots, it is very fast, but still boots in a loop.

Okay then, so you could try removing the folder the windows.0 folder now. Failing that you could try inserting your windows cd and go to repair at the second option. Under no circumstances do you want to install another copy of windows. If there is no option to repair let me know and I will see what I can come up with.
I have to go to work so I will be offline till tonight.
Good luck

I tried to delete the folder after deleting the entry in the boot.inni file, but it still got stuck with "cannot delete flash" as previously stated.

With that entry removed in the boot.inni file, and the windows cd inserted the startup is so quick, it does not even wait the 5 seconds to boot from cd anymore. I tried to catch it by tapping the space bar continually but it does not catch the cd boot.

Thank you David for spending your time on this, I do appreciate it.

If only I can do a back up of the stuff that my fried don't want to loose, but it seems when in safe mode, the writable CD in the deck is not recognized that it is there, as it keeps on telling me "insert cd" And the usb ports does not recognize a flash memory stick in safemode, as it only tells me "usb device found" "unknown" and does not show up in My Computer.

Is there any other way that I can do a back up of his files, as I think that maybe a format of the hard drive with a clean installation looks like the (last) (only?) option left?

David, or maybe you have some more suggestions to try first?

Hi, to save the files you might need to slave another drive into the pc. or alternately taking that drive and slaving it to another pc. damn be so much easier if I was there. But you could try plugging the usb drive and booting the computer then go to control panel Administrative tools, then computer management, storage and then removable storage. See if the drive is seen there and initialise it.

Will get back to later if I have anymore ideas.

Hi David

Thank you so much for helping. I managed to use the harddrive as a slave of an old pc I have, and managed to back up all the important files onto my older pc's harddrive. I must say, that this was the first time I have worked with the actual hardware of a pc, and was studying various articles on this, before I attempted to remove the hard drive, set it as a slave, and inserted it into the other pc. I feel very knowledgeable now regarding making a slave drive of a hard drive. There are good video tutorials on this if anyone needs to do this like I have for the first time. Google knows everything!

After saving all files, I re-inserted the drive as the main drive back into the case of my friends pc, inserted the windows xp cd and booted from the cd, and deleted the partition where this two xp's were installed, created a new partition, formatted the partition, and re-installed a fresh copy of windows xp.

I'm sitting here, now very happy, as the fresh install went without any problems, ( device manager only shows two drivers that I need to go and search for to install) but those 2 drivers is not important right now, as I am connected with this pc now to the internet, downloading and installing the updates from Microsoft, updating to service pack 2.

I feel great relief, as the pc boots up fine now, with the new installation, and when I'm done with the updates and re- installed office and some anti virus software, I will slave my old hard drive to this pc, to recover my friends files back onto it.

Daniweb is one of the best forums for help, and I'm sure I will be able to help someone soon, with all the knowledge I gain here.

Thanks again David!

Try this, once your in on safe mode, go to system restore and retore to last checkmarked spot on pc's calender (this is why its important to regularly add new retore points). To get to system restore go to Start > All programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Restore .

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