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I turn on my PC and XP trys to boot but nothing happens. Screen is black. Over the last year we were getting the odd freeze up on initial start ups but after a power off and on, it would boot. Now we are stuck and uncertain of what to do next.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanking you in advance.

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Last Post by shelobslair
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AT which point are you specifically getting stuck...Just as u turn it on, after the BIOS detections, etc..??

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I turn on and it goes to black screen and stays that way. I am not certain if it stuck in the BIOS detection process.

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might be the video card settings did you try to take out the power plug then pop out the cmos battery and leave it out for like 20mins and start up the pc also if you use a cheap after market video card they tend to die and the screen will just stay black and last i know it sounds stupid but are you sure the moniter is plugged in or the cable from the moniter is still in working order

does the computer appear to be thinking when the black screen is up do you see the processor light flashing ?

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The monitor is plugged in and functioning, we hit the F1 key and got the DOS menu (if that is what it is called). Sorry I am not computer savy.

The CPU is trying to boot but hangs with a black screen...

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Sounds like either a video card problem or a corrupted hard drive. Are you able to boot into safe mode? Try tapping the F8 key repeatedly, then choose safe mode. Run chkdsk from a commmand prompt from there if you can. You could try booting from a cd also. If you have a windows xp cd handy, and you can access the bios(assuming the F1 key you talked about, you're speaking about the bios menu), make sure you have boot from cd in your boot order. Then you can try doing a windows reinstall from the cd. You can choose the second repair option, allowing you to keep all your files,programs, etc.. intact. I had this problem happen to me one time form corrupted video card drivers.

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Thanks for all your help. I will try your recommendations when I get home and report my findings, good or bad.

Cool site, lots of help...

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I tried a safe mode boot and it loaded but desktop programs were limited and processor very slow. I then tried to complete the repair option on the XP re-installation but did not have the product key code to complete. I searched and could not find it anywhere. The CD was in a blank sleeve and my computer documents did not contain the authentic MS certification. How do I obtain the production key code and complete the "repair option" of the re-installation?

Any help would be appreciated.

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It will usually be on the computer somewhere, usually on the back.

I did not think to look there. Thanks, I will check when I get home.

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The keyfinder program will always work if its not there. Sorry, didn't edit in time.

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since your pc will boot in safe mode i guess you have some nastyies floating around in there and like godsp3ed said you should replace the system files it would make it run well again one way is how he said to do it the other is to boot off of the windows cd and do it from there i mean unless you dont want to keep any of your files then just wipe the whole thing clean

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Since they were having intermittent issues before it sounds like corrupted drivers or vbios, although it could be some sort of virus. You might get away with reinstalling the video card drivers from safe mode, but if there is a virus an in-place upgrade by running setup from safe mode or by booting from the cd would be the best way to fix everything and keep all your programs and files intact. I'm not sure if sfc checks for corruption, only checks for the correct version of files, so you'd probably need to run chkdsk /R first. The easiest route I think would be to try to re-install the video drivers, then re-install OS if that doesn't work. When people get viruses, usually they can get the virus removed, but the damage done to the system by the virus is usually still there. Usually you need to repair the winosock, reset the tcp/ip, etc. A re-install is usually the best way to fix everything after the virus has been removed.

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Okay, this is getting bad. I completed the following:

1. Entered the product key code I found on the box and continued the repair option of the XP re-install. Unfourtunately an error message popped up saying something about corrupt files. I didn't pay attention to the message because I thought I could re-do the repair.
2. I boot from the CD and get to the repair option - hit F8 and it does not allow the repair option (tried twice and it did not appear).
3. I complete a chkdsk and comes up with a "could not complete due to corrupt files" message.
4. At this point I decide to complete a re-install of XP.
5. During the formatting of C drive, it takes at least an hour (should only take 1/2 hour). Then it tries writing files to the formatted drive. I leave and come back to this message:
"Windows could not start because the following file is missing
Missing or corrupt Windows root>\system32\hal.dll
Please install a copy of the above file."
6. I scream F***
7. Cats scatter, kids hide, and wife looks at me like I am a loser.

How do I get this file or do I have a problem I cannot fix? I am on unfamiliar ground and do not speak the same language as the rest of you. I have backed up all important files on to my D drive but, as it stands, I cannot get to them.

Any help will be apprecitated.

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It looks like your computer restarted and tried to boot into the old windows installation or you have a bad Master Boot Record. When you boot from the CD next time, login to the recovery console, (1st repair option). Once you get there go a command prompt type FIXMBR <enter>. Then FIXBOOT C: <enter> After formatting and copying files, there might have been an option to choose which Windows you want to log into. Make sure you choose Windows setup and not Windows. If you're having problems formatting, you can download the bootable .iso of http://www.killdisk.com/ Killdisk and write zeros to the partition. You'll have to burn the .iso with Imgburn or another utility that can burn images to CDs.

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It looks like your computer restarted and tried to boot into the old windows installation or you have a bad Master Boot Record. When you boot from the CD next time, login to the recovery console, (1st repair option). Once you get there go a command prompt type FIXMBR <enter>. Then FIXBOOT C: <enter> After formatting and copying files, there might have been an option to choose which Windows you want to log into. Make sure you choose Windows setup and not Windows. If you're having problems formatting, you can download the bootable .iso of http://www.killdisk.com/ Killdisk and write zeros to the partition. You'll have to burn the .iso with Imgburn or another utility that can burn images to CDs.

thanks josmcc I hope this the last you hear of me and I can check this thread off as solved...

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If you booted from the cd and reformatted the drive, you'll probably have to reinstall windows, but it looks like the Master boot record is corrupt, so you'll have to fix that first before you install windows. Before you do all that when you start your computer make sure it doesn't give you choices of which windows to boot into. Your bootloader shouldn't see your old Windows Install, which is what is happening when you are getting the Hal.dll error. It's trying to boot into the windows that you uninstalled and not the setup part of windows which has to complete after restarting the computer.

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Okay I am back from holidays and tried numerous possibilities to restore my failed C Drive. Thanks to all who contributed.

I started trying to recover and reformatting to re-establish my C Drive but kept getting kept getting "Windows could not start because the following file is missing
Missing or corrupt Windows root>\system32\hal.dll
Please install a copy of the above file." After expending huge amounts of time on this frustrating issue I said "Screw it" and bought a new 250G HD. Installed it, loaded XP, and my problem went away.

I am not put out financially, only $70.00, but the time expended was the bitter pill. I can chock it up to experience, I did learn a lot, and I did not pay anyone to fix my problem.

HD's are like human knees, they are vulnerable, and when they go, they really mess you up.

Lesson learned: Buy an external HD and have it complete scheduled back ups.

My PC has two HD's but because my C drive failed I could not access the D drive. The ext drive only cost $100 and I can sleep at night not worrying about losing 5 years of photos, all our music, and my golf game courses (250 at an average of 80 M each).

Thanks again for all your help! This case is closed.

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