Hi all

My laptop running with xp pro updated to service pack 3 decided to loop when start-up. In other words, it just keep on rebooting, up to the windows screen, and then restarts. I managed to get into safemode, and performed a chkdsk c:/r and many bad sectors and files were found, and replaced/repaired by the chkdsk, however, after chkdsk completed, and laptop restarts again, same story, in the loop.

I then decided to do a repair-install from the xp pro cd, and boot up from the cd. (my cd is old, only service pack 1 on it, I have to do all the updates again if succesfull)The repair went all the way okay, untill part two of it, where windows needs to restart to complete the repair, same story, windows loops with restart, and repair cannot complete.

I then tried to get into safemode again, but no luck, as it just hangs on the black screen where all the files scroll before it starts in safemode.

Any suggestions before I am going to loose all data by doing a format and clean install?

You say a lot of bad sectors were found, because of that I suspect your hard drive as being the problem!

Mmmm, so that means there is no other way around it, I will loose the data on the drive, if I have to replace it, or format it. Will a format help with the bad sectors to fix them?

It might help, it might not. It's 50-50.

OK, thanks, I'll keep this thread open for a while, just incase there is a tooth fairy out there somewhere with some magic answere, but from my own knowledge, I doubt.

Bad sectors don't just appear on a hard drive without a reason!

I think the reason was perhaps overheating, I suspect. It freezed couple of times before and had to switch off without shut down.

Tooth fairies don't do hdd miracles. Either a quick or full format will erase your file records from the MFT, a full format will also carry out what yu already did, a scan for bad sectors.
It does not hurt to repeat chkdsk /r. Just in case. Use the RC on your installation cd to run chkdsk c: /r again.

Thanks gerbil,I did do a second chkdsk /r from the installation CD, with no luck, the boot still loops.

I decided to do the format, and deleted all partitions, and did a "slow" format, and a clean install of windows. The data is gone, but there is new life in the laptop now and it works and boots up fine after installation. However, it still overheats and freezes up.

Now begins the long journey of updating to service pack 3 again, install/update missing and outdated drivers, and AVG, etc. (I'm halfway there)

I know that it cannot last too long, with the freeze problem still there, resulting in a hard switch off instead of a shutdown, and I should maybe look into getting the laptop into a repair shop to see if heat sink is ok or not? Or is there something else I can do for the overheat problem?

When you are to dl the windows updates, instead of doing it automatically via the update service, go to the site and dl the related KBxxxx exes. That way you have all the updates available for slipstreaming if you so wish, no need to dl them again. Just an idea...
Shame about the ol installation.

Thanks for the tip, I'm marking this now as solved, as I don't think in this case anything else could be done to solve the looping start-up.