Someone gave me a computer and asked me to look at it, they told me they couldn't load Windows. I have the computer, and this is what it's doing:
-HP splash screen comes up
-The very next screen is the screen for Windows Safe Mode (with the only options being Safe Mode, SM w/Networking, SM w/Command Prompt, Start Windows Normally
-no matter what option I use, the computer restarts and will loop like that if left unattended (after the 30 second default time expires, it just restarts)
I put in a Windows XP disc, and it loads into that, I select the recovery console option, and it gets hung up on examining the hard drive (there is only one). I have done this before and I don't seem to remember it taking very long to get past this screen. I will give it longer before I actually give up on it this time. I tried Memtest86 just to make sure it wasn't the RAM, and it passed.
Unless someone here knows a different way to get it to work, I cannot run a CHKDSK because I can't get to a command prompt of any sort. My thoughts are this is either dead, badly corrupted, or needs the boot files reinstalled, but I don't know of any way to do that. Any thoughts? Does anyone else have another suggestion as to what could be causing the failure?
HP Pavilion 304
AMD Athlon (1800+, I think)