My computer has recently been experiencing extreme difficulty booting up into Windows XP and is exhibiting symptoms of many problems but all of the reccomended solutions are leading me nowhere.

Upon bootup, the computer will hang at random points ranging from not even starting up the display to hanging right before it starts the Windows XP load screen. If the computer hangs and the reset button is pressed, the display stops responding and nothing seems to happen.

Computer has to be generally shut down and then turned back on sometimes multiple times before display will come back on only to have the computer freeze at a random point again.

If I manage to get to the screen that states that Windows did not start sucessfully and allows the option of Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Last Known Good Configuration, etc... I cannot use the keyboard to change to Safe mode, the arrow keys are non responsive.

Occasionally the "blue screen of death" will appear when you would expect the Windows XP loading screen and the computer would then reset but it flashes by too fast for me to read so I have no clue what it is saying.

First attempt at a solution: Try to run the windows xp repair installation option on the Windows XP installation CD

Result 1: The computer just hangs during the loading of the CD or never makes it to loading the CD or will not register the keystroke to boot from CD and will try to move on to loading Windows from the HD.
Result 2: The Windows XP install interface reports the following error --> Setupdd.sys could not be loaded. Error code 4. The reccomended solution for this is to remove single RAM sticks and swap them in various configurations to see if a RAM stick has gone bad. No variation of my two 512mb sticks would change system performance

Second attempt at a solution: Load the failsafe defaults in the system BIOS and reboot
Result: No change in performance

I am tempted to go purchase a new power supply to see if that is the issue (doubtful?) but I would rather not go purchasing random parts and virtually building an entirely new computer if I don't have to.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

11 Years
Discussion Span
Last Post by Myhns

I don't think your power supply is bad, as the computer is not shutting down, but just hangs. I suspect that you may have a bad sector, in your hard drive, or a software issue, that may be causing your problem. If you have another computer, you may want to download the diagnostic program for you hard drive, which in most cases, will fit onto a floppy, then boot your computer with it, and scan your hard drive for errors. Have you tired another keyboard? Maybe all your memory is bad, you may want to run memtest86 if your hard drive checks out to be good. Mem86: http://www.memtest86.com/


intresting... it could be a few things... have you been able to successfully run windows at all? or is it now dead? does this only happen after its been running for a while? or does it do this off a cold boot, when the system has been off for serveral hrs? run that mem test program. and see what it reports... also, check to make sure your fan on the processor is spinning.... it could be overheating... if it is, will it run stable from bios for a while... (let it sit in bios for a while, and see if its still responsive... do you have a pc health section, if you do, check your processor temp.)


I will try memtest tonight and report the results.

For binary: This occurs off of cold boots, and I've been able to sit in the BIOS for hours looking at settings and the sort while the computer is on, so I don't think it is a processor overheating issue, but I will look at the fan regardless.

I have not been able to get into Windows since the problem began.

I will try to find the diagnostic program for my HD, not sure where to go about finding that but I will look around.

Thanks for the tips you two, I will give them a shot tonight and let you know what it reports.


Results of memtest:

The computer freezes at random points during memtest

no errors are ever reported, it just freezes during execution and during the 3 times I ran it, it never froze at the same time. When it freezes the hard drive light is lit up solid and stays lit up until I shut down the computer.

So, not sure how to interpret those results.


can you boot up on safe mode, You might be having problems when you hit mup.sys (I think that is the name of it). You might want to try a repair install, and or update the drivers. If you are spending much time on it, a clean install is also a way to go, put in a new HD, and start from scratch, then import you folders, profile, etc.


I have absolutely zero problem with buying a new HD and installing windows again, my only concern is losing the data on the current HD. If the windows installation is corrupt or something on the current main HD, will I still be able to access the data on it when I install my new HD?


Tempted to go buy a new HD and install a fresh windows install on it but I would prefer to not go spend that kind of money if it isnt even the source of the problem

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