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Last night my PC was acting a bit strange, so I decided to restart it to see if that would improve the situation. Unfortunately, after doing so, it would not boot into Windows. I can see it POST, but where I would normally expect the Windows loading screen, I instead get a blank screen (not the "No Signal" display). At this point there does not appear to be any disk activity or anything else; it just hangs. I tried to press F8 to get to boot into Safe Mode, but this brings me to my BIOS's boot device menu. If I select my primary hard drive and tell it to boot and then try to press F8 I get no response (just the blank screen, as before).

I was able to boot into the recovery console and tried performing a fixboot and fixmbr to fix the problem, but this did not have any effect, but I was able to see that the filesystem appeared to be intact.

For reference the OS is Windows XP Pro.

Any thoughts for what could be causing this and any solutions?


I was also able to run chkdsk /r from the recovery console. If I do this right when starting the recovery console, I receive a message that there were unrecoverable errors, but if I first do a fixboot C: then it does not return any problems.

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"Acting strange" in what way? Virus, maybe? Or failing hardware? You'll have to narrow it down by trying other things. You could try booting to a LiveCD of some kind (Linux, preferably) to see if it runs smoothly. If so, something's probably wrong with Windows. If not, it may be a hardware failure. Etc., etc. – jrc03c Jul 13 '10 at 14:44
I was able to boot using a LiveCD (some version of Knoppix) and was able to read various files on the drive, so drive failure does not seem likely. As far as "acting strange", it had been running for a while, and you know how Windows gets gummed up sometimes. Granted, I can't 100% eliminate the possibility of a virus but it did not seem to be the case. – VeeArr Jul 13 '10 at 15:03
Since it doesnt seem to be that your hard drive is dying/dead, I suggest trying a windows repair to see if the windows setup will detect the previously installed version of windows. Put in the CD, hit enter to setup windows then F8 to accept the agreement. At that point it will try to detect previous versions. If it doesnt detect any then the partition tables on the HD have probably been corrupted. – commradepolski Jul 13 '10 at 15:15
Interestingly, the install media I have does not have this step (i.e. I don't get the option to go to repair mode--on startup it goes right to the screen where it lists the partitions of your drives so you can select one to install). I tried loading up an older version of install media I had from another computer to see if I could get to the repair that way, but it always hung while loading. – VeeArr Jul 13 '10 at 16:11
Sounds like your partition is all messed up and you may not be able to get windows working on it again without a format. I suggest using the live cd again and backing up files you need to USB or cd or whatever then reinstalling windows. – commradepolski Jul 14 '10 at 17:01

What you describe is absolutely abnormal.

I think that you really have only two choices :
Taking the computer to a repairman, or reinstalling Windows (which might still fail).

Since you can boot with a LiveCD, save your files now, because I suspect that some component is failing (maybe the hard disk).

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Boot into recovery mode and run

chkdsk /r

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Should really be a comment. If it does solve the problem, then make it into an answer. – Hello71 Jul 13 '10 at 14:49
I did do this. See my edit of the OP for the results. – VeeArr Jul 13 '10 at 15:06

Honestly I would power everything down, unplug it, take off the case, and re-seat your graphics card (take it out and put it back in, making sure it is evenly and firmly in place).

However if it's built in then the next thing I would try is go to safe mode and remove or update the graphics drivers. Hopefully it's not fried.

If that doesn't work, it really sounds like it could be a hard drive problem, and you should check the connections on the drive or boot the drive from a CD that contains software that will check the disk for errors.

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