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I'm trying to fix my friend's computer. Everytime she tries to boot it we have a blue screen right after the loading bar with the XP logo. If I mount it using a live linux distro, is there a way I can find that message, like in a log file? It just reboots everytime and I can't read what it says.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Yes, use this software to read the crash dump file stored at C:\Windows\Minidump

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/blue_screen_view.html

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I think you need to start Windows XP, hit F8 during booting to get to the Advanced Menu screen, and then use the "Enable Boot Logging" option. It will log all the boot messages to the ntbootlog.txt file. The log is stored in the %SYSTEMROOT% directory (normally C:\Windows folder).

After you have tried booting and Windows has crashed, you should be able to go back with your Live Linux and look at that file to see what is last action before the crash.

Take a look at this link for a bit more help.

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It doesn't log the BSOD, you'll see the latest driver it tries to load which might still not be the cause. –  Tom Wijsman Sep 23 '11 at 21:04
    
When should I hit f8? Because it crashes at the loading screen with the xp logo. –  dierre Sep 23 '11 at 21:15
    
Press power on key and, after that, frenetically do press-and-release F8 key until boot options appears (after BIOS screen and before Windows loading screen). –  kokbira May 23 '12 at 22:35
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