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My old Dell PC has recently gotten stuck in a boot loop, and I'm not sure why! I'm kind of new to troubleshooting computers, but I'm trying to learn how. I've checked the RAM, there's no problem there, and there is no Graphics card. Is there any other component that could cause boot looping?

What I mean by boot looping is the monitor will show either a loading bar at the bottom of the screen, or the DELL screen, then cut to the Windows XP loading screen for 5-10 seconds, then return to the boot screen. If I load BIOS, there's no problems, I can browse BIOS and do whatever I want just fine in there, I just can't load up windows.

I've also tried putting a bootable disc in both the DVD drives, but it doesn't seem to want to boot off of it.

Any help would be much appreciated! :)

Thanks!

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2 Answers

The first step would be to disable automatic restart upon Blue Screening. Keep tapping F8 after the bios screen goes away, you should get the XP Boot Mode menu, the option is near the bottom. Now when it blue screens you can actually read the STOP error its throwing and begin troubleshooting from there. It can be a lot of things, bad driver, bad hardware, failing hard drive, corrupted registry, or some boot controller problem. Can you get the error and post back?

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Alright, I got the error from the blue screen: UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME And if this stuff is of any use: Stop: 0x000000ED (0x823D6C08, 0xC000009C, 0x000000000, 0x000000000) –  user2856410 Oct 19 '13 at 1:41
    
It's kind of strange that you can't boot from your CD drives. Did you verify the boot order in the bios and /or tried changing the disk controller mode? (eg AHCI <-> compability)... Once booted from the XP disc there are some commands you can run to try to fix this problem. –  Hefewe1zen Oct 19 '13 at 2:13
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0xC000009C = STATUS_DEVICE_DATA_ERROR

C:\Users\André>err 0xC000009C
# for hex 0xc000009c / decimal -1073741668
  STATUS_DEVICE_DATA_ERROR                                       ntstatus.h
# as an HRESULT: Severity: FAILURE (1), FACILITY_NULL (0x0), Code 0x9c
# for hex 0x9c / decimal 156
  ERROR_SIGNAL_REFUSED                                           winerror.h
# The recipient process has refused the signal.
# 2 matches found for "0xC000009C"

check your HDD for errors and replace the cables which you use to connect the drives to the motherboard.

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