Ask Experts Questions for FREE Help !
Ask
    k01nr01's Avatar
    k01nr01 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #1

    Oct 25, 2005, 01:34 PM
    Windows XP not booting up properly
    I'm currently posting from my own laptop, but my family's main computer isn't doing so well. Everything was working fine last night, no problems with shut down or anything else for that matter, but this morning when my dad turned on the computer, Windows refused to finish loading. We are running XP SP1 (I hate SP2 -- it basically killed wireless networking on another family laptop and did more damage than good). If I start up the computer, it seems like everything is running as usual, but once the desktop starts to load, then things go funky. Only about a third of the icons on the desktop load completely, and if I move my cursor over the taskbar, I get the infamous hourglass. Taskbar icons don't load at all -- the clock loads but not the usual Norton icons, etc.; no Quick Launch, and the start menu is unclickable. Nothing on the desktop is clickable, either. The only thing that I've been able to do is run Task Manager, and thank goodness since that seems to be the only way to shut down/restart properly. I've also tried running the computer in Safe Mode, but I get the same results. Whenever I try to shut down or restart, I get an "End Program - explorer.exe" pop-up, so obviously obviously something's up with Windows Explorer.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate any help that I can get, and if you need more details just ask.
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
    Gone, But Not Forgotten
     
    #2

    Oct 25, 2005, 02:17 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by k01nr01
    I'm currently posting from my own laptop, but my family's main computer isn't doing so well. Everything was working fine last night, no problems with shut down or anything else for that matter, but this morning when my dad turned on the computer, Windows refused to finish loading. We are running XP SP1 (I hate SP2 -- it basically killed wireless networking on another family laptop and did more damage than good). If I start up the computer, it seems like everything is running as usual, but once the desktop starts to load, then things go funky. Only about a third of the icons on the desktop load completely, and if I move my cursor over the taskbar, I get the infamous hourglass. Taskbar icons don't load at all -- the clock loads but not the usual Norton icons, etc.; no Quick Launch, and the start menu is unclickable. Nothing on the desktop is clickable, either. The only thing that I've been able to do is run Task Manager, and thank goodness since that seems to be the only way to shut down/restart properly. I've also tried running the computer in Safe Mode, but I get the same results. Whenever I try to shut down or restart, I get an "End Program - explorer.exe" pop-up, so obviously obviously something's up with Windows Explorer.

    Anyway, I'd appreciate any help that I can get, and if you need more details just ask.
    Oh boy, now I'm scared to turn mine off, since yesterday was 'microsoft's download day' and if you had it on automatic install, this could well be the reason. The October downloads and 'fixes' were flawed and one expert that posted on another forum did state that it will mess your explorer up, not to mention a few more things. Did your PC have automatic install? I have mine set to custom install, which lets me choose to at least look at them, but the little MS icon is still there and I wish I could get rid of it. The only download I allowed was the malware update.
    Once you've found out what went wrong, please let me know so that I can hopefully fix it before it goes wrong. Be patient, there will be better experts in Windows on line soon, and you'll get a whole lot of good advice. Good Luck!

    k01nr01's Avatar
    k01nr01 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #3

    Oct 25, 2005, 02:22 PM
    I'm 99.9% sure that I didn't have automatic install enabled (the other .1% goes to the possibility that someone other than me messed with the auto update settings, but I'm almost sure that that didn't happen). As convenient as auto install is, it can be such a pain too. Hopefully someone else will figure something out soon, but thanks!
    k01nr01's Avatar
    k01nr01 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #4

    Oct 25, 2005, 03:34 PM
    Sorry for the double post. My dad's been going through the troubleshooting manual and he tried to load the Application Recovery CD for something or the other, but the computer won't even load that. He said that the drive sounds as if it's trying to load the CD, but nothing comes of it. I don't know if that helps or anything, but I figured that at this point I should probably post any other problems that are cropping up.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #5

    Oct 25, 2005, 03:53 PM
    I've installed SP2 on several machines. It has had no effect on wireless networking and no detrimental effect on anything. While I have seen people who have had problems with SP2, its almost always because they had problems BEFORE upgrading. You should make sure your system is clean before upgrading.

    Have you checked in Device manager to see what it says about the CD drive? Have you tried using System Restore to go back to a time when it was working?
    k01nr01's Avatar
    k01nr01 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #6

    Oct 25, 2005, 04:10 PM
    It's very possible that the laptop I had installed SP2 on had some other issues; I had used it on my college's network for three years, and the network itself was crawling with viruses and other junk. Doesn't matter at this point though, seeing as how that computer's hard drive died about a month ago and is about to go into the shop anyway.

    About the computer at hand: System Restore would have been the first thing I tried had it not been turned off. I turned it off recently, within the past two weeks, but must have forgotten to turn it back on unfortunately. There aren't any restore points for this month and I can't go back any further for some reason.

    As far as Device Manager goes, I woudn't even know how to get to it at this point. Is there a way to get to it from Task Manager?
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
    Gone, But Not Forgotten
     
    #7

    Oct 25, 2005, 04:20 PM
    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but if you use the original OS CD, you get the option for a new install or repair. I know that my old MS Office did that. I never (knock on wood) had to do that with my Win XP Home yet.


    P.S. stu and scott, with your assurance, I downloaded the Microsoft updates and will now restart, so if you don't hear from me for a while, something went wrong.. Cross you fingers, please.

    TTFN.
    k01nr01's Avatar
    k01nr01 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #8

    Oct 25, 2005, 04:27 PM
    I was hoping that I'd be able to do that with the original OS disc. If I chose to repair, would I lose data? If the CD-ROM drive even bothered to cooperate, that is...

    Also, someone at another forum had suggested pressing F8 during boot and choosing the "last good known configuration" option for start up. I tried that too but I still ended up with the same problem, except that this time it seems as if a few more taskbar icons have showed up. Other than that, no difference.

    I'd really hate to have to do a system recovery (if it even let me!). If worst comes to worse, do you think there would be any way to back up the documents, emails, etc. that are saved on this computer? I'm hoping it doesn't come down to that, but it looks like it might at this rate.
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
    Gone, But Not Forgotten
     
    #9

    Oct 25, 2005, 05:42 PM
    Again, if I'm not mistaken, when you do a 'system restore' that's exactly what it does, restore the system and nothing else, but gets rid of the newest and latest updates and drivers too. But if you want to be safe, locate the files and documents you want to 'save' and zip them, and also 'moving them' to a TEMP2 folder, that folder will not be touched and you will know where your stuff is. Don't forget however, That you will probably have to reinstall the drivers and original software that had new drivers and *dll files in Windows. You can over-ride this by going into windows\system and windows\system32 one at a time and zip those files also and move them to the temp folder that you created. Even though there is a system restore point inside windows and in Registry Mechanic, I make it a point to zip my system and system32 files once a month and burn them to CD. I do this with my 'my documents and settings' directory also. May I also suggest the you get yourself a good backup program that will backup chosen folders from C: to D: and files from D: to C: if you have a HDD that is big enough, if not burn the backup to CDs. There are a lot of possibilities, but those above are just a few and I hope they will at least work enough so that you don't loose everything. You can even zip important files from installed programs that you will probably have to re-install, like some *.ini files. You'll also find a lot of *ini files under Windows that you might want to zip and keep, to look at later to see if you still need them.
    Another reason could be that you or someone elso just installed something new and it could have messed up a few things. So If you can get to your control panel, try to restore from there if you can - that feature is usually under help and support in the newest PCs. Gosh, I know how frustrating this can be and have spent up to 2 days 'fixing' things, so I really hope there is an easier way for you to get your's fixed again. Good Luck! When you finally have your PC tunes again, check on PCDoctor and read up on one of their projects called the 'ultimate boot CD'. Again, Good Luck.
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
    Gone, But Not Forgotten
     
    #10

    Oct 25, 2005, 05:49 PM
    Sorry about the spelling of some words, but I was doing this blind, as my PC is going through it's normal 3 am virus check and it takes a long time to get a screen back as I just switched antivirus programs. But anyway, Lots a Luck.

    Curlyben's Avatar
    Curlyben Posts: 18,499, Reputation: 1860
    BossMan
     
    #11

    Oct 26, 2005, 12:47 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by k01nr01
    I was hoping that I'd be able to do that with the original OS disc. If I chose to repair, would I lose data? If the CD-ROM drive even bothered to cooperate, that is...
    This sounds like your best option.
    If you can Boot to the XP CD and do a repair then all your settings should be kept, that's what normally happens anyway.
    But it sounds like you may have to do a full reinstall of XP.

    Also have you tried booting into safe mode and doing a system restore ?

    Hope this helps a little
    fredg's Avatar
    fredg Posts: 4,926, Reputation: 674
    Ultra Member
     
    #12

    Oct 26, 2005, 03:58 AM
    XP won't load properly
    Hi,
    All the symptoms you mentioned point to a corrupted registry. When all icons don't load, or there are things missing in the system tray, or any type of error about WindowsExplorer.exe, or explorer.exe, show up, it's normally the Registry which has become corrupt.
    I am not 100% sure this is the problem, but it sure sounds like it.
    Here is a Microsoft link:

    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=307545

    It explains what to do, step by step, with XP.
    If you decide to try all these steps, and follow them, it will not harm your computer anymore than it already is, and hopefully, will fix the registry.
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,966, Reputation: 6056
    Computer Expert and Renaissance Man
     
    #13

    Oct 26, 2005, 05:15 AM
    To get to Device Manager in XP you can Open My Computer click on system Information and then use the Hardware tab.
    k01nr01's Avatar
    k01nr01 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #14

    Oct 26, 2005, 11:02 AM
    CurlyBen - System Restore was turned off for two weeks (I turned it off for some reason and then forgot to turn it back on unfortunately) and there aren't any restore points, so that isn't an option for me. Grr. :(

    fredg - I just tried doing that, but the computer won't boot from the CD. The CD-ROM drive sounds like it's working, at least.

    ScottGem - I can't get to My Computer as nothing on the Desktop is clickable at all. The only thing I can access is Task Manager, even in Safe Mode.
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
    Gone, But Not Forgotten
     
    #15

    Oct 28, 2005, 03:07 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by k01nr01
    CurlyBen - System Restore was turned off for two weeks (I turned it off for some reason and then forgot to turn it back on unfortunately) and there aren't any restore points, so that isn't an option for me. Grr. :(

    fredg - I just tried doing that, but the computer won't boot from the CD. The CD-ROM drive sounds like it's working, at least.

    ScottGem - I can't get to My Computer as nothing on the Desktop is clickable at all. The only thing I can access is Task Manager, even in Safe Mode.
    If your CD drive sounds like it's working, then press F4 or F8 at startup and check if the CD is the first thing the PC looks at to boot from, maybe that was changed too. - Just a thought. Good Luck.
    k01nr01's Avatar
    k01nr01 Posts: 7, Reputation: 1
    New Member
     
    #16

    Oct 28, 2005, 09:22 AM
    At this point my dad and I have given up. We've tried booting from the XP CD and a bunch of other options people have suggested, but we haven't gotten anywhere. He ended up taking the tower into work today so some guy could recover all of the files, just in case. I don't know what the next step he's planning to take is, but if anything gets resolved, I'll be sure to post it here for future reference and whatnot. Thanks for trying, though!
    Chery's Avatar
    Chery Posts: 3,666, Reputation: 698
    Gone, But Not Forgotten
     
    #17

    Oct 28, 2005, 08:12 PM
    Just make certain that from now on you make backups of your drive on a schedule and create a new boot CD and floppy. They are always handy to have around (check with PC Doctor, PC Tools, EazyBackup, etc.) I have one from OntracK (400 dollars) that lets me use space on their server - kind of like a first aid kit. You would not drive a car without one?? Would you?


    Good Luck.

    And keep us posted.

Not your question? Ask your question View similar questions

 

Question Tools Search this Question
Search this Question:

Advanced Search

Add your answer here.


Check out some similar questions!

Dual booting problem [ 2 Answers ]

I Had Dual Booting With Windows98se (c Drive) & Windows Xp (d Drive) . I Removed Xp By Formatting D Drive. How Do I Remove The Shortcut At Booting Initially

IBM 390X CD-ROM Booting Problem [ 6 Answers ]

I just got an IBM 390X at a computer show. I have no docs and Windows is not my really my specialty. Neither are laptops. So, here's my problem. I replaced the hard drive because I needed more disk, and now I need to reinstall Windows. I can't seem to boot from the DVD drive to start the...

Dual Booting W2k3 Server and XP pro [ 4 Answers ]

Hi All, I've a working custom built Desktop PC with Win XP Pro running without any issues. My 80GB HDD is partitioned into 4 partitions of 20GB each. Now I'm curious to know whether I can install Windows 2000 Server, so as to make it a dual booting system. Someone told me that I can't do so...

Pop ups after booting-up [ 2 Answers ]

I have 3 boxes that appear when I bootup. The one that troubles me most is :- error loading c:\programfiles\wild tangent\apps\CDA\cda engine 0400.dll My PC is running okay. How can I stop these boxes appearing?

Dual booting winxp and win98se [ 3 Answers ]

?How do I dual boot with winxp and win98se on separate harddrives? Itried it before and ran good for 2 days then I lost my 98, had to reformat the drive, right now I'm using a switch and I'm about to build another machine tomorrow and don't want to use the switch anymore because of some errors in...


View more questions Search