Windows XP Will Not Boot – 10 Things
- Use a Windows Startup Disk: This should be the first thing you reach for and try when your Windows XP workstation will not boot. This simple boot disk can overcome 30% of the fail to boot problems, which are often caused by corrupt boot files
- Use Last Known Good Configuration: This will boot your system with the configuration used the last time Windows Booted and Logged-On Successfully. However, if you’re having problems with a system which was able to logon successfully, this will not resolve your situation. This does, however, work well when you have a problem booting Windows after making a change to your system, such as installing or removing hardware.
- Use System Restore: If you can boot into Windows, try the Windows System Restore option to get you back to the last time a checkpoint was made. If you cannot boot into Windows, try pressing F8 to enter into Safe Mode and try System Restore from here.
- Use Recovery Console: Things are beginning to look serious, and more powerful tools are needed. Boot your system using the Windows XP CD and enter into the recovery console.
- Fix the Boot.ini file: check the Boot.ini file and repair as needed
- Fix the corrupt partition boot sector using the recovery console
- Fix the corrupt master boot record (MBR) using the recovery conole
- Disable automatic restart via Safe Mode – this may provide additional error codes, instead of simply rebooting the machine
- Restore your system from a known good backup
- Failing a restore from backup, try an in-place upgrade. This can be dangerous with unknown consequences. In general you should only perform upgrades on known working systems. However, this is a good last ditch effort before rebuilding the system.
This post was adapted and based off work by Greg Shultz.