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Cannot start PC (Compaq Presario)

This is a discussion on Cannot start PC (Compaq Presario) within the Win 98 & ME Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Help.... I have a problem. My PC was fine yesterday but now the "windows cannot start properly due to reset


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Old 03-13-2009, 04:08 AM   #1
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Cry

Help.... I have a problem. My PC was fine yesterday but now the "windows cannot start properly due to reset being pressed etc" keeps popping up. I unplugged it and as soon as I plug it back in, without pressing the power button it starts running. My screen tells me that windows cannot start properly and the safe mode/run with last known configuration window is there... I try to run it at the last know confing but all it does is go to the compaq window, then it looks as though Windows is starting but it pops right back to the safe mode window where I cannot do anything... what could be the problem? I have had this pc for a few years and there are years of photos stored on it that I need. Can anything be done to get my files out if my hd is shot??? Thank you

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Old 03-13-2009, 11:50 AM   #2
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Hi leeleeblue


Is this the full text of the error message you've been seeing? -->
Quote:
“We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this. If your computer stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to protect your files and folders, choose Last Known Good Configuration to revert to the most recent settings that worked. If a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure or because the Power or Reset button was pressed, or if you aren’t sure what caused the problem, choose Start Windows Normally.”
What version of Windows are you running?

You mention that "it pops right back to the safe mode window where I cannot do anything" --- do you mean that the PC 'freezes' at the Safe Mode menu? Or that you enter Safe Mode, and then it freezes? Or that you enter Safe Mode & can't do a particular task that you'd like to do?

The error message can be caused by many different things. It could be a hardware problem or a software problem. Did you recently add a new piece of hardware or software? If so, post that info here. If you recently plugged in a new USB device, for example, remove all external devices except your monitor, keyboard & mouse, and see if the PC boots OK then.

If you have a version of Windows that has the System Restore utility (Window Me, Windows XP), and you can enter Safe Mode successfully, you can try using the System Restore program, selecting a 'restore point' from before your recent trouble. Start-All Programs-Accessories-System Tools-System Restore.
_______________

How old is your Compaq? If you suspect parts failure, you can run some diagnostics. Many Compaqs have diagnostics programs built-in, & you can see a menu of choices by pressing the F10 key as the system is powering on. There are also third-party tests you can run to test the memory ( http://www.memtest.org ) and hard drive ( http://tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 ) -- many such diagnostic tools are included in & can be run from a bootable Linux CD such as the UBCD ( http://www.ultimatebootcd.com ).
_______________

A big priority right away should be to save the important personal data on the drive (documents, photos, music, etc.). If you or a friend has a Windows XP system, try making a "UBCD4Win" CD, from which you can boot your computer (if it is mechanically sound enough to do so) and copy your important data off onto a USB flash drive, some CDs, or an external hard drive. ( http://www.ubcd4win.com )

If your computer has a mechanical/electrical failure that keeps it from booting from a bootable CD, then you might need a technically-minded friend to help out -- have them remove the hard drive from your system, attempt to read it when attached to another computer, and save the files to removeable media. When saving files in this manner, it's also a good idea to scan them for malware before saving them.
_______________

Best of luck
. . . Gary

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Old 03-13-2009, 12:08 PM   #3
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Hi and thanks.... yes that's the message I was getting. I can't even get into safe mode or any mode. After I hit any of the suggestions it goes to the windows loading window then right back to the compaq window and that message is there again.

My PC is from 2004 I believe (it's like a dinosaur now....) and I'm using XP Home Edition. I will try the F10 suggestion and maybe that will work.

I haven't installed anything. I am worried that it might be a virus and if so how would I even begin to get rid of it? I'm looking for a tech guy locally because I'm not that savvy when it comes to things like this. I know how to use a pc but not fix problems like these.

The kids spilled grape juice on the tower the other day and I was hoping that was the problem but it was days before it started freezing up. I can turn off the power button and it will stay off but when I plug it in it starts up automatically which had me thinking it was the on button. I opened it and cleaned it out, it was pretty dusty, but that didn't change anything.

Thanks for replying....
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Old 03-13-2009, 12:10 PM   #4
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Oops am I in the wrong forum? I just noticed I posted this in '98/ME....
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Old 03-14-2009, 03:41 PM   #5
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Hi again


I think trying to run the Compaq diagnostics is a good first step. Try tapping the F10 key several times -- immediately after the power comes on for the PC.

If the keyboard also had grape juice spilled on it - you might need to try things using a different keyboard. Only change a keyboard when the computer is shutdown, powered off, and unplugged.

If you can't get to the diagnostics, see if the F10 key at least gives you the option to enter "Bios Setup" (might be just called "Setup"). If you can enter Setup, look for an item that mentions "Boot Order" or "First Boot Device" and set the CD-ROM as the first in the boot order. If your PC has a floppy drive, a helpful boot order is 1) Floppy Drive 2) CD-ROM drive 3) Hard Drive. With that boot order, you have the option to start the computer using bootable floppy diskettes or bootable CDs to help with diagnostics. If you can't run the Compaq Diagnostics for your model, generic diagnostics might do OK. Memory diagnostics are available to run from either floppy or CD --- http://www.memtest.org --- and hard disk diagnostics are available from the manufacturer's --- http://tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287 --- There are also diagnostic CDs with many tools ready-to-go on them, such as the "Ultimate Boot CD" and the "Ultimate Boot CD for Windows" (UBCD & UBCD4Win) --- http://www.ultimatebootcd.com --- http://www.ubcd4win.com

With the system shutdown, powered off, & unplugged -- you could also open up the case again, ground yourself, and replug most of the connections (just to make sure that a loose connection isn't causing any trouble).

If your PC boots well and runs well when started from a bootable CD, that means that at least your cpu, optical drive, motherboard, & system memory are in good enough shape to get things going. You'll know if the hard drive is OK after running diagnostics from either Compaq or from the manufacturer. The in-depth memory tests (such as MemTest86) will give the clearest bill of health (or not) for the memory modules.
_______________

If the hardware tests OK, and you can successfully enter Safe Mode, do try the System Restore method ( in my first reply ). It has a good chance of getting you back to normal.

Best of luck!
. . . Gary

P.S. Don't worry too much that you posted in the wrong forum, a moderator will simply move this into the XP forum if necessary.

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