Question about Microsoft Windows XP Professional

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Boot system failure!

I wast just about to go on the mother inlaw's computer when it flashed up a message saying something along the line the lines of boot system faliure and stays on that message untill you reboot and then it does the same again.

I entered a windows XP disc to re install (this is what i was about to do before the problem showed up) It runs from the disc after going into the BIOS asnd begins to install the OS it goes through the windows setup system and after selecting formatt and re-partition it goes through the formatting section and file copying section perfect it then mentions something about setup will now reboot you pc and continue afterwards if there is anything in drive A please eject. it then reboots the system and then goes on to re install the OS. the only problem is it seems like it has forgotten you have already done the first part as it trys to prompt you to repair, format and reinstall OS

ANY IDEAS WELCOME. I know enough to get me by but this is the 2nd time i have formatted a pc and re installed an OS. the 1st with any problems!!!

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  • Ray Lang Feb 15, 2009

    thank you do i need to keep the disc in the cd drive?

    I would imagine yes?

  • Ray Lang Feb 15, 2009

    brilliant i will try this tomorrow

  • Ray Lang Feb 16, 2009

    ok i have gone back in to installing windows xp as jackie said i should reboot the system when prompted and the F2 and change it back to boot from hard drive this is ok apart from when it comes to loading where it finished from it says CD BOOT: MEMORY OVERFLOW ERROR

    Any ideas what this means?


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You need to start from the hard drive, or from hard drive with CD support. You can change the boot device priority in BIOS /change it so that the optical drive is not first but the drive you installed the OS is/, or in some boards there's the option to choose boot device. In case of a Gigabyte mobo it would be F12, that would bring a device list and after choosing your hdd the install would continue.

Posted on Feb 15, 2009

  • Jackie_T Feb 15, 2009

    Yes, it's still installing from the cd.

  • Jackie_T Feb 16, 2009

    That could be a hardware error, but lets check everything else first. Some people reported that error is caused by:
    1. dirty CD /finger prints/ - so lets clean the disc carefully.
    2. dirty reader - well the tray can be cleaned and a cleaning disc could clean the laser head for you
    3. usb devices - kinda odd and rare but for some if all usb devices were detached the install smoothly went on.
    4. formatting error - you need to go into fdisk /through a boot up floppy if ou have on or create a boot up disc in another system/ and check what partitions you have then format with fdisk /you should only have non hidden partitions/

    Also if you have both a CD drive & a DVD drive, make sure you are using the 1st physical device (according to physical hookup).

    Or try booting with CD in other drive.

    After checking all of the above you can try installing again and if you get the same error then it could be a hardware error /probably the hard drive/. If that happens install in a different drive and if it works there then you need to replace the hard drive where you cold not install.

    Do the install with as few peripheries as possible /only a moues and a keyboard, unplug everything else you don't need like speakers, memory cards or pen drives/.

    If you have more than one ram in it then take out all but one /smallest in first but/ and install. If you keep getting the error you can try switching them /both the memories and the slots/. This way you'll find the cause of the error /if it's one of the sticks or one of the slots/.


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