When i press the power button it appears to start as normal, but then takes for ever to get off the IBM screen then goes black for a second before coming up with error message "0200: FAILURE FIXED DISC 0"
how dop i fix this, preferably without losing everything if possible???
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Your installation of Windows is most probably corrupted. Try pressing and holding the F8 button on your keyboard when the 'IBM THINKPAD" screen disappears. That should bring you to a Windows menu where you can select various modes. Select Safe Mode and press enter. If it boots, then you know that something's wrong with Windows and not the notebook itself. What have you installed prior to this problem? Maybe you should try uninstalling it while in safe mode, and then try starting up Windows normally again.
If your windows doesn't start anyway, you should get some live OS (OS that can boot from CD) like Ubuntu or Puppy Linux, so you can save the data from C: partition (burn it or copy it elsewhere) and then reinstall your copy of Windows XP.
remove the battery and adapter. press power button for 30 sec. then connect the adapter. press power button. if this didnt work. you need to ask for an help of a local tech to check for the video card and cable.
Try start up in Safe Mode press F8. Choose Safe Mode, when at the choice window, to select either Safe Mode Desktop, OR System Restore, chooses system restore and choose a time before you had the "Problem" and follow instructions. This should get you back.
It sounds like your laptop is using it's external VGA adapter for its main display. Try holding down the Function (FN) on your keyboard located on the bottom left hand side and pressing F4 at the same time.
Try taking out the hard disk, plug in power and see if you have a display on your screen or external monitor. if same thing happen, try taking out the memory card. If you hear a beep sound it's a faulty mem. card, if no beep sound appears I suspected it's a motherboard faulty.
it sounds possibly that it is going into hibernation. a single press of the power button should bring it back alive.
also feel the bottom of the laptop.... if it is getting close to meltdown you need to clean the dust and dirt from the heatsinks. the fan area may appear to be clear but all the junk gets blown against copper heat sinks so you need to remove the covers to get at it.