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Computer will not start

When we try to turn on the computer, we get the following message:

"We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent software or hardware change may have caused this. If your computer has stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down, choose last-known configuration to revert to the most recent settings that worked. If a previous start up attempt was interrupted, due to a power failure or because the power reset button was pressed, or if you aren't sure what caused the problem, choose start windows normally."

then we were given five options : safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt, last known good configuration, and start windows normally. None of these worked.

Can you help? Barb

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  • BarbFlew Jun 17, 2008

    Hi Worldvet - thanks for your suggestion. I tried that last night, and I managed to get to the HP screen which gave me the option to do a system restore by using the F10 key. I did that, and nothing happened. it just seemed to stall, and then we got a lovely grainy image of a mountain with a large moon, which we have never seen before.

    any other ideas? thanks! Barb

  • BarbFlew Jun 18, 2008

    Hi WorldVet - thanks again for your help, but I was not able to do any of the actions you suggested. the computer is completely unresponsive - once at that screen with the mountain and the moon - I cannot do anything. We have called GeekSquad to come to our house later today - this issue is beyond my ability to troubleshoot/solve.

    thanks for your suggestions, I appreciate it, and will definitely invest in an external hard drive. good idea.


  • Anonymous Mar 31, 2014

    when its turned on it goes to window xp page then to the dell page then goes to a page with 5 options mode safe mode wth netwrking safe mode command prompt last known good configuration start windows norm....and i selected them wont go to keeps going back to the windows xp page then the dell pge then the safe mode pge...over and over again...cannot change settings..keeps asking for a password!..HELP



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You have a virus on your hardrive, you a two choices, 1 take the computer to a tech for repairs and virus removal, or invest in a operating system software program, and reinstall your operating system.

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Choose Last Known Good Configuration. If that doesn't work, choose Safe Mode and then do a system restore to roll back your PC.

Any further questions, please use the comment box below to respond. Thanks.


Posted on Jun 16, 2008

  • Glenn Rogers
    Glenn Rogers Jun 17, 2008


    It looks like Windows gave your a safe like mode screen. You would need to open Control Panel, select Display and change your resolution and window size back by trial and error until you get a screen that suits you.

    Now, that you can access a Desktop, right click My Computer and choose explorer, right click the C: drive and choose properties, now select the Tools tab and run scandisk. Windows will tell you there are open file handles 'would you like to schedule a repair' choose yes and reboot. Windows will now check your C: drive integrity for errors other than what you may think, such as file security descriptor errors. Do this for every drive. Only the C: drive will want to reboot in most cases.

    Once you succeed in getting a good desktop, go into System Restore and create a new restore point. Let me konw if you need an instruction walk throiugh.

    If you wold like a link to a program that does a lot of this and is free to use let me know I'll send you a URL to the file download.

    I belong to the Open Source Technology Group ( and their user site and our philosophy is to provide free programs instead of the ones that cost lots of money.

    I would also create a backup of your C: drive at least. One easy way to backup your system is to invest in an external USB hard drive. Total cost for a 160GB unit will run you a little over $100 and is pretty cheap insurance compared to what you pay for car and homeowners insurance. Your computer's data is just a crucial as your wedding photos, etc.

    As always, should you have a further question about the above instructions please use the comment box below to reach me and I'll be glad to work with you until its done and working to your satisfaction.


  • Glenn Rogers
    Glenn Rogers Jun 18, 2008

    You're most welcome. There are times, we hate to admit, that email troubleshooting has its shortfall. And, you should know, that a Live Chat session or a Premium Question would have led to the same results. So you made the right choice to post in the forum.

    Most of us professionals, take calls like your but over the phone from out clients and new clients. More often than not we have to go onsite to use our experience and intuition to solve the problem.

    I hope Geek Squad works out for you and I'm sure it will. In the spirit of full disclosure their techs have an account with us to reach us in a Chat Session should they need it. I say this so you are fully aware, give those guys a chance to do what they do. Being in front of your machine and able to ask you questions at the same time can make all the difference in the world.

    If it doesn't work out, call your Chamber of Commerce they know who is who and have a tech they call. I service our CofC myself. You can also search the for a reputble firm in your area as well. My family is all from New York City and my grandfather and his buddy from WWI started what became the BBB in the mid Twenties over light bulbs, of all things, he instilled in me a strong sense of business integrity that still serves me well today. He retired from the BBB as their second President and first President of and founded the National BBB. I guess I'm biased in that way. I'm also pretty old in my late fifties and look forward to retirement some day soon now.

    Have a good day and if things don't work out for some reason, you can always reach me by using the Find Experts link on our home page and I'm in the first few pages or so. We also have a directory of service shops of all types in a directory you can access from the Home Page here and you only have to enter your zip code and pick a problem category.

    Thanks for using FixYa.




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