29 August 2008

Computer woes

Switched on the PC today and got one of those horror-inducing 'white-lettering-on-black-background' messages informing me that Windows wouldn't start properly.

It stated that this was possibly due to a hardware or software addition prior to me shutting the system down for the day. Ulp. Well, I only had an hour or so on the computer yesterday, during which time I received an auto-update from Windows, which I expressly installed as I do all the others, plus Firefox popped up an updated browser which I also accepted. That was it.

The message tells me I can try to 'start windows normally' or 'go to the last working configuration settings' (this is from memory, as obviously I'm sitting at a work PC now) but whichever one I pick takes me back to this stark white-on-black page telling me the system isn't working. I can go to Safe Mode but don't know what I need to do once there.

Norton protects me mercilessly from absolutely anything that tries to invade me, and the system has always been clean and never affected before. My previous one was prone to all sorts of spyware and other crap.

Please help ... I've got about three hours before I go home ...


Valentine Suicide said...

You using Windows XP or Vista?

Valentine Suicide said...

If it's XP and asking you to start in 'SAFE MODE' then just start it until it's fully booted. Then shut it down normally, then start it up again, see if you still get the message...?

Matthew Rudd said...

It is XP.

I went into Safe Mode (there were three choices for Safe Mode - I selected the one just for Dafe Mode, there was also MS-DOS or something, and something about a Command Prompt, goodness knows what either mean) and did as you say - into safe, shut down, reboot. The message still came up.

There's a YouTube example of the message here - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc35JYaQeE0 - though I find the advice on the thread underneath incomprehensible. The message in white lettering which comes up is the one I get.

I'm about to go home so won't be able to read any replies on this blog for obvious reasons until I get it fixed or find another computer to use, but please keep making suggestions. Much appreciated.

Valentine Suicide said...

You could try the 'Start Windows Normally' if that appears as an option? See if that clears it?

If when you get into 'Safe Mode', you can get to the 'Start' menu at the bottom left of the screen.

If you can, click the 'start' button, take the option 'all programs', then 'accessories', then 'system tools' then 'system restore'.

This should give you the options to 'restore my computer to an earlier time', then click next. This sgould give you a calendar showing available restore points (providing they've been enabled) in bold. If you selct one of those from a date prior to your problems and click next and follow the on screen instructions. With any luck and a tailwind this should take you back to a known good configuration...

Valentine Suicide said...

I've just forced my XP machine into that menu, and get the following options:

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt

Enable Boot Logging
Enable VGA Mode
Last Know Good Configuration...
Directory Services...
Disable Auto Restart...

Start Windows Normally

Last know good configuation is worth a try, as it does the 'System Restore' thing automatically..

Matthew Rudd said...

I've got it fixed, thanks to the studio engineer at work. It needed to be done via Safe Mode - the Last Configuration and Start Normally options didn't work.

It appears that Windows still send out updates which can bugger up computers that are non-compatible. An absured situation, but there we go.

Thanks VS, appreciate the assistance.