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Xp On Boot I Get A Blank Screen, Not Responsive, Then Press Space Bar

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On my litte Advent netbook, when I start XP Home from cold I get a grey screen which just sits there for a long time and no Windows user login unless I press the space bar on the keyboard. Windows is fully updated, been doing this problem for some months now, getting a bit fed up with having to press the space bar repeatedly to get the grey screen gone and the login screen to appear.

Any idea what this is? Googled and nothing identical came up. It's out of warranty as got it secodhand but it didn't do this problem in the shop when I bought it

(using XP Home & Intel Atom)

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Check the BIOS settings for 'Halt on....' type settings.

If nothing obvious, then at least set the boot to 'full notice' so you can see the POST messages.

Or is your problem after BOIS/POST?

Buckers

If that fails, try and burn an XP recovery disk on another machine.

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I had a similar issue with an old laptop, it turned out the hard drives SMART data was recording criritcal errors. The drive failed soon after, just after I got another laptop. Phew.

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I had a similar issue with an old laptop, it turned out the hard drives SMART data was recording criritcal errors. The drive failed soon after, just after I got another laptop. Phew.

That was my first thought on reading.

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Thanks to the above posters, however I'm not IT literate enough to get the instructions you gave fully. If I press DEL I get into Setup but it doesn't say CMOS or BIOS. It has the boot sequence and time and date and other settings.

If I press F1 or any of the Fs I get "Windows XP" and "TechGuys Recovery" as the options. No safe mode visible either.

The problem is only apparent if I boot from off. If I restart Windows, no problem.

Sounds like it's going to remain a mystery, but in case it's the drive failing as some of you suggest then I have copied data to a memory stick as a precaution

edit

don't know if it's significant or relevant to the type of failure mentioned above, but just did drive test with Passmark DiskCheckup and it says all OK

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edit

don't know if it's significant or relevant to the type of failure mentioned above, but just did drive test with Passmark DiskCheckup and it says all OK

In my general experience, diskchecks don't always work properly, I once had to spend ages trying to get IBM to fix my Thainkpad as the disk was clearly broken (it kept making skipping noises and then Windows hang for ages or crash), but for some reason the disk always managed to pass the DOS based disk test they were using. It failed shortly afterward.

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In my general experience, diskchecks don't always work properly, I once had to spend ages trying to get IBM to fix my Thainkpad as the disk was clearly broken (it kept making skipping noises and then Windows hang for ages or crash), but for some reason the disk always managed to pass the DOS based disk test they were using. It failed shortly afterward.

I've backed everything important up to a Kingston memory stick now, so if the worst happens...! :)

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In my general experience, diskchecks don't always work properly, I once had to spend ages trying to get IBM to fix my Thainkpad as the disk was clearly broken (it kept making skipping noises and then Windows hang for ages or crash), but for some reason the disk always managed to pass the DOS based disk test they were using. It failed shortly afterward.

Probably had one of their disks in - the only time I had a disk go down within months of purchase was an IBM one - bet they moved their production and completely screwed up on the manufacturing. Don't see many IBM disks around at all now. IBM invented the flopy and hard disk, oh well.

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On my litte Advent netbook, when I start XP Home from cold I get a grey screen which just sits there for a long time and no Windows user login unless I press the space bar on the keyboard. Windows is fully updated, been doing this problem for some months now, getting a bit fed up with having to press the space bar repeatedly to get the grey screen gone and the login screen to appear.

Any idea what this is? Googled and nothing identical came up. It's out of warranty as got it secodhand but it didn't do this problem in the shop when I bought it

(using XP Home & Intel Atom)

As an expert in the field, have you tried rebooting?

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As an expert in the field, have you tried rebooting?

:)

Doesn't always do it, today it booted from cold fine. Tomorrow it'll stop on the grey screen and won't show the Windows start screen until I press the space bar a good few times. Weird I know

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One of my mates had a similar issue, only he had to wiggle the mouse for windows to get to the log in screen. From recollection a fresh install of windows worked, thats what I would try first.

I just had a hard disk fail in my thinkpad, I was getting the blue screen of death boot sector mount error unfortunately disks do fail from time to time.

If you don't fancy doing a reinstall you can try a fix using a xp disk and running the repair console. At the welcome to setup screen press R this should open up the repair centre, it will be in DOS. At the command prompt type chkdsk /r after that it may be worth typing FIXBOOT. that command will repair the boot sector of the xp install.

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One of my mates had a similar issue, only he had to wiggle the mouse for windows to get to the log in screen. From recollection a fresh install of windows worked, thats what I would try first.

I just had a hard disk fail in my thinkpad, I was getting the blue screen of death boot sector mount error unfortunately disks do fail from time to time.

If you don't fancy doing a reinstall you can try a fix using a xp disk and running the repair console. At the welcome to setup screen press R this should open up the repair centre, it will be in DOS. At the command prompt type chkdsk /r after that it may be worth typing FIXBOOT. that command will repair the boot sector of the xp install.

Good tips, thank you

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I've backed everything important up to a Kingston memory stick now, so if the worst happens...! :)

Make sure you have 2 backups and store them in different locations. I have one backup stored in my safe at home and another is usually kept at work or at a relatives house. Only one backup would leave me worried.

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Thanks to the above posters, however I'm not IT literate enough to get the instructions you gave fully. If I press DEL I get into Setup but it doesn't say CMOS or BIOS. It has the boot sequence and time and date and other settings.

If I press F1 or any of the Fs I get "Windows XP" and "TechGuys Recovery" as the options. No safe mode visible either.

The problem is only apparent if I boot from off. If I restart Windows, no problem.

Sounds like it's going to remain a mystery, but in case it's the drive failing as some of you suggest then I have copied data to a memory stick as a precaution

edit

don't know if it's significant or relevant to the type of failure mentioned above, but just did drive test with Passmark DiskCheckup and it says all OK

Spotted your problem right there, you bought from pc world :))

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A netbook? That's so 2010.

Not familiar with them or if they have standard BIOS' without Googling. It's not Boot.ini problem is it? Or can you add something like clickkey.exe or sendkey ascii code for space (or sommat) to the startup sequence if it can get as far as that?

F*ck knows, generally reimaging is best option if half hour of faffing doesn't fix it.

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I just watched it boot and I waited to see if it would be one of the happy occasions when it presents the Windows screen on its own without me repeatedly pressing the space bar.

What I noticed is that after the grey screen there's some parts of the screen near the top with horizontal blue lines which look like the Windows start up screen or logon screen and these blue lines at the top then go into an interference pattern of colours and then the grey screen returns and this happens again and then eventually nothing but the grey until I press the space bar a few times and then I get a normal screen rather than a mess

I then click on my user name and put my password in and Windows continues to load, but I think it's slower sometimes than others

Thank you above repliers, if anyone by any chance knows whether this is a graphics driver problem or what have you please let me know where to look and what to replace or update

editJust watched it boot again today, lots of lines and patterns like the graphics drawing of the screen is muddled by the driver or adapter or whatever it is, then today after a short bout of that the proper blue screen to logon appeared

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If it was me I would install a fresh copy of XP as it sounds as if your PC is full of junk. You have a product key so you just need to download VRMPVOL_ENG,ISO and burn it to a CD with IMGBURN.

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If it was me I would install a fresh copy of XP as it sounds as if your PC is full of junk. You have a product key so you just need to download VRMPVOL_ENG,ISO and burn it to a CD with IMGBURN.

It's not full of junk :D

The vendor at the secondhand shop where they do reconditioned computers, did a fresh install back when I bought it. All that I've added is some Word files, pics, and well-known anti-virus software

There's what looks like a jumbled very colourful graphics effect and interference on the screen before the Windows logon screen shows, if I wait long enough after the grey screen, it looks like some sort of hardware or driver failure and then it seems to correct itself - BUT the booting time is far too long

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It's not full of junk :D

The vendor at the secondhand shop where they do reconditioned computers, did a fresh install back when I bought it. All that I've added is some Word files, pics, and well-known anti-virus software

There's what looks like a jumbled very colourful graphics effect and interference on the screen before the Windows logon screen shows, if I wait long enough after the grey screen, it looks like some sort of hardware or driver failure and then it seems to correct itself - BUT the booting time is far too long

Now you know why the previous owner sold it.

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