So, last night as I was turning off my laptop, by some freak accident I hit the power button again and the thing started booting. Not interested in waiting any longer for it to get in gear, only to turn it off again, I held the power button till it closed down. The thing hadn't gotten to booting Windows just yet, so I figured I'd be safe. This morning I turn it on, get some breakfast, watch some tv and get back to it, only to find it still loading Windows. So I turn it off again, figure I'd try safe mode. Nada. Then I pop in my XP cd, thinking I'd repair it or reinstall it. Nothing. "Setup is starting Windows" has been on the screen for the last 20 minutes.
I really need some help here. I need that thing working again. I really don't want to format the HD, there's a ton of stuff there I'm not willing to lose. Please, someone?
depending on what type of laptop you have, you should enter the BIOS settings and try running a Diagnostics test on your HDD, to see if any of the sectors might have gone bad. if this feature is not available try using the disc that came with your laptop "utilities and drivers" disc which should have a diagnostics test app. in it.
Alas, my BIOS has no such option and I can't use the disc cause I'd need to get into Windows first.
It sounds like the Hard drive may have started spinning up, when you shut it down. Somehow messing up the drive.
I'm not sure how to fix this, if rebooting it did not help. Can you disable the Hard Drive in the BIOS? Just to narrow down the list of components.
agreed^^ disable your hard drive, this way if it is the hard drive you can isolate the problem, what make of laptop do you have?