View Full Version : I have a little problem with my laptop.....

Jae Onasi
02-09-2007, 11:39 AM
Actually, I have a feeling it's going to turn into a big problem. I've had this problem before about a year ago, and after talking to about 3 different people in support, the helpdesk guy was finally able to help me out, but I can't find my laptop manual where I put the notes (or the help desk number, or my warranty registration...ugh. It's somewhere in the house, but it got moved from where I usually keep it and now I can't find it). So, I can't figure out how to fix it now.
Anyway, when I try to boot my laptop, Windows won't start. I've tried last known good configuration and safe mode (to get to the disk repair feature), and no dice this time. In the Setup utility I tried both the short and long HDD self test and they both failed (no surprise).
When I go to safemode, it always stops at the
multidisk....Windows\system32\drivers\btkrnl.sys line.

Operating System(OS): Windows XP sp1 on a Presario R3000 which I bought in May of '04
CPU: AMD athlon 64 1800 MHz
Motherboard: Don't know--System Board ID says 08A0 if that helps
RAM: 512
Graphics(display adapter): Nvidia--I believe it's a Geforce G0 something or other with 32 Mb memory with Omega drivers installed.

The plan is to get a new laptop with our tax refund money (and if I'm not too chicken, maybe even build one), and while I have a lot of stuff copied off this laptop (because I work back and forth between the desktop and it), there's some stuff I'd like to make sure I have before allowing it to die of 'old age', and I wouldn't mind having use of it for a few more weeks. :)

If you all have any insights, I'd appreciate it. Thanks.

Hayden Kered
02-09-2007, 01:00 PM
Sounds to me like there are a few files misplaced or have been delete to start up windows. If it is not wanting to run in safe mode then there is really nothing you can do, unless you find your manual and warranty registration. The Tech might be able to help you.

Since you have information that you need on your HD, then you might consider taking your laptop to the local computer store, and ask if they can get it to start up. Or you could ask if they can copy the HD to a new one.

02-09-2007, 03:42 PM
Have you tried booting from the XP CD?

If you can, you might want to try that and attempt a repair installation of Windows before you do anything that might cost you money.

I'm betting that either your Windows installation is corrupted or your hard drive bit the dust.

02-09-2007, 04:39 PM
You can try booting a Linux live CD, I'd use DSL or Ubuntu, Puppy Linux also is a good one (it can mount your drives with one click). From inside the Linux (which runs on RAM), you can see if you can access your hard drive and either fix your Windows XP or at least recover your data before you wipe the drive for a fresh install of XP.

Boba Rhett
02-09-2007, 06:05 PM
Can you change the boot order and have it boot from a CD drive with your XP install disk in it and do a repair reinstall from there?

Hayden Kered
02-09-2007, 11:08 PM
I can't believe that I forgot about booting with the install disk. If it was my computer I would be screwed by now. :xp:

02-09-2007, 11:47 PM
If it's a Compaq laptop (which are manufactured by HP), you probably don't have REAL Windows CD's, and HP's insane idea of Recovery CD's do one thing and one thing only: factory image your HDD. You won't be able to keep ANYTHING (well, you can try the safe recovery but it hardly ever works), so I suggest backing up with a Linux distro or a Windows bootable preinstalled environment CD if you have made one. Then attempt the recovery CD's if nothing else works...or maybe Compaq CD's aren't stupid like HP ones, but since they're made by the same company ....

02-09-2007, 11:48 PM
My opinion: Back up important files, and erase whole hard drive, then re-install it. It would give u a fresh new computer--again.

02-10-2007, 08:36 AM
yeah, see if the recovery disk will initialise, or if you know anyone that can let you borrow their actual OS CD, try the repair install from in there :)

other considerations??
*tried loading a 'last known good' or setup defaults in BIOS ??
*What does BIOS say about temperatures in your system ??

*Build a laptop ?? I hope you DIDNT say that Jae.......... when things mess up you aint covered by a snazzy warranty, and the cost of replacement parts...ouch!! :(


Boba Rhett
02-10-2007, 12:04 PM
Yeah - building a laptop is for daredevils and madmen! :(

02-10-2007, 12:22 PM
Yeah - building a laptop is for daredevils and madmen! :(

lolz.. indeed. Though I have stuck a laptop mainboard into a slimline media center custom rig I built :) It was against my instructions, but my client/friend insisted on it..... so far no probs tho.....


Ray Jones
02-10-2007, 03:01 PM
Yes, I'd say get your data off of it as soon as possible. My advice is also to use a Linux Live CD, namely Kanotix (www.kanotix.org). It detects any hardware flawless without the need for any further configuration. It comes with anything a good OS needs, including CD/DVD writing software, or software to check/repair filesystems. Or you could connect to the network and copy the data over it. If you have any questions, call me here in Germany :P

Or you could do what I did, because my laptop refused to power on, what makes it kind of troublesome to boot anything: get the harddisk out and connect it to your/another PC, (in my case it was a laptop of the same kind) where you can copy anything you want.

Plan D is to get professional help, in case your brain is melting when opposed to plan A or B.

Plan E involves different techniques and positions, so would you please make sure the kids are sleeping and Jimbo is naked (except for the socks, which is important!) before I can give you detailed information. Thank you.

Jae Onasi
02-12-2007, 10:33 PM
Plan E involves different techniques and positions, so would you please make sure the kids are sleeping and Jimbo is naked (except for the socks, which is important!) before I can give you detailed information. Thank you.

I think I just broke something laughing. :lol: Socks are very important in The Great White North of the US. No cold feet on me, thank you very much. :D

If I snicker while typing this, blame it on Ray....

OK, I found the bag with the disks and instructions, and I'm going to share the knowledge in case any other Compaq laptop users are having the same problem, and I hope to high heaven you are not. Hope this doesn't sound thoroughly dumb for instructions, I just did what the guy told me, and it worked. Thank heavens I wrote it all down as he gave me the instructions, or I wouldn't have been successful with this. :)

1. put in the operating system CD.
2. When it starts to load, hit the esc key.
3. choose 'load from CD'
(*Jae snickers some more at Ray's Plan E*)
4. when another screen with options comes up, you'll see one option that says 'type R for recovery console'. Type R.
5. when you get the C prompt, , type 'chkdsk /p' (minus the quotes of course, and you do have to have the space between the k and the /)
6. Let it do its thing, and it may take awhile.
(*Jae snickers some more, then considers the possibilities of Plan E while waiting a long time for the computer to do its thing and wanders away to go find Jimbo* "Oh, wait, it's done fixing itself....")
7. when you get a C prompt again, type 'fixmbr' (minus the quotes)
8. when it gives you the dire warning that it may do bad things to your disk, including but not limited to causing smallpox, stealing your first born, and/or initiating the Apocalypse, and do you want to continue, pick the 'yes' option.
9. at the next C prompt, type 'exit' (minus the quotes)
9.5 you should now be able to start up the computer, if it hasn't done so already.
10. Go to start--All programs--Accessories--system tools--system restore, and pick a last good restore point.
11. Let it start.
12. Have a beer or other drink of choice to celebrate (and maybe initiate Plan E with your partner).

Hope that helps!

And thanks for all your comments and helps, too--I appreciate it much. If this happens again, I have a whole toolbox of things to try. :) @Astro and Boba--I'll go buy the laptop. :D

02-13-2007, 02:17 AM
Cool. Glad it was a simple fix.

The best part is that it cost you nothing but time, because it would suck to have to put any money into a machine that you were planning to replace soon. :)

One word of advice, if I may. I noticed that you said in your original post that this machine was running XP SP1. If this is so, then you should hook it to the internet and let it DL SP2. It also never hurts to have an SP2 disk around if you don't already have one. Just order one from MS like I did. You'll only have to pay shipping on it (~$3.00); otherwise it's free. It's just a handy thing to have around because you never know when you might have to reinstall Windows.

Ray Jones
02-13-2007, 05:02 AM
the possibilities of Plan EIsn't it great? :D

Green, pink, chequered. Long or short - all types of socks. :D

I know I know, I'm a genus. :D:D:D

Jae Onasi
02-13-2007, 05:17 PM
Thanks Qliveur--however, SP2 and my machine never agreed. It's pretty bad when the MS help desk guy tries a zillion things and finally in frustration tells you to uninstall it. :)

@Ray--I'm afraid to ask what baaaaad language you had there in the first place. :D

Ray Jones
02-13-2007, 07:13 PM
Well, Jae, in the first place, I am just a guy whose first language isn't English.

On the other hand, there are times where one should put trust into instinct behaviour. -- Maximum. Trust. <_<;


Jae Onasi
02-21-2007, 09:18 PM
Since we were on the discussion of building laptops....
Here's An Impractical Guide (http://www.daileyint.com/build/buildtoc.htm)

While we're on the subject, where's a good place to buy one?

03-02-2007, 12:16 PM
go to ultamatebootcd.com It allows you to boot up in linux and it contain a whole lot of utilities to help diagnose and maybe fix the problem. Not sure if this will help, but you know, just in case.