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Windows XP Repeatedly Restarts at Loading Windows 

Added: 07/16/2008, Hits: 6,493, Rating: 0, Comments: 0, Votes: 0
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If you make a major change to your Windows XP system such as replacing your motherboard or moving your hard drive to another system, you may find that Windows will not boot properly. Specifically, you might find yourself in an endless loop where Windows repeatedly reboots when it gets to the "Loading Windows" screen. This is the black and white bar located at the bottom of the screen after the computer goes through POST.

This happens because your hard drive contains drivers and information about your old hardware which causes conflicts that prevent Windows from loading properly. The "Last Known Good Configuration" option will not help since it will only load the drivers for hardware that no longer exists. LKGC works when you have installed a new piece of hardware such as an expansion card and then the computer won't boot properly. You can then remove the new addition and use the LKGC option.

Safe mode will also not do any good in this situation. I also tried booting into the recovery console and deleting the C:WindowsDriver which also did not work. The fixmbr and fixboot options will not help either.

The fix for this is to boot from the Windows CDROM or boot disks. Setup will copy files to your hard drive and you will then be presented with an option to press "R" to repair the installation using the recovery console or install Windows. Select the option to install Windows. When you get to the license agreement, click "agree". You will then find yourself at a screen that has another repair option if you press "R". Do this.

Windows will then delete some files, copy some files and then reboot. When the system reboots, make sure that you do not boot from the boot disks or CDROM. Windows will then load what appears to be the GUI portion of setup. This is where I nearly had a heart attack the first time I did this. DO NOT WORRY - Windows is installing over your previous installation, not replacing it despite what it looks like. You will even have to enter the CD Key again.

Once you finish the repair process, you will reboot again and your system should come up normally. If so, you will need to activate Windows again and make sure that you reapply any service packs or security updates.

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