View Full Version : ME wont boot

13-12-2003, 04:45 PM
Hi folks,

my sister has a compaq presario, running ME and it has crashed, and wont load windows at all, in either safe mode, dos, or normal.
on starting, it loads slightly, then give a message, that is bypassing
startup files, and gives an A:\> prompt.

I can get it to boot into dos using a startup floppy, but it refuses to boot
into windows, or boot the recovery cd's.

I have used scandisk and replaced the registy, I beleive the recovery discs, operate from a partition on the harddrive, and I suspect this might
be corrupted. is there anyway I can veiw the partitions in dos, and any other suggestions would be much appreciated.

merry christmas everyone, and thank you for your assistance through
the year.


13-12-2003, 05:36 PM
When you get into DOS can you access C: drive at all?
And is it listed ok in BIOS?

Otherwise have you checked the boot sequence in BIOS and made sure it checks the CD Drive first? The reason for this is that people will upgrade their HDD's to give them more room, and you can use the recovery disks once this is done because the disks will check something on the motherboard to make sure it's allowed to use the recovery disks.

You could also try backing up the data on the drive (transfer it to another machine and copy onto a second drive) so that your sister hasn't lost all her work and then backup C:\Windows\options\cabs (where C: is the letter of the drive which is assigned by the OS in the machine for transferring data), format the drive on the 'backup' machine into one big Fat32 partition and then make a directory called 'WinME' and copy the cabs folder back into it as most Manufacterers leave the [clean] Windows Install files here (might want to confirm this first with someone who has a Presario). Then just put the drive back into the Presario, use a boot disk and move to C:\WinME then type Setup.exe

The one thing that is confusing me is the fact that Windows is bypassing the startup files without been prompted from the user - Might pay to virus scan the drive before copying data from it with an Antivirus suite which has been updated recently.

14-12-2003, 08:38 AM
thanks for your reply cyberchuck, no it wont boot into C: or anything else
at all in dos, and I have tried changing bios as well, still no go,



14-12-2003, 01:05 PM
If you can't access the C: drive from booting up with a floppy then the harddrive may be stuffed.

14-12-2003, 05:58 PM
Boot off a Windows 98 startup disk and start with CD support

Note the drive letter assigned to the CD drive - should be E or higher

Check the existance of partitions and logical drives using fdisk - option 4

Run scandisk if partitions and logical drives exist - repair if prompted

Alternatively take the machine to a technician and pay some money

Men are four:
He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool -- shun him;
He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple -- teach him;
He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep -- wake him;
He who knows and knows he knows, he is wise -- follow him!
- Lady Burton (wife of Sir Richard Francis Burton), given as an Arabian proverb

14-12-2003, 07:06 PM
heres a potential quick fix............when it gets to the A:> prompt type in

fdisk /mbr

then hit enter .......then try reboot

also another thing to try is .....when it gets to the A:> prompt put in your boot floppy then type in

sys.com c:

then hit enter


thirdly heres another potential fix which admittely is a little complicated but you can try it...................

How to Start the System Restore Tool From a Command Prompt (DOS)
Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition

Start your computer by using the Windows Me Startup disk.
At the Startup menu, choose Minimum Boot.
At the command prompt, type edit c:\windows\system.ini, and then press
Edit the shell= line so that it looks like this:

Press ALT+F, and then press S to save the changes to the System.ini
Press ALT+F, and then press X.
Remove your Windows Me Startup disk, and then restart your computer.
When your computer restarts, Program Manager should start. If Program
Manager does not start, repeat steps 1-7, being careful to follow
these steps exactly, and then continue to the next step.
On the File menu, click Run, type msconfig in the Command Line box,
and then press ENTER.
Click Launch System Restore to begin restoring your computer to a
previous, functional state.
NOTE: After you configure your computer to start Program Manager, you
can start the System Restore tool by typing
c:\windows\system\restore\rstrui.exe at a command prompt, and then
pressing ENTER.


And lucky last.............if all else fails get a diagnostic disk from the hard drive maker...........


etc etc, depending on the make of drive...........somewhere in their support pages you will find a download for a harddrive diagnostic........download this and run it..............that'll tell you if the hdd is sick.........if it's physically sick but still working IE: you can access c:> from the dos prompt then ........you need to immediately get a *Image* of the contents..............which will involve either slaving another drive to the system or removeing that drive and slaving it to a different puter or ......if you have a copy of Norton Ghost 2003 version and a cd writer you can make the image fairly easily ...........if the hdd is physically on it 's way out you DONT want to use it if you can avoid it cause you may very well end up witha locked up hdd and then you gotta start from scratch and you'll lose EVERYthing........


14-12-2003, 07:51 PM
thanks very much for all your suggestions,