View Full Version : XP Media Center Problem

25-07-2008, 05:50 PM
Have a HP Pavilion a1555a Media Center here which would only boot up to a black screen with the mouse curser showing.
It would boot to desktop in safe mode, so with the help of speedy, wainuitech & MalwareBytes I was able to get rid of AntiviXP08 & it then booted up fine.
I then tidyed up the system, uninstalled AVG & Nortons, ran Ccleaner etc. I then installed Avast Home & Super Antispyware, done the updates & rebooted. We are now back to the black screen & now it won't start in safe mode. I removed the HD, slaved it to another system & scanned it with Avast home. Got heaps more trojans, spyware, worms & even a virus all from the documents folder. Also scanned it with Antispyware but got nothing else.
Put it back in, still no go. Tryed the HP recovery from the HD partition which only took me to a dos prompt. Ran chkdsk repair which made some changes but didn't help. Havent got a XP Media Center CD of course so did a repair install from a XP pro CD. Looked quite promising but after the reboot, back to the black screen.
There is a windows key on the case so at present are trying to track down a Media center CD to do a full install.
Any other ideas would be appreciated.

25-07-2008, 07:28 PM
Are you able to boot into safe mode with command prompt.

To see, keep tapping F8 on start up, see if you get a menu, if it works, select Safe mode with command prompt, hopefully it will give you a command box that will say C:documents and settings\your name\

Also - What part of the country are you in. ?

25-07-2008, 07:43 PM
No, goes to black screen with safe mode written in the corners & the windows version across the top. It's the same for all the safe modes.

I'm about 1000k's from you.

25-07-2008, 07:51 PM
Oh Crap! Ok the reason I was asking where you were is I do have access to a Media Center CD, and if you were local, I will be out and about all over the wgtn area tomorrow, I could have loaned it to you.

Shame the repair install was done - there is away to run restore and put it back to how it was before cleaning and at least it would boot into safe mode, BUT the repair install will have wiped the restore points.

You can try this may or may not have any effect, Boot from the XP Pro CD -

When the Windows XP Professional/Home Setup screen appears, press R to enter Recovery Console.

It will load, and ask which installation you would like to load, normally its 1, so press 1 then enter

At the Administrator password request,press Enter. and it should carry on loading unless you have given it a password in the past.

Once at the command prompt, type in fixboot, Press Enter - agree to any prompts, when completed type in exit, Press enter - reboot, see if it loads up correctly, or any better.

Speedy Gonzales
25-07-2008, 08:02 PM
Is this the same prob as this ? (http://pressf1.co.nz/showthread.php?p=697258#post697258)

If it is, you should keep the same prob / topic in the same thread

Or else people will have no idea, what youre talking about

I've asked the mods to merge the 2

25-07-2008, 08:11 PM
I did try the hp system restore 1st as instructed on the support site for that model but the various restore options didn't present themselves, it just went straight to the prompt, just the same as when you use the xp cd.
I think someone else may have been there before me.
I'm waiting to talk to the owner about his options now.

Speedy Gonzales
25-07-2008, 08:12 PM
No, goes to black screen with safe mode written in the corners & the windows version across the top. It's the same for all the safe modes.

I'm about 1000k's from you.

In the first post you said it didnt boot into safe mode. Whats the above then??

Its safe mode. Do you know what safe mode is, or what it looks like?

25-07-2008, 08:14 PM
Yes but you cant do anything with it, there is no desktop.

Speedy Gonzales
25-07-2008, 08:24 PM
Was XP SP3 for Windows Media Centre edition as well?

This wasnt installed as well was it ?

What version of Windows / XP is on this ?

What did you have that was Nortons/Symantec?

25-07-2008, 08:30 PM
It was SP2
It had a previous version of Nortons that hadn't been uninstalled properly.
I ran the unistall software.
There was actually no running antivirus on it at all & the firewall was turned off as well.

Speedy Gonzales
25-07-2008, 08:43 PM
Some sites say to press ctrl-alt-del. Does this work?

If it does go to file/run and type in explorer.exe

25-07-2008, 08:51 PM
No I tryed that.
Also tryed the fixboot that wainuitech suggested.
Got a few people looking round for XP Media CD, might get hold of one yet.

26-07-2008, 11:32 AM
Had another couple of ideas about this prob.
The data on the restore partition on the HD is probably untouched, at least by me anyway.
Is there any way to reastablish the link to boot from it, maybe rewrite the boot.ini or boot loader.
Or could it be written to a cd & booted from.

Speedy Gonzales
26-07-2008, 11:40 AM
No I dont think so.

If the restore partition is still there, reboot and press F10 or whatever key to restore it, to its original install

It may have ISO's in the restore partition folder (you'll have to burn them to cd's / dvd), before you'll be able to boot from cd/dvd.

But then you'll have to remove the hdd, and put it in a working system.

I dont think copying the whole restore partition folder (which would probably be bigger than a cd (you'll need a dvd) will work.

26-07-2008, 12:23 PM
Thanks speedy.

But the F10 dosent work anymore since the repair install.

Thats why I'm concidering other options in case I can't get hold of a Media Center CD.

Speedy Gonzales
26-07-2008, 12:46 PM
Well it wont work if you just copy it to a cd or dvd.

And I doubt it'll work, if you add it to boot.ini. Since its not bootable.

Only other other thing you can do (if you can), is to remove the hdd and see if there are ISO's in the partition then burn them (you'll need a lot of cd's)

26-07-2008, 01:00 PM
Have you tried any of the other F keys F11 or F12 - got a customers HP PC here at the moment, the recovery partition is there, and meant to be F10, but it didn't work until I hit F12 - strange.

26-07-2008, 01:06 PM
No problem taking out the HD I've had it slaved to another system to scan it for nasties. Thats when I found the restore partition.
What would I do with all the iso's?
I have "Ultimate boot Disk" so I can eddit the boot.ini

Speedy Gonzales
26-07-2008, 01:17 PM
You need a burning program (Nero, or CDburnerXP, which is free) to burn the isos, to CD

Depending on how many isos there are. Thats how many blank cds you need

As I said editing the boot.ini file wont do anything

26-07-2008, 01:26 PM
Just looking at the contents of that partition now.
Looks a bit much for me, I'll leave it for a last resort.
Still waiting for the owner to get back to me RE what he want's to do (or spend) I see a copy of XP Media Center Edition on price spy for $157.

28-07-2008, 10:29 AM
Just called the NZ HP Support regarding obtaining recover CD's
Was talking to someone in Korea, they can supply them for $66 + Freight, charged through credit card.
Question: Do these actually have the operating system on them.
What I'm getting at is, seeing this system had a bad dose of nasties I would prefer to reformat & start fresh. So will a recovery set be able to reinstall the system to a blank drive.

Speedy Gonzales
28-07-2008, 10:34 AM
Thats why theyre called recovery cd's.

The OS, drivers , whatever programs are on it / them. Install it, like you would with a normal XP. And everything is installed.

All you have to do, is update it after. Depending on what updates get installed. Were there any ISO's on the partition??

28-07-2008, 10:55 AM
I did a search for ISO's on the recovery partition & only 1 came up, SP26380.ISO There is 8.3GB on the partition

Speedy Gonzales
28-07-2008, 11:09 AM
Well, copy the iso to the working pc's hdd, then burn it to a blank cd (thats if its under 700mb, or you'll need a blank DVD), with something like Nero. Or cdburnerxp

Then boot from it on the stuffed PC. See what it is, and what it does

It looks like it maybe some kind of diagnostic cd.

29-07-2008, 10:20 AM
I had to put the brakes on this problem while I sorted some other work.
Still no luck with a OS but had to contact Microsoft this morning to manually activate windows on a laptop so I quized the guy about OS options for the Media Center. Aparently I can install XP Pro on it & use the existing windows key, phone activation required. I suppose you guys allready knew that though.

30-07-2008, 11:51 AM
Just an update on this.
Owner was unable to find a copy of XP Media Center Edition.
Have reformated & installed XP Pro using the existing towers key.
Successful online activation & no problems.
Case Closed.