Laptop wont start



Another month, another problem!!

My son has an HP laptop and it wont run anymore. When it starts, it gets as far as the windows symbol and thats as far as it gets. Its not making any strange noises from the HD but it sits there all day. If he starts it in safe mode, all he gets is the black screen with safe in all 4 corners. Any ideas please?
Im not at home so i cant look at it myself and he is really missing it, he doesnt have any anti virus on it apparently, so i dont know if thats the problem.

Are you sure it isn't a battery problem. Does this only occur when he has it unplugged? My old laptop, you had to keep plugged in all the time as it would cut off at the windows symbol.


Does it work (as in let you log on ok) in safe mode? If so then it could be a dodgy .dll or driver?

Has he recently made any hardware/software changes/installs?


It lets you log in in safe mode as it gives you all the choices how to do so.i havent asked him about having the mains cgarger plugged in. One thing im worried about is that he uses it on the floor and im a bit concerned about overheating, as its a powerful machine.As far as i know he hasnt installed any software other than the educational stuff he needs.


If it starts in safe mode then there's nothing wrong perse. It's normally something amiss with the software. Have you tried "last known good configuration?"
First thing to do NOW is back up any files you might have, if you can get into safe mode you might be able to use explorer to transfer stuff from the C to the D partition (if you have it set up as such)

Then it might be an idea to do a recovery if you have a recovery CD

You can spend hours messing about with trying to figure out whats wrong, if it goes to safe then in theory tha hardware should be OK
Ok when you hit F8 to access the option to get into safe mode there is also an option for 'last known good config' might be worth giving that a go


Thanks for the help, ill email his mum tomorrow and ask her to try those things out and report back with the results.

He isnt too good with the finer details of the PC so i will have to get her to do the fiddly stuff, hopefully one of those suggestions will do the trick. Thanks again
Sounds like a dodgy driver to me or a virus. There ain't much you can do apart from put the windows disk in and run a few diagnostics programs, can think what they are called. Possibley start up repair. Either that or wipe the hard drive reinstall windows and start again from scratch.
Does sound rather like the OS has gone south. If you've got the recovery disks, use them. If there's anything important on the laptop, you should take it to your local geek: he should be able to grab any files off the hard disk.
Is the stuff that's on his HDD worth the £50 or so that it'd cost for the local PC shop to repair / reinstall it?

To properly check out the hardware (you can boot into safe mode with a fcuked machine) is to get a Knopix CD. This will boot up and run the Knopix linux system from the CD. You (if you know what to do) can then recover any user generated stuff from the HDD and dump ot to CD / USB drive etc.


There is nothing on the laptop of any importance or that cant be reinstalled, so maybe a compete reinstall is needed, he did say that he can remember it happening after there had been automatic updates
Austen_D said:
Automatic updates won't do that. Just fire her up with the install disk in, do a clean install and the jobs a good'un
First thing I do for work servers is to disable automatic updates.

1) Business machines shouldn't face the internet anyway

2) Every DBA / Sys Admin will bore the ears off you with stories regarding systems going tits up after an automatic update.

Professionally these are applied to a test machine and we all watch to see how soon it dies (note, not how long it stays up.)

Reinstalling or repairing the OS is a good idea. However if one of your laptop drivers has a problem with a recent update, and you allow automatic updates to run again then the machine will just download and apply all of the updates that it thinks are necessary until you get to the one that fcuked your lappy.

Get on the intrawebby and google (there are of course other search engines) you lappy make and model and see if anyone else has had the same sort of problem.
Over 7 years of running Windows Servers, I've never had an automatic update kill a server.

Believe it or not, Microsoft to rather a lot of testing on these things...


Ill pass all of that onto her tomorow and see how it goes, thanks for all of the help and advice.
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