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Hrm, any Windows XP gurus out there? Startup question...

#1khardboredPosted 8/31/2013 2:38:31 PM
Ok, here is my situation:
I have an old WinXP machine that won't boot properly. It's an old Dell, Pent 4 even. F8 won't do anything nor will Del get me into the BIOS. After I power it on, after a bit it'll just show my desktop background and nothing else. No icons, nothing. Nor will it even display the "starting windows" screen. Just straight to the background.

I hooked up the hard drive to my current machine and ran Malware bytes on that drive and only came up with two "pup" hits which I removed but that didn't seem to fix the problem.

Is there any way to edit the startup (like you would with msconfig/services.msc) while having it hooked up as a secondary drive? You would think this would be easy but I can't figure it out for the life of me. I want to remove the startup items from it but being as the drive is just hooked up as a secondary, not booting from it, no idea how to do it.

Thanks guys!
As I was going up the stairs I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish, I wish he'd go away.
#2Golden MavenPosted 8/31/2013 3:12:42 PM
Personally, I would just reformat... If you need to retrieve anything or really want to try and fix it, boot into some live Linux distro like Puppy and you can play around in the HDD.
#3Doomsday FortePosted 8/31/2013 3:15:28 PM
Try to do a search for the boot.ini file on the drive. I doubt a potentially-unwanted program would halt the boot, and the fact that it's letting you into the BIOS makes me think it's something that changing the boot.ini file won't fix. Try some of the other buttons, like F10 or F12. I haven't looked on my Dell in a while but I think it used a different button for its BIOS and I know my Compaq doesn't use F8 either for some reason. Try them all...but give the computer a little bit of rest between boots so you don't damage it.
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#4FallowHorizonPosted 8/31/2013 3:41:55 PM
Yeah, if you're having trouble getting into bios then this doesn't sound like an issue with startup programs. If you insist on trying, though, there is no easy way of doing it.

Msconfig pulls its information from the Start Menu->Startup folder, and some registry entries detailed here:
(There's a ton, but the two listed as 'Run key (machine)' and 'Run key (user)' are, in my experience, responsible for 99% of all startup entries)

You would have to start regedit on the good machine, then load the slave drive's registry by going to the file menu, then 'Load Hive', then select one of the registry files located in (slave drive)\Windows\System32\config, then go to the keys laid out above and delete the entries for the programs you don't want to load.

Far more work than it's worth, imo.
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#5Davel23Posted 8/31/2013 3:42:30 PM
I'm guessing it has dual video outputs. Try plugging the monitor into the other one.
Your mom's box.
#6khardbored(Topic Creator)Posted 8/31/2013 6:05:44 PM
It's not an issue with the video.
Yeah, I gave up before I started trying other key combos for the BIOS and startup options.
Also, I can't just format it as I can't get it to boot from CD either. I am guessing the boot order is HD first which I can't fix unless I can get into the BIOS. I'll try a CMOS reset just in case...these old computers, I never remember them being this finicky when i would work on them. I would have Slackware/Win95 dual boot via Lilo, same with RH and also with various BSD distros and never had any issues like this. Maybe it's because I am older now...shrug.
As I was going up the stairs I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish, I wish he'd go away.
#7Davel23Posted 8/31/2013 6:26:32 PM
You're right, it's not an issue with the video. The video is working perfectly fine... as a secondary display. The BIOS screen, the Windows loading screen, icons and Start Menu all appear on the primary display. You're not seeing it because your monitor is not plugged into the primary output.
Your mom's box.
#8khardbored(Topic Creator)Posted 9/1/2013 6:29:00 AM
Dave, hrm. I only have an onboard GPU which only has one standard VGA output. And I can see my background it just never finishes loading anything else. I can see a lot of HD activity that memicks a good boot. (I memorize HD light activity, a weird thing that I just do).
As I was going up the stairs I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish, I wish he'd go away.
#9SlaynPosted 9/1/2013 6:41:46 AM
Right when I read your topic I thought the EXACT same thing. Sounds like you have two monitors, or something weird like that. So it's a black screen, can you right click and bring up a menu?
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#10khardbored(Topic Creator)Posted 9/1/2013 6:50:54 AM
Wow. My wife is right. I don't notice anything anymore. I was in too much of a hurry yesterday and didn't even notice the PCI video card. Plugged the monitor into it and all is well in the world. Thanks everyone. Dave was absolutely right.
As I was going up the stairs I met a man who wasn't there. He wasn't there again today. I wish, I wish he'd go away.