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Computer People... Pleeeeeeeeeeease Help

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Oopsey daisy... Windows XP has died... Big Style

I tried to install a new graphics card, did all the usual uninstalation of the old drivers etc, installed the new one... installed the drivers, and... the screen went blank!!

Subsequent re-boots resulted in the same thing... XP loading screen, fine... then logging into Windows, just the black screen

Trouble is, its exactly the same in safe mode... Even the same in the "last known good configuration" mode

Is there ANY way whatsoever to manually use a "restore point" using dos commands or whatever? i've searched the internet, but to no avail

I tried the bootable Windows XP CD-Rom, but when i did the "R" to restore windows, it asked for my password... which (sillily) is enter... pressing enter takes me back to a dos prompt

Also, i was thinking of re-installing windows, but it said that if i did that that all of my settings and files would be deleted, which is EXACTLY what I don't want

ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!

Many Thanks,

Duncan
post #2 of 38
Oh dear, sorry to hear that, I heard that XP is bomb proof with no bugs, guess I was wrong.

If you can still get into DOS, then back up everything you can and format the HD. I have no idea what else you can do, since you can't see the screen, then how would you know what to do?

Have you tried another graphic card?
post #3 of 38
Thread Starter 
Yeah... the original (on-board) graphics are back in place, but... Windows won't re-load the old drivers (or... maybe it wants to but i just can't see it)

Either way, i'm really bummed out

I'm even more in the poo, cos i have NO form of backup media whatsoever
post #4 of 38
When you use the Windows XP bootable CD-ROM, isn't there a "repair" option?

If XP is anything like Windows 2000, this repair option should have two branches: either going to the "console" or repairing stuff automatically. Try the automatic option.

The DOS prompt you saw was not an ordinary DOS prompt. It was the repair console. Type "help" and you will see various options that you can use. However, I don't think this will be as useful as the above automatic repair option.

Another possibility if both the above don't work: find a spare video card and stick it in. Maybe that will shock the system into trying a new driver.
post #5 of 38
Thread Starter 
You're right shivohum

At the dosprompt you can type help, and it brings up a (seemingly) standard array of dos commands...

Problem is, none of them seem appropriate

The saga continues.....
post #6 of 38
Have you tried removing the "new" graphics card and putting back the old one?

...

[actually nevermind.. I was going to recommend a reinstall but let me check on something first]
post #7 of 38
You want help from an expert?

I've been working in the industry for about 9 years. I'm currently a Systems Administrator for a large fortune 500 company on-site at another fortune-500 client.

My advice, get rid of XP and install Linux. If that's too hard, drop the PC and buy a Mac.

Honestly, take a look at Win 2000 as it's a bit more mature than XP and it is quite stable (relativly speaking, of course). XP *will* get to the same level soon but I am personally holding off for about a year to give MS a chance to work the viruii, err, bugs out.
post #8 of 38
Heh, Linux has a very steep learning curve and while it can do pretty much everything Windows can short of gaming much, it takes a huge adjustment to get used to, I would advise against it.


You need to learn to back things up. You can do this a few ways - burn a CD or keep floppies of important documents, or you can partition your hard disk so you have a secondary partition you can put a dupe copy of something on - if the hard disk craps out then you will be SOL but if you just need to reformat your primary partition and reinstall you will be fine.

I would reccomend Win2k over XP myself because it is a more mature OS, XP will have some problems with it for a while. But - I did run the beta when MS was doing it, and was quite impressed by the stability, particularly for a beta. (My computer crashed once in two months, and I didn't touch 2k much when I was doing this). While that isn't nearly as good as Win2k (Crashes are completely unacceptable), 1 crash in 2 months on a beta isn't bad

My reccomendation: reformat and reinstall, but keep a backup partition for important files, and try to get em on CD too.
post #9 of 38
Crashes are acceptable as long as there is a hardware failure associated. An OS failure is absolutly unacceptable! I should know, I support Compaq's Tru64 for a living. Needless to say it keeps me quite busy. I would put Tru64 second only to Windows NT 4 for stability.
post #10 of 38
Buy a MAC

I was a PC guy, from 286-DOS to PII-Win 2000. I just gave up M$ and buy a Mac last year. I hope I did it sonner. Win 2000 is very stable but too much limitation. Mac has its problem, but overall, it is much better. I didn't crash after installed OS 10.1. And only restart the machine 3-4 times in a month or so. (enough mac advertisement here... )

Do your video card have output to TV? I had a similar propblem in Win98, black screen right after jump into window desktop, even in safe-mode. I then hooked up the video card to my TV, somehow the desktop show up in TV but still have a black screen in monitor. After playing w/ monitor setup in control panel a few time and a few restarts, problem solved.

Good Luck. Buy a Mac
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by shivohum
If XP is anything like Windows 2000, this repair option should have two branches: either going to the "console" or repairing stuff automatically. Try the automatic option.
shivohum, have you ever had the automatic repair option work for you? This is one of the biggest joke some of my tech-head friends and I have is that feature. It's like a subroutine that Microsoft put in there just to tease -- it ends up saying that it can't do a damn thing, and doesn't even give you a chance to go back -- you have to reboot at that point.

Nezer is suggesting Linux. Heheh. I've never tried Linux for my desktop/notebook environment beacuse I'd miss my apps too much, but indeed, you'd love the stability of Linux. We've had servers run for well over a year that take in millions of transactions per day -- never had to reboot 'em. And the only reason we had to reboot them after the year+ of time was to upgrade a kernel.

Good luck on your XP issue. When it comes to Windows screw ups:

Rule 1: Do not use NTFS -- try to stick with FAT32 if possible. Recovering NTFS with a "boot disk"? Bah.

Rule 2: Rename your Windows directory to something else, and re-install the damn thing from scratch. I have to do this about twice a year to keep my computer running fresh as a summer breeze.
post #12 of 38
My experience is that NT4 crashes a good deal more then Win2k.

Quote:
I was a PC guy, from 286-DOS to PII-Win 2000. I just gave up M$ and buy a Mac last year. I hope I did it sonner. Win 2000 is very stable but too much limitation. Mac has its problem, but overall, it is much better. I didn't crash after installed OS 10.1. And only restart the machine 3-4 times in a month or so. (enough mac advertisement here... )
My goodness you reboot your computer a lot! If I didn't have to sleep next to mine it wouldn't go down more then once every couple months .


MacOS isn't what I could call "much better" then Windows. It has a more consistent interface, but is much less responsive. It looks prettier, but supports less software. The hardware it actually supports runs seamlessly in most cases. Windows supports MUCH more hardware, but getting hardware to work can cause some problems. MacOS has the advantages of an entirely closed system, and the disadvantages too, whereas Windows is more open, and has more options, and Linux would be the extreme in this case.

Win2k/NT/XP to a lesser extent, OSX, and Linux are all supremely stable OSes for consumer system use. Compare them with Win9x or OS7-9 for Mac and there is absolutely no comparison stability wise.

I made an abortive attempt to change to Linux (Using Mandrake 7.1 right when it came out), and I simply wasn't paitent enough with it, so I am back to WIn2k and happy with it.
post #13 of 38
I like Win2k much more than NT.

As for booting issues, the boot drive should be Fat32 if you really worry about booting issues and complication (i.e. you really like to try out new drivers often... ), but it is pretty easy to have an application drive for NTFS.

Cause if you can't boot up, it is difficult to have access to backup things from an NTFS partition compared to FAT32 which is supported by vanilla MS-DOS.

Linux really doesn't have that bad a learning curve. It is like using vi/vim...you just need to USE the system and you will quickly learn how to use it quicker than things in Word.

The thing people forget is Windows is only easy because thats all they ever learned. There are probably plenty of Unix gurus that would consider Windows difficult to use having not used it much before...and when they do learn it they probably don't like many things about it.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
shivohum, have you ever had the automatic repair option work for you?
Actually, I do believe I have, once.

With regards to NT vs. 2000, I really do think that NT 4 SP6 is probably the most stable OS in the Windows group, but 2000 supports more hardware so it overall is the better OS. And XP is definitely currently less stable than 2000. It also has an obnoxious interface. I'd recommend staying with 2000.

Linux is a completely unrealistic option for anyone who wants to have the application choice the Windows world offers. It's great for what it is -- a stable environment for certain professional applications and for servers, but it is definitely not for the mainstream. Try installing something for example. Often you have to go in and change variables in the initialization file manually! That is very far from the ease-of-use 99% of Windows applications provide.
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally posted by Nezer
You want help from an expert?

I've been working in the industry for about 9 years. I'm currently a Systems Administrator for a large fortune 500 company on-site at another fortune-500 client.

My advice, get rid of XP and install Linux. If that's too hard, drop the PC and buy a Mac.

Honestly, take a look at Win 2000 as it's a bit more mature than XP and it is quite stable (relativly speaking, of course). XP *will* get to the same level soon but I am personally holding off for about a year to give MS a chance to work the viruii, err, bugs out.
I've been using Linux for years now, and while I'd like to agree, I just cant.. I never could. While theres lots of Desktop Enviroments that make things point and clicky, configuring and getting things to work can still be hairy for someone who doesnt know what theyre doing.

Duncan, I wish I could help you with your XP problem. I installed it on my own machine, and on a friends to give it a run. Within days my friend was having obscene problems using his system and had failures occuring all over. He promptly requested that I install Windows98 back onto his PC. Upon installing it myself, I think that the OS itself consumes a massive ammount of unnecessary resources. NTFS is also the slowest piece of **** file system I've ever seen. Upon installing, I realized that 128MB of ram was barely enough. Running a large application or game wound up taking what it would if I had downgraded to a p75 or something with 32MB of ram.

The sad truth is, theres nothing significantly changed, other then it uses the NT kernel, the NT file system, and a few other things. The fact of the matter is, when software is improved upon, it's supposed to improve and run BETTER, not worse.

X11R6 (Unix Graphical User Interface) runs faster, and only consumes slightly more ram then it's enfant versions. If you want to talk about the Linux kernel, compiled with average support options for the hardware people normally use on their PC's it consumes about 8MB of ram.

After all of this, you get a complex, hard to use system, that standalone does almost everything better then WindowsXP. The best part about Posix implemented operating systems, though, is the separation of Operating system and Graphical User Interface, and everything else. I think anyone can agree it's more reliable to use separate "pieces" to form an entire structure, rather then integrate them all togather.. Because when that happens, if one system fails, they all get trashed.

It's a shame it cant be easy to use for average users, and it still has a lot of issues. It doesnt have that much application support, and the same goes for games. The shamefull thing is, however, I use Linux to do OpenGL development, and thought it perhaps may be the drivers for my video card which were released for windows, the performance leap in linux compared to windows while rendering OpenGL scenes is about what I'd expect if I had significantly upgraded my hardware... We're talking an increase of 8 to 10 frames per second.

If you want a rock solid system, though, it's worth taking the time to learn. Linux and XFree86 alone, have crashed a handfull of times....

... In the past 5 years.

Everything else is caused by poorly written applications and such, which tend to bring down the system from time to time.

Oh, and most of the Desktop Enviroments are archaic compared to Windows' interface.
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