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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hopefully someone can point me toward a solution (and not reformatting the HD unless absolutely necessary) that I am having with my Dell Inspiron Laptop. When I power up the laptop, after it being turned off for an extended period of time (i.e. overnight), it will begin the boot process. I get the Windows XP Pro splash screen and then the screen goes black for about 30 seconds or so. If I then see a cursor (arrow) on the black screen I know that the laptop will finish the boot correctly. If no cursor appears after 30 seconds I know it has locked up. If it locks up, I hit the power button to restart the laptop. It will then come up with the "You did not shut down correctly" message and it lets me choose to boot in Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, or Normally. If I select standard Safe Mode (the first choice), the laptop boots up into Safe Mode. I then immediately tell it to Restart and the system shuts down and then boots normally. Once the system is up correctly I can shut it down and reboot without problems (90% of the time) so long as I reboot it immediately after doing the shutdown.

This boot problem happens 8 out of 10 times I try to start up the laptop the first time. I have contacted Dell and they were about as helpful as a sharp stick in the eye (it may have been a language barrier).

I have a feeling if I just reformat the HD and re-install Win XP Pro and all my apps the problem will go away, BUT, I want to try other solutions before doing the re-format as its a PITA (as we all know).

Thanks for any help you can provide
Richard Anderson
 

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Since this is a Windows XP machine.

How long ago do this problem start? If you think it's software related, you might want to try and reboot into safe mode.

Press the F8 key when the PC is booting up. This will get you into the Windows XP startup menu. Boot into safe mode, and start the System Restore program. Restore your OS to an earlier date. Keep restoring to earlier date past the time you last remember having any problems with the system. If the problem is indeed software related, Windows XP System Restore should take care of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
My laptop is basically a skinny plugged in desktop (hehehe). In other words, it is plugged in all the time. I don't know if this is a problem and it shouldn't be, but then again, who knows?

Rick Anderson
 
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