computer crashes at start up- dell inspiron with winXP media centre 2005

just after booting, the msg comes that to protect your system from damage computer has been shut down. this happens in all advanced startup options including

normal start up

safe mode

safe mode with command prompt

debugging mode (where the blue screen for disk check up shows and then soon crashes)


when i stopped restart after crashing, in essence it showed some following msg:

'check for viruses on your computer, remove any newly installed HD, HD controllers, check your HD to make sure it is properly configured and terminated. Run CHKDSK /F to check for corruption. restart your computer.

Technical info 0X00000073 (0XF79BA528, 0XC0000034, 0X00000000, 0X00000000)'


now how do i run CHKDSK /F when the comp doesnt even start? it reaches till advance boot options, but doesn't boot at all.

i havent made any changes to my comp lately, though it started showing some instability past few days.

i need at least back up of my data, that is stored on different partitions, but dont know how to do that.


thanks for any help or guidance.


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3 Replies

Re: computer crashes at start up- dell inspiron with winXP media centre 2005

Hi there xqqui8


Could be failing hardware issue e.g. RAM or hard drive 

Anyway do the following using:


Dell OEM Windows XP CD & Resource (Drivers & Utilities) CD supplied with computer purchase


1. Press F2 key during boot process to enter System Setup


Navigate to Boot Sequence, make a note of drive sequence list then make CD–ROM drive 1st in list

Place the Resource CD in CD–ROM drive

Exit System Setup & save settings, computer should auto reboot


2. During boot process


When you see the screen prompt, “press any key to boot to CD–ROM“, immediately press the Enter key (if not done in time you will need to reboot again)


3. On screen diagnostics Test Options will appear


Select the “Express” test to start with (should only take 10 minutes)

If you receive “All tests Passed” then hardware should be OK

If required you can run extended test (but can take a while to run tests)


4. If diagnostics test(s) don’t report any hardware problems then:


Remove Resource CD & insert Windows XP CD & close CD–ROM drive tray

Use Power off button to shutdown computer, then power back on


5. Follow step 2 again


Windows Setup process will start (can take a few minutes), 3 options appear


Select option 2 by pressing the letter R key to launch Recovery Console


The command prompt C:\> will appear on the screen

Type in the term chkdsk /r & press Enter key (blank space between chkdsk & /)


Screen will indicate that CHKDSK is performing checks & recovery

The process can take anything from 1 to 8 hours to complete & provide an error/fix report


When completed, at the command prompt C:\> type in Exit & press Enter key


6. You can leave Windows XP CD in the CD–ROM drive but don’t press any key at the prompt


Boot process will successfully load Windows if diagnostics test(s) were OK & CHKDSK fixed corrupt/missing files


Open CD–ROM drive & remove Windows XP CD


If Windows does boot load

Suggest you backup ALL personal data to external media (USB flash drive, CDs etc) as soon as possible (some hardware may be heading south) 


On next reboot, repeat step 1 to restore boot sequence back to original noted drive sequence


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Re: computer crashes at start up- dell inspiron with winXP media centre 2005

thanks BELL BOY

for detailed reply and procedure. my another problem is that my CD drive is not working, and hence i am stuck with current installed version. is there another way to work around it with usb? i can have access to another desktop comp (and its optical drive) and a usb key upto 2GB/ external HD with 10 or 20 GB partition.


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Re: computer crashes at start up- dell inspiron with winXP media centre 2005

Hi again xqqui8


Don’t think you mentioned Inspiron model?


Anyway, if it’s important that ALL personal data is recovered, then you may want to consider removing hard drive & connect it to “other” computer to copy over your data before trying any recovery/repair/reinstall options


You can use an external connected USB drive device only if motherboard (mobo) BIOS recognises/allows external USB boot type drive device

You need to use F2 key during boot process & check System Setup (BIOS) boot sequence options


The drive device also needs to be formatted & contain required boot sector files


Procedure details for installing XP using a USB flash drive are available from many web sites, like this one here


You would also need to copy Diagnostics Utility to a USB drive for doing (first part) hardware checks


You don’t mention what the CD-ROM drive problem is?


If mobo doesn’t allow booting from external connected USB drive devices then suggest you get your CD–ROM drive repaired or buy a refurbished replacement (not too expensive)


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