When you try to start Windows XP, the computer
may appear to stop responding (hang) with an empty, black screen immediately
after the power-on self test (POST) is complete and before the Windows XP logo
typically appears on the screen.
This issue may occur if one of the following conditions is true:
This issue may occur if you have a CD, a DVD or a floppy disk in your CD, DVD, or floppy drive when you start the computer.
This issue occurs if one or more of the following elements are corrupted and will not load during the boot sequence of the computer:
- Master boot record
- Partition tables
- Boot sector
- NTLDR file
To resolve this issue, follow these steps.
Resolution for Cause 1
To resolve this issue, remove the media in your CD, DVD, or floppy drive and then restart the computer.
This section is intended for advanced computer users. If you are not comfortable with advanced troubleshooting, you might want to ask someone for help or contact support. For information about how to do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Resolution for Cause 2
To resolve this issue, you must have the Windows XP CD-ROM. If you do not have the Windows XP CD-ROM available, you have to call your computer manufacturer to troubleshoot the issue.
If you have the Windows XP CD-ROM, use one of the following methods.
Method 1: Troubleshoot the specific element that causes Windows not to loadNote
This option requires that you perform multiple steps to determine the exact element that causes the issue. This option may allow for you to keep customizations in Windows.
- Restart your computer in safe mode. To do this, press the F8 key while Windows is starting. Then, create a Windows XP boot disk to start the
For more information about how to create a Windows XP boot disk, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to create a bootable floppy disk for an NTFS or FAT partition in Windows XP
315222 If you can start the computer from the boot disk
without receiving an error message, the damage is limited to the master boot
record, the boot sector, or the NTLDR file. After Windows XP is running,
immediately back up all data before you try to fix the boot
A description of the Safe Mode Boot options in Windows XP
Use Disk Management to view the partition information and to
verify that the disk partition (or partitions) is correct. To use Disk
Management, follow these steps:
If invalid partitions are present or you cannot start your
computer by using a boot disk, consider reinstalling Windows XP on your computer
and restoring your data and configuration information from a recent
- Click Start, right-click My
Computer, and then click Manage.
- Expand Storage, and then click
If you do not have a current backup copy of the data on the
computer, contact a computer specialist to determine the best method of data
recovery and configuration.
- Run a current virus scanning program to verify that no
virus is present.
- Repair the master boot record by using the FIXMBR command from the Windows XP Recovery
For more information about how to use the Recovery Console, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
For more information about an error message that you may receive when you use the FIXMBR command, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to install and use the Recovery console in Windows XP
266745Warning If your computer is infected with a virus and you use the FIXMBR command, you may be unable to start the computer. Before you
use this command, make sure that the computer is not infected with a
Error message when you run fixmbr command
- If the primary boot partition is a FAT partition, use the FIXBOOT command from the Windows XP Recovery Console to write a new boot
sector on the system partition, and then use the FIXMBR command to repair the master boot record.
Method 2: Repair your Windows installationNote
Repairing your Windows installation may change the configuration of Windows. You may also have to follow this step if you complete all the troubleshooting in steps option 1 and the problem is not resolved.
- Use the Windows XP CD-ROM to start your computer. On the
Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER to set up Windows XP.
- Press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
- Use the ARROW keys to select the Windows XP installation
that you want to repair, and then press R.
Windows XP Setup repairs
the installation files, Windows XP automatically restarts, and then the Setup
program finishes the repair of your Windows XP installation.
- Follow the remaining steps to set up Windows.
Note You must have your 25-character product key to complete these
- As soon as this issue is resolved, make sure that the firewall is enabled, and then visit the following Microsoft Web site to reinstall the latest updates:
- Run a virus scan on the computer because problems with corrupted elements can be attributed to viruses.
For more information about the Recovery Console, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
Description of the Windows 2000 Recovery Console
of the SET command in Recovery Console
How to add more power to Recovery Console by using Group Policy in Windows XP Professional
If the articles listed here do not help you resolve the problem or if you experience symptoms that differ from those that are described in this article, search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for more information. To search the Microsoft Knowledge Base, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
Then, type the text of the error message that you receive, or type a description of the problem in the Search Support (KB)
Article ID: 314503 - Last Review: February 3, 2011 - Revision: 3.6
- Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
- Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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