Black startup screen is briefly displayed and your computer restarts repeatedly when you try to start Windows XP

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Article ID: 314466 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q314466
For a Microsoft Windows 2000 version of this article, see 174630.
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SYMPTOMS

When you attempt to start Microsoft Windows XP, the black startup screen may be briefly displayed, and then your computer restarts repeatedly.

CAUSE

This behavior can occur if the following conditions exist:

  • A fatal system error (STOP error) causes the computer to stop.
  • The Automatically restart option is selected under System failure in the Startup and Recovery dialog box in System Properties.
  • The Windows XP paging file is smaller than the amount of physical memory that is installed on the computer, or there is insufficient free space on the hard disk to write the error dump file (Memory.dmp).
Windows XP may encounter a problem during startup that results in a STOP error message. Depending on the system configuration, the blue screen may not be displayed long enough for you to record the error information.

RESOLUTION

To work around this issue, alter the startup process so that you can gather important information about the STOP error message. To do this, use the following methods in the order in which they are presented.

NOTE: Before you attempt these workarounds, try to restart your computer in safe mode. This may allow you to troubleshoot the STOP error message.

Method 1

  1. Try to replace the registry hives from the repair directory by using the Recovery Console, and then restore the system to a current state with System Restore.

    For additional information about how to restore the registry, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
    307545 How to Recover from a Corrupted Registry that Prevents Windows XP from Starting

Method 2

Important This section, method, or task contains steps that tell you how to modify the registry. However, serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Therefore, make sure that you follow these steps carefully. For added protection, back up the registry before you modify it. Then, you can restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up and restore the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322756 How to back up and restore the registry in Windows
  1. Install Windows XP to a different folder.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  4. Browse to the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  5. On the File menu, click Load Hive.
  6. Navigate to the System file in the original Windows XP installation location.

    By default, the System file is stored in the following location:
    %SystemRoot%\System32\Config\System
  7. Type an arbitrary name when you are prompted for a key name in the Load Hive dialog box.

    The original HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive is loaded as a subkey of the current key.
  8. In the arbitrary name key (where arbitrary name is the name that you assigned the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry key from the original Windows installation), browse to the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\CrashControl
  9. In the right pane of the Registry Editor window, double-click AutoReboot.
  10. In the Value data box, type 0 (zero), and then click OK.
  11. Click the minus sign to collapse the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry subkey.
  12. On the File menu, click Unload Hive.
  13. On the File menu, click Exit.
This disables the Automatically restart option in the original Windows XP installation. After you follow these steps, you may be able to gather information from the STOP error message and resolve the problem that prevents the computer from starting.

Method 3

Another workaround may be necessary if the minimum size of the paging file is set to a value less than the amount of physical memory. Windows XP requires a paging file on the system drive large enough to hold all physical memory plus 1 megabyte (MB), in order to write debugging information. You can modify the PagingFiles value of the original installation so that the dump file can be created by the STOP error message. Enough free disk space must be available on the system drive for the paging file.

To change the PagingFiles value in the System file in the original Windows XP installation location, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Run.
  2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Browse to the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
  4. On the File menu, click Load Hive.
  5. Navigate to the System file in the original Windows XP installation location. By default, this is stored in the following location:
    %SystemRoot%\System32\Config\System
  6. Type an arbitrary name when you are prompted for a key name in the Load Hive dialog box.

    This loads the original HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE hive as a subkey of the current key.
  7. In the arbitrary name key (where arbitrary name is the name that you assigned the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry key from the original Windows installation), browse to the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
  8. In the right pane of the Registry Editor window, double-click PagingFiles.
  9. In the Value data box, edit the first numeric value after c:\pagefile.sys (where c: is the drive on which the pagefile is stored) to increase it to a number that is at least 1 MB greater than the amount of physical memory in the computer.

    NOTE: Do not type a number that is greater than the amount of free hard disk space on the computer.

    For example, the following value displays a minimum paging file size of 130 MB and a maximum paging file size of 256 MB.
    c:\pagefile.sys 130 256
  10. Click OK.
  11. Browse to the following location in the registry hive that you loaded from the original Windows installation:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Control\CrashControl
  12. In the right pane of the Registry Editor window, double-click CrashDumpEnabled.
  13. Type 1 (one) in the Value data box if it is not already present, and then click OK.
  14. Click the minus sign to collapse the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE registry subkey.
  15. On the File menu, click Unload Hive.
  16. On the File menu, click Exit.
  17. Attempt to start the original Windows XP installation. When the STOP error occurs, the memory dump information will be stored in the paging file.
  18. Restart the computer and select the parallel installation of Windows XP. This allows the dump file to be created and you may be able to use the information to resolve the problem that causes the STOP error message in the original installation.

    NOTE: The dump file is saved in the %SystemRoot%\Memory.dmp file, where %SystemRoot% is the parallel installation system folder.
  19. Click Start, right click My Computer, and then click Properties.
  20. Click the Advanced tab, click Settings under Startup and Recovery.
  21. Click to clear the Automatically restart check box, click OK, and then click OK again.
  22. Restart the computer. When you attempt to shut down the computer, the exact message should be displayed.

Method 4

Upon restart, use the new boot option Disable automatic restart on system failure. If this option is selected, you can get the STOP error codes and then continue accordingly.

MORE INFORMATION

For additional information about this behavior, click the article number below to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
310396 Windows XP Logon Screen Does not Appear and the Computer Continuously Restarts
266465 How to perform a parallel installation of Windows 2000 or Windows Server 2003
259003 How and Why to Perform a Parallel Installation of Windows NT 4.0


For additional information about how to troubleshoot STOP error messages, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
123750 Debugging Windows NT Setup STOP Screens
129845 Blue Screen Preparation Before Contacting Microsoft

Properties

Article ID: 314466 - Last Review: May 7, 2007 - Revision: 3.3
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Keywords: 
kbenv kberrmsg kbprb KB314466

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