Windows XP boots endlessly on start up
I have Windows XP running on one of my older notebooks. And it has been working quite well for the past few months. Today, when I really need to do some work on it, it won't boot. Actually, it boots up the Windows XP splash screen, flickers the crash screen and automatically reboots the notebook. It don't matter if I try booting to safe mode, the command prompt, or the last known good state. It'll continue to reboot endlessly no matter how many times it has rebooted.
I remember there is a way for Windows to repair itself. So I popped in the Windows XP CD-ROM into the drive and booted it up. Upon booting, I saw a tempting option:
"To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R."
That was the wrong option. Because it dumps you at the command prompt. If you know what to do to fix the Windows XP installation, the Recovery Console might be for you. But I had no idea. So after pressing 'R' at the wrong time, I typed "exit" to reboot the computer once again. This time, I continued the set-up CD-ROM and ignored the Recovery Console method.
On the next screen, I saw the following message:
"If one of the following Windows XP installation is damaged, Setup can try to repair it. [. . .] To repair the selected Windows XP installation, press R."
Voila! That's exactly what I'm looking for . . . Windows XP to fix itself. So I pressed 'R' and Windows XP proceeded to copy the installation files.
Ok. Today I figured out what caused my Sony VAIO PCG-748 to continuously boot. It's right after Windows Update automatically install 79 updates to SP2. Now my notebook just boots over and over again. Looks like I won't ever enable Windows Update on this notebook again. But I'll have to reinstall Windows XP first.
Everywhere I read that the only way to disable the automatic Windows XP restart is by clicking through the Windows menu system. Well, I can't even get to Windows menu system before the notebook reboots.
But I pressed F8 today and got a whole set of diagnostic options. One of them happends to be "Disable automatic restart on system failure"! Just what I need. The following are all of the options:
Windows Advanced Options Menu
After disabling the automatic restart, I was finally greeted by the blue screen of death. The technical information for the problem is
*** STOP: 0x0000007E (0xC0000005,0xFB503DB8,0xFBC5F8D0,0xFBC5F5CC)
I searched for "*** STOP: 0x0000007E" and found "STOP 0x0000007E" error message after you upgrade to Windows XP. I will try to figure out the exact problem and see what I can do about it.
Here is another one: Error message in Windows XP Service Pack 2: "Stop 0x7E"
But I don't see how I can install a patch if I can't even boot into Windows XP in the first place.
This is my Sony VAIO PCG-748 notebook computer. It turns out one of the Windows update components is incompatible. As soon as I apply all the updates to date, the computer would exhibit this symptom. But if I reinstall Windows XP from scratch and disable automatic update, the notebook will work just fine.
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