XP computer crashes before startup

 beara -
HI, I have an XP computer with dual AMD processors on an ASUS A7M266-D server motherboard.
For some reason, the computer starts booting fine, POST all clears, but as soon as the "Windows XP" loading screen starts the computer crashes (pretty much switches itself off).

I have tried different (known working) RAM in varying slots, different video cards, with & without CD drive, with & without accesory PCI cards, and I have also tried two hard drives, but the probelem does not solve or differ.

The computer can't boot in safe mode (or any mode, for that matter) and if I try to re-insall using the XP CD, the computer crashes as soon as "Now starting Windows XP" shows in the bottom bar.

I'm hoping that this isn't a motherboard issue, I'ts seccond-hand but brand new (to me).

If you can suggest something, please do.

3 replies

Just thought I'd relay my experience with a similar problem I had. I wasn't able to get into windows through regular startup or safe mode, it would just blue screen right after the windows loading screen appeared. Also couldn't get into recovery console through the xp cd, it would also blue screen when loading... So I went into my bios and somehow my SATA HDD mode had been changed from compatibility mode to enhanced mode which apparently doesn't work in my system. Changed it back to compatibility and all is well. I think I cleared my CMOS by mistake so just a suggestion if you're having a similar problem: Check your bios first!
Thank you

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this fixed it for me. cheers man just saved me forking out for a new mobo, that was my next step... to to refresh

check SATAII setting and make sure its at compatable mode
I currently have this same exact issue.
I installed a new sound card and started getting 'niggles' and then it wouldn't boot past the XP logo.
As soon as it should go to user log in it blue screens and goes back to start up.
Tried entering bios to check settings but everything looked fine.... However, you are spot on with this, the SATA HDD was enhanced.... No idea why it changed but it did ... Changed it and now it's back to user friendly.
I was thinking a new cpu or format the whole damn thing and restart.
Glad I read your thread.
Saved me time and money
I had this problem too. Have been looking for a solution for over a week and was about to give up. Went into BIOS and sure enough SATA HDD had been changed. FIXED. Thank you.
I'm posting just to say thank you and let anyone know who is struggling with similar symptoms that this feature is actually just called "IDE" mode for Hewlett Packard BIOS versions. If you're still running XP (like I am on an old Remote Desktop server) it's possible that automatic updates may play a roll in setting this to SATA mode. My particular system requires IDE emulation even though the drive itself is SATA. Tap F10 on an HP system to enter start up settings, then go to the advanced tab and change the SATA Controller mode to IDE. Hope this helps.

hi there,

as you have already tried almost all

try also the hard disk itself

if it works then you'll have to change the hard disk

or enter your bios mode and check if drives and memory checking is available if so the do these tests

Thanks, I've already tried two, but I will try a third known working drive to make sure its OK.

EDIT: I actually unplugged the HDD (IDE & power) and the problem still happened when I tried to use the XP install CD
I'm running Windows XP Home Edition, 32-bit. I swear my desktop has a personal vendetta against me. This is a custom build, btw. I've owned it for over 10 years, and am moderately computer savvy. I seldom ever turn my computer off, and one day, for no apparent reason, it just turned itself off. I went through an entire list of things trying to solve this mystery. I still cannot figure it out. It won't even boot to any 'Safe mode' options, so even the 'Last known good' approach fails. I have unplugged every external device one at a time; then I disconnected and reconnected both hard drives one a time; I re-seated my memory cards; I looked at my BIOS -(and yes, the SATA setting was incorrect, so I changed it back); I replaced the old power supply; and I pulled the CPU, cleaned it and the heat-sink, and applied fresh thermal paste between the two. I still have the same problem. I can boot to the OEM installation CD, but the instant that it tries to boot from the hard drive, the computer immediately turns itself off. I have tried different hard drives - and I have tried everything from the Windows XP OEM installation 'Repair' option to actually re-partitioning a couple of hard drives and made several attempts to re-format and re-install Windows. I absolutely love Windows XP so I am now in the process of buying refurbished parts to build a new gaming system, one piece at a time, one month at a time. There came a point when I finally had to give up on my old system, may it R.I.Pieces. lol. Guess I'm stuck using my 'D3ll' laptop that runs Windows 10, which will never be as good as Windows XP, in my opinion. Anyway, if anyone can think of anything else that I could try, please offer your advice! Thank you!
I should also add, that I have performed extensive tests on the memory and they tested fine. I also ran daily anti-virus and anti-malware checks before it crashed (iolo System Mechanic Pro Antivirus as well as Malwarebytes). Personally, I believe that the motherboard is bad - although I do not see any signs of leaking capacitors or burnt resistors. Beyond that, I'm at a loss.
Registration date
Monday February 1, 2010
Last seen
September 1, 2021
11,260 > Hop
I agree with you, your motherboard is shot, especially the power supply unit.

Those things have measured life limit, so that manufacturers can produce and sell more.

I am, after 15 years at my forth computer.

P.S. Anyone who wishes to stay with XP is looking for problems.
Thank you, Ambucias. Yes, I agree that XP does it have more than it's fair share of issues - I cannot begin to count the number of times that I have had to re-install XP over the years to overcome some silly little problem; and I disabled the automatic updates a couple of years ago because they seemed to present more problems than solutions.

You are absolutely right about the limited life span. But still, 10+ years on the same MSI mobo seems impressive to me.

I love XP mostly because it is a very straight-forward OS that is very easy to navigate through - unlike Windows 10. I understand that other people feel differently, and I respect everyone's opinion. (I'm also okay with Windows 7; but I still prefer the XP platform).

Anyway, I did replace the power supply with a brand new one - as I mentioned earlier, but that did not resolve my issue. I neglected to mention that I also removed and reinstalled the PCI cards as well.

All things considered, although it was frustrating, it was still a fun little project.

I do appreciate your reply.
same problem here, just kept disabling things in device manager in safe mode and restartng, turns out is was raid controller driver that was making it hang, works great again