BSoD flashes, XP won't boot - save docs!

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 shane -
Hi everyone! I DESPERATELY need your help. I have a Compaq HP, with an OS of Windows XP. My problem is this - I turn on my laptop, and it comes to the "select a mode" screen, on which no matter what I pick, the Blue Screen of Death flashes (for seriously less than a second) and the whole system reboots. It does this, over and over again. I managed to disable automatic restart and see what the BSoD says , which is - "session3_initialization_failed". I've tried every option, including the ones in the Advanced Startup Mode (F8). I've switched around boot order. I've been tempted to throw things. Nothing is helping. OH, one more huge thing. I can't find my recovery CDs anywhere, and I don't have a copy of XP, since it didn't come with the computer. There are files on my hard drive that I HAVE to be able to get, somehow. I have music and documents that are irreplaceable. Please help me! I need your expertise!

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Hi there,

this is my first forum response ever, so I hope I'm not violating too many rules...

Here it what I would do, if this happened to me:

RESCUING YOUR DATA

You need: Another computer with Internet Access, a CD Burner, an empty writeable CD and an external (e.g.USB) drive.

1.) Go to Acronis.com and download a 30-day trial for Acronis Disk Director Suite (Home/SMB version)
2.) Install it.
3.) Run it and go to Tools/Bootable Media Builder. Follow the Wizzard to create a bootable CD with Acronis on it.
4.) On the broken computer, modify the BIOS to boot from disk, attach the external drive, insert the bootable CD and turn the computer on.
5.) It should now boot from the disk - when prompted, select to run Acronis from disk
6.) You should now see the layout of your computer's internal HDD
7.) Right-click the HDD partition which has your data, select Explore, then right click any files/folders you would like to rescue and copy it to the external drive

MAKING YOUR COMPUTER WORK AGAIN

Try to see whether any of the utilities in Acronis are helpful (Checkdisk the drive and look at the boot sectors), but what you really want is an XP install disk (doesn't need to be Compaq, but you can call them to send you a new one). With the install disk, use the recovery console (do some research on how to use it). If that doesn't work, you can have XP installed over your current installation. This should fix the OS but NOT delete you personal data.

Let me know if you have additional questions.

Jochen
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Hi Jochen,

Can you advise if this would also work if i am receiveing the following message on a black screen: "reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key"?
Hi there!
Just a question, what if my laptop wont boot from a CD? I tried changing the BIOS settings (to boot from CD) but it still doesn't work.. Any ideas?
reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device and press a key"? this error usually points to hard drive failure