Stuck on Windows Advanced Options Menu screen

 BennoTron -
My son's Compaq Presario notebook is keeps going to the Windows Advanced Options Menu screen at power on automatically with no key presses at all, and none of the menu choices gets us back to Windows XP Home. It occasionally will boot properly, and when it last did, we cleaned and defragged the HD because there was <1% free space. There is now >10GB free. I get a "Invalid boot.ini Booting from c:windows", but that happened even when XP was seemingly working. I'll try repairing boot.ini from the CD Recovery console, but can't see how that will help. I checked for stuck keys, too. Has anyoone experienced this before? I'm trying to avoid reinstalling from the CD and losing all his programs. Thanks.

2 replies

Well, the boot.ini problem got fixed - no problem there - thanks! However, the wierd boot to the Advanced Options Menu persisted, until we made an accidental discovery: The Presario has a switch on the leading edge of the keyboard that toggles the WiFi interface on or off. With the WiFi off, the laptop boots into XP perfectly; with it on, it goes straight to the Options Menu and won't get out. I'm guessing there must be a hardware problem/interaction with the WiFi circuitry. We'll just make sure the WiFi is off from here on.
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This may indeed be a hardware issue, but I'd be more likely to believe that is was going bonkers when the driver loads. You may want to uninstall the wireless card from the device manager, reboot the computer and let it rediscover it. Then reboot it with the wireless on and you may be okay, but like you say it could also be hardware.

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Registration date
Saturday January 31, 2009
Last seen
February 2, 2009
You can try to repair or replace the boot.ini.

1.Boot with XP CD.

2. Press R to load the Recovery Console.

3. Into the command prompt, Type bootcfg.

4. This usually fixes basic issues with boot.ini not showing up to the machine.

If this doesn't work, you may want to try doing a repair installation. Boot from the windows XP CD, and select the option to install windows, NOT the recovery console. When it gets to the part of the installation where is looks for previous installations, you should see your installation of XP home should be able to choose an option to do a "Repair Installation", which will replace the important system files on this installation from the disc, while leaving your programs and files alone.

I could describe the rest of this process and add some warnings and what not, but Michael Stevens has a great page that will take you through the rest, including virus warnings and the whole 9 yards.

Looks like he worked hard putting this page together...if it works...donate a dollar to his sandwich fund.



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