Starting A Computer That Won’t Start

By | February 24, 2006

If you have problems starting Windows XP because of a blue screen telling you (I forget the exact wording) that you need to run CHKDSK /f and disable all antivirus and disk management programs, here’s a possible solution.

The problem is that while you’d love to run CHKDSK /f — which runs a check on your hard drive and fixes any file errors — you can’t actually start Windows, or even get to a DOS prompt, to do it. The furthest you’re likely to get is a screen listing the drivers being loaded, but stopping at one called agp440.sys. Then the blue screen. Here’s what worked for me (it assumes you have a spare computer and an external drive casing for your hard drive, whichever size it is. I’ve learned to hang onto these kind of things for just such a situation as this):

  • Turn off the computer (I’m assuming it’s a laptop but this would work with a desktop too)
  • Remove the hard drive (take photos with your cellphone if necessary to remind yourself where the screws went, etc)
  • Attach the hard drive to your second computer using the external casing
  • Run CHKDSK /f (or any Disk Checker utility) over the hard drive. This should fix the problems with the hard drive
  • Remove hard drive from external casing and put back in original computer.
  • Restart computer

May not work for everyone but it worked for me.

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