Laptop won't start

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1,091
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Ken
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#1
Hi everyone and happy new year, I've started off well, my laptop won't start, I don't know if it's cream crackered, or if it's something I've done. When I press the start button, it says Windows is loading files, then I get a box saying the computer is trying to repair start up, eventually I get.a message saying it cannot start up. I've tried pressing the escape key and testing the memory and hard disk, not that I know what I'm doing, but it still won't start. I don't mind paying to have it repaired if it is broken, but not unless it's necessary. Anyone had a similar problem?
 
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#4
It might help to add info

What make & model number of laptop & which operating system?

Also, were there any noticeable differences in performance or running the last time it booted up?
 
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1,091
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Ken
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#6
The make is Compac and the model No. is Presario CO 61 running Vista, ( yes, it's quite old) and as it had started to take a long time to load not only the browser I use, ( Firefox) but also quite a delay once I had clicked on a particular website, I had tried to do a restore to a previous time which I had done successfully in the past, but the problem started the next time I tried to start it up which is why I thought it was because of something I had done.
I did try to back up my data, although all I have on the laptop is photographs, but I don't know if I had done it properly. As you will have guessed I am not very computer literate ( I'm 76 next week)
 
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Richard
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#7
Given its age you are probably better off replacing it rather than repairing. I’m afraid I’m not much help but one thing that may be helpful is either to try booting off the original disks (which you may not have) or to use a Linux Live DVD ou USP if you have or can get one - perhaps you have access to another computer for that. If the hard dive is OK you should be able to move your photos to an external drive. You don’t say how you have backed up your photos or even if they are important/only copies.
I mainly write this to give your post a bump so maybe someone more helpful will see it!
 
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1,091
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Ken
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#8
OK, thanks very much, I'm pretty sure all the photos are on my desktop too, I don't have the original disks.
 
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Richard
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#9
OK, thanks very much, I'm pretty sure all the photos are on my desktop too, I don't have the original disks.
That’s good to know. With several of my friends with old Win XP or Vista computers I’ve just installed Linux Mint on them and they don’t really notice the difference, except they “just work”. Don’t know if that would be OK on your Compaq but it if you can’t get it going any other way it may be worth a try. I’ve done it on HP laptops which I think are the same. Download on your desktop and make a dvd/cd.
 
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Jon
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#10
It will be worth booting the laptop, start pressing F8 immediately (before the windows logo appears) and seeing if you get the safe mode options screen. If you do scroll down and try the "Last Known Good Configuration". This may undo any recent registry/driver changes and may let you in.
 
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Chris
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#11
Have a look on Google to see if it has a factory restore option on boot, most laptops from vista onwards had a hidden restore partition on the drive. You would be able to restore it back to factory setup.
 
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#13
if its vista you really need to to replace and upgrade, there have not been any security updates on this for a long time and you are wide open to virus and hacks.
XP also is just as bad
 
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droj
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#14
Given the age and spec of the machine and that you have copies of the photos (?), it might be less aggro to retire it. But yes, Linux (eg Linux Mint) could be a way to go, not a 5-minute job though. Involves a bit of fiddling ...
 
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1,091
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Ken
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#16
Thanks guys, I tried system restore but it didn't work because of an " error", I have done all the testing on the hard drive and memory which comes up when pressing the esc key and all passed, so still a mystery. Obviously if it is a serious breakdown, I wouldn't bother spending money getting it repaired, but I'll keep trying the other options mentioned just in case it's an error on my part.
I probably will try the Linux route, although having said that I don't know whether I would be able to make a disk from the download, ( assuming I can manage that) as for some reason the CD/DVD drive on my desktop doesn't seem to like DVDs, I've always had to copy my photos onto CDs which isn't a problem, it just means I don't get as many pictures per disk.
Thanks for all your help, I'll keep you posted
 
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Peter
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#17
Ken, as soon as you turn the lappy on keep pressing repeatedly the F2 key. This should get you into the BIOS set up screens. Under the 'Boot' tab you should find the order in which the machine will boot from. If you have the option of booting from USB then select this as the first option. Using the desktop you can then download a copy of the Linux Mint iso file and using a program such as 'Iso to USB' put the files on the USB stick. The lappy will then boot from this and give you the choice to either try or install Linux. DO NOT SELECT INSTALL as this will wipe the hard disk and you will loose anything that you may want to recover. You can then play with Linux

Linux Mint 18.3 from here: https://linuxmint.com/download.php

ISO to USB from here: http://www.isotousb.com/

I have just done exactly this on an old lappy that my son no longer uses.
 
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#19
I'd pull the hard drive from the laptop, get a USB convertor (I bet that old it's a pinned connector rather than sata) and then use the USB to HD connector to get off the data and photos you want before you do anything else.

If you do pull the hard drive and need a convertor, let me know, I'm sure I've a couple somewhere I could lend you (although be after the weekend, I'm off to Prague tonight)
 
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1,688
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Martin
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#20
I had the same thing happen to mine this morning, HP on windows 10. Not a good feeling.

I shut it down and restarted a couple of times with no joy, I had an advanced option in the dialog box, I went in there and found a windows repair box, it shut down and the said it was scanning disk which it did for about an hour, it then switched back on no problem. I have since been backing everything up on a second hard drive and cloud.
 
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1,091
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Ken
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#21
Hi everyone, Although I hadn't managed to do a system restore, I somehow got into a factory reset, lord knows how, anyway although I have lost all the photos on there, which isn't a problem as they are all on my desktop, I now have a working laptop.
I can't thank everyone enough for all the help I have received.
Ken
 
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1,091
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Ken
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#23
It loaded Vista automatically, I suppose I should make dvd,s in case it happens again, but having said that I am wondering if I should try and change to Windows 7, I don't think it should be too expensive now. When I bought the laptop I had the premium version so I could update to 7 for no charge, but when I found out the postage was £14 I didn't bother, a big mistake I realize now.
 
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Paul
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#24
forget win7 you need to go to win10.

Win7 is dead, vista is beyond dead.

whats the spec of the laptop?
 
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Paul
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#25
forget win7 you need to go to win10.

Win7 is dead, vista is beyond dead.

whats the spec of the laptop?
Win 10 on the OP's machine will not work very well, even if it does manage to load.
Presario CQ 61

Better bet is to ditch the lappy and get a newer one.
 
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1,091
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Ken
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#27
I did do a Windows 10 compatibility test and the system said the unit could take it, however I am concerned about the fact it may not work very well, so perhaps linux is the way to go. Incidentally, since going back to the factory reset I have selected Firefox as the browser, Avg as antivirus, and Super anti spyware, although the latter doesn't want to download yet. Before I lost everything, Super anti spyware always found plenty of threats, but when I installed it on my tablet which is W10 it never seemed to find any, so perhaps I wont persist in trying to download it.
 
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1,091
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Ken
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#28
One last problem, when I try to play videos, I get a message saying download Flash or HB 64 I think it is, I didn't have to do this before, it just played, and I'm concerned about the message saying Flash could contain a virus, is there a way around this?
 
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Jon
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#29
Flash is separate software to windows that updates itself once installed, i would go direct to adobe.com and get the latest version.

I would not rely on links from other sites...
 
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