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One of the blades on my psu fan broke recently and when it happened Windows wouldn't boot; Linux would, albeit very slowly. Now that I've replaced the fan Windows still won't boot and asks for safe mode, etc. After that it only gets to its logo and then blue screens and starts over. The blue screen is too quick to read before it restarts.
I'm writing this, of course, using Linux (which works fine) but I do need the use of Windows. I believe the users of this forum are more informed so I'm trying here. Is there some file I may need to check in Windows that might possibly be the culprit?
I think the first thing I would try is to run the recovery mode on your windows xp install CD. Past that you can download a harddrive confidence test from your HD manufacturer to see if there are any bad spots. Also, for fun you can download a memory tester just to be on the safe side. Here's one: http://www.memtest.org/
When power supplies go bad, you usually see symptoms close to what you're describing. If the blade broke off and scraped shielding off a wire, or broke a turn around part of a transformer, your PSU may be unstable. That affects the normalcy of power the rest of your system is getting, and you'll see blue screens, etc.
Swap out that PSU and see if you get better results. Of course now after a few bad boots, Windows partition may be corrupt -- but it's worth a shot.
Well, I finally got Win to repair the installation. It wouldn't give me the option at first and wanted me to format because of errors. I escaped and tried to startup Linux to do a backup, but Windows had conveniently deleted the MBR! Back in the Windows setup, it now offered the repair option so, now, all is well except I need a lilo screen.
I guess the 1st Mandriva CD will offer to reinstall lilo?