Why does my Windows XP computer not restart even after reinstalling the operating system?

Morgan V February 12, 2011
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Ok I have not been able to find a resolution for this for months. I have a Windows XP desktop AMD Dual Core, and it will not fully restart. But it will shut down fine.

When I click to restart, it will log out of the desktop and then Windows properly, but then just sits there with a black screen. But again shutting down works great. So I have to manually restart it with the power button.

I have asked several tech support sites and their first answer was to do a reinstall of Windows. Well, I did that and it’s still the same. I even went and got a new hard drive and did a clean install but still having the problem. I recently took it to a major retailer repair section and no one there could find a reason for it. They said all my hardware was functioning properly etc. I have looked every where online for some sort of resolution and I cannot find anything regarding this particular scenario.

Again, it shuts down perfectly. However, if I choose to restart, it logs out of Windows and the desktop fine, but then just sits there and does not restart without me having to manually push the power button to turn off and then back on.

Please help if you are able to. Thanks!

  1. Susendeep Dutta
    February 8, 2012 at 8:17 am

    It's definitely a sign of failing HDD.The clicking sound is coming from your HDD.

    You can know the reason of clicking sound of your HDD by visiting the link below -

    http://datacent.com/hard_drive_sounds.php

    Your HDD has also developed bad sectors.For successful booting of HDD,you can replace the old cables of your HDD with new ones and it has worked for me.Then you must try to create a backup of your HDD and install a new HDD.

    Paragon Backup & Recovery -

    http://www.paragon-software.com/home/br-free/

  2. Johnlt
    February 8, 2012 at 3:32 am

    I had a similar problem , checked everything. My wife said maybe it is the monitor, after two weeks , the monitor.  On W& there is a feed back loop

  3. mikiaandy
    February 8, 2012 at 2:46 am

    change your mb

  4. Anonymous
    February 13, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I had once the same problem as you couldnt restart the pc actually it was the fault of a reg cleaner, so i used the restore point and went back to the normal state.

    Can you flash your Bios? and reset CMOS battery?

    Could you uninstall SP2 and Sp3, then from windows update section install them, windows will ask to reboot, then click yes, this can be a solution.

    Try a command prompt (see what it comes) and type the following command:
    If you really only want to restart, type the following:
    "shutdown -r".

    to shut down
    "shutdown -s" to shutdown in less than a minute.
    "shutdown -f" to shutdown immediately.

    to see all options
    shutdown /?

    On desktop and do Alt+F4. That will give you the options to shutdown, restart or logoff.

    Explorestart v1.00
    http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/restart_explorer.html

  5. FIDELIS
    February 13, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Hello, you might want to try setting boot logging. One of the best ways to troubleshoot startup problems in windows is by setting a boot log.

    When you set up a boot log, it creates a file on your c:WINDOWS drive. The name for the file created is Ntbtlog.txt. On this file, it lists all the drivers that load at startup. For every driver that loads successfully it will add an entry on the file and also it will let you know if a driver failed to load. There are two ways of setting xp to create a boot log:

    -- start
    -- run
    -- type msconfig
    -- Click on boot.ini tab
    -- Check mark /BOOTLOG
    -- Check

    Or
    -- Restart computer
    -- Press F8
    -- Select Enable Boot logging

    Make sure to check the file after you turn the computer on, whether it restarts as it should or not. Maybe it can give you clues to possible problems.

    What does it show on device manager under the Computer entry?

  6. Technology Pakistan
    February 13, 2011 at 5:33 am

    I think this is a hardware problem, just like a PC having no restart/ hibernate options in it. Check you motherboard settings, check its jumper settings, if you have it's manual guide then check it for more correct information

  7. Anonymous
    February 12, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Is the windows cd a genuine, or you burned the iso file yourself?
    Are you on windows XP Sp3, oy its so then uninstall SP2 and SP3 then reboot and update them again

    Do you have Roxio Easy CD Creator 5.0 ou Direct CD 5.0 on your pc?

    Are your drivers uptodate like your graphical card drive?

    Try to make a restart shortcut on the desktop and find out if it will work for you
    http://aumha.org/win5/a/shutcut.php

    If you would like you can try OptimalPc
    http://www.appsmaker.com/files/product.php?prodID=6&details
    You dont have to instal the desktop styler, you can activate the pro trial periode, do a scan and then clean windows and OptimalPc will ask you to restart pc and click yes. See if it will help you.

    • Morgan V
      February 13, 2011 at 6:31 am

      Yes my CD is genuine. And my CD is a SP2 cd but before i even updated to SP3 it was having this problem. And I don't have roxio or direct cd on the computer. And yes I have the latest drivers for not only my graphic card but everything else as well. And not even another program can get it to restart. its like it doesnt power cycle during a restart but will shut down ok. And I tried already making a short cut to restart and again same problem

  8. Mike
    February 12, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    Does the black screen appear before (during the shutdown process) or after the restart (after the system power-cycled)?

    Do you have multiple partitions on your computer? If so, did you repartition your hard drive during the installation or did you just format the partition used for Windows?

    • Morgan V
      February 13, 2011 at 6:26 am

      ok to answer the first question it would be the black screen happens before it power cycles. it never gets to that point and i think thats the problem. I have already made sure all my drivers for everything are updated, i have updated the bios, i installed a new power supply(someone suggested could be that), ran tests on my Ram with memtest, and nothing has worked.
      And as far as the second question...I have done both. My first hard drive, i just reformatted the Windows partition and then reinstalled. And when that did not work, I went and bought a brand new hard drive and did a clean install. When i tried the first install of Windows on the new hard drive, I didn't make any partitions during the install to see if that would of been the issue. Still same problem. So I then reformatted the drive and did another clean install but made partitions during the install. Still same problem.

      • Mike
        February 13, 2011 at 1:34 pm

        Thanks for the answers...

        My first guess would be a BIOS setting since this problem "survived" all the troubles you've already gone through.

        When you start your computer hit the DELETE key to enter the BIOS.
        Look for either a function key or a setting to reset all settings to it's defaults (or Safe Defaults if this option exists).
        From that point you are free to make any changes necessary within the BIOS. Just leave the Power/Energie Options alone and set both "System BIOS cacheable" and "Video BIOS cacheable" to disabled.

        I also suggest to turn on BOOTLOG as described by FIDELIS.

        In addition (if you haven't already done it) look into DirectX Diagnostics:
        1. hit Start > Run (Windowskey + R)
        2. type "dxdiag" and hit enter

        Also Dr.Watson might be able to show you some troubled software:
        1. hit Start > Run (Windowskey + R)
        2. type "drwtsn32" and hit enter
        Basically you can leave all settings of Dr.Watson alone. Just look at the very bottom where it says "Application Errors".

        If none of the above shows any reasonable problem or imrpove try the following:
        1. hit Start > Run (Windowskey + R)
        2. type "verifier /flags 0xFF /all" and hit enter

        Your system will run pretty slow at that point. This is because all driver debug options are enabled now. Restart your system and then look into the Event Viewer for any and all problems reportet.

        When you are done you can reset your machine by executing "verifier /reset".

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