serious

PC/WinXP problem

I've been trying to help a friend with his PC. It hung while he was upgrading a firewall and now won't boot. The hardware all checks out normal, it'll boot to the utility partition and I've run a windows repair on it, none of which has made any difference. It's a Dell Dimension 9150 running XP Home,

Any ideas? Thanks.
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After you get the Dell logo on the bios splash screen hit F8. Boot XP in safe mode and see what happens. Either :

1. it'll bluescreen/halt loading a particular dll
2. as above, but if it's been told to reboot on a bsod you'll see naff all.
3. if it'll actually boot into xp you can just uninstall the firewall, reboot, reinstall as before to see whether it'll take the second time around.

Cheers. I'll give that a go.

I'm not entirely sure it's getting that far, actually - there's no obvious sign of Windows being run at all. I was wondering if it was a trashed boot record. Safe mode's certainly worth trying, though. Thanks.

If it's just the mbr, you can boot into the recovery console using the XP install CD. When you boot of the cd, press 'r' on the first screen where it starts asking you questions.

When you get the command prompt, just run a fixmbr and a fixboot and if it's just the boot record that should fix it. There are some caveats to that, but generally you should be ok.
That's roughly the plan. Trouble is there's so little to go on. Just a blank screen. Still, hopefully one of those will work.

Cheers.
The other thing to try is to see if it will boot with a live Linux CD and see what the Windows file system looks like.
Yeah. That also is on today's agenda. I think from the lack of complaints during the OS repair that the filesystem's intact. Thanks, though. Nice to get a little confirmation that I'm not barking up the wrong tree entirely.

Of course, if I'd taken that disk over yesterday rather than leaving it lying by the desk, I'd already know. But there you go. Or there I go, at least.