Can't start my computer

  crumbleeze 21:20 03 Aug 06
Locked

My husband, who is running Windows XP on his computer, looked in Google for a page and when he found it started to read it. Suddenly the screen went black and a little white square box came up and started moving around the screen. In this screen were the words "Not optimum mode. Recommended mode 1280 x 1034 60 Hz" and in the same little box, another little box with a ? in it. Every time he switches it off and on again he gets the same little box. Somehow or other he managed to get the BIOS page up which tells him he is in "safe mode". He has found the advanced menu options and has tried going out on "Start windows normally" and "Last known configuration" but every time it starts again with the same little box floating around. It's doing our heads in" Can anyone please help?

  ade.h 22:05 03 Aug 06

Boot into Safe Mode and drop your display settings down a few notches.

  HXP 22:41 03 Aug 06

I agree as above but

Just in case you are not sure how to to start in safe mode press F8 after the bios boots and before windows starts to load.

You might have to watch windows load once to get the sequence right I must admit once the bios loads I hit F8 repeatedly until windows caves in and starts in safe mode.Hopefully someone else will post a more scientific approach.

In safe mode right click screen you should find [properties] [settings] and a slider to reduce resolution to 800 x 600.

Restart and then surf the web to check res settings for your graphics card / monitor.

Hope that helps

  ade.h 22:48 03 Aug 06

I just hit it repeatedly as well, if I am working on a PC that I haven't used before. On my PCs, I'm reasonably used to the timing.

  crumbleeze 07:58 04 Aug 06

Thanks a lot. By repeatedly doing the above I think we have cracked it! I just hope it doesn't happen again, the nerves are frayed!!

  crumbleeze 20:54 04 Aug 06

Hello there again. We thought we had cracked it but unfortunately this is not the case. When we did the above and managed to get the screen back it lasted for about ten minutes and then disappeared again with the same little box going backwards and forwards. This happened a couple of times and then we could get nothing. However, after leaving the machine again for a couple of hours we switched it on and it went perfectly. Then, again unfortunately, after about ten minutes of working it went again. This happened two or three times. My husband had a look at the graphics card, waggled it about a bit, took it out and pushed it back in safely and tried the computer again. It worked. After about ten minutes again the screen disappeared. It seems as though when the machine is cold it works but when it warms up the screen goes blank. Does this make sense to anybody please? Could it be that we need a new graphics card or something? We are almost completely computer illiterate and would be very grateful for any help we can get.

  wee eddie 22:44 04 Aug 06

Over heating.

Have you got anything that blows cold air handy?

Turn off the PC and unplug it. Take the side off and direct a jet of air at any fan, cooling fin or air passage that you can see.

This action will not do the whole clean-up but if, when you turn the PC on again, if it works for longer, we'll know that it needs to be done properly.

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