Today, my laptop (running WinXP) froze while I was typing in the password to log into my administrator account. After waiting several minutes, I finally powered it down. Upon powering it back up, it was no longer able to boot. It gives me a rather fatal sounding message to the effect that the system folder in the windows directory is “missing or corrupt.” It tells me to use my restore disk to try to repair the folder.
I’m not sure I even know where my restore disk is. I suppose I could ask Compaq for another one. But realistically, what are the chances here? Is this the kind of thing that generally does successfully get recovered, or is this the kind of thing that generally spells doom?
Other information that may be relevant is as follows. A few months ago the laptop began behaving in the following way: Occasionally, when booting (always, I think, from whatever state its in when I shut the laptop without powering down, leaving it in my bag overnight), it tries to boot from LAN (whatever that means) and fails, saying something or other “might be disconnected.” Then, a week or two ago, I began getting occasional BSODs followed by non-me-initiated reboots. These usually went by too fast for me to be able to read them, but once I caught something about there being something wrong with something like “system_kernal_nonpaged.” (I noted it down at the time but can not remember what it said anymore.) When I searched online for references to whatever it was it had said, the consensus seemed to be that I either had a virus or a bad hard drive. I don’t think I probably had a virus (but who ever does think so?)–I know how not to click on things I don’t know the provenance of. On the other hand, I didn’t have dedicated anti-virus software so who knows, I guess. In any case, assuming it’s a “bad disc” whatever that exactly means, is this doom, or is there hope? Is it true, as some sites said, that in this case, I just have to “discard the device”
One further question. I don’t have any really important data on the hard drive of this thing, since I save everything important online. But if I do want to pull some off of it, if the computer itself can not be restored, is that going to be possible? I’ve taken a hard drive out of a desktop before, but I wouldn’t know what to do with a laptop hard drive.
I’ve hooked up two desktops to transfer data from one to the other before, but I assume this will be impossible to do with my laptop if it can’t even boot up. (Am I right about that?)
Anybody selling a laptop cheap?