Computer problems

Twi5tidDragonTwi5tidDragon Member
edited July 2015 in Hardware

I have an HP PAVILION dv1000 with windows xp on it. The laptop starts up and goes through the boot up process fine. I see everything up until I get to the main start screen. It shows the background for maybe 5 seconds, and then goes to a white screen. I can still see and move the mouse on the screen, but can't see any icons or the background. What could be the cause of this? How could I fix it?


  • RequitRequit That one guy Somewhere over there, I don't know Icrontian

    Have you tried launching the machine in Safe Mode with Networking? Usually, button mashing F8 while the computer boots initially will get you that option.

  • I have tried booting it up in Safe Mode. Not safe mode with networking, but after i went into safe mode, it took me to the welcome screen and told me to sign in as an administrator, or as my mother (it was her computer before i got it), and when i do sign in as one or the other, it tells me i can't use the function (guessing safe mode) with the account.

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    Is it your computer? It's unusual to be a single user on a computer without administrator access, but if it's still your mother's computer then you will want to get her to log in for you. If it's your computer, try resetting the administrator password:

    You'll need access to another computer with a CD burner to create the bootable CD. Also, in general you should stop using XP because it no longer receives security updates. Imagine a leaky damn where workers scrambled every day for 10 years to plug holes but it still leaked everywhere, then one day said "F it" and quit. That dam, one year after being abandoned, shares a lot in common with your OS.

  • Alright. I understand. And yes I agree with you on the OS bit. I just gotta get a legit copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. I will definitely have to see about resetting the admin password, but that only shows up in safe mode, not when I start it normally. Could it be that I'm running XP and that's what is causing the screen to go, or would that be something else? Then my next question would be, my mom has a laptop that runs Windows 8, if I make a backup of her windows 8, could I put it on the one my mom gave me?

  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX Icrontian

    Windows (in most retail iterations) is single a license OS meaning if you were to install it on your laptop, you would have to uninstall it off of your moms laptop. Even then you might not be able to do that if the license your mom has is OEM as it may not activate properly on any other computer.

    Do you need anything off of the computer? Have you considered a fresh install of Windows XP? Did your mom have a restore CD that originally came with the computer?


  • I am not sure. I don't need anything on the laptop, nor does my mom or brother. I don't think my brother (the original owner of the laptop) has an XP reboot biggest issue, like I said is the white screen. I have a video that I can show if I can figure how to put it up.

  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX Icrontian

    If the login screen in safe mode is displaying then the white screen issue is within the install of Windows. I would suggest:

    Using the link Drasnor posted above to create the boot disk and set the password on the machine. Log into safemode.
    Use Keyfinder to pull up and note your Windows details including the key.
    This will help determine what media you will need to reinstall from. If you need help with this step, you can post a screenshot similar to the one near the bottom of the Keyfinder page (do not post your Windows Key!) and we may be able to help.
    Once you have the correct media, format and reinstall for fresh Windows deliciousness.


  • ThraxThrax 🐌 Austin, TX Icrontian
    1. Connect the hard drive to another machine with an external hard drive adapter.
    2. Back up your data.
    3. Reformat the computer and install a copy of Windows that's actually supported by Microsoft with performance/stability/security patches.

    Windows XP has been abandoned by Microsoft for years. It is a giant security risk for you. Do not keep using Windows XP.

  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX Icrontian

    It's already been stated there is no important data on the machine so if the ability is there to use a newer OS, indeed, just install that.


  • I thank everyone for the information. I know that XP is out of date, and obsolete, but I do not have a copy of Windows 7 or Windows 8. If anyone can let me know where i can get a good copy of either one, and it be not so expensive, I'd greatly appreciate it. Right now, the only thing i can do is clear the admin passwords, but i know... or i think that i know, doing that will not be of use until i can get a copy of 7 or 8

  • BobbyDigiBobbyDigi ? R U #Hats ! TX Icrontian
    edited July 2015

    Running Windows XP will have no negative effect on anything other than itself (and possibly your sanity depending on your patience level). That is the free route, I understand wanting to go that route. If you can follow the steps I laid out, you should be able to get the machine up and running on XP. As pointed out, you will just have to deal with no official support. Hold on to the install CD and don't keep any important data on the machine so if it wonks out in the future, you can simply reinstall.

    It also depends on what you want to use it for. It's not going to be an ideal machine for surfing websites, but it will surf websites. A regular scan with MalwareBytes (Still supports XP) should at least minimize downtime. If you happen to need it for offline use then there really isn't a lot to worry about.


  • Thank you much Digi. It's pretty much going to be used for just checking emails/fb, and trying to help my brother out with his business. I think, i'll more then likely try and get windows 7 or 8 at some point, but i can probably deal with XP for a while. Again, thank you to everyone with the information and the help. It is appreciated a lot. I hope that doing everything that has been advised to me, will allow me to get rid of the white screen when loading up the laptop normally.

  • BlueTattooBlueTattoo Boatbuilder Houston, TX Icrontian
    edited July 2015

    If you aren't doing that much with it and are concerned about security, why not try Linux? I use Zorin in the Windows 7 screen mode. It's easy for a Windows user to browse and use email and LibreOffice.

  • Zorin is a good distribution but with his ten year old laptop I'd recommend Xubuntu.

    The main problem will be if the wireless is going to work. My highest recommendation goes to the Asus USB-N13 for Linux users. It's as plug and play a wireless adapter that I have found. Works in Linux every single time, in every single configuration and distro without fussing with anything in the command line. You plug it in, wireless internet works, and it's N300 to boot so it offers pretty good performance. If you are considering Linux to breathe some life into that old laptop, and you are disappointed with the WiFi performance, definitely pick this up.

  • BlueTattooBlueTattoo Boatbuilder Houston, TX Icrontian

    @Cliff_Forster, I haven't used Xubuntu much, but it also has the Windows 7 style menu, so should be easy enough for a Windows user. I don't use Linux enough to want to learn a lot of real computer stuff. But Linux works and there are many flavors. And its free.

    Thanks for the WiFi advice. I was planning to install Linux on an old laptop that will probably need an adapter.

  • @BlueTattoo - Zorin is definately a more stylish and more windows like distro than Xubuntu. Xubuntu is basically a Ubuntu distro that choses the xfce desktop vs. Gnome or KDE. xfce is lightweight in comparison. Not as interesting looking, it is a boring looking desktop in comparison to something like Zorin or even plain Ubuntu or Kubuntu, but what it excels at is running snappy on dated hardware. Got a single core machine with 512 mb of RAM, Xubuntu is a good bet to get some extra life out of your machine.

    Totally recommend that adapter to anyone who is interested in playing around with Linux on different machines. You simply plug it in, the icon appears and you sign on to your network. Best Linux wifi adapter I have used by a mile. I haven't found a situation where it doesn't just plug and play yet.

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    I run Xubuntu at work. It is a modern OS with a full set of software but like all things has its quirks. My least favorite Ubuntu quirks are update patches that render the system unbootable; these are easy enough for me to resolve since I've been using Linux for years but they're pretty aggravating for newbies. Use all the default options at install-time (particularly with regard to disk partitioning) to reduce your chances of having these problems. My software picks for Xubuntu are:

    • Web browser: Firefox
    • E-mail: Thunderbird
    • Office: LibreOffice
    • Video playback: VLC
    • Audio playback: Audacious
    • Games: Steam
    • IRC: HexChat
    • IM: Pidgin with plugins for whichever network you wanted to use

    I think the normal installer ISO is a DVD image but there's also a minimal CD if you are lacking in DVD drive. Hopefully your box has a DVD reader because the minimal CD has a crummy user experience.

  • my laptop has a dvd reader/burner on it. Is Xubuntu pretty much a different OS that would pretty much replace the XP OS that is currently on that laptop?

  • and do i just.... download it and then burn it to a disc, then run it in the laptop?

  • Straight_ManStraight_Man Geeky, in my own way Naples, FL Icrontian
    edited July 2015

    Xubuntu is a variety of Linux. Linux is another whole operating system, yes.

    Well, as to install I will let others speak as I use Linux on not-so-old hardware, and use a different distribution of Linux (variety of Linux). But essentially, what you say is true as a summary of the install process for Linux these days.

  • drasnordrasnor Starship Operator Hawthorne, CA Icrontian

    @Twi5tidDragon said:
    Is Xubuntu pretty much a different OS that would pretty much replace the XP OS that is currently on that laptop? and do i just.... download it and then burn it to a disc, then run it in the laptop?

    You would download it, burn it to a disc, boot from the disc, and use the automated installer with whatever option it uses for the "clean" install. It will format your hard drive and install the Xubuntu (or whichever you got) distribution of the Linux operating system.

    Without getting too much into semantics, Linux is technically the name of the kernel, the core part of the operating system which provides the interaction between hardware and software. For comparison's sake, there have been like 3 different Microsoft kernels ever (DOS, 9x, and NT) and each different version of Windows is just a permutation of difference user experience elements running on top of some version of one of these kernels. Since about 2000, all Windows OSes have used progressively newer versions of the NT kernel. Similarly for Linux, lots of different distributions are available which combine different elements of user experience but all share the same low-level functionality.

    Stop reading now if you don't care about the Linux and free software ecosystem.

    Xubuntu packages the lightweight XFCE desktop environment with Canonical Corp's favored software load and Linux kernel. Ubuntu packages the heavyweight Unity desktop environment with the same, and Kubuntu packages the alternative K desktop environment with the same. Ubuntu is generally derived from the Debian distribution and if you don't care for Canonical's take on the OS you can always run Debian. Most people don't like Debian because they're strict about what kinds of open source licenses they allow for software in their mainline package catalog. This can be worked around if you like to use software with not totally pure open source licenses (like Firefox) or commercial licenses like Steam. Canonical's Ubuntu is much more lax about these kinds of licenses. Another popular Debian derivative is Mint, which packages the heavy-duty Cinnamon desktop environment but in my experience isn't as zany as the Canonical distributions which patch Canonical services into other software to "provide a consistent user experience".

    I personally use Gentoo at home. Gentoo is not a user-friendly operating system, it trades convenience for versatility. It can be made to do anything extremely well if you have the patience to learn how it works. Arch Linux is in a similar vein but distributes software in binary form which can be run as a program just like you downloaded it off the Internet. Gentoo distributes software in source code form which it then compiles into software based on configuration parameters you set which govern how your system interfaces should be defined. There are a few derivatives of each of these which simplify use for things like desktop and embedded systems (Sabayon and Ratgen respectively). If you don't know what an embedded system is then you don't have one.

  • MyrmidonMyrmidon Baron von Puttenham California Icrontian

    Late to the party, +1 for every suggestion regarding wipe/reinstall. Spend a little money getting yourself a win 7 license. Alternatively, if you have a friend in college, they might have access to a couple win7 licenses per year through the MSDNAA (might have to go to their university's IT dept if they don't already know how to get it). This is how @Ryanfodder and I managed to keep in business (haven't paid for a Win7 license yet, and I've still got legally acquired legitimate copies)!

    So much more +1 for just canning windows and going to Xubuntu instead. Make sure that you look through which programs you want to use so you have alternatives lined up if something isn't compiled for linux - you don't want to be the kid going 'omg call of booty XXL doesn't run on linux?' Otherwise, it's pretty much magic - I'm a PC gamer and I grew up on windows operating systems, and one day I was irritated enough with win7 that I took the plunge and completely wiped my gaming laptop in favor of Ubuntu (related, not same as Xubuntu) - I said to myself, "if something doesn't work, I'll just figure it out." Thus far, I have absolutely been able to run everything I care to - granted, sometimes with a little configuring, but I generally find a way to get the job done.

    I would note that if you've lived in a windows environment your entire life, it's worth spending a little time finding some of the differences. They're not hard or scary, but they're there. One big one is the package manager - on Windows, you install a new program from CD, or by downloading it from the web. You can do this on Linux OSes as well, but you're often better off using a package manager - the big bad precursor to the app store. Whichever OS you select should have some information about your package management system somewhere in its wiki or tutorial or whatever is used to help new users out. - this is a bite-size list of some of the differences you'll face. They're not bad. - this is a much larger, somewhat more technical guide to linux for windows folks. There's more information than you need to simply run the machine, so I would caution you to not read it and get overwhelmed - instead, use it as a reference, or some light reading before bed or on the subway. It talks a little about using the terminal (helpful as it is, you may not need to use it very often if you don't wanna), it talks about the general file structure of a linux OS (useful if you're the kind of guy that likes to dig through files), common software, and links to lots of other niche guides.

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