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blue screen - can I boot from a flash drive?


New Member
Hey guys,

A friend of mine is having PC issues. He started getting a blue screen the other day when trying to boot a PC with XP. Basically, here's the situation:

All safe modes don't work - they load up a blue screen (for 1 second, a flash of a blue screen basically) and then restarts the PC.

The regular load gives a blue screen with non-english characters on one line (it basically gets to the windows XP loading bar screen and goes to the blue screen after about 4-5 seconds of that).

Is it possible for me to load linux or XP from a flash drive or CD and get ahold of stuff on the hard drive before reformatting?

Any other way for me to get to the data that doesn't involve me opening up the laptop and taking the hard drive out?

Thanks guys!

Blue screen means software or hardware is corrupted. If he can't do safe-mode, check the hardware. Loading from another OS wont solve anything. Failing hardware? May aswell get yourself a new'un.

e/ Come to think of it, did s/he install anything prior to this happening? Just right now my cousin has gone and infected his laptop for installing Antivirus 2010 - which we all know is a virus, I even told him. But whatever. That gives a blue-screen on safe-mode though I was able to boot normally into windows.
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Your post, tl;dr.

But I can tell you this much, if your motherboard supports boot from flash then you can boot from flash. Must be enabled and configured in the BIOS.

Your BIOS may call it USB Floppy or USB Zip if it's ancient.
build a LiveCD of a linux distro and see if you can boot from that. IF you can, try to mount the HD and take a look at the files. if you can't, then your HD is corrupted.