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Computer Won't Boot - Hardware Tests Ok


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#1 gabeals

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 08:57 PM

I have a Dell Inspiron 2200 running XP Home Edition SP2 that won't boot anymore. When I run the Dell diagnostics all the hardware (memory, hard drive, etc.) seems to be fine. On startup I see several Dell screens flash by and then the computer just stops on a blank screen. If I try to startup with the installation CD or in the recovery console, I get a PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA message. Do you have any suggestions for how to recover the computer? How do I back up the hard drive onto an external drive with a bootable CD? Thanks.

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#2 Budapest

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 09:07 PM

Have you checked your BIOS to ensure that booting from a CD is enabled. Also, why in the BIOS you might want to try disabling BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing.
The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who haven't got it.

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#3 gabeals

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 10:17 PM

I can override the usual startup sequence when I want to try to boot off the CD-ROM (as opposed to selecting that mode as default). My BIOS doesn't have any user-selectable memory options.

#4 Budapest

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Posted 25 May 2008 - 10:52 PM

My research shows that PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA errors are almost always hardware related. I know you said you ran the diagnostic tests, but I would try running some non-Dell tests such as Memtest86 and a drive diagnostic from the manufacturer. Always run the long test for the hard drive. With Memtest86 you should let it run overnight.
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#5 gabeals

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 10:52 AM

I, too, would have assumed there was a hardware problem. Coincidentally(?), the problem occurred several weeks after adding 1 GB of RAM. I've since removed the additional RAM, but the problem persists.

I ran Memtest86 overnight and, after ten hours and 28 passes, no errors were detected.

I also ran the Fujitsu ATA Hard Disk Drive Diagnostic Tool version 6.90 and no errors were detected.

Do you have any suggestions for backing up the drive onto an external drive? I tried Active@ DOS Boot Disk, but it doesn't recognize the external drive /USB port.

#6 usasma

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 11:30 AM

Although the Page Fault... error message is primarily a hardware problem - it can be cause by a driver/other program trying to access memory in an inappropriate location. This can be caused by a poorly written driver, or by a driver that's been corrupted.

That being said, if you can't boot to Windows, can you boot to Safe Mode?
Does the Page Fault... error pop up when you attempt to access the CD/DVD drive? This could be a defective drive, a bad motherboard controller, or a corruption of the motherboard/controller's drivers. Can you try another CD/DVD drive?
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#7 gabeals

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 12:14 PM

The CD drive works fine and I have used it to run Memtest86 and other diagnostics. I can't however, boot into Windows from the hard drive or the CD drive without getting the page fault message. I get the same result when I try Safe Mode or Recovery Console.

#8 usasma

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:05 PM

The fact that you can get almost to the Safe Mode or Recovery Console is of interest - because it points out the possible areas of the boot sequence that the errors occur in. What is the last screen that you're able to see before the Page Fault message?
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#9 gabeals

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:28 PM

A screen comes up that says

Please select the operating system to start:
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Microsoft Windows Recovery Console ...

After this page displays briefly, the screen goes black and stays that way.


If I try to come up in Safe Mode, the screen freezes on what is normally scrolling text. The last line to display says

multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(2)\WINDOWS\system32\config\system

#10 usasma

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 05:46 PM

OK, the first one lets us know that boot.ini has loaded. NTLDR is responsible for that and is loaded from your hard drive (so the hard drive is likely to be working).

Next comes the routine for pressing F8 to access Safe Mode - which appears to work, but doesn't finish

Next comes Ntdetect.com which does hardware detection

Next comes the loading of the system hive (the system thing in the last line of your post).

As you don't get the System error unless you're going into Safe Mode, I wonder if this is a case of ntdetec.com not being able to enumerate all of your hardware. Have you disconnected every piece of non-essential hardware that you can?

Interestingly, I have found (once) that a bad cable could cause this sort of error. I'd suggest checking the cables to your hard drives and your CD/DVD drives and trying others that are known to be good.

Edited by usasma, 26 May 2008 - 05:47 PM.
durned spell check didn't work!

My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#11 gabeals

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 07:28 PM

The computer model is a laptop, and there are no external devices currently attached. It seems like Safe Mode should give me the stripped down configuration, but even that won't work. Is there a way to copy the hard drive contents onto an external drive and look at logs from EventVwr? I'm wondering if those logs (or something like them) would give me some insight into what caused the problem.

#12 -=?=-lloyd

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 12:44 AM

have you tried using a windows cd and repairing it. or installing in the non-partitioned part of the drive and burning the files onto disk?

#13 usasma

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 06:24 AM

By default, Event Viewer log files use the .evt extension and are located (in most systems) in the C:\Windows\System32\Config directory
You'll have to find a way of copying the data to another drive (either by using a USB adapter to connect it to another computer or using a "Live" OS that permits access to removable media)

Once you've got the files on another computer, you can use that Event Viewer. Click on the Action menu item, then on the Open Log selection to view the logs.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.

#14 gabeals

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Posted 27 May 2008 - 11:42 PM

I'm not eager to try to repair Windows before I back up the hard drive. Any suggestions on where to find a live "OS" that will write to an external drive?

#15 usasma

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Posted 28 May 2008 - 05:26 PM

I'd suggest either trying one of the assorted Live Linux distro's - or the Ultimate Boot CD ( free here: http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ )
I'm afraid that I can't be of much help with them tho' - I use a customized version of Windows PE to do this at work and haven't used any of the above tools in several years.
My browser caused a flood of traffic, sio my IP address was banned. Hope to fix it soon. Will get back to posting as soon as Im able.

- John  (my website: http://www.carrona.org/ )**If you need a more detailed explanation, please ask for it. I have the Knack. **  If I haven't replied in 48 hours, please send me a message. My eye problems have recently increased and I'm having difficult reading posts. (23 Nov 2017)FYI - I am completely blind in the right eye and ~30% blind in the left eye.<p>If the eye problems get worse suddenly, I may not be able to respond.If that's the case and help is needed, please PM a staff member for assistance.




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