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No Boot Even with Op CD and ERD


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#1 GymTeacher

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Posted 26 April 2005 - 11:35 PM

Display was becoming more and more garbled; eventually display was so bad that system would not boot into Win2k. System would finally boot into Win after 5 to 6 manual tries. Replaced existing GeForce2 400 MX board with new ATI 9250. Decided to upgrade memory from 512 to 1 GB, by replacing the existing two modules with 2 DDR SDRAM 266 (PC2100) modules, both 512 MB (Kingston Value RAM, non-ECC, unregistered).

After both mem mods and the new video card were installed, I tried to boot the system normally. System fails to boot at the same time every try. The 'starting windows' screen finishes with all bars showing, then 15 seconds later screen goes blank, then auto reboots. Reboot fails each time at the exact same point.

Took out new video card, new memory sticks, re-installed old memory cards, but not new video card. No video on screen. Put back new memory cards, no video card (using on-board video), now video is normal but system boot fails at the same point.

Suspected a corrupted boot sector, so I put in the Win2k CD, changed the boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM, still no boot. Changed the BIOS to Removable Device as first boot device, then tried the Emergency Repair Disk to boot with. No dice. Still fails at the same exact location.

Now I'm thinking some piece of hardware is messed up. Maybe one of the new memory cards is bad, but the POST mem test reports 1023MB. Is it safe to assume both cards are good?

Before I start with the one-at-a-time component replacement routine, does anyone have any suggestions? Board is Intel 845GRG.

Thanks,

GymTeacher

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#2 Grinler

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 12:43 AM

I would do the one at a time routine. Also see if you can find the 2000 bootlog. It is called ntbtlog.txt and is in the \winnt directory. The last thing it shouold show is what it is attempting to load and then if it does not say successful you can get a good idea as to what is the problem

#3 GymTeacher

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 01:42 PM

I would love to be able to read the boot log. Considering that I cannot boot even into Safe Mode, this resource is not available. Do you have any experience with a DDR memory module being defective, yet pass the mem test during POST?

Has anyone had a parasite (like WinTools) interfere with startup? Viruses can do this but I ran NAV and other virus scans just prior to changing the video card and memory modules. No viruses were found.

Also, I believe I deleted a file called 'x'. I don't remember the extension name (file type). I do not know if lack of this file could prevent booting into Win2k.

#4 Grinler

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 02:01 PM

Dont know of any valid file called X. I would try this online scanner and see if it finds anything. Norton is not the best these days in imho.

http://www.kaspersky.com/service?chapter=161739400#betatest

As for the memory I have had experience where the post count is correct, yet there was still something wrong with the memory.

#5 Rimmer

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 07:11 PM

POST is a very simple memory test and no indicator of the reliability. There is a diagnostic I use called Memtest86 which is downloadable from the web. It makes a bootable floppy that automatically starts memory testing when you power up the PC.

Can you boot to command prompt to read the boot log?

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#6 GymTeacher

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 09:00 PM

Wish I could boot to a command prompt, Rimmer. But I can't, as the system tries to reboot itself while starting to load Win2k in normal mode or in safe mode.

Some new stuff: got the ERD to get a little further, giving me the message, "ntldr is missing; press any key to restart." Well, maybe that's good news and maybe not. If the ERD can at least generate a failure due to a missing file, why doesn't it automatically replace the missing file(s)?

I've used memtest before, but I was thinking it had to be used with Windows loaded. Your suggestion is a good one. I will try to run the test as soon as I have time.

Thanks Rimmer.

#7 tg1911

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Posted 27 April 2005 - 09:50 PM

Here's a couple of links that night provide you with some information:
How to troubleshoot the "NTLDR Is Missing" error message in Windows 2000
NTLDR is Missing:
NTLDR Missing
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#8 GymTeacher

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 11:19 AM

Thanks for your suggestions. Downloaded latest version of MemTest86, then ran the tests for 26 hours. Only 1 error on test 4 reported. No big deal. Otherwise, no errors, so I conclude the new Kingston memory is good.

Now going to try to flash the bios of this Intel 845GRG board. Following that, I will make the boot CD (including the NTLDR file), or maybe just make a floppy and change the boot priority in the bios.

I need to make a visual check of the IDE cables and also of the motherboard, looking for swollen capacitors, etc. (Considering MemTest ran fine from my primary IDE CD-ROM drive, I doubt there's a problem with the cables. But I don't understand why I can't boot to a command prompt using the Win2k setup CD. I will try the setup CD in both my CD drive and my DVD drive.)

I will post my results, in case it helps someone else.

#9 GymTeacher

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Posted 30 April 2005 - 07:03 PM

Borrowed a floppy Emer Repair Disk for Win2k. Changed BIOS boot priority to 'removable device' and get 'NTLDR is missing, press any key to restart.' Now I have to track down another system that has a floppy disk reader, as this laptop does not. I have to see if NTLDR is really missing, or just not being read. I will add NTLDR if necessary.

Again, tried to reboot using the Win2k System CD after changing bios to CD-ROM. I can't believe it won't start from this CD. The reboot fails at exactly the same place every time: 15 seconds after the bars are filled on the Windows 2000 screen.

Maybe I'll try contacting Intel for advice. Can't flash the BIOS because I can't boot into Windows and I believe it is necessary to be in Windows to flash the bios. Talk about your Catch-22 !!

#10 Rimmer

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 04:57 AM

It's not necessary to be in Windows to flash the BIOS. Depending on the motherboard type it usually involves making a bootable floppy disk, which you can do on another machine, then booting from that floppy enables you to update the BIOS.

When you are viewing the BIOS, what video card are you using?

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#11 GymTeacher

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Posted 01 May 2005 - 11:14 PM

Hey Rimmer

You are right about flashing the bios without being in Windows. The Intel website for the 845GRG board talks about using the Express Flash for the Windows environment either on Floppy Disk or on CD-ROM. Since my laptop does not have a floppy drive, I was not able to make such a flash disk. So I downloaded the bios update and burned it to a CD-R, with the intention of running it at a cold startup.

Now, when I run the bios update from the CD, the computer acts exactly in the same way, with no recognition of the autostart bios update on the CD. Then it goes to the hard drive to try to boot from there. Still the same hang, and then auto reboot.

I will get the express flash on floppy disk and try to update the bios from there.

I have removed the AGP video card completely, and the video is driven from the motherboard video chip (which automatically is enable once the video card is removed). The video adapter is built into the 845 chipset.

When I try to boot from the ERD (floppy), the 'NTLDR is missing' message is still appearing. I will get the floppy into a drive and see if the file is there or is truly missing. If it is missing, I will add it to the floppy and then try to boot the computer with the revised floppy.




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