Jump to content


 


Register a free account to unlock additional features at BleepingComputer.com
Welcome to BleepingComputer, a free community where people like yourself come together to discuss and learn how to use their computers. Using the site is easy and fun. As a guest, you can browse and view the various discussions in the forums, but can not create a new topic or reply to an existing one unless you are logged in. Other benefits of registering an account are subscribing to topics and forums, creating a blog, and having no ads shown anywhere on the site.


Click here to Register a free account now! or read our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Photo

Windows Won't Boot


  • Please log in to reply
10 replies to this topic

#1 infidel

infidel

  • Members
  • 19 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 29 June 2005 - 03:25 PM

Running windows XP 2000, Athlon processor, ASUS mboard

I just reinstalled Windows. I was running Windows XP 5.1 build 2600. I had a problem with booting; the start page would come up to the point of "Detecting Primary Master," then the screen would go blank except for a message, "Press a key to reboot" with a blinking cursor. When I pressed a key, the same cycle occured over again and so on. A couple of times, I was able to get into safe mode and scan the C drive with CHKDSK, and then the computer would boot, but eventually after a day or two the same problem would occur. Then, the last time I scanned the C drive, CHKDSK repaired an index problem and froze on the next step. After rebooting, I got a message saying that the primary drive had failed or something to that effect.

So, I reinstalled windows. (I have a custom built computer for running only a music application and a few ancillary apps. It came with a restore kit that sets it back to factory specs by wiping the C drive and restoring the original configuration, so it's actually a bit more than just reinstalling).

Windows booted right up, no problems, the first four or five times; then I ran into the same "Press a key to reboot" problem. Any suggestions what might be causing this? Could it be a hardware problem with the C drive?

Thanks,
Infidel

BC AdBot (Login to Remove)

 


#2 TEB

TEB

  • Banned
  • 449 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 29 June 2005 - 04:13 PM

Looks like your harddrive is crashing..best be getting a new one.

#3 Leurgy

Leurgy

    Voted most likely


  • Members
  • 3,831 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 29 June 2005 - 04:23 PM

What brand of hard drive is this? You'll get the definitive answer if you download the manufacturers diagnostic utility to check it for errors.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#4 infidel

infidel
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 19 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 29 June 2005 - 06:53 PM

Hmm...now It's booting again and the CHKDSK comes up clean for the boot drive. Is there a way I can tell what brand the drive is from within Windows or do I have to open the PC up (It's in a rack, a bit of a hassle is all) and look on the disk casing? Also, how do I know if my drives are series or parallel, in the event that I have to replace the boot drive; or does that even matter.



Thanks,
Infidel

#5 Leurgy

Leurgy

    Voted most likely


  • Members
  • 3,831 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 29 June 2005 - 07:09 PM

EVEREST Home Edition will tell you everthing you need to know about your computer.

Also, how do I know if my drives are series or parallel, in the event that I have to replace the boot drive


Drives are installed on channels, normally IDE 1 and maybe IDE 2. IDE 2 will have your optical (CD type) drives. Also, you may have drive letters based on partitions rather than physical drives.

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool


#6 Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Members
  • 5,898 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Florida, USA
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 29 June 2005 - 09:43 PM

After you get Everest installed look at the section referencing your hard drive. See if it is showing any failures or if the SMART function is predicting an imminent failure.

#7 infidel

infidel
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 19 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 29 June 2005 - 11:35 PM

Thanks, what a great utility. Everest doesn’t report any problems with the drives and all the SMART specs were ok. The only discrepancy I could find is that in Windows, when I right click the drive and select properties, it only shows one 8 Gb partition. According to Everest, the drive is 20 gigs separated into 8 gig and 12 gig partitions. The drive is an IBM Deskstar Ultra ATA, I guess I’ll check their site for a diagnostic utility as suggested.

I didn’t see any other red flags in the report. However, what seems to be happening is that if I leave the unit off for a few hours, it will boot, then if I reboot, it fails again. This last reboot, I got the message again “primary drive failure.” After that, I hit the reboot swittch again and it went back into the "Press a key to reboot" cycle.

Though the system was showing some signs of instability (crashing more than usual) for the last few weeks, this particular problem has only occured since I installed a Q-Stor Firewire PCI Card and Seagate external FW drive, don’t know if it’s possible that there might be some issue with that.  I’m also having trouble with the firewire...the CHKDSK utility freezes when I scan it, and there is a “corrupt file or directory” on the drive. Seagate says it’s most likely a physical problem with the drive and they’ll exchange it, but I still have the boot problem even with the 1394 drive turned off.

#8 infidel

infidel
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 19 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 30 June 2005 - 01:40 PM

I've checked the boot drive with Hitachi's DFT utility, which boots from a floppy and checks the entire drive in depth, and it came up clean. Everest comes up clean in all respects, as does DSKCHK. Is there any other possible explanation for this repeated "Press a key to reboot" message, the two "Primary drive failed" instances, and the fact that if I turn the unit off for a few hours, it boots up normally?

Thanks, Infidel

#9 Enthusiast

Enthusiast

  • Members
  • 5,898 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Location:Florida, USA
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 30 June 2005 - 07:59 PM

What does Everest show for your heat readings?

Open your device manager and look at the disc drive. Is it showing normal?

Edited by Enthusiast, 30 June 2005 - 08:02 PM.


#10 infidel

infidel
  • Topic Starter

  • Members
  • 19 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 30 June 2005 - 09:21 PM

I think I've found the problem with the boot issue...I changed the IDE ribbon cable at the suggestion of Hitachi TS. Duh! Seems to have solved the problem, and it would explain why the drive was checking out okay.

Thanks for all your suggestions, this site has a big help, particularly since the scalawags who built my PC went out of business and left me with no tech suppt.

Infidel.

#11 Leurgy

Leurgy

    Voted most likely


  • Members
  • 3,831 posts
  • OFFLINE
  •  
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Collingwood, Ontario, Canada
  • Local time:05:48 PM

Posted 01 July 2005 - 01:27 AM

Thanks for posting back with the solution infidel.

particularly since the scalawags who built my PC went out of business and left me with no tech suppt.


Lots of scaliwags around here to help you out with your problems. :thumbsup:

When the only tool you own is a hammer, every problem begins to resemble a nail. Abraham Maslo

**** We use our powers for good, not evil ****

 Trying to remove your data from the web is like trying to remove pee from a swimming pool





0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users