Posted 05 June 2009 - 12:58 PM
I came home the other night to find that my computer will not boot. There had been storms that day, and power had gone out in the house at least once. The computer was plugged in through a power strip, and it was probably off. No indications of physical damage.
This is a self-built WinXP box, P4, with a SATA HD, and DVD, CD, and floppy drives.
It goes through the usual BIOS startup screen, stumbles through a slow version of the RAID-related screen that usually comes next, then tells me that an IDE scan finds nothing at Drives 0-3. Then a RAID configuration screen that I don't think usually appears, and then I get the screen that says there's been an error and asks if I want to load Windows in Safe Mode, Safe Mode with Networking, Safe Mode with Whipped Cream, Last Known Good Configuration, or Start Windows Normally. Starting Windows normally or last-known-good gets me as far as the WinXP logo for a moment, but then it restarts. The safe mode options churn out a screen or two of text but then restart. No error message.
HD light on the front comes for a moment at the beginning, blinks again at the Safe Mode screen, then flashes as the computer tries to load Windows.
Based on the above, am I right to think that it doesn't sound like the HD has failed physically? Should I try to boot from CD and see what can be read? But what does it mean that an IDE scan did not find any drives -- will it even see my CD drive?
Should I just reinstall Windows? That can be done without formatting the disk and wiping all data, right? My Windows disk is SP1, I think; is that going to interfere with a repair installation, given that the version on the HD is current?
I may be able to scare up an empty hard drive; should I just install Win XP on this one, boot with it, and then see if I can see anything on the troubled HD?
Any advice would be welcome.