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Desperate For XP Boot Help


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Feonix

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 10:23 PM

Hi there, I would greatly appreciate any help that I can get with this issue. I am a music producer and have many, many files (by the gigs) pertaining to my work. I was working with FlashGet, Firefox and iTunes during my downtime when I decided to turn on my synthesizer which is hooked up to my computer via USB. I have a history of my computer crashing when my synthesizer boots up. I suspect this is because when my synth is on the computer uses it's soundcard (this is fine by me because it is very powerful). I assume the crash occurs because the computer is in the middle of a tug-of-war battle between my synth's and another soundcard I use when my synth is turned off -- my M-Audio soundcard (also a hardware soundcard).

Nevertheless, while I was listening to music and downloading off the web, I turned off my synth and sure enough, my computer rebooted. When this happened, it put my desktop in an endless boot. I cannot access Safe Mode, Last Known Good Configuration, or anything else. My HP Pavilion is fairly new and has a recovery system built in to the actual computer so that I don't need a CD. But that won't boot because I get the Windows Stop Error (blue screen) and an endless boot loop entails. I also unplugged everything connected to the computer except for the mouse and keyboard, but nothing changed. 

So I got a Windows XP Professional CD in hopes of recovering files. I started CHKDSK but CHKDSK seems to be stuck at 25% for a few hours now. I have no clue what to do. I am absolutely crushed as I have so much info on this system. While I have backed-up many important files, re-installing everything is currently not an option as I must finish an audio project very soon. Please, if you can offer any help, I would forever be indebted to you. Thank you in advance.

Edited by Feonix, 21 November 2009 - 10:27 PM.


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#2 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 21 November 2009 - 10:55 PM

remove both soundcards and see if you can boot. If so backup anything you may want since there is a chance chkdsk really is finding problems with your drive.

If you can boot to repair console to run chkdsk it may seem your hardware is ok, but HP and Dell have had issues with some professional level soundcards that require firmware updates to fix. I have only seen this on older machines and Turtle beach soundcards but it exibited similar boot loops until the card was removed.

Also:
Are you hitting f-10 at the hp splash screen? Sometimes it take several tries to get the recovery partition to boot. It is possible you are going past it and seeing your original boot loop.

Edited by Ken-in-West-Seattle, 21 November 2009 - 11:00 PM.


#3 Feonix

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 10:22 AM

Hey, thanks for responding to my post. I tried your suggestion; I even physically took out the soundcard from it's PCI slot, but to no success. I noticed something new, however: now when I boot up Windows, I get a black screen with letters that read: "Invalid boot.ini when loading from C:\Windows\" in addition to the blue screen and the endless boot loop.

So I then tried to use the recovery console off a Windows XP CD. Upon the command prompt, I typed "fixboot," and the computer began scanning the C: drive for all possible boot (devices/files?). But the scan was interrupted by a message that read: "The scan was not complete because the system is out of memory." How is this so when I have 3GB of RAM installed? Is it possible that this is occuring because I popped out the RAM chips too and put them back in place when I took out my soundcard from it's PCI slot? If so, how can I check if the computer is reading my RAM from the BIOS screen?

I feel I am getting close, thank you for helping me.

#4 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 01:38 PM

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/253912

Maybe not. If this looks like a possibility, you might want to try booting with just one stick or ram and rotate through them as singles and pairs if the message continues.


Do you know anyone who uses linux ? Try booting with a ubuntu live cd and see if you can backup anything you need to a network drive or a usb drive. If all your hardware works and the memtest available on the first splash screen finds no errors, you should be able to determine that the problem is software rather then hardware.
https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BurningIsoHowto

If you need help getting software or files off this drive, let me know. The following suggestions might make that more difficult later.


To rebuild the boot.ini file you might be able to glean info from this kb entry.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/330184

And yes, remove every card and external device except video and keyboard and drives needed to boot. If you can get into the bios settings, make a note of any special settings you may have set for pci soundcards (irq or memory address) and look for "setup defaults"


Did you try getting into the "HP recovery partition" with f-10 at the hp splash screen? (it will let you cancel ) just to make sure the partition is still there? Most newer HP's will allow you to create one set of recovery dvd's or cd's from that partition. A damaged MBR or partition can make it unreadable.

#5 Feonix

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 03:04 PM

Once again I appreciate your dedication, you're offering me much needed help, so thank you.

I tried tapping F10 but I couldn't get into the recovery mode. Luckily, I had made HP Recovery DVD's, but unfortunately could not access them either. I checked into BIOS and found that it does in fact recognize my 3 sticks of 1GB RAM. I haven't attempted removing two RAM sticks yet but will consider it.

In the meantime, I have created 3 new discs using a friend's computer:

1. UBCD4Win disc, which I here is one of the best boot tools
2. Kaspersky Rescue CD with Anti-Virus
3. BitDefender Pro Rescue CD, as an alternative resort.

I haven't tried the 1st disc yet as I am scanning my computer for viruses and malware using Kaspersky's solution. From what I can tell, the scan seems to be going fine and all files seem to be there (I can see it in the details window). I'm hoping to finish this long, extrenuous but necessary scan and proceed to boot with UBCD4Win. Wish me luck, please post any other ideas you might have whenever you have time. I'll keep you posted!

#6 Feonix

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 06:17 PM

Fixed! My desktop is up and running again!

Looks like the Kaspersky Rescue CD did it! Apparently a simple scan of the Windows folder and Local Settings folder found about 70 instances of malware/Trojans! After deleting them all, my PC was able to boot up again just fine. Thanks for the help!

#7 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 22 November 2009 - 09:17 PM

Good job.

But you still need to make sure your backup strategy is in order and you may not have cleaned up every trojan.

BTW I ran the bitdefender scan from CD (2009 ver) last week on an infested system and it found nothing. Malware bytes found 3 serious rootkits and 935 malewares and tracking cookies. I confirmed the rootkits with combofix before doing a full nuke and reload. It was a "bosses wife" scenario so I had kept a recent image of machine on my fileserver. I also had her change her bank account info.




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