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Possable booting problems on an XP PC


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#1 awg1011

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 11:07 AM

When restarting my PC, I get the following message:

"Intel ® Boot Agent Version 4.1.08
(copyright date)

Intel ® Boot Agent PXE Base Code (BA1210BC)
(copyright date)

Initializing and establishing link..."

This is all normal and usually flashes past very quickly then Windows starts booting. But recently the "initializing and establishing link" stays up for 10 to 15 seconds then disapears and the following messages comes up:

"PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable

PXE-M0F: Exiting Intel boot agent"

Then Windows seems to start normally.

The PC is a 2.5 ghz Gateway (just over a year and a half old), 512 mb RAM, MS XP home edition sp2. Currently has a 80 gb Maxtor primary HD and a 60 gb Maxtor secondary HD each with 2 partitions.
A breif pc history. It originally came with a single 40 gb Western Digital HD that failed with in 2 weeks of getting the PC and was replaced under warranty (it was randomly not detected during startup and Gateway support said that they had a lot of problems with the western digital HD and sent the same drive as a replacement). 7 months later we have the same problem with the HD not being detected, that's when I bought the 2 Maxtor drives (they had a good sale at staples). Everything has been fine since then untill I started recving this message at startup.

I have ran virus scans, with my installed AVG scanner that I update daily and an online virus scan (at Trend Micro) and have checked for spyware (Ad-aware 6) and everything comes out clean. I'm also using the MS firewall.

One funny thing about the last 40gb WD HD that failed, this PC won't detect it, but I put it in to an older PC (a 450mhz Gateway) and it works fine, it's now set up as a XP and Ubuntu linux duel boot.

I just want to know what this message means, am I about to have another HD failure or could something be wrong with the BOIS or motherboard or is this nothing to worry about??

Thanks,

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#2 Enthusiast

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 11:16 AM

Have you experienced a power surge or loss of power to the computer recently?

#3 awg1011

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Posted 04 September 2005 - 12:01 PM

No the power here is fairly stable and we also use a battery back up for the PC.

#4 awg1011

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 09:14 PM

So Enthusiast, you seem to be indicating a possable power issue, got to thinking and I'm sure that I have only a 250w power supply and I do have a somewhat power hungry GeForce FX 5200 (I have disabled the onboard Intel video), and I also have added a creative sound card, a floppy, a 2nd CD drive, and a 2nd HD, and every little thing adds up. I have been running it like this now for almost a year with no problems.

Do you think my power supply could have something to do with the message I've been getting?

If so I can always remove the GeForce, the game I got the GeForce for is supposably now supported by the onboard video with the games last expansion pack.

#5 Enthusiast

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Posted 06 September 2005 - 10:50 PM

It is possible that this could result from power supply and/or heat problems.

Download Everest Home Edition, install it and run it.

Everest Home Edition (the successor of AIDA32) is a system information and benchmarking tool with full hardware & software information available as freeware for the individual user. It comes with a built-in hardware database and physical information for CPU, motherboard, hard disks, optical drives, chipset and much more.
The newest edition on the Lavalys site seems to have deleted the “software” reports which are an extremely useful part of this utility, so try the download at snapfiles. (The screenshot there shows “software” and an older version number.)

Download Everest here:
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/everest.html

The newer freeware version on Everest’s site does not seem to have “software”.

AIDA 32, The predecessor to Everest which still works well can be downloaded here:
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download181.html

Once you have the ap installed, open it.
When it opens, open the "computer" tree by clicking on the + to the left of the word "computer" in the left hand pane and click on "sensor".

What are the temps it gives you for the various devices listed and the fan speed/s of the cooling fan/s? These are shown in the right hand pane.

Actually I am thinking more along the lines of a corrupted driver though (which is why I asked about the power surge or loss of power).

It is actually curious why your system even has this Boot Agent device.

Read here about what that device and its purpose:
http://www.intel.com/support/network/adapt...e3/index_dm.htm

How Do I Turn the Boot Agent Off or Prevent It from Running?
The Intel® Boot Agent is seen by the host computer as a boot device. The BIOS will insert the Boot Agent into the list of boot devices (except for very old model computers that do not support this function). When the Boot Agent is ahead of any other bootable device in the list, it will execute and attempt to boot the machine.

To prevent the Boot Agent from executing, enter your systems BIOS configuration and find the boot device order settings. Move the boot agent further down the list, preferably after the hard drive or whatever device you prefer to boot from.

The Boot Agent will initialize during the system startup, even if it is not the first boot device. During the time the initialization screen is displayed, you can press Control-S to configure the Boot Agent's internal settings.

To prevent the Boot Agent from even initializing, you can turn it off completely. The Intel® Boot Agent can be completely turned off by using the IBAUtil.exe DOS utility found in the PROBOOT archive, using the command line IBAUTIL - FD (flashdisable).

The Boot Agent is enabled by default on desktop adapters, and disabled by default on server adapters. To enable the Boot Agent on server adapters, use the IBAUTIL utility with the command line IBAUTIL -FE to enable the flash.

When there is more than one adapter in a computer, it is a good practice to disable the Boot Agent on every adapter except on any where it is needed. Since it takes time for each adapter to initialize the Boot Agent during system startup, this will help minimize the boot time.

NOTE: The instructions above assume a plug-in PCI adapter. With network interfaces that are built into the main board, such as the Intel® PRO/1000 CT Network Connection, the Intel® PRO/100 VE Desktop Adapter and the Intel® PRO/100 VM Network Connection, the Boot Agent is embedded into the computer BIOS and must be configured through the computer BIOS. In these instances, the IBAUTIL utility will not work, and Boot Agent upgrades must be obtained from your system vendor as part of a BIOS upgrade.
http://www.intel.com/support/network/sb/cs-008018.htm

This page also lists the Intel adapters, etc, that the Boot Agent is used for.

Go to Intel's support site at:
http://support.intel.com/
and type "boot agent" in their site's search box for much more info.

Edited by Enthusiast, 06 September 2005 - 10:58 PM.


#6 awg1011

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 06:49 AM

Thanks Enthusiast, I downloaded Everest and next chance I get I will run it and see what it says. I will also look in to all the boot agent and BIOS start up order. It sounds like I don't have to worry about the pc failing to start which is a big relief.

Thanks again, I will keep you posted on my findings.
awg

#7 Enthusiast

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Posted 07 September 2005 - 07:10 AM

Everest will also tell you what the smart ratings are on your hard drive which shows their likelyhood of failure.

#8 awg1011

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Posted 08 September 2005 - 06:43 AM

Problem (or what I thought was a problem) solved! :thumbsup: Thanks Enthusiast! I changed the boot order in the BIOS, the boot agent was set as third and the HD was set as fourth boot device. The funny thing is I remember setting the HD as the third boot device when I installed the new HDs, how would the boot agent get before the HD without me doing so? BTW, the boot order is CD-ROM, Floopy, HD....

My PC has the Intel PRO/100 VE Desktop Adapter. The links to the Intel boot agent stuff was very informative, it's something I'll probably never have a use for.

Everest says the HDs are running normally.

Thanks again, :flowers:
awg




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