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Continuous reboot - Win XP MCE


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#1 dodgechargerfan

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Posted 04 March 2010 - 09:03 PM

Hi,

I have a friend's PC that is ill.
It's an eMacines H5048 P4 system.

It boots up to the Windows logo and then just reboots again.
It thens stops at the boot menu where I can select the various safe mode boots etc.

None of those options affect any change in terms of rebooting.

What I do see differently when trying to boot in to safe mode, is that the last driver to load is agpCPQ.sys

Not sure yet what they have inside the case in terms of cards, RAM, etc. I'll have to check that out tomorrow.


Of course, they didn't drop off any discs with the PC, so I'm working with what I can get my hands on.

I am doing a scan right now with OTLPE and a "bubble" popped up from the system tray that says,
"C:\Documents and Settings\<USERNAME>\Start Menu\Programs is corrupt and unreadable. Please run the Chkdsk utility."
I replaced the real user's name with <USERNAME> to protect the guilty. ;)

I suspect I should go back and start with a recovery disk and run CHKDSK, but I'd like to let the OTLPE scan finish.

Thanks for any help

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#2 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 05 March 2010 - 07:50 PM

yes run chkdsk with the /r option from the xp disk boot repair console.

I am restoring one with those exact symptoms right now.

Restoring the image I made with clonzilla after chkdsk fixed it enough to do a backup.

The 3 month old WD 500g drive is toast and failed the Western digital data lifeguard quick test.
I also ran chkdsk from disk properties after I got it to boot. It found more errors each time it was run so I knew I was in a small window.

With the error on the disk when I made the clone image, I don't know if it will write back in good shape, but it is worth the chance. I also have a file level backup of all his stuff.




#3 dodgechargerfan

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 09:26 AM

I booted up with an XP Recovery Disc and got to the recovery console.

The only installation offered was D:\MiniNT

So, I suspect I'll have some work to do on boot records, too.

I changed to the C drive and tried to run a DIR and got this error

An error occurred during directory enumeration.

I WAS able to explore the drive while booted up with the OTLPE disc, but I didn't did too deep - just saw that there was a directory structure on the drive and left it at that.


So, I'm starting to see a bit of a pattern. This is the third PC in as many months that family and friends have brought to me with boot problems that end up looking like this. Two of my brothers had similar problems.

The first tried some things first and when I got it, all I could do was wipe it clean and re-install. There weren't even any files to backup even though the disc was reporting that there was something saved there.

The second I was able to back things up before starting over. I did find Antivirus+ and antivirus 2010 infection, as well as others.

Is there something new out there that is infecting PCs and trashing hard drives?

Anyway, that's another discussion. One PC at a time.

Does anyone have suggestions for next steps on this one? Ideally, I'd like to recover it rather than wiping it out. This setup is rather complex - lots of user accounts, they didn't send their OS disc along - they might not even have it anymore or at all if they didn't make their own recovery discs. I CAN launch the recovery partition, I suppose, but I'd like to see if I can get them something a little more than that.

Thanks for any assistance.


I'm going to try to run CHKDSK against the C drive anyway. I doubt it's the ultimate root cause, but it can't hurt to know if the drive is healthy

Edited by dodgechargerfan, 06 March 2010 - 09:36 AM.


#4 dodgechargerfan

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:45 AM

CHDSK completed and noted one message:
"CHKDSK Found and fixed one or more errors on the volume"

I then rebooted the PC and selected Safe mode for first attempt and got:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:
<Windows root>\system32\lah.dll
Please re-install a copy of the above file.

#5 hamluis

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 11:57 AM

Restore Hal.dll - How To Restore Hal.dll From the Windows XP CD - Hal.dll - http://pcsupport.about.com/od/fixtheproble...storehaldll.htm

Hal.dll Corrupt Or Missing - http://www.merchantcircle.com/blogs/Fowler...missing./175165

Hal.dll Missing Or Corrupt - http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/documen...product=3962105

Louis

#6 dodgechargerfan

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:36 PM

That helped move things along.
Thanks.

I'm only trying to boot in to safe mode for now so I can watch what's going on.

First attempt after replacing hal.ddl, it failed trying to load pci.sys with the same "missing or corrupt" error.

I expanded that, and it got to isapnp.sys and then failed.

I'm sensing a pattern. :D

Is there a safe, logical (easy) way to expand all of the drivers and system files from the recovery disc?

#7 dodgechargerfan

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:46 PM

next file was ntfs.sys.
So, I copied that over and rebooted.

Now it gets as far as fsbts.sys and then just reboots... no error message. nothing. Sort of like where I was at the start.

#8 hamluis

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 06:55 PM

Run a hard drive diagnostic.

For info on using recovery/restore disks...you would have to read your manual and/or visit the website of whomever made your MCE system.

Louis

#9 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 06 March 2010 - 08:55 PM

There is some infection that looks like a failing drive until you do a repair install. I have backed up files with a ubuntu cd and by doing a parallel install in a windows2 directory.

You may indeed have a bad drive, but there is not really any way to tell without nuking the existing windows install. Back up the stuff any way you can.

#10 dodgechargerfan

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 11:24 AM

That's what i was thinking was the cause.

i was hoping to avoid the repair install.
Is there one that fixes the system files without affecting applications and data files?

#11 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 11:37 AM

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documen...r.mspx?mfr=true

sfc might help. Should have an xp cd handy though.

#12 dodgechargerfan

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 12:01 PM

QUOTE(hamluis @ Mar 6 2010, 06:55 PM) View Post
Run a hard drive diagnostic.

For info on using recovery/restore disks...you would have to read your manual and/or visit the website of whomever made your MCE system.

Louis

I should have mentioned that I ran Seagate's diag tool.
Without any means to save the log, I had to take pictures.

The log said:

Partition 1 (NTFS (152.5 GB) ) Result: Failed with critical errors.

<Disclaimer note telling us to use OS diags to fix the problem.>

Partition 2 (FAT 32 (7.4 GB) ) Result: Critical error(s)
1 Critical structure error(s)
0 non-critical structure error(s)
3109829 bytes in 5795 files
348 directories were found
601244 KBytes in 136 deleted files
138 deleted directories were found

ERROR SUMMARY:
Invalid File Size 1


In another part of the log: All selected physical diagnostics passed.

Edited by dodgechargerfan, 07 March 2010 - 12:04 PM.


#13 hamluis

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 12:22 PM

Partition 1 (NTFS (152.5 GB) ) Result: Failed with critical errors.

<Disclaimer note telling us to use OS diags to fix the problem.>

Partition 2 (FAT 32 (7.4 GB) ) Result: Critical error(s)


Well...those messages say to me that the hard drive/partition file structure is caput and, possibly, creating new partitions may correct the problems, after deleting the old.

The current hard drive is unreliable as presently structured, IMO.

Louis

#14 Ken-in-West-Seattle

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 12:46 PM

You're also going to lose that fat32 recovery or diagnostic partition. Do you have your OEM recovery disk?

Emachines is now owned by gateway. They may have a recovery disk set.




#15 dodgechargerfan

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 01:11 PM

Thanks for sticking with me as I work through this.

I've asked the owner if they have the recovery disk.

I need to go back to the OTLPE disc and see if I can get a backup - as that's the only one that's shown me the actually folders and files on the drive.
The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows does not let me look at the drive and actually lists the partition as there, but <unknown>


Any guesses as to which infection caused this? Like I mentioned, this is the third similar case in the last few months for me. Knock on wood, nothing's gotten in to my own systems as I keep any outside systems off of my network until I'm confident they are clean.




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