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Beyond my abilities?


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#1 toyotaman

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 12:42 PM

I am having issues with a custom computer I have had for a few years. Windows XP. The wife may have had some help in this but I have no clue. Just came home to a nearly dead computer. First it would turn on and just sit there. Ususally I get a second or two of it's motherboard picture where it says to hit delete for setup and tab for bios and then loading windows. But this time not even that. The computer running but nothing on the screen. In fact the monitor acts like it is not hooked up. I hit the reset button on the front and it then started to load. I thought It might be alright but as soon as I did something I got a small box "PFN_LIST_CORRUPT". I hit ok and it restarted. Then got just into windows and it restarted again. I have looked on the net for reasons and fixes for this but am a bit confused. First of all I tried to get into safe mode, it won't, I tried to get the last working configuration, nothing. I did turn off the restart in bios, so it wouldn't keep cycling. Seems as though that never stays set to disabled. Sometimes I get the blue screen "A: disk error, hit f9 to continue" before windows loads. Here it would then go into windows and then the PFN error after trying to start, well, anything. There is no disk A and did try and disable that in it's setup. Nothing. All the while having issues as to weather it is going to load or just sit there. I can't get it to work long enough to load anything from the net or even a cd when it does get into windows. I tried to it's windows disc and it said "windows root system32 hal.dll corrupt or missing" The last thing I got was a blue screen while it was loading windows saying DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL.
I gave up after seeing that one. I did write some of the tech info numbers it gave with both errors. Not sure if that will help. I have no clue as to what any of this means but don't want to screw with something I am unsure about. I have messed with getting a virus out manually which suprisingly worked. And every small issue I come across I am searching sites like this for a fix. This problem though may be beyond my abilities. Oh yeah, I can get into setup when it wants to start. But it seems to be getting harder to get into the more I try.
I haven't loaded any new programs or hardware in quite a while other than the new internet explorer. And although It sucked It seemed to work alright. My wife has been doing those facebook applications constantly. That was where the virus came from about 6 months ago. Even though it's warranty has expired, I tried to get a hold of the guy who made this computer but he has recently closed his doors. I still have the books for everything that was put into this computer if it helps too.

And I am also wondering if I can remove the HDrive for now and put it in either a windows 98 or ME system to get info off of this drive. Just to cut copy and paste onto an external.

Please help.

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#2 Nesbit

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 02:58 PM

Hi toyotaman

If the drive is partitioned with the NTFS file system
win98 or me will not be able to see it.
You should be able to connect it to a computer running
XP, Win2000, Vista, or win7 on NTFS file system
and see it.
Why is this? NTFS can see a Fat32 file system (98 & ME)
but Fat32 cannot see a NTFS file system.

If you have an XP install CD I would try running (Check Disk)
chkdsk /r from the Recovery Console
To do this, place the cd in and start the computer.
when prompt strik a key to boot from the CD.
After files load you will see
"Repair an XP installation using the Recovery Console press R
Next choose the XP Installation you want to repair and press Enter.
Next it will ask for Admin Password, just press Enter

Now at the C:\Windows> prompt type
chkdsk /r
And press Enter. (note the space between the k and the /)

This will check the disk for bad sectors and try to repair any it finds.

#3 toyotaman

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 05:25 PM

well after about 4 tries to get it to start up to the setup screen or at least where you can choose tab or del. then it went to the cd and gave me "load from cd rom" and that was it. Black screen. Upon restart it says A: drive error, CMOS Checksum Bad, press f1 for setup, press f2 to load default values. And it is froze there.

#4 toyotaman

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 05:32 PM

Ok Finally it took the "R" and ran a setup. Loaded drivers and I am at blue screen saying Setup is starting windows and it is froze there again.

#5 Platypus

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:20 PM

Just a small point:

You should be able to connect it to a computer running XP, Win2000, Vista, or win7 on NTFS file system and see it.
Why is this? NTFS can see a Fat32 file system (98 & ME) but Fat32 cannot see a NTFS file system.

NTFS and FAT32 are file storage systems - they don't "see" anything. The ability to utilise a file system is determined by the Operating System in use. An NT-based OS like XP etc can access an NTFS volume regardless of whether the OS itself is installed on FAT32 or NTFS.
Top 5 things that never get done:

1.

#6 Platypus

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Posted 04 April 2010 - 07:32 PM

My first instinct for a cause of the symptoms you're getting is either a memory fault, or maybe some bad electrolytic capacitors.

As it seems you are content to open the system case and deal with internal components, you could try removing and re-seating the memory modules to check for a bad contact, and if, as is usual, there is more than one DIMM, you could try removing one at a time to see if a DIMM has an electrical fault. Also inspect the motherboard to see if any electrolytic capacitors show signs of being faulty, eg bulging, split, leaking.

As always, to protect against electrostatic discharge, ground yourself by touching the metal system casing while working internally, and have the mains turned off at the wall, don't plug & unplug things while the system is in standby as power is still applied to some components.
Top 5 things that never get done:

1.

#7 toyotaman

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Posted 07 April 2010 - 07:27 PM

Well now I got it to finally do a full setup. And It is better, somewhat. I can get to windows but as soon as I try anything, she shutsdown and restarts. I may take the drive out, get the info off it from another XP computer, then reinstall and try a reformat.
Tried the memory cards, swapped them, tried each one on it's own with no results. Will look at the board further when I get the next chance. Haven't had a chance to do anything yesterday or today.
Thanks for the advice.

#8 cryptodan

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 11:56 AM

Sounds like over heating.

#9 toyotaman

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 02:44 PM

Well there's 3 fans in there. And all are working ok. Don't know If I'd need another or not. Probably be this weekend before I get time to look at it again.

#10 cryptodan

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Posted 08 April 2010 - 05:33 PM

Are they dusty?

#11 toyotaman

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 08:37 AM

Yes. I tried cleaning with the spray air. Have now gotten all info off the drive that I needed through another XP computer and was going to format. Now it's back to where it will not load anything. Computer is on but absolutely nothing coming up and monitor acts like it is unhooked.

#12 cryptodan

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 12:29 PM

Can you check to make sure the video card works in another computer?




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