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WIN XP-Media Center Edition05 - boot issue, no safe mode, no recovery cd


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#1 Rachel_01

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Posted 09 November 2010 - 10:04 PM

Hello all-

Very nice forum here, btw. Learning quite a bit. I've been reading for the past few days trying to resolve my system issues myself - I think it's time to post.

Problem
on Boot -- computer completes Post, brings up windows XP Media Center Edition Splash, then goes blank. (yes, I've read the sticky post on boot issues... video card/drivers is my next check, but I don't know how -- plz read on why.)

Specs:
Dell E520
Windows Xp, MCE05U (Media Center Edition 2005)
Processor, 6300, 1.86, 2M, Core Duo-conroe, Burn 2
Dual In-Line Memory Module, 1G 533M, 128X64, 8, 240, 2RX8
Hard Drive, 320GB, S2, 7.2K, 16M Unleaded, Seagate
Dvd+/-rw, 16, Toshiba Samsung Storage Technology Serial Ata
Graphics, 7300, Low Encryption, MRMGA10
No PS/2 PCI for mouse or keyboard -- only USB
System is in warranty for 20 more days as of post - I am helping out a friend - it is not my computer.

Detailed Description of problem and current attempts to troubleshoot
User says no new software was loaded on machine prior, says problem never occurred before. Does run windows automatic updates in the background) I asked him to boot to safe mode and run virus scan. He did, no viruses reported.
I now have the machine.
Attempted to boot in safe mode without networking, get the safe mode 4 corners on black screen, then log in page. Neither mouse nor Keyboard function (though both are clearly getting power - light indicator on keyboard - laser on optical mouse illuminates.)
Reboot and checked BIOS settings -- no "legacy" setting for USB, but there are USB settings and they are all set to "on"
I've read many places that windows Safe Mode doesn't support USB -- so I'm not sure how owner was able to run safe mode the first time.

Attempt all the other safe mode options:
-Safe mode w/ networking: blank screen
-Safe mode to command prompt: blank screen
-Last known configuration: blank screen
-Normal: splash then blank screen.

User was not supplied WIN XP MCE05 disk -- so no recovery option -- searched the net and can't seem to find any win XP MCE specific recovery tools.
Checked dell OEM Manual on line - found out how to do a factory restore from boot (off the partition)... want to save that option for close to last. (and if hardware ruled out -- will want to attempt to recover any data first - move drive to another PC as slave if needed)

Tried booting from a spare (legal, unused) XP-pro disk to bring up recover. Disk booted, started, after attempting to go to recover- got an error about incompatibility - not able to go any further w/ cd.

Attempted the same from a spare (legal, unused) Xp-home disk. same issue as above.

Attempted to use an old ERD disk to boot. An error came up that it was incompatible. (it was ERD 2003, doh, to me.) (I love ERD by the way.)

Started playing with the diagnostics built in - F8 during boot brought up an additional "debugging mode" option. Came up: volume clean - done checking.

Under boot options (you don't control the boot sequence in the Bios/set-up directly, you press F12) there was "boot to utility partition" This opened another set of hardware utility diagnostics -- ran them all, all came out good (test memory, test system, test hard drive ...) keyboard and mouse run fine here.

Dell manual also has 4 indicator lights on the front for diagnostics, at the place where the boot fails, all are off, not an indication of a problem, but not the ideal state.

Downloaded Ultimate Boot CD -- Able to boot the machine on that. Keyboard and mouse work fine here.
(Yeah!!!!) except -- it's a little overwhelming the amount of diagnostic tools. Completed an extended memory test - came out fine. Still a little overwhelmed with all the tools - going slow with that. I don't want to run something if I don't know what it's supposed to do.

Downloaded SeaTools from Seagate to test the hard drive (I did test HD under the boot utility, but thought I'd try this too.) Quick test completed, no errors. Long test is just wrapping up - maybe 10 more minutes. edit - just completed - all ok.

My current questions:
Do I have any options for getting the OS into recovery mode short of calling the manufacture and asking them to mail the OS disk??
Can someone point me in some direction for HOW to test the video / video drivers w/o safe mode nor recovery mode? Is there a way to remove the drivers working from another boot?
How about running something like chkdisk /f? (I understand it's MS prod and not floating out there -- is there something open source that will fit this bill?)
I might have a spare PS/2 pci card in an old pc... is it worth it to install it in this machine to see if mouse and keyboard would work in win XP MCE05 safe mode? Any other suggestions on how to get safe mode to see the USB keyboard mouse?
other thoughts / suggestions?

Sorry for being long winded -- I'm hoping more is better than less.
Thank you,
Rachel

Edit - found a set of vido card tests in the "boot to utility partition that had not been run, it's running now - it seems to be hung up on one test... but I'm not sure, I'm going to let it do it's thing over night and check it in the morning. If it is hung up still in the morning I will try re-running it when I go to work. The next question is, if it does just hang... what does this likely mean? a bad video card? or just a driver issue? (I'm guessing card, but don't know for sure.)
thank you again! -Rachel

Edited by Rachel_01, 09 November 2010 - 10:41 PM.


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#2 AustrAlien

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 07:05 AM

:welcome: :welcome: to the BC forums.

WOW!!! Excellent work and an exceptionally brilliant post. I like it!

Let's try this for starters:

Since there is no problem with the hard drive ...

Start the Recovery Console using a Windows XP CD (doesn't matter - Pro or Home)
Do the following ...
1. Insert the CD in the computer's optical disk drive tray.

2. Start or re-start the computer so that it boots from the CD. You may be prompted to "Press any key". (If the system does not appear to be booting from the CD, you may need to enter the BIOS Setup Menu and change the boot order, so that the CD-ROM/optical disk drive is set to boot before the hard disk drive.)

3. When the Welcome to Setup screen appears, press the R key on your keyboard to start the Recovery Console.

4. The Recovery Console will ask which Windows installation you would like to log on to. If you have multiple Windows installations, it will list each one, and you would enter the number associated with the installation you would like to work on and press the <ENTER> key. If you have just one Windows installation, type 1 and press <ENTER>.

5. You will be prompted for the Administrator's password. If there is no password, (and this is most likely), simply press <ENTER>.

6. You will be presented with a C:\Windows> prompt. <<< Let us know if you do not see this.
At the C:\Windows> prompt, type chkdsk /p and press <ENTER> (There is a space between chkdsk and the slash.)

If any errors are found/repairs made, run chkdsk /p again, and repeat if necessary, until no more errors are found.
(Please, no more than 4 times.)

Type exit at the prompt and press <ENTER> to close the Recovery Console and restart your system.


Does Windows start normally now?
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#3 Rachel_01

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 02:44 PM

Hi AustrAlien,

Thank you so much for your reply!!

The video card diagnostic did hang last night (tested from the F12 "boot to utility partition" diagnostics.) I ran it again before work this morning, and saw when I was leaving that it was hanging in the same spot... so I am thinking it is very likely related to the video card &/or drivers.

Recovery Console note: I had tried steps 1-3, that you list below, on both my xp cds previously and got a incompatability errors. I don't recall the exact error, so I will try again tonight, after work, and write down the exact errror. (I recall that it was fairly lengthly, but no error codes.)

Will post more tonight.

Thank you again!!!
Rachel

#4 Rachel_01

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 08:33 PM

Hi

I tried booting from both my XP Pro and my XP home, Below are the results. (User changed no hardware prior to this happening, he installed no software, either. -- and on a side note, I also have not ruled out a virus)

Boot from the XP Pro cd -- this time it did not get to the section where I can hit R.
Starting windows in the upper left corner, then the blue screen of death with the following:

A Problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer.

If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

Check for viruses on your computer. Remove any newly installed hard drives or hard drive controllers. Check your hard drive to make sure it is properly configured and terminated.
Run CHKDSK to check for hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer.

Technical information:

*** STOP: 0x0000007B (0xF78D63C, 0XC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)


Microsoft has a listing of things to do for the 0X0000007B at this page: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/324103
Some interesting suggestions: (excerpts only)

The boot volume is corrupted and cannot be initiated by Windows XP. If the file system is corrupted and if Windows XP cannot initiate the boot volume during the startup process, either move the drive to another computer that is running Windows XP and run the chkdsk command on that drive or try to create a parallel installation of Windows XP on the drive (in a separate folder). The Windows XP Setup program checks the integrity of the volume before it copies files, and it may fix some problems in the process.


Boot for XP-Home cd:Does not start boot process. Instead get the following error message:

We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this
etc etc ect
I then get the options for safe mode start up.

I tried safe mode, yet again, and the mouse and keyboard are unresponsive.

----------
I'm back to The Ultimate Boot CD, using the Avira AntiVir Rescue CD -- to see if it finds anything. It will likely be running for a little while.

I'll attempt booting from both the XP cds again after the virus scan to see if I get the same results. (If I get anything different, I'll post it.)

I guess my next step will be to pull the HD, and place in another machine as slave... and run chkdsk from there - as well as pull any data.

Any additional suggestions before I crack open two cases?

Thank you!!
Rachel

#5 cryptodan

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 09:59 PM

I would download Ubuntu LiveCD and boot from it to see if the machines in question are in fact boot able. This would also allow you to test the video card, ram, and other hardware.

#6 Rachel_01

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:17 PM

SO it looks like we've got a little malware: trymedia.gen digstream and a little Trojan: TR/Crypt.XPACK.Gen Trojan

It's possible the Trojan in it's registry playing has done this deed. The malware is maybe generated from the Trojan.

I've been googling both. AVIRA (anti virus tool on the Ultimate Boot CD) wont remove either -- actually doesn't list any suspect files, these just came up in the warnings.

I'm not so sure I want to slave this HD into a nice clean machine.

I just tried both of my XP cds again to see if I could get to recovery -- I got the same thing as before, xp pro=blue screen of death, xp-home drops me to the MS apology - have a safe mode, any safe mode.

I started nosing around in security section of this forum and believe I should post there with a link to this thread.
Thank you!!
Rachel

edit -- just saw the post above me -- will look into that too. thank you. In looking in the security section, I found another thread that is a malware no boot issue... tis' why I think I should move.

Thanks all, I really do appreciate the help!!

Edited by Rachel_01, 10 November 2010 - 10:23 PM.


#7 AustrAlien

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:29 PM

*** STOP: 0x0000007B

Good. Yes! That is good.

Enter the BIOS Setup Menu and change the mode in which the hard drive works from SATA to auto Raid / ATA (or IDE) compatible.
Exit saving the changes and allowing the system to boot from the XP CD. It should now work as described above.
(You have a SATA HDD but the XP CD does not have the drivers for SATA: Hence the 7B Stop error.)

The idea of testing the graphics using a Live CD is a good one. Use one of the many varieties of Linux (Mint is another good one to have).

Edited by AustrAlien, 10 November 2010 - 10:52 PM.

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#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 10:37 PM

In looking in the security section, I found another thread that is a malware no boot issue... tis' why I think I should move.

For the moment, let's just try get a chkdsk /p to run and complete and test the video with Linux. We will let you know if you need to change forums.
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#9 Rachel_01

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:08 PM

opps -- I did already post there. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic359780.html I edited and in red at the top stated to please hold on helping that you folks have asked me to try a few more thing. If you can delete the post there -- I'm cool with that.

working on the items you both mentioned -- yes I recall that this machine has RAID - I honestly don't know what that is. moving to the bios now.

I'll be back in a few.

thank you for your help!!!

#10 Rachel_01

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:15 PM


*** STOP: 0x0000007B

Enter the BIOS Setup Menu and change the mode in which the hard drive works from SATA to auto Raid / ATA (or IDE) compatible.
Exit saving the changes and allowing the system to boot from the XP CD. It should now work as described above.
(You have a SATA HDD but the XP CD does not have the drivers for SATA: Hence the 7B Stop error.)


I'm in the BIOS SATA Operation -- it is currently set to "RAID On" = SATA is configured for RAID on every boot.
The other option is "RAID Autodetect / ATA" = RAID if signed drives, otherwise ATA.

so shouldn't that mean I already have RAID on?
I'll try switching them and running the xp cd again.

:-) thank you for your help!!

Rachel

#11 AustrAlien

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:18 PM

Hard Drive, 320GB, S2, 7.2K, 16M Unleaded, Seagate

The motherboard may have RAID capability, but since you listed only one hard drive, I am assuming that RAID is not being utilised. You should continue with my instructions.

The other option is "RAID Autodetect / ATA" = RAID if signed drives, otherwise ATA.

Yes, this is the option you need to change to. Don't forget to save and exit.
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#12 Rachel_01

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:27 PM

WHOOT -- recovery loaded. running chkdsk /p now. It's going slow. Will post soonish.
thank you again!!!

#13 AustrAlien

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:33 PM

WHOOT -- recovery loaded. running chkdsk /p now. It's going slow. Will post soonish.
thank you again!!!

Good!

Allow it to finish. Do not interrupt or stop it. Repeat chkdsk /p if necessary.

Attempt to start Windows normally. What happens?
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#14 Rachel_01

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:44 PM

ran once with one or more errors. ran second time without errors.

On boot, get the option for safe mode, selected start normally.

get a dell blue bar at top then a blue screen of death w/ a 0X0000007B (0xBA4C3524, 0xc0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

should I change back the RAID setting in the BIOS and try the boot again?

#15 Rachel_01

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 11:51 PM

gotta head to bed - will check back tomorrow. thank you again for your help!




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