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momentarily saw BSOD, now PC won't boot


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#1 drewp

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Posted 03 May 2011 - 09:34 PM

I have a HP pavillion Desktop running XP SP3. It has onboard graphics but I have installed a PCI graphics card, and the monitor is attached to the graphics card. I also use the SVIDEO output from the card to drive my TV.
I was watching a TV show (sea patrol from australia) using a browser running under sanboxie, and very briefly saw the BSOD. It dissapeared so quickly I couldn't read what it was telling me. The screen went blank.

Now when I boot the PC I see the normal BIOS startup messages but just when I should see messages about windows starting the monitor tells me it lost signal. The PC doesn't respond to ctl-alt-del. If I turn of the PC by holding the front panel ower button in for 10 seconds the PC shuts down. When I hit the power button to start I hear beeping, but the monitor doesn't show any messages. If I remove the plug to the power supply, then reapply power I can get the PC to run the BIOS, but Windows doesn't run, as described at the start of this paragraph.

I removed the C:/ drive and connected to another computer using an IDE/USB adapter. Windows opened the drive without problems. The top level directory looked normal.So the drive didn't die.

Once in the past the PC decided not send the windows startup messages to the PCI card. So it is possible this is happening again and I can't see the startup complaints.

I thought SandoxIE was supposed to prevent net nastiness from getting into my PC?

Thanx,
Drew

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#2 Blade

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Posted 08 May 2011 - 09:30 PM

Hello Drew.

This is not likely malware. Could you do me a favor and try to boot the PC in Safe Mode?

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#3 drewp

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Posted 09 May 2011 - 09:08 AM

Hi Blade,

You requested that I put the PC into safe mode. I haven't been able to.

When the PC is booting (I see the BIOS messages) I hold down F8. The PC does not go into safe mode. I have also tried the same thing but repeated pressed F8, still no luck.
This is an HP that comes with a recovery partition. Hitting F10 is supposed to put the machine into recovery mode. It doesn't.

The PC does go into BIOS setup. And as an experiment I booted my the PC from the recovery CDs and ran some hardware diagnostics. It passed. I was afraid to run any hard drive diagnostics because I didn't want to corrupt the hard drive.

Once the PC has finished with the BIOS messages there is a brief flash of a one line message at the top of the monitor, then the monitor goes blank. The message is so brief that I can't read it. After this the machine does not respond to the keyboard.

NOTE: to make thing simple, I have removed the extra graphics card an set the BIOS to use the on board graphics chip. This didn't change the behavior of the PC. It still hangs the same way just at the time Windows should be starting up.

Thanks,
Drew

#4 Blade

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Posted 10 May 2011 - 10:19 PM

Hello.

Do you have another monitor that you can hook up to the computer to try?

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#5 drewp

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Posted 11 May 2011 - 09:11 AM

I do have another monitor. I guessed at what you might want another monitor for, and did some experiments.
If I didn't guess correctly, please tell me what you would like me to do.

1) monitors attached to both the onboard graphics and the PCI-E graphics outputs. BIOS configured to use PCI-E graphics card.
This is the configuration the PC was in when it "passed out".
BIOS messages appear on PCI-E monitor. "on chip" monitor never shows anything

2) monitors attached to both the onboard graphics and the PCI-E graphics outputs. BIOS configured to use on board graphics chip.
BIOS messages appear on "on chip" monitor. PCI-E monitor never shows anything

The problem and symptoms do not change with graphics card configuration. Once the BIOS messages stop (and I would expect to see Windows startup messages) the PC freezes. CTL-ALT-DEL does nothing. The CAP-LOCK light does not toggle when I depress the CAP_LOCK key.

=========================
"is the hardware OK?" experiment
===========================

I ran a PartedMagic boot memoryStick on the PCso I could check out the whole system. The PC works fine (monitor/mouse/key). I looked at the hard drive setup. It has the two partitions I expect( named HP_Pavilion and HP_Recovery). I mounted the HP_Pavilion partition and looked around. All appears normal.
The only thing that the PC does not do correctly is boot from disk.


NOTE: I have now booted the machine a lot of times and have been able to read a part of a line that flashes briefly at the top of the screen just before the PC freezes. The message is something about the Intel storage manager. I was hoping that this brief message was from the hard drive boot program and it would be an important clue. But unfortunately I think it is just another one of the BIOS messages.

Thanx,
Drew

#6 Blade

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 09:13 AM

Hi Drew,

Sorry for the delay.

Do you have a Windows disk available?

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#7 drewp

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 03:32 PM

Sorry, No I don't have a windows disks for WinXP. If it is important to have one, let me know and I can see if someone I know has one.

HP doesn't provide Windows disks with the computer. Instead they provide the recovery partition. I did make "recovery CDs" when I got the computer. I can boot from the CDS but they are not windows disks. The machine boots into HP's program that gives the option of making the hard disk look like it did when the recovery CDs were made.

Thanx,
Drew

#8 Blade

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Posted 14 May 2011 - 10:02 PM

Do the HP disks give the option of a non-destructive recovery as well, or is only a total factory reset available.

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#9 drewp

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Posted 16 May 2011 - 07:26 PM

I found a WinXP setup disk set.
Booted using disk1; hit any key to boot from CD ...; loading lots of drivers; then setup is starting windows. Instead of getting the screen which has the 3 choices (setup XP, repair existing XP, quit) I get the BSOD with the following message.
{
A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage. 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 /F to check for hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer.
Technical Information:
xxx Stop:0x0000007B (0xF78D663C, 0xC0000034, 0x0, 0x0)
}
So it appears the boot program in the MBR is toast, and some Windows files are sick? Maybe the drive is sick. I was to copy the whole disk contents to another drive using linux on a stick, and didn't get any read errors. So the FAT doesn't look like it was toasted. Of course I don't know if the files that were copied had corrupted data or not.

I ran the windows setup disk on a known good XP machine and I got to the 3 choice menu without any trouble. So I think the setup disks are OK.

Thanx, Drew

#10 Blade

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 10:42 AM

Hi Drew.

Alright, this is definitely not malware.

The easiest possible solution I can see is attempting a format and reinstall. You can backup needed files first with a linux boot disk or drive; let me know if you need help creating one. If that fails, you may need to replace the drive.

As this is not malware I would advise that you create a new topic in our Windows XP Home and Professional or Internal Hardware forum if you have further questions.

Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance.

~Blade

Edited by Blade Zephon, 18 May 2011 - 10:42 AM.

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#11 drewp

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Posted 20 May 2011 - 08:43 AM

>>>Sorry I couldn't be of more assistance.
I really appreciate that you took the time to help me work on my problem.

When looking up the "stop error" message on the web, one of the possible causes was a wrong driver. I did a quick experiment, I disconnected the hard drive and booted up using the windows setup disk. I got the same error message. Since I had generic windows setup disks, I thought perhaps it wasn't compatible with the HP hardware. Maybe not likely I was trying to be hopeful.

Next I attached the drive as a secondary on another XP machine and ran chkdsk. It passed without errors.

So the boot part of the MBR is corrupted, but I don't have irrefutable evidence that there is anything else wrong with the disk. In fact, when I use the disk as a secondary every seems fine.
Next I purchased "boot master partition recovery" and booted the computer into that utility. I reported the MBR was corrupt. But the partition tables and both FATS looked healthy. I had the utility reconstruct a healthy MBR and write it to the disk.

Rebooted the machine and XP started up. Windows reports that it recovered from a serious error. Ran a thorough "AVG free" scan and no problems were found. The screen resolution is wrong so I have to work on that.

But it appears the machine is (mostly) back. And I guess I will never know what caused both the machine to crash and the MBR to become corrupted.

You provide a great service.
Thanx so much,
Drew




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