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XP suddenly fails to start


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#1 Horlix

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 09:45 AM

Hi

This is a problem on my friend's computer, who has asked me to help as he can no longer boot up Windows XP.

Model: ES 203A / Intel Celeron D 346 (3.06ghz) / XP SP2 (or SP3 - unsure)

The computer is rarely used, but upon switching on recently the following happens:-

Screen text (words to this effect): We apologise for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully... have you changed hardware or software recently? etc.

There are options to start in Safe Mode, with networking, last working setup, or start Windows normally. I have tried each of these options all with apparently the same result.

Upon selecting to start Windows (in any mode) we next see the familiar Windows XP loading screen... but this goes off after just a few seconds (normally it stays on loading for much longer).

Next this message briefly appears: 'RGB No Input Signal'.

Then 'Boot from CD' text appears at the top.

Then a final text screen with the words 'Serial ch0 master failure, Serial ch1 master failure', before the whole failed booting process loops again.


I have managed to get into the Boot Sequence menu using f8 and checked it is set to hard drive, which it is. I have also checked the connections of the leads since 'RGB No Input Signal' on the monitor would suggest the computer is not plugged into the screen (though of course it is since we can see everything else displayed). Because I don't own or use this computer it is difficult to say if the user has changed anything on the system that might be stopping Windows loading up now. There has been no hardware changes, and there is no CD in the drive.

Could this be a virus? Suddenly failed hardware? RAM? CPU temp? I'm far from an expert but can work through any possible fixes that anyone can suggest.

Thanks in advance :)

Edited by Horlix, 12 May 2011 - 09:47 AM.


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#2 USN Vet

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 10:18 AM

Just a thought from another User. Sounds like the HD is dying. I would change the boot sequence for the CD ROM to be 1st and boot from the CD.
Feel free to ignore my comment, just another user !

#3 hamluis

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Posted 12 May 2011 - 01:20 PM

IMO...

Could be bad CMOS battery...could be BIOS...could be motherboard...could be drive, along with other items/causes I would not normally consider.

<<...this message briefly appears: 'RGB No Input Signal'. Then 'Boot from CD' text appears at the top. Then a final text screen with the words 'Serial ch0 master failure, Serial ch1 master failure', before the whole failed booting process loops again.>>

The RGB message indicates a perceived lack of a video signal from the motherboard to the monitor. The serial channel message indicates board, IMO. The boot from CD message...indicates that the boot options in the BIOS don't reflect a hard drive.

Can you boot into the BIOS...check the settings, see if the hard drive is reflected in the drives section...then check the boot options and ensure that the setting to boot to the hard drive is enabled.

My guess...strictly that...would be a failing CMOS battery, although it could be the board or something else I would not consider. I would replace the CMOS battery, set the BIOS for default settings (including boot from hard drive)...and see what happens.

System appears to be E-System 203A, http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/e-systems-203a-desktop-pc/78265938 .

Louis




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