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Constant Boot problems in XP


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9 replies to this topic

#1 ~Kal~

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 06:44 AM

Hi there

For a while now, we've been having boot problems with our computer. I've run tdsskiller and an avast boot scan, plus other scans, and I don't think we're infected, so now I'm thinking it's hardware related or perhaps some issues with the operating system.

It's taking between 3-8 attempts to get past the initial start up screen - we're not getting as far as the windows splash screen. We only seem to be able to boot from network (can't get into safe mode), and that takes several attempts to get going. There seem to be no error messages that we're getting but there are 4 numbers at the bottom right of the screen (0075) - until this switches to 0078 we just stay where we are or get a completely blank screen.

Around the same time as this started happening, the computer stopped registering our 2nd slave hard drive so I figured that the boot problems were caused by this. We also had a thermal warning notice. We took the computer apart and cleaned dust from the inside and the fans etc. I have also disconnected the slave hdd. The fan had come loose so we've reattached that. We thought that had fixed the problem, as the computer booted perfectly for the first time in ages, but the next day we were right back to where we were, if not worse as it's taking more attempts to boot.

Once we're in, the computer runs perfectly fine after a slight lag at opening programmes.

We're running xp pro sp3, and we don't have any windows disks. This might sound strange, but I don't know what make the computer is (it was an ex-business computer sold to us by the firm's IT dept, hence the XP pro) and there's no indication on the casing what the make or model is. It's an intel D865GLC if that helps.

I've run chkdsk and it reports a bad sector with 4kb of data in it, but haven't run a fix as we don't have the disks and I'm worried that I might mess things up without it.

It's a pretty oldish computer and has had a lot of use, so I'm thinking it might be time to trade it in. All our data is backed up. But I'd rather see if it can be saved before assigning it to the bin, as I'd like to use this as a dedicated box for my malware training.

Any advice gratefully received!

Kal
Kal
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#2 hamluis

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 07:37 AM

Seems to be BIOS detection error...are there any external drives attached during attempted boot?

My guess/hope (strictly that) would be a CMOS battery that is weakening.

One of the classic (IMO) symtoms of such causes the system to revert to default CMOS values, which mandate a network boot...rather than booting from the hard drive as it did previously.

I would replace the battery, set the BIOS settings to default and then set the boot order to hard drive first...save the settings via F10...and see if there is any improvement.

Louis

#3 ~Kal~

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 09:04 AM

Hi Louis

Thanks for your very helpful reply!

There are no external drives set up at boot, and if it's the cmos battery then that's great - I actually know where that is. I did start to wonder that myself on reading an earlier post on here, but I haven't been getting any strange things like time/date issues etc so I figured not.

Happy to give it a go though.

Thanks again

Kal
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#4 hamluis

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 09:08 AM

Let us know...

Louis

#5 kbit

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Posted 17 November 2011 - 10:34 PM

"I've run chkdsk and it reports a bad sector with 4kb of data in it, but haven't run a fix as we don't have the disks and I'm worried that I might mess things up without it."

I would say this is the source of your problems. run chkdsk , check both boxes , click ok , reboot when told and let scan run. bad sectors on your harddrive can lead to data loss and if the bad sector has data for booting then well?????????????????? fix as soon as possible.

P.S. don`t worry if scan takes a long time or if your computer makes weird buzzing noises as that is normal.

Edited by kbit, 17 November 2011 - 10:46 PM.


#6 AustrAlien

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 01:48 AM

I caution you against following the above advice to run chkdsk /r at this time. You have done the prudent thing and not done so yet, which is good. Running chkdsk /r (or other chkdsk switches) on a hard drive that is failing, does present the substantial risk of corrupting data that may otherwise be saved/recovered.

Read under chkdsk /R (part-way down the articls) for cautions against running chkdsk:
Welcome to DjLizard's data recovery guide

There are other ways to approach the issue of a failing hard drive with a view to saving the XP installation to a new hard drive for continued use, and I suggest that you have a look at the following topic which resulted in a very positive outcome from a similar situation:
Replacing hard drive Split Topic From Original Post

From what you have provided so far, I can't form an opinion on whether or not your boot problem is related to the issue of a possibly failing hard drive: It could well be. However, it could also be due to one of several other things ... such as a failing motherboard.
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#7 ~Kal~

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 04:50 AM

He'll everyone

Thanks everyone for your replies. AustrAlien I will read through the links you have provided, ESP the one on cloning a hard drive

Sad to say it isn't the CMOS battery, we thought that had done the trick but we're back to where we were if not worse - took 10 attempts to boot this morning

So it's either the hard drive or the motherboard? Is there any way to tell for sure? The hard drive replacement may be doable but if it's the motherboard then does that mean we're looking at a new pc? (given that we don't have the xp disc)

Thanks again for your help

Kal
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#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 05:20 AM

Sad to say it isn't the CMOS battery

Even Louis would agree I think, that it was unlikely to have been the solution to your booting problem. Your reasoning when you wrote "if it's the cmos battery ...... but I haven't been getting any strange things like time/date issues etc so I figured not." was quite valid.

As far as ruling out a problem with the motherboard, about all we can do is to google "Intel D865GLC" to see whether or not there is any trend in issues common to this particular board, and then closely examine the motherboard under a good light to see if you can spot any possible signs of a problem ... and the most common one that you might see is one or more bulged or leaking capacitors.

If the mobo looks good, then I think that I would be happy to assume for the time being that the booting problem is due to a failing hard drive and proceed to clone it to a new hard drive without further ado. The less you use that hard drive from now on, the better the chances of success.

The power supply (PSU) could also be responsible for the booting problem, but there's not much you can conveniently do to test that, except "borrow" a good working PSU from another computer temporarily to test in the problematic computer. It may be worth your while (for your own peace of mind) to check out the voltages reported on your system when you have Windows running. There are various software programs available that can do that for you.
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#9 abauw

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 07:14 AM

Around the same time as this started happening, the computer stopped registering our 2nd slave hard drive so I figured that the boot problems were caused by this.

Do you have another Computer? If yes could you plugged that Hardrive on another Computer and check does it detected properly or it still have problem in detected/reading.
If no problem occurs in another Computer that's means your problem is between in PSU (Power Cable) or Mainboard (Hardware or BIOS).

From my experience. On Old / Cheap PSU there was a big chance that Power Cable not give enough power or the Power Cable plugged not right and make your Hardrive loose it power to operate so it not detected properly.

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#10 ~Kal~

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Posted 18 November 2011 - 01:22 PM

Hi everyone

Thanks for all your advice with this. I've weighed it all up and we've decided to go for a new computer - this one's pretty old & has seen some heavy use, so it's a good opportunity to upgrade (which I've wanted to do for a while tbh). Found a reasonably priced one online so I've gone for that. Cloning the hard drive seemed a bit complicated but once we've got the new one running, I think I'll experiment with this one as it'll be good experience without worrying whether I mess it up too much.

Thanks again for the advice

Kal
Kal
Please bear in mind I'm in the UK so our timezones may not always sync.
If I'm helping you and haven't replied within 24 hrs please send me a pm




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