It started when I tried to download an updated version of ImgBurn from http://www.imgburn.com/. Using Firefox, the download of the file refused to complete (it would get stuck on 1 second remaining). Canceling the download was difficult because something was consuming resources, slowing the PC down drastically. So I tried different mirrors listed on the site to the same file, and the same thing happened every time. Then I tried a different browser (Internet Explorer), and the same thing happened. I was able to download other files without issue (for example, I downloaded the madFLAC DirectShow FLAC filter), but for some reason, the ImgBurn exe wouldn't complete.
During one of the attempts that resulted in severe computer slowdown, I got annoyed waiting for responses to input and I did a hard reboot using the power reset button on the PC. At this point the PC froze on the first screen which appears (the Asus motherboard's proprietary splash screen). So I powered down completely and started the PC again, and it made it past the splash screen this time but it went to the disk boot failure screen:
So I restarted and pressed F8 at the splash screen, and instead of the usual black Windows-generated screen which gives you the option of safe mode and various other options, it went to a "Boot Menu" which appears to be BIOS-generated:
I selected the "1st Master" hard drive and it booted fine, although it wanted to check my small FAT32 page file partition for consistency first.
So I figured the problem was solved, but the next time I went to reboot I was back at the disk boot failure screen. So I repeated the F8 thing, and it again brought up that BIOS-type screen, and I selected the "1st Master" hard drive and it booted fine again (and it didn't need to check any of my partitions for consistency this time).
I decided to run the recovery console, so I booted to my XP installation disc, and in there I ran FIXBOOT and FIXMBR, and it claimed to have done both of those operations successfully. I also renamed the existing copies of ntldr and NTDETECT.COM and replaced them with new copies from the i386 folder of the XP CD. This all resulted in zero change.
And here's something that's really strange: if I reboot with the XP installation disc in the drive, and I don't press any key when it prompts to press a key to boot from the CD, it will complete the boot process without issue. If I don't have that CD in the drive, I always end up at the "boot disk failure" screen, and I have to restart and do the F8 thing to get it to boot.
My boot.ini file seems to be fine:
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(1)partition(3)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Backup)" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect
The screen where I have 10 seconds to select "Microsoft Windows XP Professional" or "Microsoft Windows XP Professional (Backup)" comes up as usual once I avoid the "boot disk failure" screen by either doing the F8 thing or having the XP installation CD in the drive but not pressing a key to boot from it.
Oh, and I determined that the problem with downloading the ImgBurn exe had to do with my antivirus software; for some reason it was hanging up while trying to scan it before allowing it to complete downloading. I temporarily disabled the antivirus software and the file downloaded fine.
Edited by MaximRecoil, 27 October 2013 - 01:54 AM.