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I Need Diagnostic Help!


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#1 boweasel

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 02:23 AM

Have what had been an old dependable emachines XP Pro SP3 tower.  The other day when my son  turned it on he got what he described as gibberish hieroglypgics on the sign on screen.  He said that although he could go anywhere, everything was unreadable. 

 

By the time I got home it was in worse shape.  I did see the 'hieroglyphics' (I think it was Japanese), and I was able to see the desktop once before it rebooted on it's own.  Safe mode with networking gave me an indeterminate BSOD.  Last good configuration just rebooted, and then normal boot started giving me an error saying that Windows/System32/Config/System was either missing or corrupt.

 

When I tried a Repair Install with an XP Pro SP3 disk it found no operating system, although if I just used the disk to get to the Repair Console DOS screen I could navigate to Windows, go to my user files etc.  From the Windows folder I ran a Fixboot, then a Fixmbr.  Rebooting failed to get me beyond the Config/System error.  I then rebooted again with the CD and hit enter to attempt another Repair Install.  This time it said it couldn't detect a hard drive.

 

I took out the hard drive and hooked it up as an external drive to another XP tower, with it coming up as an E: drive.  I opened a DOS command, went to the E: drive a performed a chkdsk /r /f.  It ran for a few hours but detected nothing.  Ditto for sfc /scannow.  I then right clicked the E: drive and performed a full scan with Security Essentials.  It took about 6 hours and found no errors.   

 

What could possibly be going on here, and what can I do about it?



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#2 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 03:06 AM

Hi

 

A missing Windows/System32/Config/System is generally a good indication of failing hard drive ( 90% cases ). I would suggest verifying the health of the hard drive before proceeding to any other steps. Please use Seagate Seatool to run a full surface scan.

 

Seatool For DOS disc image - http://www.seagate.com/support/internal-hard-drives/consumer-electronics/ld25-series/seatools-dos-master/

 

How to burn ISO -  http://knowledge.seagate.com/articles/en_US/FAQ/201431en

 

Boot from the CD and run a "Long Test" to do a full surface scan.

 

seatools-2.png 

 

 

 

Please report whether the test is a FAIL or PASS.


Edited by Anshad Edavana, 27 February 2014 - 12:33 PM.


#3 MissLizz

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 11:22 AM

Do follow Anshad's instructions.  I just want to mention that Google has on occasion given me a dialog box offering to translate the page I was on into any other language.  Also, in the " settings" for Google (upper right hand corner next to star) there is a 'manage language' section in the "advanced settings" which I have not tried, but guess it's to change from English to another.   Of course, I don't know what you were getting.  Just a mention.



#4 boweasel

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Posted 27 February 2014 - 07:48 PM

Well, as far as the translation goes... as I already said, the foreign characters made their first appearance on the Windows login page.  We have multiple users on this PC, so a signon page displays with our screen names.  The screen names were in foreign letters, as well as all the options off the start menu, and all having nothing to do with the internet.

 

I ran the long Sea tools scan, and it passed.  Just as the sfc /scannow and the chldsk had done.  Since there seemed to be nothing wrong with the hard drive, and I was curious about the 'no hard drive detected' msg, I went into the BIOS, and changed the Configure SATA  (it is a SATA drive) to IDE.  Rebooting from the XP Pro CD now allowed me to perform a repair install.

 

The only problem was that this PC had originally come with Vista, and many years ago we blew that away and installed XP Pro.  It was so long ago that I'd foegotten it/  The repair install took me to the Windows Install page which ultimately wanted a product code, and of course, the sticker on the side of the tower is a Vista key.  Didn't work.   So I had to look through my graveyard, finally finding a totally disabled XP Pro.  I entered the product key, it finished installing, but when I clicked on any of the users (now displaying in Enblish), I got a message about verifying the installation and did I want to do that now.  Clicking yes does nothing but take me to an empty desktop screen - no icons, no taskbar, no key response.

 

That's where I am now.


Edited by boweasel, 27 February 2014 - 07:55 PM.


#5 boweasel

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:37 PM

I booted into safe mode, went to run, entered the SetupOobeBnk command, rebooted normally, went to all programs, clicked on Activate Windows at the top of the list, clicked that I wanted tp activate over the internet, and all is good.  Thanks for the responses.



#6 Anshad Edavana

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Posted 28 February 2014 - 12:56 PM

Hi

 

Glad to know that the system is up and running and thanks for sharing the solution  :thumbup2: .






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