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Computer Will Not Boot


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#1 adamussg

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 02:47 PM

My roommate has a piece of crap gateway and i'm trying to help him get it going again. It ran fine for months and the other day it restarted for no reason. It has not been able to reboot since. He has a 1.2 g proccessor and he runs xp. When you turn the computer on, a screen appears that says new harware may have been installed. It also says computer may have experienced a power failure, what do you want to do? It give three options for entering safe mode, and an option for using the last available setting that worked. No Matter what option I choose, the computer will begin to reboot and the black windows screen appears. It lasts for about 10 to 15 seconds, and then it restarts, and reverts back to the same error screen. I pulled the side off, cleaned all fans, tried reseating ram, and have no clue what to do. He does not have a os disc as he bought this system used and i do not have one either. Is it possible the hard drive went bad? How do I test? I have tried to entewr bios but only get options of where to boot from ie: hard drive,cdrom drive, etc. Can someone please help. I've never experienced this before. Not sure what to do. thanks adam

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#2 pascor22234

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 04:34 PM

Try the easiest 'fix' first. It sounds like the BIOS CMOS battery may have run down. Its probably an inexpensive CR2032, but remove and check to be sure. Another can be bought for a few dollars al Walmart or Radio Shack.

Next, go into the BIOS and set the boot device order to CDROM, then floppy (if there is one) and finally the hard drive (HD0 ?). Reset the time and date correctly and save settings and reboot. Hopefully this will get rid of the 'new devices found' message.

Enter the boot options screen by tapping F8 repeatibly and choos 'last good configuration'. If all is well it will boot to XP.

BTW, a 1.2GHz CPU is fine for doing all his homework, messaging and browsing the net. He shouldn't expect to be able to play games or edit video, though.

#3 adamussg

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 05:04 PM

Thanks. I'll look now......Found the battery. Question. Directly next to the battery is a 3 prong hookup. Dangling nearby, is a black and a purple 3 socket wiring harness. Should I plug that in? Do you think it's possible it fell off? I'm replacing the battery anyway and I'll repeat the steps you suggested but your opinion would really help. Thanks alot. Adam

#4 adamussg

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 06:03 PM

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i179/adamussg/DSCF1009.jpg
Hopefully this link will show you the error message I get when i try to go into safe mode. I get this image and then the computer restarts.

#5 adamussg

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 06:15 PM

Well i tried everything and I'm still getting the exact same screens. The second time i tried the process, I got an error message stating that there was a problem with the hard drive and i should refer to my users manual. I tries rebooting again though and the message didn't come up. Guess my hard drive is probably fried huh?

#6 pascor22234

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Posted 26 May 2006 - 08:37 PM

I have no idea what that cable is for. If you follow it back to its source you should be able to figure it out. Don't plug it into the pin header unles you are positive that it's for that cable.

To test the hard drive you can use Hitachi's Drive Fitness Test. It will test the mechanics of the drive. It's available as an ISO disc image for a CD. You will need a burning program such as Nero, Roxio or the free CDBurnerXP Pro to burn the image to a new CD.

To run the program simply leave the disc in the optical drive and reboot the system. Make sure the BIOS is configured to try to boot from the optical drive before it tries to boot from the hard drive. Choose to run the full test. Also navigate thru the DFT menus to check the SMART log to see if the drive has a record of any failures.

If the drive passes these tests and the SMART log is empty then the drive is probably OK. This would mean that the OS needs to be reinstalled.

#7 JPHarvey

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Posted 28 May 2006 - 07:41 PM

Hey there adamussq - in regards to your error message image, it is not actually an error message (from my experience anyhow), it is infact loading the drivers necessary to run the PC. If you have ever booted in safe mode, those are the entries that will appear.

Do you have access to an alternate power supply? Those pre-packaged PSU with Dells, HPs, Compaqs etc are renouned for failing. If you are able to try an alternate PSU, you will at least be able to eliminate that as a factor. (I do remember you saying earlier that it came up with a message "computer may have experienced a power failure").

Regarding the plug next to your cmos, I would leave it, it is very unlikely that it fell out. That is unless of course you were using your Gateway as a basketball.....which has been known to happen!
[CPU]Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo @ 3.19GHz
[MoBo]ASUS P5N32-SLI Premium (nForce590)
[RAM]4GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2-800 CL4 @ 710MHz
[GPU]XFX 8800 GTX 768MB [SLI] @ Stock
[PSU]CoolerMaster 1kW
[Audio]ASUS Xonar D2
[Case]Antec Nine Hundred
[OS]Windows Vista Ultimate 64
[LCD]SAMSUNG 226BW
[Other]WC'd CPU & SLI

#8 adamussg

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 10:53 AM

Thanks so much for your help. I actually could not get it to boot for anything. My roomate said he knew someone he worked with that was real good with computers. He took it to him and the guy fixed the problem. Evidently, the thing was infested with trojans and viruses. He had no antivirus protection whatsoever. It works fine now. As soon as he hooked it up I had him download pctools antivirus to prevent it from ever happening again. Thanks for all the tips. Question????? Does anyone know of a free yet effective antivirus program. I know you can download trials..... but is there anything out there that is a free full version that is worth getting? Probably not cuz everyone would have it. I got my roomate the trial version of pctools antivirus but it only lasts 30 days. He is kinda broke and can't really afford to go buy one cuz he works at a wwendy's. I feel bad for him. Anything out there worth getting him? Thanks again.

#9 pascor22234

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 12:12 PM

You shoul run a "cocktail" of anti-malware programs for protection. You should have:

- One good antivirus: AVG or Avast (both are excellent and free)

- One good firewall (the MS firewall is deficient): Outpost, ZoneAlarm or Sygate (all are free)

- An assorment of other anti-malware apps: I use SpywareGuard, SpywareBlaster and Startup Inspector (all are free)

You may also want to run Adaware (free), but this does not provide active protection.

There is absolutely no need to purchase any anti-malware programs.

#10 Enthusiast

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 02:26 PM

Freeware AntiSpyware and Security Programs

Software firewalls with freeware versions
(Run only one and disable the ineffective Windows XP firewall)

ZoneAlarm (freeware) V. 6.1.744:
http://www.download.com/ZoneAlarm/3000-10435_4-10039884.html
(you can have only one software firewall running. More than one will conflict)

Antivirus programs - freeware
(you can only use one resident anti-virus program on your computer. More than one will conflict)

AVG:
http://www.grisoft.com/doc/289/lng/us/tpl/tpl01

Avast Anti-virus freeware
http://www.komando.com/bestshareware.asp

Anti-malware freeware
(You can run as many of these as you wish. Generally there is no conflict between these and you should always run several since each may find malware that the others may not find)

Ad-Aware SE Personal - freeware
http://fileforum.betanews.com/detail/Adawa...nal/965718306/1


Spybot S&D: http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html
Be sure to enable “Teatimer” which gives you realtime protection against malware invasion. (absolutely necessary)

Microsoft Windows Defender
http://www.microsoft.com/athome/security/s...re/default.mspx
This also provides realtime protection. (absolutely necessary)

SpywareBlaster: http://www.javacoolsoftware.com/spywareblaster.html

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool (Win XP and Win 2000):
http://www.microsoft.com/security/malwareremove/default.mspx

A² - Free from http://www.majorgeeks.com/download4281.html . Run it, click Search for Updates, then click Scan.




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