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Windows XP SP3 - Reboot cycle - Crashes often on boot


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#1 EoflaOE

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Posted 22 May 2018 - 10:05 AM

In the past after I got my computer by 2014, my computer has suffered from a series of problems that won't end, including this one that happened today.

Everything used to work fine in my computer until today, when I have important documents, projects, applications and theming that took days to configure these after a reformat, lying in my first and second hard drive

On 2017, I have a problem like this, but I am able to boot it back. The problem fixed itself.

Here's the actual problem:

I woke up, and pressed the power button of my computer and it booted fine. I opened Firefox, went to DownThemAll! download manager, and downloaded, and I left it.

I played on my Android tablet, and saw that my tablet's connection is slow, so I made it fast by pausing the download. Under my rush, I went back to playing.

When I finished, I went back to my computer... The screen stayed like usual. What went odd is that the hard drive light and the WiFi blue light stayed on! I tried to move my mouse but I can't! I tried to turn on/off the Locks on the keyboard, but they aren't turning on/off! It looks like my computer has frozen without my knowledge.

So I remembered the past days where my computer freezes and pressed the Reset button, all went as planned until I saw that Windows rebooted itself when booting instead of booting! Then, it told me about selections of Safe Mode, Networking, Commands prompt, Last Known Good Configuration, and Start Windows Normally. Every single selection of these leads to Windows rebooting itself.

I have thought maybe Recovery Console would solve my problem, so I booted from Windows XP CD-ROM, and all went well. It told me options whether to exit, install, or fix.

I chose Fix, because I don't want to start over, and then, something odd happened. It won't even try to examine a disk! I waited until I got a prompt, which I got C:\> instead of choosing my damaged installation.

I pressed Enter, and it processed like usual. I wrote some random non-existent command for my fear, and it said that command is not found, like usual. Whenever I tried dir, it first hung, then it showed "Directory list for C:". At the time it showed that phrase, I was afraid to continue, so I pressed reset button on the case.

Short version:

I started a download, went to my tablet to play, then I paused the download, then continued until I finished. I then found out that my computer froze so I turned it off.

When I tried to turn it back on, the computer booted like usual, then restarted.

I then confirmed my fears so I turned it off, then turned it back on to boot to CD, and it booted! It probed all hardware, then it started!

So I went to repair option, but one of the hard drive is not probing and I heard turning on noise from my hard disk, then, setup gave up after many attempts and it launched a command prompt where the current directory is C:\> instead of prompting me.

I first tested the usual Enter, and it said nothing. Then, I tested random non-existent command, and it said that it isn't found. Then, I tested "dir" and it returned a new line for seconds and it said "Directory list for C:\>".

I was scared about which disk since I was confused about what disk is being used, so I turned it off.

I don't have any computers left to use except the alternative laptop, Acer TravelMate 5330, where it has Windows 7 currently.

Some of my applications are legacy, and (I think) can't be run on Windows 7.

I tried:

- Resetting CMOS, but no success.

I think I have no choice, but to start over. Is there any way how do I fix this huge problem without starting over and reconfiguring everything that is on my computer before the point that it has frozen?

EDIT 1: I left the computer off for few hours and then tried the recovery console again, this time, it probed the hard disk correctly. Yet again it gave me the C:\> instead of selection!


Edited by hamluis, 22 May 2018 - 12:32 PM.
Moved from Crashes/BSODs to XP - Hamluis.

Main PC: CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+, Motherboard: KT4AV MS-6712, GPU: ATI Radeon 9200 Series, RAM: 2 GB, HDD: WDC WD400BB-00DEA0 40GB, PSU: Mercury KOB AP4300XA 300W, OS: Windows XP Professional SP3

 

Planned (Dell OptiPlex 7050 - incomplete, may not be final): CPU: Intel Core i7-7700, GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics, RAM: 8 GB, HDD: 1 TB 7200 RPM, PSU: Internal, Speaker: Built-in inside case, OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


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#2 joseibarra

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 02:17 AM

When your system restarts and before Windows starts to load begin tapping the F8 key to get to the Advanced Boot Options menu and from there choose:

 

Disable automatic restart on system failure

 

If you missing the F8 windows of opportunity and don't see that option, try again until you do see that option then select it.

 

Then if your system displays a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) looking at this example, tell us what your BSOD says in these sections:

 

[attachment=204750:bsod.jpg]


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#3 EoflaOE

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 02:33 AM

Thanks, joseibarra! Here's my BSOD but it didn't tell me the driver but instead showed error type. It says:

UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME

*** STOP: 0x000000ED (0x89C02900, 0xC0000006, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

Main PC: CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+, Motherboard: KT4AV MS-6712, GPU: ATI Radeon 9200 Series, RAM: 2 GB, HDD: WDC WD400BB-00DEA0 40GB, PSU: Mercury KOB AP4300XA 300W, OS: Windows XP Professional SP3

 

Planned (Dell OptiPlex 7050 - incomplete, may not be final): CPU: Intel Core i7-7700, GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics, RAM: 8 GB, HDD: 1 TB 7200 RPM, PSU: Internal, Speaker: Built-in inside case, OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


#4 joseibarra

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 03:14 AM

Good.

 

That common error message indicates a hopefully minor problem with the NT File System (NTFS) of some corruption that was caused from the ungraceful restarts of the system.

 

Usually it is easy to fix by running a chkdsk with error correction (chkdsk  /r) but you are going to have to boot on something in order to do that.

 

If your XP CD is genuine and you boot into the Recovery Console and end up at the C:\ prompt instead of C:\Windows something is wrong and even entering basic commands like "dir" might not work reporting enumeration errors and access denied kinds of things.

 

So you need to boot on something else and run the chkdsk wth error correction (chkdsk  /r) from there.

For that I suggest you make a Hiren's Boot CD which you will also find useful if you have other problems in the future.

 

Here's how:

 

Make yourself a Hiren's Boot CD which you can download from here:

http://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

The ZIP file is large, so the download will probably take a little while to complete bit it is worth it.  Then unzip the download to extract the Hirens.BootCD.ISO file that will be used to create your new bootable CD.

Creating a bootable CD from a .ISO file is not the same as just copying the .ISO file to a blank CD.  You have to use software that understands how to burn a .ISO file to a CD to create a bootable CD.

In the Hiren's ZIP file are the BurnToCD.cmd file that you can double click to launch it, but I have never used it and prefer to use ImgBurn.

If you need a free and easy CD burning software package, here is a popular free program:

http://www.imgburn.com/

Like many third party programs you might install, the ImgBurn installation defaults to installing things you probably don't want installed on your system in the form of extra Internet browser toolbars or may make other adjustments to your browser.  You don't want to install any of that so you have to pay attention during the installation.

When clicking through the installation screens be sure to pay attention to the screens and always choose a Custom install and UNcheck the following (or any other things like it):

[attachment=204752:Untitled.jpg]

Here are some instructions for ImgBurn:

http://forum.imgburn.com/index.php?showtopic=61

It would be a good idea to test your new bootable CD on a computer that is working.

You may need to adjust the computer BIOS settings to use the CD ROM drive as the first boot device instead of the hard disk. 

These adjustments are  made before Windows tries to load.  If you miss it, you will have to reboot the system again.

When booting on the Hiren's CD you will see a menu of options.  Choose the Mini XP option.  Then it will appear that Windows is being loaded and you will be presented with a desktop that has the look and feel of the Windows Explorer interface you are already used to using.

Remember:  You did not boot on your hard disk - you booted into the Hiren's desktop.

One way to check the disk for errors is to open My Computer and right click your afflicted drive and choose Properties, Tools, Error-checking, Check Now... put a check mark in both the boxes and then Start.

Sometimes that doesn't work, so you can also click Start, Run and in the box enter:

cmd

Click OK to open a Command Prompt window and enter the following command (assuming XP is installed on your C drive)

chkdsk  c:  /r

This disk checking can take a long time (perhaps several to many hours) depending on the size of the volume, the amount of data on the volume and what the disk checking finds to do.
 

Let chkdsk finish and correct any problems it might find. 

 

Depending on the the speed of your system, the size of the volume, the amount of data on the volume and what chkdsk finds to do, it may take a long time for chkdsk with error correction to complete (several to many hours) or it may appear to be 'stuck'.  Be patient.  If the HDD light is still flashing, chkdsk is doing something so don't interrupt it.  It will finish eventually one way or the other.  Keep an eye on the percentage amount to be sure it is still making progress.  It may even appear to go backwards sometimes.

 

You may have to run the chkdsk  /r  it more than once.

 

When the chkdsk runs clean, remove the CD and restart your system.

 

 

If you need instructions to make a bootable USB thumb drive I have those too.


Edited by joseibarra, 23 May 2018 - 04:56 PM.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#5 EoflaOE

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 03:21 AM

Thanks for the solution, but I don't have any blank CD-ROM so I need an instruction for the USB.

Main PC: CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+, Motherboard: KT4AV MS-6712, GPU: ATI Radeon 9200 Series, RAM: 2 GB, HDD: WDC WD400BB-00DEA0 40GB, PSU: Mercury KOB AP4300XA 300W, OS: Windows XP Professional SP3

 

Planned (Dell OptiPlex 7050 - incomplete, may not be final): CPU: Intel Core i7-7700, GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics, RAM: 8 GB, HDD: 1 TB 7200 RPM, PSU: Internal, Speaker: Built-in inside case, OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


#6 joseibarra

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 03:29 AM

Download RUFUS 1.4.x or whatever the latest version is from here (read some stuff on the page so you can know more about it):

http://rufus.akeo.ie/

I will caution you to be careful that you don't accidentally format any of your hard drives - be sure your USB stick is in and know what the drive letter is!  This part always makes me a little nervous, so be careful.

Launch RUFUS and all the defaults should be okay, for the Device, choose your USB drive letter, Quick format, FAT32, label it if you want to and in the Format options box, click the little icon that looks like a CD and a window will open.  Navigate that dialogue to point to the folder that contains the Hiren's.BootCD.15.x.iso that you unzipped earlier and the box should change to say ISO image (RUFUS understands the Hiren's ISO file).

Double check you have the right Device selected in the top (NOT you HDD) Click Start, acknowledge the warning and let it finish (it will take a little while) as it copies the files.   The Hiren's ISO is also good size.

When RUFUS is done, it will say 'DONE' in the bottom.

Put the USB stick in the afflicted machine and reset/reboot and press whatever key you need to press to get to a boot menu where you can select the USB as the first boot device (that is F11 for me).  If you don't see a boot menu choice, you will have to adjust your BIOS to boot from the USB first instead of the HDD.

When the Hiren's menu comes up, choose the Mini XP Mode and it will start loading (slowly from a USB drive) and eventually you should see a Windowsy looking desktop.  You should recognize that part and feel comfortable, but it is not your desktop - it is the Hiren's desktop!

Remember:  You did not boot on your hard disk - you booted into the Hiren's desktop.

One way to check the disk for errors is to open My Computer and right click your afflicted drive and choose Properties, Tools, Error-checking, Check Now... put a check mark in both the boxes and then Start.

Sometimes that doesn't work, so you can also click Start, Run and in the box enter:

cmd

Click OK to open a Command Prompt window and enter the following command (assuming XP is installed on your C drive)

chkdsk  c:  /r

This disk checking can take a long time (perhaps several to many hours) depending on the size of the volume, the amount of data on the volume and what the disk checking finds to do.
 

Let chkdsk finish and correct any problems it might find. 

 

Depending on the the speed of your system, the size of the volume, the amount of data on the volume and what chkdsk finds to do, it may take a long time for chkdsk with error correction to complete (several to many hours) or it may appear to be 'stuck'.  Be patient.  If the HDD light is still flashing, chkdsk is doing something so don't interrupt it.  It will finish eventually one way or the other.  Keep an eye on the percentage amount to be sure it is still making progress.  It may even appear to go backwards sometimes.
 

You may have to run the chkdsk  /r  it more than once.


The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#7 EoflaOE

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 05:12 AM

Thanks! But my internet connection doesn't seem as fast at this moment, it takes a few hours to download Hiren's Boot CD. I will report back after I finished with these steps.


Main PC: CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+, Motherboard: KT4AV MS-6712, GPU: ATI Radeon 9200 Series, RAM: 2 GB, HDD: WDC WD400BB-00DEA0 40GB, PSU: Mercury KOB AP4300XA 300W, OS: Windows XP Professional SP3

 

Planned (Dell OptiPlex 7050 - incomplete, may not be final): CPU: Intel Core i7-7700, GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics, RAM: 8 GB, HDD: 1 TB 7200 RPM, PSU: Internal, Speaker: Built-in inside case, OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


#8 joseibarra

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Posted 23 May 2018 - 05:29 AM

No problemo - someday in the future you will be glad you have that Hiren's handy.

 

Note:  When you use the XP CD to boot into the Recovery Console and end up at the C:\ prompt (which is not where you need to be) that could be because of some file system corruption or more likely - the system has SATA drives.

 

When things are working right you should boot into the C:\WINDOWS folder.  If it says C:\ instead of C:\WINDOWS something is wrong and even entering basic commands like "dir" might not work reporting enumeration errors and access denied kinds of things.

 

Booting into the Recovery Console from the XP installation CD/DVD it doesn't understand SATA hard drives but this is not a problem with Hirens.

 

You might be able to adjust the BIOS to get it to work - sometimes maybe.

 

it is good to be able to boot into the RC to fix things and for systems with SATA drives you can consider installing the RC as a boot option when Windows starts and then you will be able to use it when you need to.

 

Other problems with the RC are that even when it works some systems may require an unknown admin password and unless you have configured things in advance you will not be able to access a floppy or USB thumb drive if you need to copy some files...

 

You will have none of these problems with Hirens.  And experience says that the majority of folks don't have a genuine bootable Windows XP SP3 installation CD anyway.

 

So I can say if you have a bootable XP CD it might work maybe on some systems some of the time but Hirens will work on all systems all of the time.

 

Why mess around trying things that might work sometimes maybe on some systems some of the time when you can just make the Hirens and be on your way to fixing things.


Edited by joseibarra, 23 May 2018 - 04:59 PM.

The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#9 EoflaOE

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 12:51 PM

I booted to Hiren's Boot CD by the USB, it worked fine. I went to Mini Windows XP, it worked fine. When I went to "My Computer", it shows as "Local Disk", and when I opened properties, it shows as RAW drive. Is this normal?

I am running a disk check on it, and it hangs for several minutes, and then closes down.

I tried the CMD one, and it worked normally with errors. It has detected 4KB of bad clusters, and it has errors on the Volume bitmap.

On the second attempt, it is clean.

I then executed dir on C:, and it appeared that the problem is solved! I then restarted, started Widows normally, and it worked!!!

 

Now, I am able to use my computer again and all my data!

 

Hope this solution helps users who have this exact same problem.


Edited by EoflaOE, 24 May 2018 - 01:05 PM.

Main PC: CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+, Motherboard: KT4AV MS-6712, GPU: ATI Radeon 9200 Series, RAM: 2 GB, HDD: WDC WD400BB-00DEA0 40GB, PSU: Mercury KOB AP4300XA 300W, OS: Windows XP Professional SP3

 

Planned (Dell OptiPlex 7050 - incomplete, may not be final): CPU: Intel Core i7-7700, GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics, RAM: 8 GB, HDD: 1 TB 7200 RPM, PSU: Internal, Speaker: Built-in inside case, OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 02:03 PM

Because you have legacy programs on the hard drive I would highly recommend you create a complete disk image to a USB external drive using one of the following programs. If you do not have a USB external drive budget for one as soon as possible. 

 

Macrium Reflect Free

Aomei Backupper Standard

Easeus Todo Backup Free

 

All let you create a bootable USB flash drive to recover the image from the USB external drive. If the computer no longer boots and cannot be recovered as in the case of a failed drive you can install the new drive, boot the recovery USB, and restore the disk image from the USB external drive, allowing you to be back up in minutes.


Edited by JohnC_21, 24 May 2018 - 02:14 PM.


#11 EoflaOE

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 02:33 PM

I already solved the problem and my computer is running, JohnC_21. Bad sectors before chkdsk C: /r is preventing the system from working.

I did it using Hiren's Boot CD on the USB, Mini Windows XP.

So, thanks to everyone who helped!

Main PC: CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+, Motherboard: KT4AV MS-6712, GPU: ATI Radeon 9200 Series, RAM: 2 GB, HDD: WDC WD400BB-00DEA0 40GB, PSU: Mercury KOB AP4300XA 300W, OS: Windows XP Professional SP3

 

Planned (Dell OptiPlex 7050 - incomplete, may not be final): CPU: Intel Core i7-7700, GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics, RAM: 8 GB, HDD: 1 TB 7200 RPM, PSU: Internal, Speaker: Built-in inside case, OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


#12 JohnC_21

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 02:59 PM

I only suggested the programs if your hard drive failed or you could not recover your computer if something happened in the future. If your hard drive failed tomorrow would be be able to recover your data, reinstall all your programs, drivers, and reinstall/activate XP?


Edited by JohnC_21, 24 May 2018 - 02:59 PM.


#13 EoflaOE

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 03:11 PM

Thanks for your suggestion. I will try to use these in the future.

Main PC: CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+, Motherboard: KT4AV MS-6712, GPU: ATI Radeon 9200 Series, RAM: 2 GB, HDD: WDC WD400BB-00DEA0 40GB, PSU: Mercury KOB AP4300XA 300W, OS: Windows XP Professional SP3

 

Planned (Dell OptiPlex 7050 - incomplete, may not be final): CPU: Intel Core i7-7700, GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics, RAM: 8 GB, HDD: 1 TB 7200 RPM, PSU: Internal, Speaker: Built-in inside case, OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit


#14 joseibarra

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Posted 24 May 2018 - 06:16 PM

Good job - and now you have a good resource (Hiren's) for any future issues.


The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates.


#15 EoflaOE

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Posted 25 May 2018 - 02:23 AM

Thanks! If there's any issues, I will use Hiren's Boot CD first.

Main PC: CPU: AMD Athlon XP 1500+, Motherboard: KT4AV MS-6712, GPU: ATI Radeon 9200 Series, RAM: 2 GB, HDD: WDC WD400BB-00DEA0 40GB, PSU: Mercury KOB AP4300XA 300W, OS: Windows XP Professional SP3

 

Planned (Dell OptiPlex 7050 - incomplete, may not be final): CPU: Intel Core i7-7700, GPU: Intel Integrated Graphics, RAM: 8 GB, HDD: 1 TB 7200 RPM, PSU: Internal, Speaker: Built-in inside case, OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-bit





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