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Windows Wont Start


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#1
Ldee

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Hello, my windows wont start, this happened after trying to configure things to work with sims2 which my sister plays on the pc. I updated windows from the website and installed the latest catalyst drivers for the radeon 9550 agp card. Now it gets to the screen that says windows did not start properly last time, choose last known good, normal, etc, no advanced boot option lets it start. Pc reboots over and over, i suspect the graphics drivers loading may be the problem. How can i use the recovery console on the winxp cd to disable them? Or what should I do, i can enter recovery console but dont know what to do now, microsoft cannot help without paying £50, i would rather clean install.
please help, thank you

Ok, I posted the above on another forum and have not recieved decent help, here is more information.

I replaced ntldr and ntdetect.com from the xp cd, didn't help. Also I did fixmbr and fixboot, also didn't help. So I started to do a repair install of XP off the cd, and it got so far, just after you enter the product key, then restarted again. Mangaged to get it to boot into xp setup a couple of times, always restarted at the same place. Now it's back to the same situation as before only windows isn't even completely installed now. It restarts always after the first grey bar has loaded across the bottom of the screen, just before when it would normal show the windows xp logo and the blue loading bar.

Could this be a heating issue? I have had some trouble with the hsf on my graphics card, but replaced this, and now it seems fine (apart from the driver issues) it doesnt feel hot now. The cpu fan feels hot though, but this is normal? CPU temp in bios is about 55 degrees C, mboard temp in bios is about 30 degrees C. Pc is a P4 3 GHZ on Asrock P4VT8+ mboard, ati radeon 9550 graphics, 512 ram. I think it could be heating or a hardware problem, something bad anyway. Any ideas?
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#2
Holy Marcell

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It has Nothing to do with the temperature.

The Driver seems to be broken. Please, tell me, what happens if you chose "Save Mode" from the boot-list you see after a reboot.

If this brings no positive effect you have to replace the Video-Card (maybe a friend can borrow you) and remove the new Catalyst-Driver (+Software)

Greez,
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#3
Guest_rushin1nd_*

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you could try getting into safemode by turning your computer on then tap f8 then choose safemode using arrow keys wait a bit then your in
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#4
Ldee

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Thanks for your replies.

I said "no advanced boot option lets it start", this includes safe mode. If I cannot boot into safe mode (which loads the minimal windows video drivers) then I don't think it is simply the video card. In safe mode it is not trying to load the catalyst drivers, therefore I don't think it is resetting because of the catalyst drivers loading. This is why I suspect hardware.
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#5
Ldee

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Ok, after recieving some advice I also tried to fix a possible corrupted MFT using "chkdsk /r" from the recovery console. It scanned and fixed any errors but this did not help the situation. Still restarts after the grey bar has loaded and just before the winxp logo and blue loading bar would appear.

Some other information, when I was doing the reinstallation (reinstall over the previous windows, to retain data) it said a few files could not be copied from the cd, I checked that the cd was clean and scratch free, which it is. It asked if I would like to retry the copy, skip, etc, I always pressed retry and it just continued. This happened with some 20 to 30 files. Also during the reinstallation the screen blacked out a few times, at which point I thought it would restart but it didn't, it came back on and continued, only restarting after I had entered the regional settings and the product key.

I am puzzled.
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#6
Ldee

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Here is an update on the situation now,

I didn't know what else to do so I did a format of C: from the recovery console and started to do a fresh install from xp cd. It got to the point after I entered product key and regional settings, then just stopped installing, the loading animation in the bottom right of the screen was still moving and I could still move the mouse, but nothing was happening, the install just stopped. I restarted and it did the same but at a different point in the install, just after where it had done so previously. Then when I restarted after this time it started to continue the install then I got a BSOD and this error:

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

*** STOP: 0x0000000A (0x00000020, 0x00000002, 0x00000000, 0x8050491F)



Then I manually restarted the computer and recieved the following BSOD and error message, which I get everytime I start the PC now, comes up when windows should load (after the grey bar has loaded):

BAD_SYSTEM_CONFIG_INFO

*** STOP: 0x00000074 (0x00000003, 0x00000002, 0x80087000, 0xC000014C)



Does this help identify what is actually going on now? I would really appreciate any comments or suggestions

Thanks
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#7
sarahw

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can you post some specs
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#8
Ldee

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I could post some specs, but I don't know if you will be interested in them anymore since I think I (we) have solved the problem.

As sarah and someone else who's name slips my mind at this moment suggested to me in the chatroom, I should test the ram and try to boot to a live cd. So I tried to boot to ubuntu live, and it booted, but was not stable, whenever I started an app such as firefox, it restarted ubuntu after a few seconds (but not the whole pc as windows more annoyingly does). I was wondering how I could get the browser up for long enough to download memtest and even how I would run it since it would probably crash while doing so, and I doubted I could burn it to a cd bootable since this would also crash. Then to my pleasant suprise I noticed that Ubuntu has a bootable memtest on the cd! So I ran it, and it found 48 errors running for about an hour, then I took the ram out and gave it a hard scrub with the pencil eraser, put it back, memtest for another hour, 1 error... ? I wasn't complaining, tried continuing the windows installation, it worked! However, windows was not stable, kept restarting the pc when I tried to load anything or do anything, or just once it has started fully, Linux seemed perfectly stable at this point off the live cd. So then I went into bios to tinker with the ram settings (not knowing what the [bleep] I was doing). I changed the ram frequency setting from auto to the lowest setting, and the ram voltage from normal to high. Windows is now working normally. I have run all the old things that used to make it crash and it's not crashing. I don't know why the settings I changed made such a difference (because the ram is under lesser load cuz it is performing slower?) or why the magic eraser worked so well. So I guess I need new ram, but it's great that I can still use this for the moment anyway since I have no money right now to buy more.

Now I'll go and check with the ubuntu live cd whether I need both these bios settings in place to make it run stable, and hope that the linux test faithfully represents what will happen with windows. And I'll do another memory test.

PS: The settings I changed were "DRAM Frequency" from Auto to 133mhz (DDR266), and "DRAM Voltage" from normal to high. Someone on another forum suggested I should be careful with these settings and that it could kill the ram quick. What is the problem with these settings, the high voltage? Isn't setting the ram to ddr266 (since I'm pretty sure the ram is ddr333) basically underclocking it? Lightening the load? Obviously I'm no expert, cheers!

Edited by Ldee, 20 August 2006 - 11:55 PM.

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#9
Ldee

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Update on this issue,

I ordered some new ram and I'm waiting for it to arrive, in the meantime I've been using the pc with the ram frequency set to 133mhz and the voltage set to high. It started to display the same symptoms as before, not booting, or taking many attempts to finally boot into windows (again, seemed to work better once I had entered the bios without doing anything..), and restarting the pc now and then. I expected this kind of thing since as I said before memtest found errors in the ram. I ran memtest again (off the ubuntu linux cd as before) but this time it found no errors. I let it run for about 20 tests on one occasion and 30 the next, no errors found either time. Hmm, isn't this strange? Also before it said there were 48 errors, then after cleaning the ram some more, it said 1 error, now it's saying there are no errors!? Could this mean that really the problem is elsewhere and the ram is ok? I hope not, since I thought I finally knew what was going on and ordered new ram, now I'm not sure again.

Why would memtest now show no errors?
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#10
Ldee

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Also, I downloaded Microsoft Memory Diagnostics and made a boot disk. I ran this in both the configuration I have to use now to get windows to boot (dram frequency - 133mhz, dram voltage - high) and also in the original memory configuration (dram frequency - auto, dram voltage - normal). It passed 10 full tests with both configs and showed no errors.

Does this mean it's definitely not a memory problem?!
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#11
Ldee

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Also, I downloaded Microsoft Memory Diagnostics and made a boot disk. I ran this in both the configuration I have to use now to get windows to boot (dram frequency - 133mhz, dram voltage - high) and also in the original memory configuration (dram frequency - auto, dram voltage - normal). It passed 10 full tests with both configs and showed no errors.

Does this mean it's definitely not a memory problem?!
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#12
Ldee

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Also, I downloaded Microsoft Memory Diagnostics and made a boot disk. I ran this in both the configuration I have to use now to get windows to boot (dram frequency - 133mhz, dram voltage - high) and also in the original memory configuration (dram frequency - auto, dram voltage - normal). It passed 10 full tests with both configs and showed no errors.

Does this mean it's definitely not a memory problem?!
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#13
Ldee

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Sorry about the last post repeated 3 times, don't really know how that happened.

This is the situation now. I bought new ram and fitted it, the problem continued. I suspected it might be the graphics card so I took it to a shop for testing and it failed the test and wouldnt let any pc they tried it on start, so I thought this would finally be the problem. I bought a new card fx5500 nvidia 256mb and fitted it, but the problem remains! PC still restarts when xp should load, no advanced boot option lets me in including safe and last known good. Considering the graphics card was broken, and the new one still doesnt fix the problem, what could it be? And will this problem break the new graphics card?

Also, I have had to set the ram to 133mhz and to high voltage to get to boot windows while using the previous video card, but that just stopped working after a while and now I cant get in at all with the new card. When it was set in this way, it passed all memtests, but when it was set to its correct settings it failed. This is the same situation with the new ram, it fails the mem tests when set at its correct speed, memtest found something like 12000 errors in one pass last time! I'm sure this ram is not broken unless it has been somehow broken by the pc since I put it in. Whats going on? Is it the mboard?

Please help. Pretty please.
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#14
Ldee

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Since trying it with the new card I have taken the mboard out of the case and tried it just sitting on the anti static bag it came in. The only things I have attached are the hard disk and the video card (apart from cpu, ram, keyboard and mouse). The same situation remains, resetting when the windows splash should appear after showing a bsod for a few miliseconds.

I can't think of anything else at this point other than the mboard is broken. Is there a way I can find out while having my pc in it's current unbootable to windows condition? (I think I may be able to boot to linux live if that could help). The only other thing I can think of is that the ati drivers that windows may still be attempting to load? (because it wasn't uninstalled as I couldnt get into windows) are causing a problem on windows start up. I can try to disable these from the recovery console but I doubt this is the problem. The old card was an ati radeon 9550, the new one is an nvidia gforce fx 5500, both are 256mb agp8x.

Can anyone help please?
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#15
-OCM770-

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So... can you know boot safe mode? if you can then disable everything in msconfig except what windows needs, try booting.

P.S. go to start>run>msconfig. then select start with diagnostics. (second option under general tab)(my xp is in spanish so i am translating it might not be exactly what i'm typing but it will be close.)


-OCM770-

Edited by -OCM770-, 07 October 2006 - 06:17 PM.

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