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Not able to get XP to boot normally


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#1
silverbeard

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I have this machine that will only boot Windows into normal mode from selective start (F8 during post for boot options). I've tried rewriting the MBR and managed to get it to boot normally then after two or three restarts it hangs on start and back to selective start. So I imaged the OS and zeroed the drive reinitialized, formatted and installed a fresh clean copy of XP to the same result only it never started right from the beginning. Thinking the hardrive may be bad (I had already run several utilities to test it and they found it sound) I tried another hard dirve. Loaded a clean install and again the system fails to boot normally.

At this point I'm about ready to try a BIOS flash to see if maybe there is something there that is causing the problem but no matter how many times I do this it always scares the willies out of me and I'm looking for some suggestion, utilities, advise, experience or knowlege of the problem that could resolve this problem.
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#2
silverbeard

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I guess I'll go a head as planned since no one has had this issue before.
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#3
silverbeard

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Well I found a solution, maybe not the best but it works, The pc boots normally without having to go to F8 during post. I had a new drive to install anyway and since this thing was being a PITA I slaved the the OS drive and installed the new drive as master and loaded a fresh install to the new C: drive. Well since the other drive has an OS installed it was detected and added to the boot.ini. The machine was now a multi boot but It was not going to stay that way. It started up fine with the two choices and I thought this was a good sign and brought the new system up and started to configure the install. Well that done I modified the boot.ini for a single boot and restarted the PC. Back to the same behavior as before. Well I at least had the clue I needed to fix the problem.

I went to one of my other XP machines that dual boots and look at the boot.ini. It had a string on the end of the normal boot.ini that wasn't on the other machine. So I added it to the misbehaving machine's boot.ini after fastdetect. Her it is: Microsoft Windows XP Professional "" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect

Now all is well and the machine boot as it should into a single boot and I can restore the old image and get it back to where it was with a slight modification to the boot.ini.

Edited by silverbeard, 01 September 2006 - 06:34 PM.

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#4
Samm

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Hi there

Is everything now working correctly? Also, when you referred to the MBR originally, did you mean the boot.ini file?
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#5
silverbeard

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I suspected something was corrupting the MBR but after a couple of repairs to the MBR and a repair install I began to suspect the hard drive but after a different hard drive, I suspected other components.After several random failures at test utilities I find useful in pounding the hardware with electrons I reseated the RAM and the processor and started the testing over and the box passed. Well I had a new hard drive sitting here so the clean install leading to the boot.ini discovery. Sometimes it's better to be lucky because I had run out of ideas.
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