Pre-Installed XP Home Ed.
Windows XP SP2 Home edition . All MS Updates.
The problem first occured when I started computer a week ago and the screen said "Boot Failure"
My Son Had the computer ON and The Monitor off; I think I thought the computer was OFF and pressed the power button. The initial facts are a bit blurry .
This machine had been Formatted and Windows re-Installed from the hidden partition pre-installed machines have by a Technician in July this year. It has been running really well till last week.
I run Zone Alarm free Firewall , Avast! AntiVirus Home Ed. as a resident program , Ewido free as a secondary 'On Demand 'scanner , Spybot S&D , Ad-Aware SE , Spyware Blaster , Firefox 22.214.171.124 as my default browser.
So I don't know if I accidentally turned the Comp. OFF with the power button , or there's been a power outage.
Problem : Power on with switch , "Boot Failure" , Boot device cannot be found!
Turn machine OFF , leave it for more than 2 hours and somedays it starts , runs , if I try CHKDSK , get a boot failure on the re-start.
Got into BIOS (F2) , no Master HDD installed , just going in circles , set Primary HDD to "Auto" , save settings , try to get into Safe Mode (F8 Tapping ) , presented with boot options "A Drive " , "Cd-Rom" , Or Network . Either of these options selected and I get "can't find boot reord" . Once after setting to Auto detect HDD C:\ in BIOS and tapping F8 , Hard Drive was presented , so I put it after the "A" Drive in 2nd place boot priority , machine got to Desktop , loaded Icons , almost loaded taskbar and "Black Screen" of death .
Obviously the more times I try booting and it fails and I have to turn off at power button the machines getting less stable.
Last night after another day of trying setting BIOS and trying to get to the Safe Mode options , "Last Working config." , etc. gave up and turned "it" OFF . Couple of hours later turned it on & it just booted normally , I tried the HDD scan of bad sectors which runs with Windows on , then tried CHKDSK and when re-starting boot failed , so I turned it OFF at Computer power button .
Today , like 12 hours later it has started ! I have made a restore point , cleared them about 10 days ago during disk clean , they do add up in size after a couple of weeks , so have 10 days of Restore points , but haven't tried rolling back .
So I feel scared to turn machine off , If I run CHKDSK as I did last night re-starts with the "Boot Failure" .
Really stumped here. Have printed out lots of sytem info , like the HDD data so I could set BIOS up with its settings i.e. Cylinders , sectors , etc . There are no Errors in Event viewer , i.e there are logs , but nothing pointing to any obvious problem oNE THING IS aUDIO IS SKIPPING IF TRY RUN Media .
Any advice would be really appreciated . I Have the CD which Formats and Re-Installs XP , but want to save my data and am on DialUp which is why I spent money for a Tech to reinstall MS Updates , SP2 , and use "Acronis" to transfer data to another drive , then back to mine. Can't afford to do so again.
This is really weird , as I'm online , but have no idea what's going on . No Malware , checked with HiJackThis , all o.k. ( same looking log as 2 weeks ago , clean )
Have ran Avast! Ewido , Spybot ...