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Can NOT repair WinXP. What can I try next?


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#1
geekstogouser

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Hello world,

System Specs:
WinXP Pro SP2,
PC: Pentium IV 2.6 or 2.8GHz, 1GB RAM
Running the following security software:
Avast Home Edition
AVG AntiSpyware
PeerGuardian2

Background that led to the current problem:
A few months ago after fixing a horrific mistake I made while installing Asian language support files, my computer began experiencing Windows Explorer crashes just before the system tray finishes populating with icons but after the login screen and after the desktop is first displayed. Windows Explorer will typically crash a few more times before it appears to become stable.

Memory Notes:
All signs point to this being a memory problem, but after running extensive memory tests for over 64 hours, there are no reports of any memory issues at all. All memory on the computer seems to be running fine, and when swapped out I'm still having Windows explorer crashes. Further more, the memory that was swapped out works fine in other computers. The known good working memory has been swapped back in.

Virus, Spam, Rootkits, Malware etc.:
Extensive safe mode testing, Normal mode testing, and online tests have been performed as per the instructions posted here on GeeksToGo.com. Further tests were also performed. No viruses, rootkits, spyware, or malware etc. were found.

Software conflicts:
All the security software conflicts I could think of have been tested and None of the currently installed software seems to be causing the crashes. In other words when my computer was disconnected from the WAN as well as the LAN, I uninstalled all the security software and the Windows Explorer crashes would still occur.

Current Issue / Problem:
I've decided to bite the bullet and try to repair windows. I've followed the guide posted here on GeeksToGo.com for the repair. All went exactly as the post said it should until during the very final step. The WinXP repair screen states that it will be done installing in 33 minutes. It said this for about 12 hours before I aborted and tried again. This time around its been about 14 hours with the same results. What follows is a more detailed description of the final screen where the hang up is experienced:

The current install screen thats been running on my computer for more than 14 hours says the following on the left had side of the screen:
(Radio button checked) Collecting information
(Radio button checked) Dynamic Update
(Radio button checked) Preparing installation
(Radio button "Unchecked") Installing Windows
(Radio button "Unchecked") Finalizing installation

Setup will complete in
approximately 33 minutes.
Below this is a status bar that is about 3/4 of the way done.

Questions for the tech:
Is there anything else I can try before completely reformatting and reinstalling a fresh copy? Is there anything I can do to figure out why the computer is hanging at 33 minutes each time? Are there any program switches or whatever there called (Example:"-? -a -b -lm") that I might be able to use to probe what the problem is or create a log file of some kind?

Any help would of course be appreciated.
Thank you for your time and patients with this issue.
Obviously I look forward to your reply.
Sincerely,
Patrick.

Edited by geekstogouser, 20 November 2007 - 07:41 PM.

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#2
latigid

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Did you check hard drive?

http://computerclean...for-errors.html

Did you try system restore to previous date?

Try winsock ?

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/winsock.htm
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#3
geekstogouser

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Its to late to try any of these options because the computer essentially has no operating system, or maybe has one that is out of reach or incomplete because of the interrupted repair process.

I followed the instructions on this web page:
http://www.geekstogo...ws-XP-t138.html

My computer froze on the last step before completing the repair. This effectively keeps the computer from being able to boot up at all without automatically trying to restart the failed repair from the previous session. Is there a way to scan the WinXP CD in another computer to see if its failing at a specific point because of a scratch on the CD? Is there anything I can do to force the repair process to make a log file to see when and where the repair process is freezing or getting stuck at? Is there anything I can do to repair this computer, or have I reached the end of the road as far as my options are concerned?

I'm not against formatting and reinstalling, its just that I want to make sure I've exhausted all my options first.
Again, thank you for your time and patients on this issue.
Sincerely,
Patrick

Edited by geekstogouser, 21 November 2007 - 03:26 PM.

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#4
wannabe1

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Hi geekstogouser...

A hang at 37 to 31 minutes is nearly always hardware. The most common culprit is a USB keyboard and mouse. Flash drives, iPods, and printers are also notorious for causing this.

Do any of these apply to your situation?

wannabe1
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#5
geekstogouser

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YES!
Sorry for the enthusiasm. At this point even the slightest possibility of hope is very encouraging.

Here is a current list of Hardware Peripherals that are plugged in that might match your query:
Keyboard: Microsoft Ergonomic [Plug type: PS/2] (plugged in to the keyboard PS/2 port)
Mouse/Trackball: Logitech Cordless Optical Trackman [Plug type: USB] (Adapted and plugged into the mouse PS/2 port)
Printer: Cannon Pixman iP4300 [Plug type: USB] (plugged into an available USB port)
Flash / Thumb Drive: Generic OEM brand 2 Gig [Plug type: USB] (plugged into an available USB port)

Questions:
Will I need the mouse for any part of the repair process (for example: when entering the CD key)?
Will simply unplugging all USB devices be sufficient or will I need to disable all the USB support in the BIOS?
As much as I'd like to race ahead, I want to make sure that I am following your instructions since that is the basis for how forums like this function correctly. In short, I will patiently wait for your reply before trying or tinkering with anything.

Thank you for your help. I sincerely appreciate the attention to detail and the time your putting into helping me troubleshoot my computers problems. Especially since this is Thanksgiving weekend and there are other things you could be doing. Thank you!
Sincerely,
Patrick.

Edited by geekstogouser, 21 November 2007 - 09:53 PM.

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#6
wannabe1

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Disconnect the printer and the flash drive...those could very well be what's hanging the install. See if the installations will complete.
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#7
geekstogouser

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I disconnected the printer and the flash drive cables from the USB ports on the motherboard.
After following the steps for each blue screen again and allowing the computer to restart to initiate its installation process the computer is still hanging at 33 minutes left before completion. I let it run over night just to make sure it was hanging and not just taking a long time.

Could the USB mouse adapted to the PS/2 mouse port be causing this? I noticed the WinXP CD actually loads a lot of USB drivers and dll files before giving me the first blue screen question. Could any of this be causing the problem? Is there a way around this issue?

Again thank you for your help. I really appreciate it.
Wishing you a memorable Thanksgiving as well as some time to enjoy it.
Sincerely,
Patrick

Edited by geekstogouser, 22 November 2007 - 10:24 AM.

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#8
wannabe1

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Are you installing to an ATA or a SATA hard drive?
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#9
geekstogouser

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I just opened up the case to double check and there are two Hard drives, a zip drive, and a DVD drive, all of which use the standard 4 pin power connector. So I'm assuming the two hard drives are typical ATA drives.

Note:
I know what a SATA drive is but I am unfamiliar with what they look like or how to identify one by sight alone. However the secondary drive that I installed looks the same (in terms of connectors) as the one that was already installed in the computer when I received it. Therefor I'm assuming and fairly confident that both HD's are standard ATA and not Serial ATA.

Edited by geekstogouser, 22 November 2007 - 01:22 PM.

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#10
wannabe1

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yup...they sound like ATA.

Let's see if we can figure out just what's hanging the install. Let the XP hang as it has been...remove the CD from the CDROM and reboot. Dont boot to the CD when the installation asks for it, instead, press Shift + F10 to open a command prompt.

If the prompt is C:\, type windows and press "Enter"...then type setupapi.log and press "Enter".

If the prompt is C:\Windows, just type setupapi.log and press "Enter".

The setupapi.log file should open in a notepad window. Scroll to the last few lines in the file and look for the word “inf”...You will see that, in the last few moments of the installation, it created a file with the .inf extension before the hang. The device mentioned in the last few lines is what's stopping the installation...we have to prevent that from trying to install.

Let me know the names of the last few files (in the order they're listed) that loaded.
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#11
geekstogouser

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The computer never gives me a chance to press Shift+F10.
Screen #1: The BIOS screen which gives me the options to press keys to enter the BIOS settings. (Shift+10 = no results).
Screen #2: A blank screen with a cursor.
On the first repair attempt this was the screen that asked me if I wanted to boot from a CD.
This time it did not. (Shift+10 = no results).
Screen #3: The next screen was the Windows Logo with the progress bar below it. (Shift+10 = no results).
Screen #4: A blue screen with "Setup is being restarted...." written a the top of the page. (Shift+10 = no results).
Screen #5: The screen where the program hangs at 33 minutes described in the first post of this thread.
However since this time the CD was not in the tray it complained about it with the following window:

Window title: "Insert Disk"
Window message: "Please insert the Disk labeled 'Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 CD' into your CD-ROM drive (E:) and then click OK. You can also click OK if you want files to be copied from an alternate location, such as a floppy disk.
Window Buttons: [OK] [Cancel]

I selected "Cancel" and was given the contents of the following Setup Log file:
C:\Windows\setuperr.log
The following error is displayed in this log file 5 times consecutively:
"Error: Setup encountered an error while trying to set system security. An extended error has occurred."

The 6th and final error message in this file is as follows:
"Fatal Error: One of the components that Windows needs to continue setup could not be installed. The operation was canceled by the user."

While I'm waiting for your response, I will try and find and make a boot disk off another computer to access the file your requesting from the computer having the problem.

Thank you for being patient and waiting for my responses. I appreciate your continued support and help. Thank you.
Sincerely,
Patrick.

Edited by geekstogouser, 22 November 2007 - 05:49 PM.

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#12
wannabe1

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Window title: "Insert Disk"
Window message: "Please insert the Disk labeled 'Windows XP Professional Service Pack 2 CD' into your CD-ROM drive (E:) and then click OK. You can also click OK if you want files to be copied from an alternate location, such as a floppy disk.
Window Buttons: [OK] [Cancel]

This is where you press Shift + F10

If you haven't tried that. please do. We need a device to disable...this will tell us what it is if we can get to the log.
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#13
geekstogouser

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Thank you for the clarification. I was able to copy "setupapi.log" to a floppy disk but I received the following message when trying to attach the file to this post. "Upload failed. You are not permitted to upload this type of file."

Since not all the error messages appear within the last portion of this file and I am not allowed to attach a file and the file is to large to fit into a post I'm not sure what I can do. May I please have permission to attach a file?

Edited by geekstogouser, 22 November 2007 - 09:56 PM.

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#14
wannabe1

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Right click on the file, point to "Send to" and choose "Compressed Folder". Then try uploading and attaching the zipped file. The one you pasted and removed didn't appear to be complete...
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#15
geekstogouser

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Ok. Sorry for the delay in uploading the file. The file unzipped is smaller than the max upload size... Any way, I was allowed to upload the zipped version of the file. It should show up as being attached to this post.

Thank you again for your patients.
Sincerely,
Patrick.

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