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Start up problems


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#1
Fidelio1st

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* Operating system: Windows XP Professional
* Desktop
* Brand and Model # eMachines T4510
* Type of Mouse (USB/PS2/Wireless) - Wireless, Loxitech I think
* Type of Keyboard (USB/PS2/Wireless) - eMachines purple plug (not USB)
* Amount of memory: 512mb RAM, 120GB Seagate Harddrive (replaced original Western Digital HD 1-2 hrs ago)
* Motherboard model (if known): ?
* Video card (PCI/PCI-E/AGP) or Integrated Video (if known): Intel graphics (don't have # handy)
------------

* What doesn't work
The computer takes a really long time to start up. After the Windows XP logo appears, it goes to black for a while, then a cursor shows, then it finally goes to the login screen. It stalls after I log in, it takes about 10-15 mins before I can use it, ie the background image of the desktop will come up, but it takes time for desktop items to appear. The only things in the bottom right corner are norton, a monitor driver image I think, and maybe one or two other things, but no unnecessary startup programs (ie so it's not programs slowing it down).

When I put it to sleep/standby, I cannot wake it up and have to shut down, and power on again (I think the machine actually wakes up, but the screen remains black and login screen does not come on).

If I just shut down, it does as described above when I start it up ... therefore anytime I shut down I'm going to have problems ... I can't just leave it on all the time, right.

* What does work
Once it starts up, everything seems to run fine, very fast as usual.

* What have you tried
1. I replaced the CR2032 battery on the motherboard. Didn't help.

2. I bought a brand new Western Digital 250 GB harddrive ... but don't think I tried it properly ... I tried using my eMachines restore CD, and the new harddrive was doing the same thing ... but then I remembered the restore CD doesn't work (only on the original eMachines harddrive), so I have not installed Windows XP Professional on the new WD HD yet.

3. I reinstalled Windows XP Professional, deleted the old partition and installing on clean partition. I downloaded all the Windows updates (incl. SP2), and Norton Antivirus.


*Questions:

1. What could be causing the start up problems? Bad motherboard?

2. Does it sound like the Seagate harddrive could be bad...is it worth installing Windows on the new harddrive to test.

3. I replaced the power supply 3-4 yrs ago. Could it need a new power supply?

4. What else can I do to try to fix this?

Appreciate any help.
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#2
Murray S.

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Howdy and welcome to G2G:

Just a thought here but have you installed all the correct/proper drivers for your system and XP yet?

It could be that Windows is searching for drivers it can't find for your hardware and has to resort to using the generic ones.

BTW, your Recovery cd should work if all you changed was the hdd unless there is a hidden patition on your old hdd that holds all the drivers, etc.

Murray
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#3
Fidelio1st

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Thanks for responding. To clarify, I changed to the Seagate Harddrive 3-4 years ago. And everything (with the exception of replacing the power supply) has been working fine. Then suddenly last week I had these startup problems. These startup problems occured after I started using the program BCWipe to delete some files (however I'd been using the program for about 2-3 weeks, and have used it in the past before).

After I re-installed Windows, I did have to reinstall my monitor and sound card drivers. But it's doing the same thing as before, when I had all the drivers. So I doubt it's a missing driver.

Question: Since I deleted the partition, reformatted the harddrive, then reinstalled Windows, does that rule out a virus? Can viruses only get in the harddrive, or can they get in the motherboard as well. I'm not a techy, so I hope I'm not sounding like Owen Wilson in Zoolander here. And also, this probably rules out that it was a program that caused the damage too, right?

So that leads me to believe it's a hardware problem, maybe something with the motherboard? But I'm hoping something easily repairable, because like I said, once it starts up, it runs fine...but I can't shut it down without it giving me start up problems. So it's definitely unstable.

Edited by Fidelio1st, 06 March 2008 - 08:53 PM.

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#4
Murray S.

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Once you formatted the drive, that would wipe a virus. That being said, once you installed XP again, were you hooked up to the net immediately (Network card installed and connected)?

Does your XP cd include any Service Packs or did you have to download and install them?

What about a firewall and av program?

Lastly, when you re-installed, did you go into BIOS and disable the on-board av program (you should have)?

Murray
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#5
Fidelio1st

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Thanks for the reply. To answer your questions...

>>>Once you formatted the drive, that would wipe a virus. That being said, once you installed XP again, were you hooked up to the net immediately (Network card installed and connected)? What about a firewall and av program?

After I installed XP, I installed Norton Antivirus, and the first thing I did after plugging in the internet (cable modem) was update Norton. Then I went to Windows update through IE and updated windows. I thought I had all the updates, however this morning there were 50 more updates to install. I will check when I get home to see if these new updates fixed the problem ... however I doubt it b/c it's the same problem I had before I reinstalled Windows, and I was up to date before. The only firewall I have is the Windows firewall.

>>>Does your XP cd include any Service Packs or did you have to download and install them?
No, had to install them.

>>>Lastly, when you re-installed, did you go into BIOS and disable the on-board av program (you should have)?

I had to go into BIOS to set some things, but I don't think I diabled the on-board av program.

So then could that mean maybe I had a virus before, and somehow got it again. --Or-- what should I try now if the Windows updates didn't fix start up problem. Do you need a hijack this log or something. Also, I'll run my diagnotics CD that came wtih the Seagate Harddrive and see what that says.
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#6
Murray S.

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Don't post a HJT log here. If all else fails, I will have you post one in the Malware Forum and see what they have to say there.

If you are up to it, I would like to suggest booting into BIOS and have you find the on-board AV program.

Disable that and go through the process of installing XP once more.

Murray
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#7
happyrock

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it may not be necessary to reinstall windows..
try this first...look in your bios and make sure that use DMA is enabled

if its taking 10 minutes to load windows the hard drive is reverting to PIO mode...
For repeated DMA errors. Windows XP will turn off DMA mode for a device after encountering certain errors during data transfer operations. If more that six DMA transfer timeouts occur, Windows will turn off DMA and use only PIO mode on that device.

In this case, the user cannot turn on DMA for this device. The only option for the user who wants to enable DMA mode is to uninstall and reinstall the device...
go to the device manager and uninstall the IDE ATA primary IDE channel...then reboot

Edited by happyrck, 07 March 2008 - 06:16 PM.

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#8
Fidelio1st

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Thanks for the replies...been kind of sick this week, so just getting back to trying to fix this now.

Where is the on-board AV program? There's something in BIOS that says "Virus Warning" and it is enabled. Is this it? Do I need to disable that and reinstall windows?

In the BIOS, "IDE DMA transfer access" is enabled. So what does that mean then? (Please note, I'm not all that computer literate, don't know too much about the BIOS, or DMA, so please walk me through step by step)
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#9
Murray S.

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It should say something like "Trend Boot Sector anti-virus" or something similiar.

If BIOS shoes DMA being enabled, that is all you need.

Murray
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#10
Fidelio1st

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So I ran the disc utility CD that came with my Seagate Drive. I ran the full test on everything, and MY COMPUTER, the MOTHERBOARD, and something else passed. But the NTFS (120GB) said "Passed with inconsistencies." And the report read,

"Some files or folders were found with inconsistent write or change The write or change time does not match the write change time stored in the file record."

Could this mean my Seagate Harddrive is bad? I ask because maybe I should just reinstall windows on the new harddrive instead of the Seagate.
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#11
Fidelio1st

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Also, when I do reinstall Windows on the Harddrive, is there someway to save all the updates (SP2, etc)? And if not, what is the process for downloading updates, and connecting to the interenet so I don't get viruses. Usually what I do is the first thing I install is Norton. Connect to the internet, update norton, then do Windows update.
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#12
happyrock

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unplug the computer from the wall...install the new HD...no other HD's attached to the computer at this point..
then try reinstalling xp to the new hard drive...
the new drive should be on the end connector and the jumper on the drive should be set as master..
the other end should be connected to the primary IDE connector on the motherboard...usually the blue one

before you to connect to the internet and try to get the updates...try rebooting several times..
write down how long it takes to boot up..do this several times...should be less than a minute...
if it takes longer then that...replace the IDE cable with a new 40 pin 80 wire IDE cable..
if you can boot up in less then 1 minute then make sure windows firewall is on and I recommend you install either AVG...its free and my personal choice..
or Avast...also free..
either of them are lite on your system and uninstall easily...unlike norton that can cause big problems...
you can get those programs now and burn them to cd and then install only one of them right from the cd after you have xp reinstalled to the new hard drive...


downside is...
you will have to get all the updates again...

upside is... you should start booting up quicker...and running faster

Edited by happyrck, 15 March 2008 - 05:43 PM.

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#13
Fidelio1st

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So I formatted the new 250GB harddrive, that literally took about 2 days (or at least 24 hours, it was formatting at about 5% an hour). I reinstalled Windows Xp on the new harddrive, that took forever, and it froze a couple times during installation (once during "installing devices" where there was a green time bar). Finally it looked like it was all installed, and it went to the setup questions, and it froze last night, as it asks you questions to set up Windows (on like the first 2 questions), so I haven't made it to the desktop yet. After it freezes, to start up again, it still takes a long time.

So when I get home tonight, I'll switch out the IDE cable and see if that's the problem. Also, I read in my Western Digital HD manual, that harddrives over 137GB can have problems with Windows XP (pre SP1, which I have to download to get), , suggesting creating 2 smaller partitions under 137GB. I didn't realize this before formatting the partition, so I only have one partition on there, of about 238GB

Could this be causing problems installing Windows? And if so, how do I go to the screen to reset the partitions? Because if I reboot without my Windows CD, it still goes to the middle of the Windows install (or where it last left off).

Can I split the 238GB one, or do I have to erase it, set up 2 new partitions of approx. 120 GB each, and reformat both partitions before installing Windows again (if of course replacing the IDE cable doesn't work)?

Also, my WD HD came with a CD that has Lifeguard tools software on it, and it says to insert that after Windows is installed, which I think may help with the SP1 issue... however I booted to that disc and an error came up, wouldn't let me do anything (but I don't think Windows was fully installed at that point yet).

Also, do I want to disable the onboard AV program in the BIOS, as Murray S suggested for reinstalling Windows on the old drive, with the new Harddrive?

Finally ... since it went bad before, have the problems I'm having ruled out that the power supply is bad ... or could a faulty power supply be causing the problems?

Again, thanks for your patience and all your help.
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#14
Murray S.

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Okay.. a bad power supply is unlikely.. more like bad ram as that is the most usual problem with hard/bad XP installs.

You could also go to the manufacturers website (harddrive) and download a nd run their diagnostics program. That would tell you if there was a problem with the hdd itself.

Lastly, you may have a dirty or scratched install cd.

Murray
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#15
Fidelio1st

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Nothing seems to be working... To reiterate, I ran the diagnotics on the Seagate Harddrive and it said the NTFS "Passed with inconsistencies." I spoke to a computer systems friend of mine, and he suggested I take it to a computer store, and have them install a new NTFS loader ... that it sounded like the problems I'm having has to do with that, which makes sense that Windows won't install right or load correctly.

Does that sound right?

Where is the best place to take it? How's the Best Buy Geek Squad? Or know of another place in Los Angeles? There is a place by my house called Computer Works - 7825 Beverly Blvd # 3, Los Angeles, CA ... anyone heard of it?


......


I talked to the guy at Computer Works, and he said it sounds like a controller. Do you know what he means? Is this something I can buy at a store and test myself?

Edited by Fidelio1st, 27 March 2008 - 07:01 PM.

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