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XP Media Center Reboots at Loading Screen


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#1
Kulock

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I have a problem that sounds similar to this one:

http://www.geekstogo...een-t15558.html


Basically, last night, I had my GetRight running to download files, and my monitor had switched out from Power Save. I popped in a CompactFlash card that woke it up (took it out of the monitor Power Save mode), but when I did, I noticed that I was getting a lot of visual problems (artifacts, undrawn areas, the type one experiences with low memory, which shouldn't have been the case, GetRight usually doesn't cause any severe problems like this), and programs crashing, even the DrWatson debugger, so I wrangled open the Start Menu and picked Restart.

Since then, I haven't been able to reboot the PC. I've tried both the normal and F8-based booting options; when I do, it seems to take a while to load up the initial files, but it does so... but the instant it gets past the black-and-white loading and to the XP logo with the blue loading bar below it, the PC reboots. Without fail.

I did some searching and reading, and the article I linked above sounded similar. But how can I get to the point where I can perform a chkdsk when I can't get to anything even resembling a Command Prompt? There seems to be no option for that in the F8 boot menu, and I tried downloading a Boot Disk for XP Home SP2 (closest I could find to my Media Center) on the Microsoft site, but it failed on Disk 3 with an Error Code 7. (Could just be a bad diskette, but the Boot Disk was labeled a "Setup" boot disk anyway, so that makes me nervous to use.)

My PC's a Vaio, so I didn't get a Windows disc, heck, they won't even send me a Recovery Disc unless I send them $18, and I've heard that Recovery Disc usually just does a full wipe, which isn't what I'm looking for.

Can anyone offer any help? If I have a friend make an MS-DOS boot disk in their XP, will that be enough to allow me to run chkdsk on the drive? Or do I need to do something else? I'm just at a bit of a loss as to what to do.
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#2
Kulock

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Hullo? Here's a bit more information, if this helps.

I had my friend made an MS-DOS boot disk, but I couldn't see any drives other than the disk drive. I also tried something they had called "Madboot" (apparently recommended on TechTV a while back), it had some tools that looked decent, but it didn't seem like it could find the HD.

But it doesn't make sense to assume that the HD itself is broken, since it shouldn't even START loading in that case (and it can load the initial files, it lists them loading as it goes through the Safe Boot process, it's just when it starts into the XP shell that it fouls up and reboots, so maybe it's a registry thing?)

I told it not to reboot in case of an error, and here's the error message it popped up (annoyingly suggesting I use CHKDSK /F, again, how can I get to the point where I can do that?):

*** STOP: 0x0000007B (0xF7C46524, 0xC0000034, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

Does that look familiar to anyone?
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#3
Doby

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recovery console

You can use your xp disk to run chkdsk the above link will guide you

Error

The above link troubleshoots the error you posted.

good luck Rick
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#4
Kulock

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Thanks, but my PC didn't come with an XP disc. Maybe I can use the Setup Boot Software I got from the Microsoft site, though?

http://support.micro...kb;en-us;310994
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#5
Doby

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I am unclear on weather that will work with the setup disks but if you can barrow a xp cd from a friend it is legal and ok to use recover console from it.

Rick
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#6
Squiggles

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Kulock, I saw you link to this topic over a the MC and basically wanted to synthesize there here, in case you're checking this topic more often.

As for the setup disks, that's unfortunately a no-go. All that those disks do is cause your computer to be able to boot into the CD-ROM if your BIOS doesn't support it. Basically, you still need the CD-ROM.

In the best case scenario, it's a sofrware problem that the recovery console can fix. In that case, it will be OK to use a friends XP disc to boot into the recovery console. Though the recovery console is essentially a DOS prompt with a few tools, the fixboot command should hopefully fix your problem. Just type "fixboot c:" at the recovery console prompt.

Reinstalling Windows XP might fix the problem after that, but it presents two problems. First, since XP keys are keyed to your individual machine; you won't be able to install Windows XP with a friend's CD. I know that you said that the manufacturer wouldn't send you a disc (and you were right about not wanting the recovery disc, but a proper XP disc), but if I recall, all of the large manufacturers (e.g. Dell, Gateway) are required through their contract with Microsoft to provide install media with the machine. If it did not come with a Windows XP installation disc then they should be legally obligated to send one to you. Second, if running fixboot does not work, then you probably have a hardware problem (unless the error message changes after that, in which case you have multiple problems). As Hard Drives have increased in capacity, I've noticed that their reliability and MTBF (Mean Time Between Failure) have decreased greatly. You have a 200 GB Disc, if I recall, so it may very well be a hardware problem.
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#7
gerryf

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http://www.tweakxp.c...icle153115.aspx

Coolest thing since sliced bread---a self-contained recovery console for people who didn't get an actual windows cd from their dopey OEMs...

download the iso, burn it AS an image, you now have a recovery console :tazz:
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#8
Kulock

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Rockin'. I'll give that a shot, thanks a lot for the link.
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#9
Squiggles

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You might want to try using "chkdsk c:" from the recovery console if fixboot doesn't work, as Sz pointed out at the MC. I've been using BartPE to run chkdsk so much that I forgot that it was even on the recovery console.

As for that recovery console ISO, that's pretty great. Gerryf, do you know if there are there any legalities in using that in a corporate or educational environment? Does it violate the Windows EULA or anything like that? I'd love to have that handy for those who don't have the XP disc.
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#10
Doby

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Great tip Gerryf how do you know all this stuff, I'll be sure to bookmark that
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#11
gerryf

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just stumbled on it one day....stored a copy on my server because you never know how long it will be there.
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#12
Kulock

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OK, I've tried the XP Recovery Disc some... I ran both chkdsk /p and /r (there's no /f, at least not on the recovery disc). Both times I ran /p, it hit about mid-30%, the time I ran /r, it only went to 25%, then both kicked up a message about the Volume having one or more unrecoverable errors.

Now it says "NTLDR is Missing", it's not even loading as far as it used to.

About fixboot, will that destroy my current partitions? (Hence, losing the data I hope to save.) Or will I need an XP CD? Or can it run just off this stand-alone Recovery Console disc?
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#13
Squiggles

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Well, if chkdsk is failing, then I wouldn't hold out much hope for your Hard Drive. I'm really sorry. Fixboot won't repartition your drive, but I'm not sure if you need an actual XP CD or not, since I've never tried on anything else. All it does is write a new boot sector to your Hard Drive, so it it contains that data in the program, it should work. However, if it relies on an external file present on the CD, it might not.
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#14
gerryf

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I would say you have a physical harddrive error
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#15
Kulock

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I would say you have a physical harddrive error

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Crap. Absolutely no reason for it too. (I really don't like the timing of this, since this weekend we're going out to buy a similar model for my mum.) Guess I'll give Fixboot a shot, and if that fails, time for Mr. Warranty. :/
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