Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

XP System/Hardware Failure?


  • Please log in to reply

#1
RockinRoll

RockinRoll

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
Hi, All-

This is my 1st post and I'll start by saying, "Thank you" to all of you who provide such a needed service!!

In a nutshell:

I bought new computer. It's been a piece of junk.

I took it back to the store 3 times...he/they didn't fix it.

I've contacted MS Support and emailed them System Info, dump files, etc.

He sent me to your site. I've tried to repair XP (http://www.geekstogo...ws-XP-t138.html) 3 times, maybe 4.

Then tried a full install using the "Leave current file system intact" option 2 times.

Then "Format...NTFS" 3 times.

Then "Format...NTFS (quick)" 4 times.

It got through formatting each time then, virtually every time it tried to install XP it would hang. It stopped in different places: 6%, 11%, 19%...the farthest it got was 30%. 1 or 2 times it rebooted itself back to "Press any key to load off of CD..." ...er, something close to that.
=======================

The long, sorry, really long version...I bought a new computer from a local store with supposedly all high quality components:

Mother Board= Essential Series Desktop Board-D945GCCR

I don't know the CPU's specs.

2GB PC2-4200 CL4 240 Pin DIMMM Kit of Kingston RAM (2-1GB sticks).

250GB HDD (don't have any other info)
=============================

There were problems since day one.

It worked okay for a while but always acted funky, e.g. from a fresh, power-off boot I'd wait for what little I had on Start up to load (a Clipboard utility), then click the Start button...nothing...10 seconds later it pops up or it would lock up requiring a reboot. Other times it would whir and whir and take a full minute for Thunderbird to load. Sometimes it would load to the User Icon screen/menu(?) and then crash after clicking my profile. Stuff like that but it was useable.

I brought it back to the store expressing that it sounded like a RAM issue but he blamed it on the room temperature (78 degrees) so I air conditioned it.

It was still doing the same stuff so I brought it back about a month later. This time it was blamed on the software that I loaded (Note: he didn't do any diagnostics at all...pure speculation at this point).

I got really sick and couldn't do much for several months, so I just used it the way it was. Mainly email and a web browser.

It finally started malfunctioning so badly that it was extremely frustrating to use...it would frequently spontaniously reboot and finally XP just wouldn't load at all.

My health recovered enough and I brought it back a 3rd time. He hooked it up and, of course, Windows loaded the 1st try. I was surprised, to say the least (at home I had tried to load it about 20-30 times without success). I ran a program that plays videos/mp3's and it rebooted itself about 2 minutes later. Again, without, diagnostics of any kind, he blamed it on software.

I asked him to do a hardware check-up on it. I think the only thing he did was repair Windows and charged me $155.00. I, also, had the power supply replaced ($45.00) at this time because it had loud fans not because it was malfunctioning.

He installed Nero 8 and MS Office. After I got it back I installed a graphics program (IrfanView), an Adobe PDF reader and PortableApps, which, the guy at the computer store recommended. If your not familiar with them they're a suite that run off of a flash drive. From PortableApps I only ran Thunderbird, Firefox and the password proggy.

It worked okay (funky) for a couple weeks, like noted above, then it started spontaniously rebooting again.

The only other program I installed was a Data Recovery software, which, cost me $80.00 to recover the data that was lost because he didn't properly back up my data. By the way, he blamed that on Windows. In my opinion that was just sloppiness. He just didn't double-check to see if my data had copied to his portable drive. It copied the directory structure but they were all empty...not a single file copied.

Since he seemed to only repair/reinstall Windows I decided to try and figure it out myself. I Googled and came across a forum that thought it was issues with SP3. So I contacted Microsoft support (I've pasted all correspondences below). Tony, at MS Support, concluded that it's a hardware issue. I wasn't convinced but I decided to go with his advice and Repair XP (http://www.geekstogo...ws-XP-t138.html) from the installation CD.

========================
The condensed version from Tony@MS Support:

Step 1: Boot into safe mode

(***By the way, it had major trouble booting into safe mode, but normal mode was more stable.)

Step 2: Enable dump files

Step 3: Clean Boot
(Also, in Clean Boot the system was much more UNstable. It locked up and rebooted itself more than ever before).

I collected system info: "Start", go to "Run", type in "MSINFO32" and with HiJackThis. I created the log files he wanted, zipped & emailed them.

=======================
Next Message and new instructions:

Boot into Safe mode

Systems restore: Click "Start", click "Run", type "%SystemRoot%\System32\restore\rstrui.exe"
(I tried about 15 times in Safe Mode and it continued to reboot itself. Only one time was it stable enough to even get to the Run command and then it rebooted).

I wrote back and asked if I could run it in Normal Mode...

His response: "In addition, I would like to let you know that running system restore in the safe mode is the best method to restore the system. But, given this situation, you can try run system restore in the normal mode. If it failed, you have to run system restore in the safe mode."

===================
What happened next:

Hiya, Tony-

I got into Windows Normal Mode> Run> SystemRoot%\System32\restore\rstrui.exe> selected the only prior date available based on your dump file review: "After reviewing the dump files, I noticed that the issue began occur on 7/3/2008 , the probably corrupted file was ntoskrnl.exe" I ran it and it seemed successful.

It tried to boot with this error, "...msgina.dll failed to load."

I clicked OK> rebooted> Safe Mode> with this error, "...ntoskrnl.exe is missing."

I rebooted and tried Last Known Good and got the msgina error.

During the above the system bounced around: it tried to reboot and got to the F2 Bios screen and then went black, rebooted, went through the F2 Bios screen and onto the Windows is loading screen, then rebooted, got to the Bios screen and rebooted, etc. and it bounced around like that for a while until it got to the menu for selecting Safe Mode, etc.

Obviously, I can't get it to load at all. Do I break-out the XP disc and reinstall? Go into DOS?

Best-
Scot
=====

Tony's response:

Hello Scot,

Given this situation, I suggest performing a repair installation, for your convenience, I've included an article below.

http://www.geekstogo...ws-XP-t138.html

If the issue persists after repairing windows, the issue is related to the hardware.
=========

Now, we're back to here:

I've tried to repair XP (http://www.geekstogo...ws-XP-t138.html) 3 times, maybe 4.

Then tried a full install using the "Leave current file system intact" option.

Then "Format...NTFS" 3 times.

Then "Format...NTFS (quick)" 4 times.

Virtually every time it tried to install XP it would hang. It stopped in different places: 6%, 11%, 19%...the farthest it got was 30%. 1 or 2 times it rebooted itself back to "Press any key to load off of CD..." ...er, something close to that.
===========================

Before I take it back again do you guys have any other suggestions?

Any way I can prove it's a hardware issue?

There is one place during install that asks for 3rd party or RAID drivers. If it needed them would this cause these types of installation problems if it didn't get them?

On top of all this, albeit unlikely, do think my XP disc is corrupted?

By the way, I want to say another "Thank You!!" to the system/forum admins for making the site accessable to older computers. I'm using an old 98SE machine to post this and it won't load a lot of sites.


-Scot



=============

From here down are the full emails to and from Tony at MS support...

Hello Scot, Given this situation, I suggest performing a repair installation, for your convenience, I've included an article below. http://www.geekstogo...ws-XP-t138.html
If the issue persists after repairing windows, the issue is related to the hardware. Sincerely Yours, Tony Gu,
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Scot Pera [mailto:]
Sent: 2008-8-16 (???) 10:10
To: Tony Gu (MS)
Subject: RE: Microsoft Support: SRX 1075666814 (another little piece of info)

Hiya, Tony-
I got into Windows Normal Mode> Run> SystemRoot%\System32\restore\rstrui.exe> selected the only prior date available based on your dump file review: "After reviewing the dump files, I noticed that the issue began occur on 7/3/2008 , the probably corrupted file was ntoskrnl.exe" I ran it and it seemed successful.
It tried to boot with this error, "...msgina.dll failed to load."
I clicked OK> rebooted> Safe Mode> with this error, "...ntoskrnl.exe is missing."
I rebooted and tried Last Known Good and got the msgina error.
During the above the system bounced around: it tried to reboot and got to the F2 Bios screen and then went black, rebooted, went through the F2 Bios screen and onto the Windows is loading screen, then rebooted, got to the Bios screen and rebooted, etc. and it bounced around like that for a while until it got to the menu for selecting Safe Mode, etc.
Obviously, I can't get it to load at all. Do I break-out the XP disc and reinstall? Go into DOS?
Best-
Scot

--- On Thu, 8/14/08, Tony Gu (MS) <> wrote:

From: Tony Gu (MS) <>
Subject: RE: Microsoft Support: SRX 1075666814 (another little piece of info)
To: "Scot Pera" <>
Date: Thursday, August 14, 2008, 7:49 PM

Dear Scot,



Thank you for your reply.



I appreciate your cooperation to send the information to me for research.




From your message, I noticed that the issue persists in the safe mode and clean boot mode.




After reviewing the dump files, I noticed that the issue began occur on 7/3/2008 , the probably corrupted file was ntoskrnl.exe.




Based on my experience, this error can be caused by the following factors.




1. Outdated drivers, which cannot fully compatible with Service Pack 3.


2. Unstable hardware, for example, ram, etc.




At this time, I suggest removing Service Pack 3 temporarily to check the issue.




Boot into Safe mode


====================


1. Restart the computer and start pressing the F8 key on the keyboard. On a computer that is configured to boot multiple Operating Systems, press the F8 key when you see the boot menu.


2. When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select Safe Mode, and then press Enter.


3. Log onto Windows by using the Administrator account or any user account with Administrator privileges.




NOTE: In Safe Mode, your system display and Desktop will look and perform differently than in Normal Mode. This is only temporary. To go back to Normal Mode, we just need to restart the computer.




Systems restore


=======================


Note: If you have some important documents or files which were created after the restore point, please copy them to My Documents. By doing this, even if you back the system up to the initial status, the documents will be saved in My Documents.




1. Click "Start", click "Run", type "%SystemRoot%\System32\restore\rstrui.exe" in the Open box, and then click "OK".


2. Click "Restore my computer to an earlier time", and then click "Next".


3. From the restore points available, select an appropriate restore point when your system was working correctly and click "Next".


4. Click "Next", and then follow the instructions.




Can we restore the computer to a good status?




If the issue persists, the issue can be caused by the ram, it will be better for you contact computer manufactory for directly assistant.




Please try the above steps and let me know the results at your earliest convenience. If there are any questions or concerns, feel free to let me know.




I look forward to your reply.




Best Regards.




Tony Gu



Microsoft Windows Support Professional







--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Scot Pera [mailto:]
Sent: Wed 2008-8-13 10:39
To: Tony Gu (MS)
Subject: Re: Microsoft Support: SRX 1075666814 (another little piece of info)

Hi, again, Tony- I didn't think to mention this before but I thought it might be an important piece of diagnostic info: After completing "Step 3: Clean Boot" the system was much more UNstable. I don't recall it ever locking up prior to that and it spontaniously rebooted much more frequently.

--- On Mon, 8/11/08, Tony Gu (MS) <> wrote:

From: Tony Gu (MS) <>
Subject: Microsoft Support: SRX 1075666814
To:
Date: Monday, August 11, 2008, 9:38 PM



Dear Scot,




Thank you for contacting Microsoft Online Support Service. My name is Tony Gu, and I am glad to work with you. For your reference, the case ID for this service request is SRX 1075666814. You can contact me directly by sending an email to v-30togu@mssupport.microsoft.com with the case ID in the subject line.




From your description, I understand that after installing Service Pack 3 for Windows XP, the computer would crash unexpectedly. In addition, I noticed that you installed some of third party programs. If there has been any misunderstanding, please let me know.




I understand the inconvenience you have experienced. Please be assured that I will do my best to help you.




Generally, this kind of issue can be caused by the following factors.




1. Third party software confliction.


2. Outdated drivers.


3. Corrupted ram.




Since the root cause of this issue has not been clarified, let us go through the following steps to check the issue.




Step 1: Boot into safe mode


================================


In order to narrow down the cause of the issue more efficiently, let's restart the computer in Safe Mode. This mode will load the system with the minimum amount of programs and devices. Please follow the instructions below:




1. Restart the computer and start pressing the F8 key on the keyboard. On a computer that is configured to boot multiple Operating Systems, press the F8 key when you see the boot menu.
2. When the Windows Advanced Options menu appears, select Safe Mode, and then press Enter.
3. Log onto Windows by using the Administrator account or any user account with Administrator privileges.




NOTE: In Safe Mode, your system display and Desktop will look and perform differently than in Normal Mode. This is only temporary. To go back to Normal Mode, we just need to restart the computer.




Step 2: Enable dump files


========================


1. Click "Start", click "Run", input "SYSDM.CPL" (without quotation marks) and press Enter.
2. Click the "Advanced" tab and click the "Settings" button under "Startup and Recovery".
3. Under "Write debugging information" section, make sure the "Small Memory Dump (64KB)" option is selected. And then, uncheck “Automatically restart”. Click Ok.
4. Check if "%SystemRoot%\Minidump" is in the "Small Dump Directory" open box.




Please monitor the issue in the safe mode. If the issue doesn’t occur in the safe mode, please monitor the issue in the clean boot mode.




Step 3: Clean Boot
=============
Let's disable all startup items and third party services when booting. This method will help us determine if this issue is caused by a loading program or service. Please perform the following steps:




1. Click "Start", go to "Run", and type "msconfig" (without the quotation marks) in the open box to start the System Configuration Utility.
2. Click the "Services" tab, check the "Hide All Microsoft Services" box and click "Disable All" (if it is not gray).
3. Click the "Startup" tab, click "Disable All" and click "OK".
4. Click "OK" to restart your computer to Selective Startup environment.
5. When the "System Configuration Utility" window appears, please check the "Don't show this message or launch the System Configuration Utility when Windows starts" box and click OK.
6. Check whether or not the issue still appears in this environment.




Note: Temporarily disabling the Startup Group only prevents the startup programs from loading at startup. This shouldn't affect the system or other programs. We may still manually run these programs later.




If the Blue Screen appears again, please refer to the following steps to collect memory dump files:




1. Please click Start, click Run and type "%SystemRoot%\Minidump" (without quotation marks).
2. Go to your Desktop, right-click on it and create a new folder named "Dump".
3. Copy all the memory dump files (looks like Mini092003-01.dmp) in Minidump to this folder.
4. Right-click on the Dump folder, click "Send To", and click "Compressed (zipped) Folder".
5. Please send the ZIP file as an attachment to v-30togu@mssupport.microsoft.com.




Step 4: How to return from a Clean Boot state
=============================
1. Click "Start"->"Run", type "msconfig" (without the quotation marks) and press ENTER.
2. On the "General" tab, click "Normal Startup - load all device drivers and services".
3. Click "OK". Click "Restart" when you are prompted to restart your computer.




In the meanwhile, please also send the system information and hijackthis log to me for research.




A: How to collect system information


================================


The System Information can provide us with more information about the current status of the system. I would like to check it for you. Please send it to me using the following steps:




1. Click "Start", go to "Run", type in "MSINFO32" (without quotation marks) and press Enter to start System Information.
2. On the popup window, on the menu bar, click "File", and click "Save to"; save it as an NFO file, such as "system.nfo" to your local Desktop.
3. Find the file, right-click on this file, click "Send To", and click "Compressed (zipped) Folder".




Please send it as an attachment to v-30togu@mssupport.microsoft.com




B: How to collect Hijackthis log:


=====================================


1. Please download the Internet Explorer analyzer HijackThis from the following link:
http://www.techspot....ownload317.html




Please Note: The third-party product discussed here is manufactured by a company that is independent of Microsoft. We make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding this product's performance or reliability.




2. Save the file to your Desktop.

3. Double click the extracted file to run HiJackThis. (Note: If there is a notification message, please click OK.)




4. In the HijackThis window, click "Do a system scan and save a log file". (Note: If there is a notification message, please click OK.)




5. HijackThis will scan the system and generate a log file in Notepad.
6. On the log file menu, please click File and choose Save As. Please save the file to the Desktop.
7. Return to the Desktop, and send the log file to my email account as an attachment at: v-30togu@mssupport.microsoft.com




Note: When attaching files to emails, the process will vary depending on the email application being used. While you are composing the email, most applications will provide you with either an Attach Button or Paper Clip Icon to click in order to attach a file. After clicking this button/icon you must browse to the file you wish to attach and select it by either double clicking it or clicking it once and then clicking on the attach button.




Please try the above steps and let me know the results at your earliest convenience. If there are any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me.




I look forward to your reply.




Sincerely,


Tony Gu
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
SETI1985

SETI1985

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 1 posts
it looks like a hardware problem.
  • 0

#3
Neil Jones

Neil Jones

    Member 5k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,476 posts
A computer's inability to full-format a hard drive usually means there's an issue with the drive.
  • 0

#4
123Runner

123Runner

    Member 4k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,308 posts
A hard drive failure will create a lot of odd issues.

Go to http://<strong class...span></strong>l or http://<strong class.../span></strong> to get the utility for your hard drive.

Run the utility to check your drive.

Oh, and welcome to geeks to go!
  • 0

#5
RockinRoll

RockinRoll

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
Cool...I open the box, check the brand of the hard drive and run...er, at least, start to run the utility. :)
  • 0

#6
123Runner

123Runner

    Member 4k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,308 posts
Device manager should tell you the drive manufacturer, or bios, or belarc advisor.
  • 0

#7
RockinRoll

RockinRoll

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
Oh, duh...I forgot about that info being in the bios. It's been several years since I've messed with anything in the bios. I know I'm showing my age, er, at least, how old my 1st computer was, but I think it was Windows 3.1.

The drive is a Seagate. I ran the short test then the long test with zero errors.

123Runner, I'm gonna take your lead and search for a RAM tester at Kingston's website.

If that's not a smart next step I'd appreciate the advice.
  • 0

#8
123Runner

123Runner

    Member 4k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,308 posts
Use MEMTEST86.

How many sticks of ram do you have?
  • 0

#9
RockinRoll

RockinRoll

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
2 sticks of 1GB Kingston Value RAM (266Mhz ddr532)

I found Memtest86+ V2.01

I burned the ISO and ran it. It loaded, then rebooted, loaded, rebooted, etc. about 6 times. It ran for a second at most. I could see the progress go to about 6% before it rebooted.

It currently looks like it hung-up...nothing is updating. After about 20 minutes it still reads "Test#3 26%". The only thing showing signs of life is the "+" flashing on the logo.
  • 0

#10
123Runner

123Runner

    Member 4k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,308 posts
Try running only 1 stick at a time.
  • 0

Advertisements


#11
RockinRoll

RockinRoll

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
Okay, I'll give 1 stick at a time a shot, but I'm gettin' a little cross-eyed. I'm gonna go get a little rest...

A little update: I powered off and tried again.

It keeps locking up at 26% on test 3.

Powered-off again, and got to 9% on test 3 and it self-rebooted. Now, it's in a cycle where it just keeps doing that...about 6 times so far.

Okay, now, it's back to locking-up at 26%.
  • 0

#12
RockinRoll

RockinRoll

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
I guess I should have asked how beforehand, but I popped up the tabs on the outsides of the stick and pulled it out. It came out smoothly...I don't think I broke anything, etc. Now I turn it on and get 3 beeps and then nothing.

Is there a #1 & #2 slot that the ram has to be in to function? Am I in the wrong slot?

Does this indicate that this is the bad stick?

Should I just swap-it-out and try the other stick?
  • 0

#13
RockinRoll

RockinRoll

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
I found this: http://keith.geekstogo.com/memtest.htm

So, I think I'm okay testing from any slot.

By the way, 123Runner, if I haven't said it enough, I want say "Thank you!" again. I certainly appreciate your efforts!
  • 0

#14
RockinRoll

RockinRoll

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 11 posts
I'm testing the other stick now. Memtest86 crashed on test 3...four times. Rebooted itself twice. It then made it to test 4 and then rebooted itself. Then made it to 19% on test 4. And is continuing that pattern.

=============

Next test:
I retested the 1st stick but put it in the other slot (in the "1st" slot all the machine did was beep 3 times and do nothing). Memtest loaded but it barely got into test 1 and rebooted (x10+). Then it locked up on test 3.

============

I read most of http://keith.geekstogo.com/memtest.htm and I'm more confused about interpreting results or lack thereof.

Am I looking at a motherboard issue?

Isn't unlikely that both sticks would be toast?

Does it look like an incompatability/bug with Memtest and my ram/chipset?

I don't know where to go from here.

=============

From Memtest:

Chipset: Intel 945P/G (ECC DISABLED) FSB: 199Mhz, Type: DDR-II
RAM: 266Mhz DDR532.

Did it get set up wrong at the store? Do I need to make the Mhz match? Is that done in bios? Again, I read something about frequencies needing to match but I didn't really understand it.
  • 0

#15
admin

admin

    Founder Geek

  • Administrator
  • 24,504 posts
Very unlikely that both sticks of memory would fail at the same time. Most likely a motherboard issue.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP