Here's the rundown, it's going to be a little long so bare with me.
OS: XP Home SP3
Vid: Radeon x1900
CPU 1.8 Ghz AMD
Mobo (no sure, will have to took)
HDA0: 80gb partitioned 40 to C, 40 to D
2 DVD drives
Ok, what spurred this whole incident was the response time in Windows on his machine. ANYTHING explorer related causes explorer to clock for 2-5 minutes. I did the normal, booted to safe mode, disabled startup items, ran an Ad-aware scan and Spybot S&D scan. Neither found anything major. I run and AVG virus scan, nothing. I disable a few minor items using HJT and I disabled a few other items using Autoruns.exe. Booted normally. Same issue.
His PC has a lot of junk so he gave me the green light to blow the OS away and reimage. He backed up everything he needed onto his 250gb drive.
I throw his restore disk in and reboot. Nothing happens, it boots right into windows....... I reboot again and check the BIOS, CDROM is set to device #1 in the boot order. I move the CD to the other DVD drive and try to boot, again just bypasses the CD and goes right into windows. I drop it back down again and go into the bios. I disabled all other boot options so it would be forced to use the CD or nothing. Try to boot, it looks like it is trying to boot (there's activity on the DVD drive), but eventually comes back and tells me to inset a disk and press enter.
At this point I start thinking hardware. Maybe the IDE controller is fudged (I know I know, worst case....) though it strikes me as odd that the BIOS would recognize the drives if the controller was bad. Anyway, to appease my self I swap out the IDE cable with one that I know works. Same issue. I unplugged the second HDD and connected the first DVD drive to the cable (disconnecting the second controller completely). BIOS recognizes HDD and CD-ROM. Try to boot from CD, goes right into windows. Change cable to the other DVD drive, same issue.
Through all of these boots I also tried booting from an XP Home CD with the same results (both CDs do work, I can boot with both on my PC).
The next step is to try to boot from USB but I haven't tried that yet.
So, thoroughly frustrated with that I move back to the OS thinking maybe there is something I can work on there until I get the boot issue worked out.
So I have run Adaware and Spybot. Gone through HJT and Autoruns and I still have an issue.
A little more detail on what I am seeing with this:
Anything Explorer related seem to be causing explorer to hang. However.... once I get an app or an MMC loaded they will run normally. Though getting them to work is like pulling teeth. I click on start, wait 2-5 min, click on programs, wait 2-5 minutes, click on app (you get the picture).
Now, if I boot into safe mode, everything runs normally.
I tried creating a new user account, same issue.
I removed SP3, same issue.
In safe mode I added ProcessExplorer.exe to startup so i can launch some apps without going through explorer. I also used to PE to view the DLL hooks in explorer, I don't see anything out of the ordinary when comparing it to my PC (also didn't see any abnormal processes running).
One thing that has caught my eye is that neither DVD drive is showing up in My Computer. Both have an ! next to them in device manager. Both throw a driver issue, code 32 (device connected to the machine not functioning properly). Same thing occurs in Safe Mode.
So grasping at straws I start disabling things, drop hardware acceleration to None. Disable a lot of the ATI files that boot up. No help. I run a chkdsk /r..... finds a few minor issues and fixes them.
I'm kind of running out of ideas here..... I will try booting from USB a little later. I would try to run SFC but since the PC will not locate a CD drive I can't.
I will post another HJT log for you guys to look at here when I get a chance.
Any suggestions? Questions? I'm sure I am leaving some troubleshooting steps out but it's early and I haven't had coffee yet.
Any help is appreciated