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Computer mysterously needs [non-boot designated] USB to boot


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#1
Resilient

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Hi computer world experts. I have a AMD Atholon 64X2 Dual, Core Processor 4800+, 2.4 GHz, 2.00 GB of Ram.

My problem is this: The computer goes into a reboot loop, always back to the page that says, Normal, Last Known Configuration, SAFE mode, etc. Now, mysteriously I will put in my flash drive, which is worn out and on the fritz because I have to push it down in order for it to really stay on and connected, but when it is connected the XP screen comes on once in a dim fashion and then almost immediately a blue screen comes on (not long enough to read it, but it once did and I could read that it was checking the "L" drive, the flash drive for drive inconistencies), then the blue screen goes away fast and it will then it will reboot once, I will press NORMAL, rather than Safe mode, rather than Last Known Good Configuration etc. and then with the flash drive still in, it will predicably now boot properly into XP to include now a brighter XP introductory screen.

I have two thoughts toward diagnosis and both may be off or come close to issues involving the problem. One, I remember having problems getting a Client Resource Managment software to recognize the "old" drive letter on that flash drive and either having to change the path the computer took to get to it or in manually changing the drive letter on the flash drive itself and I don't know if this somehow "hooked" that flash drive into a necessary connection now with the computer, in order for it to boot properly. Second, perhaps I when I initially installed Windows XP, I had this particular flash drive connected, such that the original install becomes dependent upon it for booting. I do not believe this second idea could be true however, because enough incidents exist I think, that I would not have had the flash drive in and the computer still booted.

I've also tried putting another USB flash drive into the USB port and the bad connection exists just with that USB flash drive being worn out and not the port. Interestingly though, when I do put a new flash drive into the port, although it won't boot, unless you have that particular one in, it will however reveal that one front end step that shows some promise towards booting and that is when I push Normal Boot, then that dim XP screen and quick flash of blue screen thing does happen. But then the second Normal Boot pushing of the button does not bring about the lighted up XP screen, rather it goes into the same reboot loop.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!
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#2
Primevi1

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Have you tried going into the bios and seeing if the USB is listed above your HDD as a boot device?
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#3
Resilient

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Yes I have and it is not listed. My floppy drive was listed, but not the USB drive; I did move the floppy drive to be the last in boot order instead of first in boot order and no luck because it is the floppy and not pertaining anyway as evidenced by what we all think when it says floppy, it pertains to the A: drive and not the USB. This was a good thought though and I appreciate somebody taking try at helping me on this.
PLEASE, ANYBODY ELSE... CAN YOU TELL ME AN IDEAS AS TO GET THIS BOOT PROBLEM FIXED- I want to be able to boot without my USB plugged in because it is not getting a good connection and is an annoying feature to have to press it down every time, realizing I'm caught in a reboot loop if I don't.

Any help is GREATLY appreciated!!!
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#4
Blood Elemental

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Check your boot.ini file in the root C: drive. It should look something like:
"[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect"

Is that correct?
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#5
Resilient

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Thanks for the help.

Um... the boot.ini does not look exactly like that. You had this:
"[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /noexecute=optin /fastdetect"

But mine looks like this:
"[boot loader]
timeout=45
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Professional" /fastdetect /noexecute=alwaysoff"

I think I bolded the only differences here. What does it mean. Are the differences the reason?
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#6
gclipse02

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I'm almost %100 sure that you can do this, but I maybe someone else can confirm this one... If you can boot into your computer any way possible, get to command prompt, and type FIXMBR. Should rewrite your Master Boot Record to the correct factory default? Also possible from the XP recovery cd, if you have it...
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#7
Blood Elemental

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I believe those are minor differences in the boot.ini and it won't affect anything. If it was working earlier then you can do a system restore to an earlier date and see if that helps.

Gclipse's idea may work also but I can't confirm that for sure.
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#8
gclipse02

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Thinking about it, FIXBOOT actually rewrites the boot partition, FIXMBR only changes Master Boot Record, which means, you should be safe with that idea
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#9
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I will be trying this soon; busy with real estate right this second. Really appreciate you guys and still come back when I post again with my results. Thank you!!! :)
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