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XP Refusing to start up properly, driver errors and nasty BSODs! P


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#1
Jack W-H

Jack W-H

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Hello everybody, brace yourself for a nice long story!

:) First, some specs:

  • Windows XP Media Center Service Pack 3
  • Ei Systems 314 PC
  • NVidia GForce 7900 Graphics Card
  • 80GB Western Digital Hard Drive
  • 1GB RAM

I would consider myself good with computers, better than many. But not when it comes to hardware issues :)

I THINK the problem I have may be hardware related but I'm not sure.

Basically the problem started, at an estimate, about a month ago.

At irregular intervals, about once every 4 days, my computer would stop, the screen would turn black for about a second then I'd get a BSOD.

The error on this blue screen was always 'PAGE_FAULT_IN_NONPAGED_AREA'.

I didn't note down the stop codes, sorry.

This was becoming a nuisance but it didn't happen for about 2 weeks, so I disregarded it thinking it was a one-off.

However about 3 days ago I got it again. But this time, things got worse! :)

After restarting from the BSOD, as Windows tried to start, it didn't get to the Windows Logo screen before I got this error message:

"Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

System32\Drivers\Ntfs.sys"

Now I know that NTFS is hard drive related. I panicked, boy oh boy. I don't really have the money right now for a new HD... :)

So I restarted and the message disappeared! Hurrah!

The end.

No, not really. Haha.

The next day after installing some updates I restarted my PC. However I got the same message again on startup. (ntfs.sys)

I restarted it again and got a different message! Same type, file not found or corrupted, but it was a different file (but im sorry, I didn't write it down!)

The same thing happened AGAIN after another restart with A THIRD different file.

After the fourth restart in about 5 minutes I got a 'Windows could not start up properly...' thing.

I had the various Safe Mode options, Last Good Configuration and Start Windows normally. I Started windows normally only to get the same error about Ntfs.sys

Atfer ANOTHER restart I got those options again and chose Safe Mode.

After getting into the Safe Mode logon screen I restarted. And this is my little trick, I found out that booting into Safe Mode, then restarting got me back into normal XP.

So I put up with that for a couple of days, until 2 days ago when things got WORSE again!

I had to restart, but this time when booting into safe mode I got a 'File not found or corrupt (Ntfs.sys) message again, going into Safe Mode! I knew things were bad from here...

3 restarts later and the error had disappeared, I was into Safe Mode and rebooting to start again into regular Windows.

however THIS time (I know, I know - it gets worse!) I got a BSOD after the Windows logo had appeared and the little blue bar had scrolled twice.

The BSOD said 'UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME'.

:)

I tried again and managed to get in.

Cut to yesterday...

8:30 PM, working on my website. *SNAP!* all the lights go out, it's a powercut down the whole street.

9:00 PM and the power is back on. I start my computer and I get the Unmountable Boot Volume error, even after 10 attempts.

I cannot get into Safe Mode either, as It can't find this NTfs.sys driver.

I Switch it off, leave it for a few minutes and try again and by good luck I get the Safe Mode/Good Config/Normal boot options. I choose Last Good Configuration and I get in!

Later in the evening I put my PC into Standby as I normally do each night.

The next mornign, I find out there'd been ANOTHER powercut between 2 and 3 AM!

I go downstairs to find my computer had switched itself on, and was on the BSOD (Unmountable Boot Volume).

Nomatter what I tried I couldn't get in this morning.

As XP came installed on the system I was never given an installation disk (tacky old PC World!)

The disk I DO have however is a Recovery Disk I had to make when first running the computer after buying it.

I set the BIOS to boot from disk, and I had the options of 'Repair Windows' or 'Format and Reinstall'. I didn't want to lose my foolishly un-backed up data so chose to Repair Windows.

The error:

"File \minint\system32\ntkrnlmp.exe could not be loaded.

The error code is 258.

Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit."

After trying many more times it still wouldn't work.

I googled on another computer and it said I should load the Fail-Safe defaults in the BIOS. I did so, and thats how I managed to be typing this :)

I typed into the Run box "sfc /SCANNOW" to run the System File checker. After about 5 minutes I got a message saying 'Files that are required for Windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL Cache. Please insert your Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 installation disc.'

I had no installation disc so tried inserting my Recovery Disc, just in case, but it rejected that. I was forced to click Cancel and skip that.

Right at the end I got another mesage saying the same thing but asking me to insert Disc2. Again I had to cancel.

This repeated itself in quick succession about 8 times.

From then on SFC ran to the end with no further messages.

WHAT DO I DO?!?!?!

I don't mind doing a full reinstall if that would fix the problem, as I have now sensibly backed up my data! :)

But I'd rather avoid formatting if possible. If this is a hardware issue then I'll probably cry, but oh well, any help would be appreciated!

Thank you SO much!

Edited by Jack W-H, 07 February 2009 - 07:40 AM.

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#2
mkau

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never mind me... I was going to help but I'll leave it to a staff member.

Edited by mkau, 07 February 2009 - 12:13 PM.

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#3
fixitout

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That was really a good complete story for carryout a troubleshooting Sir..

Thanks for giving so much time to write each and every single steps.

Now I would like to make an attention to you,, As you mentioned --" You have no reinstall disk or restore Disk"

Please run again the Sfc /scannow command and note down the files on which it ask to insert a disk..

When you note it down then search over internet, if availalable then download each and use them in the next Scan (offcourse SFC)

Hope it will solve your problem.. Keep posting about the status..

Thanks
FIX IT OUT!!
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#4
Jack W-H

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That was really a good complete story for carryout a troubleshooting Sir..

Thanks for giving so much time to write each and every single steps.

Now I would like to make an attention to you,, As you mentioned --" You have no reinstall disk or restore Disk"

Please run again the Sfc /scannow command and note down the files on which it ask to insert a disk..

When you note it down then search over internet, if availalable then download each and use them in the next Scan (offcourse SFC)

Hope it will solve your problem.. Keep posting about the status..

Thanks
FIX IT OUT!!


Thanks for your help :)

Only problem is, I wrote down exactly what the message said on SFC.

And they didn't mention ANY particular files, they just said "Files that are required for windows to run properly must be copied to the DLL Cache". There was a button called Retry and a button called More INformation. Click More Info asked to insert the CD. Clicking retry asked the same. Clicking cancel cancelled it.

It didn't mention any specific files at all so I have no information to go by.
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#5
Jack W-H

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Wait, I've had a thought...

I've just realised that I've in fact apparently (for the time being) fixed the boot up problems.

I've realised I've restarted 3 times since changing to the Fail-Safe modes in the BIOS, and each time it's booted up just fine!

So thats one problem out of the way (although I'd still like to know whats causing it).

AND! I have a theory!

Perhaps, laugh at me if I'm wrong, somehow the PAGE_FAULT error is caused by Firefox 3?

I haven't had the PAGE FAULT error for about a week. But thats because for about a week I've been using Google Chrome, not Firefox.

Thinking back I have most likely been web browsing or had Firefox open at a point when I got this PAGE_FAULT error.

And to conclude my theory, after having Firefox open earlier for about 5 minutes I got the error for the first time in about a week...

Coincidental?
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#6
123Runner

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Since you ran SFC and it asked for the disk to repair the files, you should still try to run SFC and repair the system files.
You can borrow a CD of the same type. I believe that media center is the same as the XP pro.

You should also try to resole the Firefox issue. Try uninstalling it and re-installing. I would do version 2 only at this time to be sure the comp is stable.
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#7
Jack W-H

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OK... but I honestly have NO idea who'll lend me the right disc... I'll have to ask around!

I'm currently backing everything up for a fresh reinstall (which I need anyway) so I'll tackle the FF issue then.
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#8
Broni

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I believe that media center is the same as the XP pro.

That's true, but, if I remember correctly, darn media center edition won't accept XP Pro CD, when running sfc.
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#9
Jack W-H

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I believe that media center is the same as the XP pro.

That's true, but, if I remember correctly, darn media center edition won't accept XP Pro CD, when running sfc.


Oops...

I know a lot of people. But I don't know ANYONE with XP Media Center. Hmmm. :)

I'm going to do the full reinstall to see if that fixes the errors, as my computer is pretty fudged up at the moment. It doesn't recognise any installed or uninstalled programs, as somehow all the unins000.dat files have been removed by System Restore!!! :)

We'll see what happens and If I'm still getting these BSODs after reinstallation I'll cry and come back here.
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