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Windows XP Does Not Boot


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#1
newps

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Two days ago, my son and I were playing Silent Hunter 4, when we selected a menu command and the game hung with the audio sample constantly repeating. I tried a soft shutdown, but it wouldn't respond. Following a hard shutdown (holding power down for 10 seconds or so), the machine powered down. When I went to restart it later, XP would not boot properly. For a while I could not even get it to go into safe mode. For some unexplained reason, it finally decided to go into safe mode. I joined the forum and I've followed the instructions from "Repairing Windows XP in Eight Commands", managing to make a recovery disk and to boot it; however, when I get to the Recovery Console, I do not get prompted for a windows installation to log into. I didn't think this was a big deal, as the c: prompt appeared below. However, when I tried to do a 'dir' command, I received a very disturbing response: "An error occurred during directory enumeration". When I tried to run ATTRIB -H C:\\boot.ini, I got this response: "The file cannot be opened". Any help would be most appreciated.
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#2
123Runner

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Can you get to safe mode and try a system restore to before the problem started?
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#3
newps

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Hi 123Runner,

I tried that, even went as far back as end of Feb with no luck. I just tried disabling the nVidia card and was finally able to boot normally! Then, once booted, I re-enabled the nVidia card, downloaded and installed updated drivers, rebooted per the driver installation routine, and the original problem came back. At the next boot-up, I selected last known good configuration, which has brought me to where I am now, typing this reply. I'm afraid now that I have a very skittish graphics card---what do you think? Is it time to start shopping for a new one? Another strange thing--HW PnP is detecting some unknown device on startup that it wants to configure and install. Don't know if this is related, but it seems weird...
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#4
The Skeptic

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If you have a built-in video card then try to remove the nVidia and use the other one to see if the computer stabilize. Another thing that I would do is to reset the BIOS by disconnecting the power cord and removing the battery for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can reset the BIOS by altering the position of the jumper, made for this purpose, for about a minute. Reset time and date upon reboot.
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#5
newps

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Hi Skeptic--No built-in video card, unfortunately. How do you alter the jumper position, or is it easier just to pop out the CR2032 battery?
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#6
The Skeptic

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Take the battery out if you are not sure about the jumper. Just do it carefully not to break the holder. Power cord must be disconnected.

If BIOS reset doesn't help then there is a dilema. According to your description there is a reasonable chance that your video card is faulty, but I can't be sure. If the problem shows again then either you take a chance and replace the card with a new one risking waste of money, or, alternatively, uninstall a video card from another computer and install in your computer for testing, or take the computer to a repair shop to be diagnosed.
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#7
newps

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Ok, I'll try pulling the battery (probably will wait 'til tomorrow, as it's getting late & I don't want to rush). I may be able to round up another video card tomorrow as well and will try that as a Plan B. Thanks for your help and I'll post something tomorrow evening (UK time) with the results of the HW fix.
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#8
newps

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Ok, I tried resetting the BIOS, and the problem still came back. I've ordered a new GFX card (ATI this time!); is there anything else I should try before I give up and put the new card in?
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#9
happyrock

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go here..download the following file: rc.iso....then run chkdsk /r
from the rc.iso cd...be sure the bios is set to boot from the cd drive first...

if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files go here and get burncdcc ..a small FAST no frills iso burning program...

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its rc.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

make sure in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....put the cd in the cd drive..boot your computer....

boot from the rc.iso cd....
type in chkdsk /r press enter
note the single space before the /

While chkdsk is running, you will see a light blue window with a dark blue band at the top and bottom. Chkdsk will display the specific stage it is checking as well as the percentage of completion of the stage. You cannot do anything else on your computer while chkdsk is running. When chkdsk is finished, it will automatically reboot your computer.
NOTE this can take a long time to complete..it may even appear to hang or get stuck at a certain % for a couple of hours...then complete
it may even back up and go over the same area...this is normal...let it run...there are 5 stages
DO NOT TURN OFF YOUR COMPUTER WHILE RUNNING CHKDSK or you can have severe problems...
nojoy...
boot from the cd again...
then type fixmbr press enter...reboot
no joy ....boot from the cd again...
type in fixboot press enter...reboot
nojoy...boot from the cd again...

Type in bootcfg /scan and press Enter

if it says total identified window installs: 1

Type in bootcfg /rebuild and press Enter...

It will identify your XP installation...type Y once you see this prompt.

You will be prompted to enter the load identifier...type in Microsoft XP Home Edition or Microsoft XP Professional depending on whichever version you have...press enter

You will be prompted to enter the load options...type in /fastdetectand press Enter

Type in exit and press Enter

remove the cd

Reboot
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#10
newps

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Hi Happyrock,

Thanks; I've already got a rc.iso CD, so I'll try this when I get back in town on Friday. One question, though--I assume that when I boot from the CD, I should select the normal boot to Windows option, not the Repair option, right?
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#11
happyrock

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NOPE...THE REPAIR OPTION....
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#12
newps

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Sorry for the long delay. I just got back in town and tried swapping the video card with another. It booted normally a couple of times, so I got cocky and decided to 'stress test' it by running Call of Duty 4. The game played fine, but when I shut down and restarted, I was right back to the same problem. I'm not sure what to do next; when I tried to run chkdsk from the rc.iso CD, it responded with "The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems." I'm thinking this is not a good sign...
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#13
happyrock

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"The volume appears to contain one or more unrecoverable problems." I'm thinking this is not a good sign...

yep...sounds like the drive is on its last legs so backup anything you can't live without NOW while you still have a chance...
you can download and run the hard drive tools that each drive manufacture has to double check the drives status...DO NOT use the quick scan...use the extended tests option...the quick scan can and does pass some drives and then when you run the full tests it will fail
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#14
newps

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Ok, will do. I tried making a boot CD from Samsung's site (HDD is a Samsung HD510), but nothing happened when I booted to it, other than getting a blinking cursor. Is there a decent freeware CD burner I should download to make the bootable CD? I'm relying on a very old Dell PC at the moment for all my computing needs and it's Roxio CD creator seems a bit old and may be the problem. All my data is stored remotely, so no problem there (thank goodness)!
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#15
123Runner

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Burncdcc in my signature should work. Its a no frills iso burner.

Do not put the CD in till it asks for it though.
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