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Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit booting problem! Help please!


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#1
TheMarksman

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My wife and I built 2 identical computers getting parts off of Newegg late last year for about $2,700ish each, and they've worked beautifully. In fact, Im using one of them to write this. Here are the specs as scanned by the gaming chat messenger X-Fire's website:

Manufacturer: EVGA__
Processor: Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU Q9650 @ 3.00GHz (4 CPUs), ~3.0GHz
Memory: CORSAIR XMS3 8190MB (4 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10666) Dual Channel
Hard Drive: Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 ST3500320AS 500GB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive
Video Card: EVGA 896-P3-1262-AR GeForce GTX 260 Superclocked Edition 896MB 448-bit GDDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Supported
Monitor: ASUS PG221H Black 22" 2ms(GTG) Widescreen LCD Monitor 350 cd/m2 1000:1 (ASCR 2000:1) Built in Speakers W/ 1.3m Pixel Webcam & Swiwel Adjustment & Composite and Component Sound Card: Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)
Keyboard: Logitech G15 2-Tone 104 Normal Keys 29 Function Keys USB Wired Standard Gaming Keyboard
Mouse: Logitech HID-compliant G5 Laser Mouse
Operating System: Windows Vista™ Ultimate (6.0, Build 6001) Service Pack 1 (6001.vistasp1_gdr.080917-1612)
Motherboard: EVGA NFORCE 790i SLI FTW
Computer Case: Antec Twelve Hundred Black Steel ATX Full Tower Computer Case

The problem Im having is that my wife's computer this morning wouldnt start up. When she uses the soft reset button right after the P.O.S.T, right near the end it displayed PXE-E61, which Ive throughly looked up, but I mostly read about people with labtops having that problem. The PXE-E61 doesnt show up when we boot with the power button, but it does with the reset key, dunno if thats normal or not. We can get the computer to start up occasionally in safe mode and in safe mode with networking, and she backed up her files over the network when it was up with networking. The weird part is; when we try to load safe mode when it does work, it takes almost 5 minutes to load, and as you can see from the specs, these arnt slow computers by any stretch of the imagination. But when Safe mode 'does' load up it runs normally. My wife ran Spybot and Avast anti virus in safe mode to try and detect any problems, but nothing came of it. My wife also says that after she copied the files over to my computer for backup, the safe mode crashed, meaning it froze up and didnt respond, so she had to do a hard reset.

When we start windows normally we do get the microsoft scroll bar and even got the microsoft logo once, but it just locked up for almost 5 minutes after showing the logo and we decided to do a hard reset. When it showed the Windows logo it never showed the desktop at all. We have the Windows Vista Ultimate install disk upstairs.

We also tried pressing F1 during startup and got the boot manager and then had to press F8 to get a list and chose "Last Known Good Configuration" but it didnt work either, but just as I was writing that sentence she was trying the "Last Known Good Configuration" again and it seems to have worked .. shes started up normally and the computers has fully loaded normally.

Im still very confused and dont know why we couldnt get it to boot for the last 2 hours. If anyone has any ideas, I would love to hear them. I dont know why it wasnt working, or why it suddenly is working now .. Strange .. Please write back!!
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#2
usasma

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Most times you'll get the PXE boot when the system skips the hard drive (PXE is a network boot protocol and it's usually set as one of the last boot choices in the BIOS). This is a clue that there's a problem with the hard drive.

The delay in booting/accessing things also tends to point to a hard drive that's dying. The increased time is because there's errors in accessing the data/files that it needs, so the error correcting mechanism's kick in. Since there's (presumably) a lot of errors, the error correcting stuff takes a long time to verify if the data is correct or not.

I'd suggest running the SeaTools diagnostic from a boot disk to check and see if the hard drive is failing. As I recall, there are also options in SeaTools to check the file system structure (like running chkdsk) and there's even tests for the motherboard's hard drive controllers.
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#3
TheMarksman

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Hmm, thanks for the idea, I'll try that.
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#4
TheMarksman

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*update* We had a friend over who is very good with computers and ended up formatting after trying several different things including repairing with the install CD, switching the power and SATA cables, and hooking it up to the twin computer as a slave drive. It seems to be working fine ever since so .. lets hope that does it ..
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