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Unable to Reinstall Windows Xp after BSOD


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#1
pauleamonn

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I have put this topic onto the OS forum due to the fact that I am unable to reinstall Windows Xp onto my Pc after repeated episodes of the BSOD. However, as you will read at the bottom of the post, I reckon there is a good chance that the problem may be caused by faulty hardward.

Anyway, the story so far …..

…..yesterday my Pc started showing me the dreaded BSOD for the first time ever. Not really knowing much about it I looked it up on Google read that it can be caused by all sorts of things.

As the Pc is quite old I decided, rather than look for a fix, to do a reinstall of Windows (I’m running Xp).

After several failed attempts at installing Xp I have been left with a black screen on start up that says – ‘NTLDR is missing. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart’. Obviously, when I do this I end up at the same screen again – unless I’ve got the Xp install disc in. In this case I am taken to the options list and offered the chance to repair or install. As I’ve reformatted the drive during one of the previous attempts at fixing this problem, the only option is to reinstall.

The failure to reinstall Windows has on each occasion been down to various files not being copied. As far as I am aware the ‘problem’ files are different ones each time.

So, after a couple of failures, I tried with a different install disc – I got the same result. An attempt with yet another copy ended the same way. I even tried to install a copy of Zenwalk and that didn’t happen either.

As a consequence, and in the absence of any better qualified suggestions by members of this forum, I am coming to the conclusion that the BSOD may have actually been caused by some faulty hardware.

Therefore my question is this – is there a piece of software available that I will be able to run on my ‘Window-less’ Pc that will diagnose the problem and, after I do, is there any kind soul on this forum who will be able to interpret the results as it is almost certain that I won’t be able to!

Thanks in advance for any help.
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#2
123Runner

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Since you are getting the same results with multiple copies of XP you most likely could have hardware issues.
The 1st place I would start would be to look at the CD drive (replace it or try another). You could have a memory issue or main board.

Something to try would be to try running a linux live cd. It runs in ram.
The instructions at the link I am providing is for recovery of data, but it should suffice.

Linux live

We can also run a memory check and a hard drive diagnostics.

Memory Check. Get the file that is named Download - The one you want is "Download - Pre-compiled Bootable ISO (.zip). When it downloads, it will be labeled memtest86+2.11.iso.zip
Unzip the file once you download it. You should have a .iso file in the unzipped directory. It will look like a zip file in some cases but the file name will now be memtest86+2.11.iso

if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files get burncdcc in my signature below.

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 memtest86.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start
Make sure the bios is set for the cd drive as the first boot device
Put the cd in the cd drive and then boot your computer.

Running the Diagnostic Program:

The basic diagnostic screen has five main sections of relevant information. Three at the top which are labeled, PASS %, TEST %, and TEST #. This will basically show you the total progress of the current test, the overall progress of the diagnostic test, and the test number is currently performing.

On the middle left hand side of the of the program interface there is a “Wall Time” section that will keep track of how long the diagnostic test has been running for. This just gives you an idea if you are not attending the testing process.

The main section to look for is the lower half of the screen which is usually blank. As long as the memory testing is going ok with no errors this section of the screen should remain blank. If the diagnostic program finds any serious faults in the memory you will see it display a memory dump of address’s in this section. This is similar to what is displayed on your screen when you encounter a blue screen of death.

You now have most everything you need to know about setting up and testing your memory with diagnostic programs. This guide should help you get to the source of any intermittent problems related to your memory.

Run memtest for at least 2 hours:

If it starts showing any errors during that time then you will have to replace the memory
If there are no errors after 2 hours press Esc and that will end the tests
We will then try other options

http://www.memtest.org/#downiso
http://www.snapfiles...t/burncdcc.html

Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use Burncdcc Link is in my signature below

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 ....
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, unfortunately, you're out of luck, because Toshiba doesn't provide any diagnostic tool. If you are unsure of the drive manufacturer then you can try seagate diagnostics. It sometimes works on other manufacturers. Hitachi diagnostics is also known to work on Toshiba drives.
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#3
pauleamonn

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Hi 123Runner - many thanks for your reply.

Ok, as they say - the story so far is -

Firstly I tried all three Windows discs using a different CD-ROM drive. On all occasions I got the same results - various files not copying.

Then I created the Puppy ISO and tried to run it. The result was that I got an image of the Puppy's face (which I guess is their start up screen) and then the following message.

kernel panic - not syncing: VFS: Unable to mount root fs on unknown-block (0,12)



Then I created the memtest ISO. At first, it wouldn't run using the v4.0 - it just sat there showing the screen where all the info was supposed to go but not doing anything. So then I tried with the v3.5. That version ran for, as far as I can make out, 70% of Test#1. The only information that I can make sense of is -

Unexpected Interrupt - Halting CPU


There is a list of gobbledygook under that but................ :)

Next I downloaded the SeaTools for DOS and ran that. I'm not sure what I'm looking for but the screen that came up didn't have any flashing red lights on it. In fact, all it said was that it had scanned for controllers, devices, devices on Generic PCI ATA.... Detected 1 devices. Device scan complete. And that was that.

I hope I've supplied you with all the info Ok and I'll look forward to receiving your comments.

Thanks again for you help.

Regards

Paul Eamonn
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#4
pauleamonn

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Hi 123Runner

After running the tests you suggested I got to thinking and decided to test my RAM by removing one of the 500mb sticks at a time and seeing what happened. Well, it turned out that one of the sticks was faulty and once I'd removed it everything worked perfectly.

I've now reinstalled Windows Xp and everything is up and running.

So, many thanks for all you help - especially for the links to the ISO's.

Kind regards

Paul Eamonn
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