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Windows XP won't boot (surprise, surprise!)


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#1
meditationguru

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After getting the mb screen, a few lines of normal code fly by and then I receive this message:

WINDOWS COULD NOT START BECAUSE OF A COMPUTER DISK HARDWARE CONFIGURATION PROBLEM. COULD NOT READ FROM THE SELECTED BOOT DISK. CHECK BOOT PATH AND DISK HARDWARE.

I assumed that the boot section of the C drive was corrupted, so I replaced it with an Acronis clone. Same problem.

I attempted a Windows Repair and saw a red bar signalling progress, but it didn't fix the problem

I then attempted to reinstall Windows. Right after the XP code entry screen I received the same error msg.

I'm thinking that this is a hardware problem and will remove memory sticks as my next attempt.

Does anyone have any suggestions or diagnosis?

The system has an AMD CPU 2500MHz, Windows XP sp3, 2 hdd (1 system, 1 data) in IDE, 2 GeForce 8600GT video cards


Thanks for your reply.

Edited by meditationguru, 18 March 2013 - 01:01 AM.

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#2
Wolfeymole

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I think the hard drive may be faulty.

Have you tried doing a new install of XP?
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#3
meditationguru

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As mentioned, I replaced the HD with a clone with no result. Also a reinstall resulted in the same error message.
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#4
Wolfeymole

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The hard drive is dead Guru in my opinion.
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#5
meditationguru

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You are correct. I have discovered that the original C drive is non-functional. I attached it to my own PC and it wasn't recognized. To verify that, I attached the duplicate C drive from my wife's system to my PC and it was. So now I'm only using the cloned drive.

I went into the Recovery Console, reached the command prompt and entered bootcfg /rebuild

It came back with the following message:

C:\RECYCLER\lots of letters and numbers
Add Installation to boot list? I answered ALL (guessing)
It then came back with:
Enter Load Identifier:

And now I'm totally stumped as to what this means or what to enter.

Can you help?

Thanks again.


UPDATE:

I have entered the Identifier (Windows XP Professional) and answered the OS Load prompt with /fastcheck

I then rebooted...same problem.

I then went back into the Recovery Disk and did a CHKDSK /r of the C drive, and then FIXMBR and a FIXBOOT.

I then rebooted...same problem.

???

Edited by meditationguru, 20 March 2013 - 04:59 PM.

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#6
Wolfeymole

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I'm having a little trouble understanding this Guru.....

To verify that, I attached the duplicate C drive from my wife's system to my PC and it was. So now I'm only using the cloned drive.


Are you saying that you are now using a hard drive that was in your wifes machine running XP in your machine?

If the above is correct then what you are getting will be hardware mismatch errors where her drive does not recognise your system board and other hardware.
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#7
meditationguru

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No, I connected my wife's HD to my machine to see if it was active, and it was. I didn't boot from it. I just wanted to see if it worked. The original C drive was not active, so, like you said, it was dead (although it did purr).

I put the cloned drive back in my wife's machine as the boot drive. Taking out memory sticks didn't help either, so I don't know what to do.

The cloned PC was cloned with Acronis, so it should be an exact match system-wise, although I haven't updated it in months.

Edited by meditationguru, 21 March 2013 - 02:45 AM.

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#8
Wolfeymole

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In your initial post you said this....

I assumed that the boot section of the C drive was corrupted, so I replaced it with an Acronis clone. Same problem.


Are you saying that you have made a clone of of your wifes machine as you also said this....

I put the cloned drive back in my wife's machine as the boot drive.


If this is correct then you have made a clone of your wifes machine containing her hardware parameters which will not work on your machine.
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#9
meditationguru

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Let me be clear.

When my wife's machine failed, I assumed it was a HD boot sector corruption based upon the message I received. I had a clone of that C drive available, and so substituted it in the system for the original C drive.

Same result.

I then took the original C drive from her system and attached it to mine (I didn't boot off of it) to see if it worked (remember you told me that the C drive was dead). And you were right, it was dead. I verified that by attaching the cloned drive to my system and it worked.

I then put the cloned drive back into my wife's system, after which I performed the Recovery Console procedures which I described.

Still get the same error message.
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#10
Wolfeymole

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If you had explained from the outset that the problem lay with your wifes machine then there would have been less confusion over this matter.

Please read this KB article from Microsoft.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314477

If this does not solve the issue then I would suggest that either the memory is faulty, (you only stated that you removed the mem sticks not replaced them), or the motherboard is faulty.
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#11
meditationguru

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I'm glad we are finally on the same page.

I have already read that reference from MS. I have already attempted all of those solutions with no result.

Regarding the memory sticks, I took out one and tried to reboot, then replaced it and took out the other. No result.

The mb screen appears when you reboot, which indicates that the mb is 98% OK. But there is that last 2%.

I guess I'll have to take it in, but at least now I know that I may have to replace the mb, or maybe the whole PC.
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#12
meditationguru

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Just following up with a report on the final solution. I took the system in for repair.

It turned out that my analysis was correct - the original C drive was dead. However, the cloned copy also was corrupted. Therefore a complete format and re-installation was needed - my worst nightmare. It is now OK.

Thanks for your input.
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