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System Won't Boot - XP won't install


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#1
WollyPopper

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Hi,

A friend bought a new computer and gave me his old one (1200 processer, 256 MB RAM). He said he was having problems booting it as it would constantly turn off whilst loading windows.

When I got it home it actually booted into Windows several times without problem. I accessed Safe Mode and deleted old users - hung a bit whilst doing that, but then booted into normal mode again). Tried reinstalling windows, but it hung at the 'formatting drive' option.

Couple of more reboots and it started hanging at bootup all the time. I changed the 20GB HD for a spare and tried reinstalling Windows (XP Pro) but, whilst it reads the initial files from the CD drive, it then constantly reboots as soon as it gets to the point where the system tries to install windows. It then simply recycles through Reboot | Installing Windows | Reboot

Checked all cables, memory, etc, to see that they were properly seated.

I know this isn't a lot of information to be going on, but any suggestions as to what can be causing this? I know it's not the HD, because I've tried 2. In any case, when installing XP, it recognises the drive and the partitions, so it's reading the drive.

Thanks

WollyPopper
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#2
warriorscot

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Maybe the PSU, or it is getting to hot try cleaning it up.
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#3
dsenette

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also test your ram with http://www.memtest86.com/

test it one stick at a time
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#4
WollyPopper

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Thanks for your responses so far Warriorscot and dsenette,

I'm not sure about the PSU being the possible fault as it powers the system constantly, unless you're suggesting it's the cabling to the HD? I'll get another one and try it. I've cleaned out the case and have been operating the system with no covers on the case, so overheating shouldn't be an issue. Processor temp on startup reads 30C.

Testing the RAM isn't easy as I can't access the net (other than on my laptop). However, I've tested using only one of the two 128MB cards and alternating these. I've also used a spare, all with the same results.... The system going through its POST startup routine, then showing the XP splash screen, then starting to windows setup (I've reinstalled, but haven't been able to complete the setup) and rebooting at that point. Nothing gets installed, it literally stops within about 2 seconds of changing to the setting up windows screen.

Wollypopper
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#5
warriorscot

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Have you tried a diiferent HD if its an old computer the drive might be worn out, same might be happening with the PSU they are the two components that tend to "wear out" most after a few years.
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#6
Doby

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Hi,

First do as dsenette wisely suggested and test the ram if you follow his link you can use another computer that has internet acess to download memtest and make a bootable floppy to run memtest on the computer in question.

I say all this because most of the time when a OS won't load because of a hang its ram related either bad ram or or ram config in bios.

Can you boot into bios and let the computer idle for around 15 minutes and the report the temps and voltages from within bios? This could give us a clue to some other things as well.

Rick
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#7
bd7447

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Many thanks everyone for the help so far.

I've replaced the PSU, which didn't initially help. I then replaced the hard drive and was then able to reinstall XP.

During the setup process the machine froze at the point where I had to input language configuration. However, after rebooting, XP installed fully and the machine booted. I've run a memory checker and it reports no faults with my memory.

However, although the machine is now booting, it is still not stable; although it is a lot more stable than before. It runs for between 15-30 minutes, then hangs. Not even Ctrl/Alt/Del works. Only a hard reboot gets it working again.

However, when I run the memory tests, the machine runs for hours with no problems.

Temperatures and voltages reported in BIOS after running the memory tests for nearly 2 hours are:

System: 25C
CPU: 44C
Vcore: 1.39V
Vcc 3.3: 3.37V
+5V: 4.99V
+12V: 12.46V
-12V: -12.36V
VBat(V): 3.08V
5VSB(V): 5.19V

Don't know how many of the above are actually of any use?

So, systems much better, I've been able to reinstall XP and can run the system for 15-30 minutes without it freezing.

It's now got a new DVD/CD, HD and PSU. Any more suggestions for finding out what is still hanging the system?

Many thanks.
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#8
bd7447

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Oops.

As you'll see, I was using a different user name.... Didn't want to look like a total idiot!

Now, I look like a total idiot!!
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#9
warriorscot

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Right maybe give us a full list of system specs since yuo have cheanges some stuff, and its now a slightly different problem. You have eliminated the psu as the problem and the HD and the memory so its either a duffed cpu or a duffed mobo or both.
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#10
Doby

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yep we need your specs what psu, what cpu, and what mobo for starters, what ram would help to.

I did notice one thing with your voltages, the vcore seems a bit low but I need to know what cpu to confirm.

All the other voltages and temps are ok.

Rick
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