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Can't boot up even in safe mode, can't reinstall


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#1
moxie47

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Hello,

:tazz: I have moved over here from the malware forum because it looks like the malware has been removed from my PC with the help of Metallica. (To read that discussion, see http://www.geekstogo...owtopic=53933.)

My problem now is that I can't boot up Windows XP, not even safe mode -- it just goes to the point where Windows really loads (right before the arrow cursor appears and the little tune plays) and then reboots. I tried to repair and/or reinstall Windows XP from CD, but it did not offer the repair option and the full install will not run to completion. Once it gets to the point where the screen says this "will take approximately x minutes," I get the 0x0000000A, IRQL NOT LESS THAN OR EQUAL, Blue Screen of Death.

Here's my hardware situation. I recently installed a second hard drive and second memory card. I have removed them so they won't confuse the issue. I have also disconnected my two USB devices and my printer. What remains are: keyboard, mouse, and two speakers -- all of which came with the computer. Also, because some of the error messages I was getting referred to drivers, I reinstalled all the drivers that came with the computer. Then I tried to install SP2, which is what got me to this point.

Can I ever get this PC running again? :)
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#2
gerryf

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Can you give my any system specifications --make, model, motherboard?

When you tried to reinstall, did you a) wipe out the previous installation with a format or repartition?

It looks like you tried a repair, it did not work, and they you opted for re-installing....you are reinstalling with...what? Windows XP CD with service pack 1a?
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#3
moxie47

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Hi Gerry,

It's a Microtel PC which I bought a couple of years go from Walmart online (believe it or not) with an Intel Celuron processor and AMI Bios dated 2003. I haven't been able to determine who made the motherboard, but it's not AMI.

It came with Windows XP SP1, which I reinstalled mutliple times during the malware adventures. In the most recent case, yes, I tried to do a repair but it went straight into Setup, perhaps resuming an old attempt to install?

Regards,
Dot
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#4
gerryf

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Clean the CD

Remove any hardware you've installed---even remove the speakers. Did you add a videocard? Sound card? expansion card? Drop into bios, disable any integrated peripherals.

If there is no data that needs to be retrieved, reboot with the windows xp cd, choose setup, not repair, there will be a screen to delete the existing partition, do so.

Now let setup create a new partition, format (full, not quick), then let it install.
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#5
moxie47

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OK, I will do that tonight and get back to you.
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#6
moxie47

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Okay, I disabled every item in the BIOS that I wasn't going to actually use and that it would let me disable. Even the floppy drive. I removed the speakers. Now that I review your message, I see that I forgot to clean the CD, but I keep it pretty clean. I ran Setup five times. Here are the results:

- 3 times - IRQL NOT LESS THAN OR EQUAL at a certain point after Setup said it was starting Windows and it began copying files.

- 1 time - Locked up on "Processing information file" after Setup said it was starting Windows

- 1 time - Setup halted and said, "There is a syntax error in the .SIP file that Setup uses at line 2872." I was not at the computer for this one, so I don't know at what point it stopped.

Other information that may be helpful: The hard drive has had chkdsk /f run repeatedly and always shows no bad sectors. It has also been defragged. The initial BIOS screens show the list below. It seemed odd to me that IRQ10 and IRQ11 appeared twice, but I know almost nothing about IRQs.

PCI Devices:
Slot 2 Communications Drive, IRQ10
Onboard USB Controller, IRQ10
Onboard USB Controller, IRQ11
Onboard USB Controller, IRQ5
Onboard USB Controller, IRQ3
AGP VGA, IRQ11
Onboard IDE, IRQ14, 15

Any new advice, or should I just go with cleaning the CD and trying again? Also, obviously I can't get on the Internet from home, so the results of my next efforts won't be posted until Monday when I'm back at work.

Edited by moxie47, 26 August 2005 - 09:31 AM.

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#7
PastaBoy4

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if that doesn't work try also resetting you BIOS and then reinstalling FRESH del partition and let windows format and everything good luck
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#8
gerryf

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it is not unusual for devices to share IRQs in a modern PC, so I would not worry about that, but I am interested in

Slot 2 Communications Drive, IRQ10

One of those mini Modems, perhaps? Did you reset your bios at any time? I wonder if the manufacturer had reserved IRQs for a device in BIOS, or if you did.

This error is usually due to a bad driver, or faulty or incompatible hardware or software.

Since it is occuring during setup, we can rule out drivers, since the default is being loaded by Windows setup and these general drivers are very well tested.

This leads toward faulty hardware.

Since you've removed or disabled everything, you could try removing a stick of memory if there are two present.

You could also, in BIOS change your memory timing settings to a slower speed, or disabling things licke caching or shadowing.

I am leaning toward a bad piece of hardware that is integrated on the mobo, though.

MicrotelPC makes, well, crappy PCs. They buy a bunch of parts at whatever discount they can and toss it in a box and hope it works. They use many different motherboard vendors, so you can try opening it up and looking for a motherboard maker and model on the baord itself (usually between the pci slots)

You could try a bios flash and that could revive it.
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#9
Johanna

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Yep. Everything gerryf said. (nodding head and sipping coffee)

Down and dirty field tech trick:
After you test the memory, and it tests okay, pop the battery off of the mobo for a minute, if it is not soldered on. This will clear CMOS to default settings. You may need to reset the system date/time afterwards in the BIOS.

Johanna
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#10
peterm

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If that does not work pull your network card out (hope it is not an onboard)
if that does not work then try this
IRQL

Edited by peterm, 26 August 2005 - 03:11 PM.

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#11
moxie47

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MY PC does not have any way to reset the BIOS.
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#12
gerryf

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pulling the battery will reset it


did you check for the model?
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#13
moxie47

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Thanks to all who replied! Some of your suggestions were impossible to implement until I had Windows running, but I will pursue them. I did everything gerryf suggested, and still got the same errors, so I came to the same conclusion she did -- some piece of non-removable (or essential to the task, like the monitor) is failing. Perhaps more than one. I did finally locate where to reset the BIOS -- it's a function key -- and resetting it and "optimizing" it are one and the same. I still got the error.

However, after many many tries, I was finally able to install Windows, although I was still getting the same "IRQL..." error messages. It seems I ran setup enough times that it eventually ran during a period when there was no error. This tells me the problem is intermittent. The system ran overnight without a crash, which is something I haven't seen for months, but I guess I'll be looking at replacing something on the motherboard, if not the board itself, in the near future.

Also, I disconnected my original hard drive, a Seagate, and disabled it in BIOS, but still got the errors while using the new drive I bought, also a Seagate. However, every time I try to reconnect it, the PC crashes. So perhaps that was one of the problems. I have good backups, and I never used more than 25% of the old drive, so losing it isn't much of a big deal.

Answers to gerryf's questions: I'm not surprised about Microtel. After all, I did buy this PC from Walmart. Limited income is a bear when you love technology. On the other hand, having a PC start to fail in only two years is a poor investment. Yes, it does have a mini modem card, but I removed it and disabled it in BIOS and still got the errors. No, I haven't checked the model because I just got your message today (no Internet at home because no working PC). Yes, I did substitute a new stick of memory for the old, but it didn't help. I can try slowing the BIOS, but the BIOS cache is greyed out and I can't change it. I think your diagnosis sounds right. The question now will be, how to figure out which component is failing. Thanks for your in-depth messages.

To peterm: This is my home PC and it isn't networked, but there is a network card and it's on the motherboard. Now that I have Windows installed, I can pursue the link you posted. I appreciate the help.

To Czarina/Johanna (love your pic): Good plan. The battery is easily removed. I did that once to reset the video settings when I messed up the refresh rate. (A little knowledge is a dangerous thing), but it took 3 hours before the BIOS erased. Thanks for your advice

To PastaBoy4: Yes, that's exactly what I did after reading your post. Over and over and over, until it worked. I appreciate the suggestions.
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#14
Johanna

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Moxie47 Thank you, the pic is a famous Vargas drawing.

If you decide to buy another computer, consider building your own. As you are about to discover, buying a new "Out of the Box" OEM computer is usually the only alternative, because everything is outdated and proprietary inside your case. When you build your own, you swap out parts as you can afford to upgrade. You can search the BTO "built-to-order" websites, too. Make sure you get a valid XP cd, whatever you do. You were wise to make sure your backups were in order. Post back when you decide what to do.

Johanna
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#15
moxie47

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Hi Gerry,

My PC has a sticker on the back that says SYSMAR 200, and that's the only marking I see, so perhaps that's the model? Also, I was able to open the motherboard docs and it's a Micro ATX M266A.

I tried to install SP2 and now the PC just reboots over and over, so it's back to loading Windows again. There is one option in the Microsoft "Troubleshooting stop code 0x0000000A" that I'm going to try, which is the suggestion to press F5 during setup and select a generic option for HAL. A couple of times when trying to install my PC said it had no HAL, so maybe that will help.

:tazz: Thanks for the advice. At this point, having been without a home computer since last December, I'm very tempted just to buy something I can plug in and use -- almost tempted to buy a Mac, but I'd be lost in that world. Building my own sounds like a good way to save money, but I'm a little intimidated by it because I've never had to deal with things like motherboards, power supplies, ports or interrupts. But since I have so many external peripherals, it would definitely be a money-saving way to go. Perhaps I could buy a barebones system and add my stuff into it. By the way, what's OEM?

Dot

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There is more to life than increasing its speed. -- Gandhi

Edited by moxie47, 30 August 2005 - 08:21 AM.

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