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Thread: Windows XP boot failure - reinstall possible?

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    Windows XP boot failure - reinstall possible?

    Good afternoon folks
    I'm writing to ask for some help.

    I have a computer that has failed in a way I've never seen before.
    The machine goes through POST, then as soon as it tries to boot into XP (SP2), the screen goes blank and zero activity is seen thereafter.
    I initially thought this was a problem of memory. A couple of hours of memtest said otherwise. I then tried the hard drive - using Maxtor's own DOS software (POWERMAX). the read write tests said the drive is fine.

    I'm currently trying to find a reasonable linux Livecd, since I have no experience with this OS I'm underlining Simple
    What can I say I like Eve online too much to learn more about Linux, sorry.
    There is a knowledgebase article that possibly identifies this as a Drive loss (knowledge base Q314503)
    The thing that makes me worried is that when I try to run the winxp install disc at all, the same thing happens, I have made sure it is booting from cd - it tells me it is starting winxp and then nothing further.
    loose specification shown below

    Has anyone had this problem before and overcome it?

    Could you recommend a decent livecd for me to use to make sure that the data is still there and that I can retrieve a drive image from this drive.

    All opinions and input are appreciated - I haven't been this in ages.



    A7N8X-X mobo
    amd2600
    1.5 GB RAM
    128MB Nvidia 5900XT
    Maxtor 4D060H3 HDD

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    have you got another video card you can try?

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    Nothing runs like a Deere cotswoldcs's Avatar
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    How about trying a Bart PE boot CD to see if the problem is hardware or software related. It won't tell for certain what is wrong but it will probably help rule out a few possibles.

    Do a google search for Bart PE if you are unfamiliar with this useful tool

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    Killie - now you've got me rummaging in my parts box :. The things in there may not be the most reliable... OMG a GF2MX2 is the best I've got

    Cotswoldcs - thanks will get an image as soon as I can.

    one question is - would the DOS software from maxtor have shown up any issue with the Boot record of the HDD. Unfortunately I don't have any spare IDE drives to replace it with.
    Last edited by christt; 19-03-2007 at 02:52 PM. Reason: horrendous spelling :P

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    Life is never easy...

    I managed to get a livecd (BeatrIX) running - before I had downloaded Bart PE.

    this showed me the graphics card was working and that there was a problem trying to access the system drive [c:]
    I could still see all the file structure and folders of the data partition on the disk.
    When I returned with Bart PE, nothing would load if I have the HDD connected. It reaches the "inspecting your configuration and drops to black screen)
    Once the hdd is removed the livecd boots without difficulty.

    I have a Paragon drive image of the system disk that I am trying to recover from the data portion of the drive.
    Do you think this is a fool's errand? Should I just low level format and see where it takes me?

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    Have you been able to test it in another machine? Before resorting to formatting, try and recover whatever data you can from it, although recovering a large drive image may be a little optimistic. Definitely worth a try though. Once you've recovered what you can, try the 'fdisk /mbr' command to see if that gets it working again.

    If the drive is knackered, remember to check the warranty remaining - you may still be able to get it replaced.

    And as you've no doubt just realised, in future the best place for a drive image is on another drive or blank DVD(s).

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    *nods* could just be errors in the first few sectors where the boot record is stored - I would suggest trying to repair/rebuild that first and foremost - fixboot and fixmbr(?) can be useful here.

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    Thanks for the advice folks

    Unfortunately the drive refused to play ball

    when I put it into another machine, it refused to be accessible or even show as connected.

    When I tried Fdisk /mbr. the process appeared to take place (know nothing about dos) but still no luck rebooting the drive.

    Finally tore the partitioning down, formatted and re-installed windows. (I hope I used the same proportions as the previous partitions)
    with the system disk image rescued using BeatrIX, I hope I'll be able to bypass the joys of remembering all the software I've lost before I actually need it

    and it's goodnight from him...

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    Glad to hear it's fixed, but I'd be weary about trusting the drive completely now. Keep an eye on it, make doubly sure everything is backed up and keep an up-to-date image close at hand. Just in case.....

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    Thanks Maxx

    It is my first lesson in having multiple backups. The drive image I retrieved is corrupted in some form and so a full reinstall has been required. I also pulled the zipped drivers off the data drive, I hope they're ok. Got a bit irritated with it so have left it sitting a few days - otherwise the motherboard would get "A damn good thrashing!"
    The irritating thing about that would be the old Soundblaster Live! I have is a disaster to find drivers for XP.

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    have you tried safe mode?

    hammer F8 after turning pc on (when it gets to the end of the bios checks etc)

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    Well it sounds like this has been resolved by the age old "reinstall windows" but I'm not personally too big of a subscriber to that idea.

    I had a similar problem with a friends PC recently, suddenly rebooting on loading windows, safe mode wouldnt work, eventually managed to see the BSOD claiming UNMOUNTABLE Volume.

    HD in another machine wouldnt boot either (again sounding similar to the problem above).

    Long and short was I have a very helpful USB to IDE cable which I used to connect the drive to windows. It still couldnt be read but did show in Device Manager.

    I then used a trial of Acronis Disk Director Suite after a quick Google for NTFS fixing. After a relatively length 3 hr scan for bad sectors, 3 were found, repaired and the drive is back and working.

    Put it back in the PC after recovering the most important data and Windows boots fine again but I have advised them to get a new drive.

    So my advise "If at first you dont succeed, think, and try again!"

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    Nutter thanks for the feedback.
    Quite possibly a similar problem with this machine - however i will have to go back and do a thorough scandisk - Was that a trial version of the software (I'm tight )
    My biggest problem was lack of external backup - once I got a livecd working I was able to recover all the drivers etc I had stored on the data partition. All systems go... until the next time

    If at first you don't succeed
    Last edited by christt; 02-04-2007 at 12:59 PM. Reason: addition

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    Yup I was surprised but the trial version seemed to work fine with no apparent restrictions.

    An external USB caddy would do the job, I just happened to have a powered USB to ATA cable to use.

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