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tony177

Boot error

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My XP Pro pc has been fine for several years but in the last week or so has experienced boot problems, namely the pc won't boot but displays an error 'disk read error occurred'. Note - the disk is healthy so there is not a problem with the physical disk per se.

I get around this by booting from the Windows CD into repair mode and then, but without having done anything in repair mode, reboot without the CD (ie normally) and Windows then loads normally. This is an intermittent error as sometimes I can boot Windows normally for a few days but then the next time (for no obvious reason) Windows won't boot and the error appears as above.

I was going to run fixmbr from repair mode but the warning message about an invalid or non-standard partition table put me off the idea (I have 2 partitions).

Anyone have any ideas as to what would intermittently cause the computer to behave like this and why the problem would be fixed after booting from the Windows CD in repair mode (does that replace some file(s) on the hard drive?).

tia

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Anyone have any ideas as to what would intermittently cause the computer to behave like this and why the problem would be fixed after booting from the Windows CD in repair mode (does that replace some file(s) on the hard drive?).

I have seen defective hard disk cables/connectors behave like that.

In any case the partition issue you reported needs to be investigated and fixed IMHO.

jaclaz

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While faulty hw could indeed account for such a problem, the computer is used daily but hasn't been opened or moved for many months so it would seem strange for some internal connector or cable to suddenly become defective. The parition 'issue' was a warning about runnning fixmbr that the partition table was invalid or non-standard (implying running fixmbr might be risky as opposed to indicating per se a problem with the partition table) but having researched this on the net it seems the appearance of the message when running fixmbr is not uncommon, although there is a wide range of views about what the implications might be for running fixmbr (from none at all to lots).

I am particulary curious why booting from the Windows CD in repair mode without doing anything else fixes the problem which seems to me to indicate some manner of software corruption somewhere or other rather than a hw problem with cables, connectors (or ram as a previous poster suggested).

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While faulty hw could indeed account for such a problem, the computer is used daily but hasn't been opened or moved for many months so it would seem strange for some internal connector or cable to suddenly become defective. The parition 'issue' was a warning about runnning fixmbr that the partition table was invalid or non-standard (implying running fixmbr might be risky as opposed to indicating per se a problem with the partition table) but having researched this on the net it seems the appearance of the message when running fixmbr is not uncommon, although there is a wide range of views about what the implications might be for running fixmbr (from none at all to lots).

I am particulary curious why booting from the Windows CD in repair mode without doing anything else fixes the problem which seems to me to indicate some manner of software corruption somewhere or other rather than a hw problem with cables, connectors (or ram as a previous poster suggested).

Look, I don't want to be more grumpy :w00t: than usual :ph34r: , but you come here asking about a problem that you have, that you have NO ideas how to solve and specifically ask other people (supposedly more expert than you are):

Anyone have any ideas as to what would intermittently cause the computer to behave like this and why the problem would be fixed after booting from the Windows CD in repair mode (does that replace some file(s) on the hard drive?).

and when some ideas are given to you, you start criticizing them?

You are of course free to ignore them, but please, refrain from citing "not uncommon fixmbr errors" that you "researched on the net", if fixmbr throws a warning about an issue with the partition table, "common sense" (and rest assured a few years of experience of yours truly in this specific field) should tell you to investigate the issue.

Of course you are perfectly free to ignore the posted advice :).

It's my fault :(, I should have replied properly to your:

Anyone have any ideas as to what would intermittently cause the computer to behave like this and why the problem would be fixed after booting from the Windows CD in repair mode (does that replace some file(s) on the hard drive?).

YES. :yes:

http://homepage.ntlworld.com./jonathan.deboynepollard/FGA/questions-with-yes-or-no-answers.html

jaclaz

Edited by jaclaz
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ALSO = Just because the Harddrive reports as "Heatlhy" does NOT always mean there are NO bad sectors or corruption in it.

It ONLY means that it starts up and runs fairly OK!

Edited by Kelsenellenelvian
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<dispense with much moaning drivel>

I have various ideas on how to solve but thought it worthwhile to solicit opinion from a specialist forum although I hadn't appreciated it would result in having to respond to an ill mannered petty prima dona deficient in reading comprehensions skills. I am quite capable of evaluating the technical relevance and calibre of responses here as well as the content of the numerous other sites I visited pursuing information about this problem. So far here I've had suggestions about ram, cables, connectors, and partition table (based on a pre-fixmbr message about the partition table being non-standard or invalid that many others have reported seeing, ignored and proceeded without difficulty despite your several centuries of computer experience along with your impeachable grasp of common sense assuring you how folly-ridden this would have been) and in other places cmos battery and hard drive. I didn't bother checking out the link you posted as I assume it would likely be as germane as your last post.

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I see your people skills rival that of your PC experience and expertise.

OK smarta** = Have you run a sector scan of your harddrive?

How about MEMTEST?

NO? WHY THE HELL NOT?

Edited by Kelsenellenelvian
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ALSO = Just because the Harddrive reports as "Heatlhy" does NOT always mean there are NO bad sectors or corruption in it.

It ONLY means that it starts up and runs fairly OK!

I have run Spinrite 3 times as well as the manufacturers diagnostic utility and no duff sectors (or duff anything else) have been identified - clean bill of health each time so I am confident the disk is healthy. I am still trying to discover why the problem gets fixed (at least to date) by just booting with the Windows CD into repair mode and doing nothing else but so far no takers.

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@tony177

I am sure you will make many friends on this board. :thumbup

Have fun while booting (or completely failing to :ph34r: ) that PC :hello: .

jaclaz

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I see your people skills rival that of your PC experience and expertise.

OK smarta** = Have you run a sector scan of your harddrive?

How about MEMTEST?

NO? WHY THE HELL NOT?

See recent post re sector scanning. I have memtest and it is on the list of potential actions but still working its way towards the top. The last time I ran it (about two years ago) no problems were reported but that of course is no guarantee about ram state now. I probably have more computer experience than you although my expertise is no more than moderate. I take it your comment about people skills was an attempt to parade your sense of irony and in that context it was successful enough. My people skills are deployed as appropriate for the situation and I have little time for the ignorant, arrogant or unintelligent (you choose), not to mention those who resort to upper case shouting, a certain sign of emotional instability and psychological immaturity.

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Hey, I know more than enough to be able to figure out that a problem like yours is hazardous to data (That, which you seem to be afraid of loosing because of your hesitancy to run fixmbr) I really hope your system goes critical and you loose that precious 2nd partition...

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@tony177

I am sure you will make many friends on this board. :thumbup

Have fun while booting (or completely failing to :ph34r: ) that PC :hello: .

jaclaz

Just passing by in the (it now appears forlorn) hope that I might find some useful information here. I will get the booting problem sorted out one way or another but it seems unlikely this board will have made any contribution to its resolution.

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Never mind.

Edited by Ponch
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Hey, I know more than enough to be able to figure out that a problem like yours is hazardous to data (That, which you seem to be afraid of loosing because of your hesitancy to run fixmbr) I really hope your system goes critical and you loose that precious 2nd partition...

My original estimation of your intelligence was waaaaaaaaaaay too generous - I initially thought you might have something worthwhile to bring to the party but you truly haven't got even a hint of clue, not even enough to comprehend the glaring magnitude of your cerebral inadequacy. I am hesitant to run fixmbr without making the effort to discover the nature of the problem and a potential solution as it may be fixmbr is irrelevant in this situation (just as you've turned out to be). If I ran fixmbr and it screwed my system I would then have to spend a lot of time putting it back together which I'd prefer not to have to do so I want to explore other possibilities before going down that route. Your comments about my second partition just emphasize how utterly thick you really are - I have all my data backed up on a second internal disk, an external hard disk and a flash drive. Plus I take a system image each week and store it on the second internal disk. But thanks for the kind wishes about the well being of my system- it is always comforting and reassuring when you yourself provide confirmation that my assessment of your being an ignorant unpleasant jerk was right on the money.

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