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tony177

Boot error

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tony177    0

Hmmmm. I just noted something - What type of PC is this? (I've gone through the thread and if info was there I missed it?)

Hardware errors will occur if it's "nasty" inside. Any number of things can go wrong, including the CPU overheating. You DID say "4 years and then it fails"... A can of "dry air" and cracking it open, blowing it out, and closing it up (check the cables while you're at it) might "fix" it...

P.S. "lappies" (afaik) may be more prone to being "dirty" since there is way too little "space" inside...

Every indication (even searching the internet) points to some kind of intermittent hardware problem.

It's a tower desktop and I clean it out about once a year or so. I remain doubtful it is defective hardware (but without making a death or glory stand on it) in light of the 2 other OS that can run apps that access the disk plus booting from the Windows CD subsequently and consistently (so far) enables a normal boot plus all the disk scans show it healthy. Would this not be a very strange hardware defect (as opposed to a problem with software managing the disk or access to it) that is consistently cured by running software?

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puntoMX    11

There's no group-think verdict at all.

borgmsfn.jpg

Sorry, could not stop myself!

:lol:

Still lurking around, forgive my off-topic nonsense... :ph34r:

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bphlpt    104
I remain doubtful it is defective hardware (but without making a death or glory stand on it) in light of the 2 other OS that can run apps that access the disk plus booting from the Windows CD subsequently and consistently (so far) enables a normal boot plus all the disk scans show it healthy. Would this not be a very strange hardware defect (as opposed to a problem with software managing the disk or access to it) that is consistently cured by running software?

I agree 100% that the symptoms would require extremely odd circumstances to be caused by a hardware fault. But then your "fix" of "booting from the Windows CD subsequently and consistently (so far) enables a normal boot" would also seem to require odd circumstances to be caused by software, though I don't think any of us have taken "a death or glory stand on it" either - at least I haven't. But as all of us, you, me. and everyone else who has read this thread, and I assume everywhere else you might have looked for help, has come up empty, we're all grasping for straws. So, both as process of elimination and in hoping that either another symptom will present itself or something else will occur to us or at the very least a potential cause will be eliminated, we start trying anything we can think of, no matter how unlikely it may seem, starting with the quickest and easiest things we can think of to try. For most of us the "simple" things such as cleaning, swapping cables, etc are easy and quick things to try. You are not alone with physical challenges that do not make those things easy, and I do not think that any of us mean to belittle you in any way for your problems, physical or computer related. I think the number of comments in this thread, both serious and comedic, (Thanks puntoMX! Levity is almost always appreciated to lighten the mood.), show that the curiosity and efforts to help remain. I'm glad the comments, on both sides, have been toned down - the earlier aggressive ones were not helpful to anyone.

I'm still coming up empty for anything software related to suggest. I know you don't think it will help, and it probably won't, but to shut us up and focus all thoughts on the elusive software gremlin, is there any chance that you might have a friend or neighbor, adult or teenager, who might be able to give you a hand to disconnect your tower and lift it up onto a table for you so that you could do an extra cleaning this year, swap out some cables, check that everything is seated well, and give things a once over, without causing you too much physical discomfort? Other than that, I personally would probably lean toward backing everything up, wipe and reinstall, even though that is a chore I know nobody enjoys. I really am grasping at straws, so these are just the only things that come to mind so far.

Cheers and Regards

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tony177    0

I'm still coming up empty for anything software related to suggest. I know you don't think it will help, and it probably won't, but to shut us up and focus all thoughts on the elusive software gremlin, is there any chance that you might have a friend or neighbor, adult or teenager, who might be able to give you a hand to disconnect your tower and lift it up onto a table for you so that you could do an extra cleaning this year, swap out some cables, check that everything is seated well, and give things a once over, without causing you too much physical discomfort? Other than that, I personally would probably lean toward backing everything up, wipe and reinstall, even though that is a chore I know nobody enjoys. I really am grasping at straws, so these are just the only things that come to mind so far.

Cheers and Regards

Today's experience:

- normal boot > failed

- boot into Knoppix Linux > failed (can't find Knoppix filesystem)

- boot into HirrensBootCD

--try booting into Windows from Hirrens menu options > failed

- reboot into HirrensBootCD

--try booting into mini XP from Hirrens menu options > failed

Windows could not start due to an error while booting from a RAMDISK

Windows failed to open the RAMDISK image

File \ HBCD \ XP \ XP.WIM could not be loaded

-try Console load from Hirrens menu options > failed

Cannot mount selected partition

-try Failsafe load from Hirrens menu options > failed

Cannot mount selected partition

- boot into NTFS4DOS

- recognizes all disks and partitions

- (eventually seems to) load something called Volkov Commander which enabled navigating to all disks and partitions as if there were no disk access problem at all

- try normal boot (again) > failed

- boot into Windows CR repair mode

- normal boot > success

Basically as before except this time I could access all the disks and partitions via dos program Volkov Commander but after which I was still unable to boot normally until first booting with the Windows CD. So if nothing else this seems to me to keep indicating the root cause is not defective hardware.

Since the problem appeared for no apparent reason I am still hoping (obviously irrationally) that it will disappear for no apparent reason. However if my Windows CD boot workaround stops working then

despite my skepticism that it is a hardware fault I might have a go at some of the suggested hardware solutions out of desperation as this is slowly driving me nuts. I can manage physically, I just have to be very careful and precise about movement which is not always compatible with my natural impatience. Reinstallation of Windows is really the nuclear option (you would find it hard to believe how many programs I have installed) and if I had to go down that route I might just as well buy a new computer and start from scratch with new hardware and Windows.

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...

- boot into HirrensBootCD

--try booting into Windows from Hirrens menu options > failed

- reboot into HirrensBootCD

--try booting into mini XP from Hirrens menu options > failed

Windows could not start due to an error while booting from a RAMDISK

Windows failed to open the RAMDISK image

File \ HBCD \ XP \ XP.WIM could not be loaded

-try Console load from Hirrens menu options > failed

Cannot mount selected partition

-try Failsafe load from Hirrens menu options > failed

Cannot mount selected partition

- boot into NTFS4DOS

- recognizes all disks and partitions

- (eventually seems to) load something called Volkov Commander which enabled navigating to all disks and partitions as if there were no disk access problem at all

... You do realize that Hirens is Warez and very illegal?

You could be banned just for admitting to using it as we have a very high no tolerance policy against warez.

1.a This is not a warez site! Links/Requests to warez and/or illegal material (e.g., cracks, serials, etc.) will not be tolerated. Discussion of circumventing WGA/activation/timebombs/license restrictions, use of keygens, or any other illegal activity, including, but not limited to, requests for help where pirated software is being used or being discussed, will also not be tolerated. Offenders may be banned on first violation.

Even though Hiren’s Boot CD contains free software and abandonware, which are still copyrighted, it should be noted that there are also a number of unlicensed proprietary software on Hiren’s Boot CD; therefore, Hiren’s Boot CD is considered warez.

Enforcement of copyright

Old copyrights are sometimes left undefended. This can be due to intentional non-enforcement by owners due to software age or obsolescence, but sometimes results from a corporate copyright holder going out of business without explicitly transferring ownership, leaving no one aware of the right to defend the copyright.

Even if the copyright is not defended, copying of such software is still unlawful in most jurisdictions when a copyright is still in effect. Abandonware changes hands on the assumption that the resources required to enforce copyrights outweigh benefits a copyright holder might realize from selling software licenses. Additionally, abandonware proponents argue that distributing software for which there is no one to defend the copyright is morally acceptable, even where unsupported by current law. Companies that have gone out of business without transferring their copyrights are an example of this; many hardware and software companies that developed older systems are long since out of business and precise documentation of the copyrights may not be readily available.

Often the availability of abandonware on the Internet is related to the willingness of copyright holders to defend their copyrights.

Also the LiveXP and other MS software are in great violation of redistribution laws.

Edited by Kelsenellenelvian

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tony177    0

... You do realize that Hirens is Warez and very illegal?

Wasn't aware it was warez as I wouldn't want warez on my system for reasons of both principle and practice. Came across it some while ago but don't recall how - would either have been recommended somewhere or other or more likely just from googling for recovery type packages. The rest of your chastising lecture following the opening question above was redundant.

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The rest of your chastising lecture following the opening question above was redundant.

Not really as nearly everyone that is told that seems to HAVE to argue that fact whenever it is brought up here.

I was just trying to prevent the typicall argument we get.

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dencorso    542

We do have a really high no-tolerance policy against Warez in general and Hiren's in particular.

Now that Tony is aware of it and already expressed his stance about it, no further mention of it is needed or warranted.

And, considering how uncanny his problem is, let's again focus on it, in the hopes we can progress towards solving it.

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CherMas    0

Just a benign comment: I followed this thread because 'Boot Errors' are troublesome when you can't proceed or get more error info. And a three page thread seems attactively rich.

I nearly gave up on it; but my thanks goes to the many & good advice from all the eminent (and extemely patient!) members who persevered with advice against much discursive commentary.

I viewed this thread with some amusment, but maybe tony177 is on to something, but missed the point. When your on another planet where the native population speak the same language but in a different way that you don't understand, perhaps you're not speaking the same language?

... This is a most interesting board - some of the posts here make me think this is sort of like I imagine it might be if I visited another planet where the indigenes had the same language but used it in a different way...

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NATO    0

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

I have also had the non-standard MBR message but ran FIXMBR anyway using the Recovery Console from the XP CD as I have no ENCRYPTED files on any of the four partions. No problem. I then ran FIXBOOT for good measure.

If you do have any encrypted files you will likely lose them. (Normally a Corporate problem not for the private user.)

BUT ... I do use a drive imaging program and have two drive images which I can restore from even if the drive totally fails. One is on the F:\ partition and another is on a USB stick.

I use Image for Windows which has never let me down and is very easy to use.

So I would run chkdsk on both partitions and also run Sysinternals Config defrag program as well as their PageDefrag as both are recommended by sources close to MS especially as Sysinternals is now part of MS.

It seems that the Config program modifies the behaviour of the standard Diskeeper based MS defrag to produce a better file structure.

If all is well and the partitions are 'clean' make a drive image of the OS partition and back up anything on the other partition.

Then if anything goes wrong you can restore easily.

Simply taking the RAM out and putting it back helps to re-seat the connectors and the same can be true for all cable connections.

Do NOT forget to unplug and disconnect ALL cables before opening the case then simply hold the metal casing with your left hand and hold the start button down for a few seconds. You should hear a slight crack as any residual electricity is discharged.

If you add /sos to your BOOT.INI file ... I.E. --- /fastdetect /sos ... you will be able to see the boot process on the screen.

The drivers will load and then a screen will appear showing Processor(s) and RAM.

Then you should see.

Volume C:\ is clean.

Volume D:\ is clean.

Windows has finished checking the drive.

It will then proceed to the Welcome/Password screen.

(I never use a boot screen preferring to have a clear view of the boot process and a confirmation that the RAM is being reported and that the partitions - are - clean before using the computer.)

Intermittent errors smack of connection problems.

When you have checked all the connections and re-seated the RAM modules you might want to run a check on your drive and do a burn in test. One pass is enough.

You can also find freeware programs which will do a burn in test on the entire system to see if the connections are up to the job.

If you are getting serious fragmentation it may be that you need to increase the size of the MBR (happens if a lot of new programs/data has been added.)

My registry setting allows the MBR to use 25% of the drive space.

NB I recently made the mistake of removing the NTFS file time stamp and the 8dot DOS naming after which Image for DOS, the CD/floppy based program used for restoring drive images made by Image for Windows, could not see the TBI00.IMG files to restore from.

So be careful not to do this when using a Drive Imaging program. (FAR better than System Restore and Backup and 100% reliable so far.)

(Trying too hard to maximize NTFS performance.) (Should have known better!)

Otherwise ... virus?

Edited by NATO

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bphlpt    104

Thank you, NATO, for summarizing what we had suggested to Tony177, along with specific tools and tasks you have found useful yourself in similar circumstances. I would be very interested to find out whether he was ever able to find out what was causing his problem.

Cheers and Regards

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jaclaz    943

I would be very interested to find out whether he was ever able to find out what was causing his problem.

In the meantime I have a "logical possibility". :ph34r:

The 2K/XP boot CD's do when booting attempt to load (or however read) the contents of the MBR, this is the way the BOOTFIX.BIN works, it checks if the disk is partitioned and if not does not prompt anything, if yes starts the five seconds timeout before booting from hard disk.

This is something that most other boot CD won't do and could be the reason why booting from a XP install CD makes a difference (but of course says nothing about the actual cause, nor WHY this MBR access may make a difference) :unsure: .

jaclaz

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FrankBlank    0

This is sufficiently bizarre to keep alive into June.

Tony, whatever your convictions, you are simply ignoring good troubleshooting practice. You should eliminate simple hardware errors before messing with the software. As several people have said, intermittent errors usually result from hardware that is failing. If a bad back prevents you from opening up the computer, find a friend. Check the cables. Take everything out, clean the contacts and reseat, One item at a time to see if you can reproduce the error. Even going so far as the processor. Run the drive mfgr's diagnostic. Run memtest86 overnight. And whatever else I might have overlooked.

Then image the drive. There are a couple good free imaging programs. Run fixmbr and fixboot. Or, first, try a repair install of XP.

People have got frustrated with you because you are simply not doing the things that are usually necessary to solve the problem.

What it sounds like are a failing hard drive or a failing mother board. So I'll tell you exactly what to do: get Macrium Reflect. It's free. Image the whole drive twice. Make a Rescue cd. Use your XP disk to do a repair (upgrade) install. Yes, you'll have to do all the incredibly annoying updating again, so what. If that doesn't fix it, check the hardware - find a friend. Or live with with the intermittent problem till it finally breaks completely.

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