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Thread: At A Dead End with XP

  1. #1
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    At A Dead End with XP

    I built a computer for my niece a while ago, and for awhile it was running smooth as silk. Now it seems to have a nervous breakdown every couple of months. I suspect her stupid friends are screwing with it, but she says no.

    I haven't been over to check it out in person yet, but she says that while the memory/ hardware check seems normal, she gets nothing but a blank screen, and no Windows logo.

    She tried booting to the Windows disk, but the machine just hangs at "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration".

    Are there any suggestions as to how to troubleshoot this problem?

  2. #2
    Friendly Neighborhood Super Moderator phishhead's Avatar
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    first would be to do a repair...set the bios to the default settings and boot to the cd and run the setup but choose R to repair the install.



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    That's what she tried to do, but it doesn't even make it to the setup screen.

  4. #4
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grego
    That's what she tried to do, but it doesn't even make it to the setup screen.
    It's either a bad disk or a bad cd-rom.

  5. #5
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    If the DVD-Rom is shot, her Lite-On CDRW should be able to read it, right? Or should I just swap it out altogether?

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    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grego
    If the DVD-Rom is shot, her Lite-On CDRW should be able to read it, right? Or should I just swap it out altogether?
    Correct, the CDRW should read it.

  7. #7
    Bronze Member cardriver's Avatar
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    what about the HD, does she have a spare HD she can plug in? the boot sector might be screwed up...

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    Quote Originally Posted by cardriver
    what about the HD, does she have a spare HD she can plug in? the boot sector might be screwed up...
    I might have a spare HD around to test that out. If that's the case, is the HD beyond repair?

  9. #9
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    One thing I've seen in the past is an intermittent problem with an expansion card causing the OS to hang up while detecting devices...You could remove any expansion cards except video from the system and try booting that way. This also works when booting to the OS cd to run a repair.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member cardriver's Avatar
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    thats a good option Rik, as far as the HD goes, no the HD isn't beyond repair most of the time. you can usually slide it back in as a "slave" drive and repair it with norton or a program of that nature, then take it back out and use it again as a "Master" speaking of "master/Slave" what kind of a crock of shit is it that thecity of LA thinks because one person doesn't like the term that it should change an industry. only in California... (no offense ment of course to those living there...)

  11. #11
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    I just contacted my niece, and she said that she tried booting off the CD in both drives and it doesn't work for either one. Unless both drives are shot, that's not the problem, and the disk itself was bought new a couple of months ago.

    I guess the expansion card theory is worth a shot, but this was never an issue before, and the only thing to remove would be the NIC. The sound is on-board.

    cardriver (or anyone): I have a sneaky suspicion this will come down to the HD. Can you give me some more details as to how I can clean it up? Thanks.

  12. #12
    Techzonez Governor Super Moderator Conan's Avatar
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    Is the Boot from the CD option enabled in the BIOS?

  13. #13
    Security Intelligence TZ Veteran cash_site's Avatar
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    yeah sounds like a shot MBR. If cant boot from XP cd, might need to download the XP boot disks, and then run scannow /sfc (?) or setup. See if she can put the HD into another computer as slave and backup her data.

    Doesnt sound promising.

    --- 0wN3D by 3gG ---

  14. #14
    Old and Cranky Super Moderator rik's Avatar
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    Also you could d/l a diagnostic from the drive manufacturer and know for sure that the drive is ok.

  15. #15
    Near Life Experienced TZ Veteran zipp51's Avatar
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    Good suggestions from all.I would do as Rik lastly suggested for proof of hard drive health.Also just a thought.Check closer to the Post and see if the parameters are correct ie the correct cpu clock.If someone overclocked it sometimes you will get windows checking the hardware configuration and no boot.In that case you can clear the cmos by moving the jumper setting off then back on the contacts(located on the motherboard).You will need the manual for the exact location of the jumper.Then just reset to the proper front side bus and cpu clock and other settings.
    The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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