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Well where to start...
First off right now i canot get my computer to start. It says boot error, please restart and select a boot device or insert boot media and press any key to continue. Now this has happened a few times in the past, so i didnt touch it for about a day, came back to give it another shot, and PRESTO! computer works fine! But now it has happened again and i would like to eliminate the problem alltogether. So i put in the Windows XP disk when it said insert boot media, pressed a key, and nothing happened. Im not sure what to do! I even searched here for help but their situation seemed to be different from mine and i wasnt sure what to do, so i had to post.

Also when i was able to get the computer to work, the System 32 folder is open. I saw a topic on that here about a simlar problem, and they had to delete a HKLM\software.... type of file to get rid of the problem. Ive recently had several spyware infections that deal with my HKLM files. Though im not sure how to access these files or even know what they do for that matter. So i dont know how to get rid of the certain file.

Im sure someone knows what to do....i hope...

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Last Post by DMR
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...I canot get my computer to start. It says boot error, please restart and select a boot device or insert boot media and press any key to continue...

When you boot the computer, you need to enter the BIOS' setup utility before it gets to the point where it gives you the boot media error; we have to look in the BIOS setup to find out whether or not the physical drives are being recognized by the BIOS in order to better determine if this is a hardware or software related failure. Getting in to a BIOS involves hitting a certain key just when the computer starts to boot (that is, well before you see any Windows startup logo).

The exact key that you need to press will depend on your make/model of computer, but the common BIOS access keys are: F1, F2, Del, Insert, and Esc. The drive information you're looking for will be under a page/section called "IDE devices", "Storage Devices", or something similar; find and post that information.

Also when i was able to get the computer to work, the System 32 folder is open. I saw a topic on that here about a simlar problem, and they had to delete a HKLM\software.... type of file...

Those (HKLM references) aren't files, they are Registry entries, and you definitely don't want to start editing your Registry without precise, expert instructions specific to your particular problem. At the moment, we should focus on the larger and more important booting issue; it's pointless to start delving into a Software/Registry fix when the computer isn't even reliably finding the boot drive.

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Ok well i went into my BIOS Setup and found that when i go through boot priority all of my bootable options are set to disabled. So i went in to change them, and there was no other choice other than "disabled" This has me completely stumped. Ive been searching around everywhere and i cant find a case like mine to get some help! Why me????

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Go into your computer, check the cables.. make sure everything is installed correctly.

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...all of my bootable options are set to disabled. So i went in to change them, and there was no other choice other than "disabled"...

Yoiks! I've never seen that before.

The "boot priority" section of the BIOS is one place where your drives will be referenced, but there should be another area more like the place I mentioned in my last post, where specific information for each individual storage device is listed. Can you find that section?

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Yes i found the IDE devices. Here is what it says.

Primary IDE master - not installed
Primary IDE slave - not installed
Secondary IDE master - not installed
Secondary IDE slave - not installed

PCI IDE BusMaster - disabled
S.M.A.R.T. for hard disks - disabled


Now all of the primary and secondary slaves and masters are set to auto. Also, just to let you know, this computer does not have a floppy drive, not sure if that helps.

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"auto" is OK for the IDE settings , but "not installed" is obviously a Bad Thing.

Considering the above, and the fact that this is a problem which has gotten worse over time, you may have a failing/failed hardware component.

* What IDE devices (hard drive, CD, DVD, etc.) are installed in the system, and where on the IDE channels does each device live (primary master, primary slave, secondary master, etc.)?

* Open the computer's case and verify that all power and data cables are firmly and properly seated into the drives and the motherboard. Make sure none of the data cables are nicked or cut, and see if you can feel/hear all drives spinning.

* Disconnect both the power and data cables from all IDE devices except from the boot drive (disconnect the Seconday IDE cable at the motherboard). Start the computer, go into the BIOS setup again, and see if it then correctly sees the boot drive.
If so, reconnect the other drives one by one, rebooting each time. If the computer exhibits problems only when one particular drive is connected, that drive would be the likely point of failure.

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Well, i had a friend of mine come over to attempt to fix it. He ended up reseting the CMOS by shorting it out. Then the computer seemed to work fine. But i still had all of my infected HKLM and HKEY files infected with spyware so i attempted to reinstall windows like my friend instructed me to. At first it would not re-install for some reason. So instead of re-installing it, i just wiped everything. Then just a plain Install of windows. It seemed to work ok at first, i left it on for maybe an hour. When i come back, i have th blue screen of death..."System error, beggining physical dump of memory." So i reboot, only to get my dreaded "BOOT ERROR" This even confused my friend thats great with computers.

Im guessing that this means that a peice of my hardware is somehow corrupt and i may have to replace it... Maybe not. Im not that great with computers yet. Any more suggestions?

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Considering that a CMOS reset seemed to have cleared up the problem at least for a while, the fault could definitely be on the motherboard itself.

1. Go through each of the steps in my last post, and post as much of a detailed answer to each suggestion as possible.

2. Give us the make/model/appoximate age of the computer.

3. You might have a faulty RAM module. If you have more than one stick of RAM installed, try running the system with only one of them installed at a time; see if the symptoms change depending on which particular RAM module is being used.

4. Replace the CMOS/BIOS battery on the motherboard. It probably won't fix the problem, but the batteries only cost 2 or 3 dollars, so it certainly can't hurt.

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Well now resetting CMOS doesnt do anything, it goes right back to saying boot error.

The computer itself was built less than a year ago. My uncle made it from parts he had had. There is a DVD drive, and thats about it. 40 gig hard drive. Running windows, ( i assume you already knew that) I have 512megs of memory. So i think that is one stick. (not sure, im new to computers)

At the moment, i have given the computer to my computer genious friend so i will direct him to this link, though i assume he already knows what hes doing. Ill get back with more information ASAP.

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