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Hi!

I'm working on a problem on my uncles computer (XP Home). When I start the computer up I get the generic message indicating that Windows didn't start normally. I get the standard choices to start normally, in safe mode, or with last good config.

No matter which I choose I get looped back to the same screen again.

I am able to get into the BIOS. I tried resetting the deaults to no avail. The event log is full of: "Pre-Boot Error: Keyboard Not Functional" messages.

I have tried two different keyboards (his and one of mine, both PS/2) and get the same message. I've tried booting without a keyboard (for some reason) with the same result.

I should mention that we don't know what was changed: his 3 year old grandson got into his office and started playing on the computer.

The keyboard does work to get into setup and move around the BIOS, so I know the keyboard itself isn't broken.

I opened the case and aside from a lot of dust everything looks OK physically. Could the kid have fried the motherboard? Other thoughts?

THANKS!!

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Edit: I forgot to mention that after I tell it to go ahead and try to start, it VERY VERY briefly flashes the "blue screen of death". It is literally only there for half a second so I cannot get any information from it. Thanks!

Edit/Delete Message

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Last Post by Tidgeypudd
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have you moved the computer by any chance before this happened? because some motherboards come with a jumper which enable/unable the keyboard. Most computers will prompt an error when the keyboard is not plug. Therefore, for computers builders who needs to test a motherboard has to switch the jumper to run it without a keyboard. So it sounds to me that the jumper may off the motherboard. Open you computer and look for the model name and do a search for it – and look for where this feature is in your motherboard. A motherboard when goes bad normally give a 0 value while staring the system – so if it is not the jumper – re-install the operating system.

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I had a very similar problem this week. (Note: a happy ending follows.) The computer (Dell 4100, Pentium III, Seagate 160 HD, running Windows XP) had been working fine, and I rebooted, and got this message on the black screen... "A disk read error occurred Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart." The message repeated on the restart. I was unable to get into safe mode using F8, or run the diagnostics with F12, but I was able to get into the Setup by pressing F2 or Del on the restart, and in the Event log I noticed numerous messages produced by all my restarts... "Pre-Boot Error Keyboard not functional." But there didn't seem to be anything wrong with my keyboard. The green lights flashed on the restarts and all the keys seemed to work.

I was able to use the Windows XP CD to get into the Recovery Console, and at the prompt [C:\WINDOWS>] I typed [dir] to see if there was anything on the hard drive. Much to my relief I saw the entire contents of the Windows folder (I had heard of viruses creeping in through the boot sector and wiping out all data on the hard disk). I was beginning to think there was some kind of problem with the master boot record. I had read of other people with similar problems having great success using the fix master boot command [fixmbr]. But others had warned that you were taking quite a risk with your data on your drive if you did this.

I was really tempted to use fixmbr, but I decided to call Dell support. They ran a diagnostic on my computer, reset the BIOS to default settings, ran another diagnostic, and told me my hard drive was dead. They even offered to sell me a new one on the spot! I asked them if I could try running fixmbr or fixboot, and they said the only command they would recommend using was chkdsk.

My Seagate drive was only one and a half years old, and I was really hoping there wasn't anything seriously wrong with it. My previous Maxtor drive lasted over six years. So after talking to Dell I decided to get back into the BIOS with the F2 key on the restart, and checked to see what changes were made by Dell from the BIOS default reset. Previously, I had made a detailed list of all the variable settings in the BIOS. In the Boot listing, I noticed the Boot Device order had been changed so that [ATAPI CDROM] was now behind [IDE-HDD]. I wanted to try the Recovery Console one more tiime before I gave up, so I reversed the order so the computer would attempt to start from the CD before attempting to start from the hard drive.

I went back into the Recovery Console, and checked the definition of fixmbr by typing [help fixmbr] at the prompt. From the description, I knew that fixmbr would not proceed with any rewrite of any line in the boot sector unless I responded with a yes to the prompt. So, at the prompt [C:\WINDOWS>] I typed [fixmbr] pressed Enter, and held my breath. I got the following message...

**CAUTION**
This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record.
Fixmbr may damage your partition tables if you proceed.
This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become inaccessible.
If you are not having problems accessing your drive, do not continue.
Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?_

Well, I did not have any partitions in my hard drive, but at least I could still access the Windows folder. I was afraid of doing more harm than good at this point. I typed in [n] at the prompt, and then [exit] to get out of Recovery Console.

I took my Dell to my local computer repair shop. He ran a diagnostic test on the hard drive and discovered it was... still good! No damage, no errors. He too, was concerned about the fixmbr warning, so he removed all the data I wanted to save from my computer, and ran fixmbr. It did not correct the problem. He ran fixboot. Same result. Then, he reinstalled Windows XP. The computer worked fine. He put all my data back on, and I'm back to normal. As far as he could tell, there apparently was some glitch that caused the boot record to be corrupted or some part of the boot record to have been written somewhere else on the hard drive. He didn't think it was a virus, but he couldn't rule it out either.

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Hi!

I'm working on a problem on my uncles computer (XP Home). When I start the computer up I get the generic message indicating that Windows didn't start normally. I get the standard choices to start normally, in safe mode, or with last good config.

No matter which I choose I get looped back to the same screen again.

I am able to get into the BIOS. I tried resetting the deaults to no avail. The event log is full of: "Pre-Boot Error: Keyboard Not Functional" messages.

I have tried two different keyboards (his and one of mine, both PS/2) and get the same message. I've tried booting without a keyboard (for some reason) with the same result.

I should mention that we don't know what was changed: his 3 year old grandson got into his office and started playing on the computer.

The keyboard does work to get into setup and move around the BIOS, so I know the keyboard itself isn't broken.

I opened the case and aside from a lot of dust everything looks OK physically. Could the kid have fried the motherboard? Other thoughts?

THANKS!!

--------
Edit: I forgot to mention that after I tell it to go ahead and try to start, it VERY VERY briefly flashes the "blue screen of death". It is literally only there for half a second so I cannot get any information from it. Thanks!

Edit/Delete Message

Your Computer is not able to load the Operating System and no matter what option you choose ,whether its safe mode or normal
mode, it takes you back to the same screen.

What you do is just go into the BIOS setup, and go into the boot
configuration ,change the 1st boot device from "Hard Drive" to
"CD-ROM".

Insert WinXP CD into your Computer and than do reinstallation.

After that check your computer ,hopefully this will solve your problem.

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Too easy... All you need to do is reset your CMOS. You wont lose any data and there is no risk whatsoever. I'm about 95% sure this will work for as I have encountered many similar problems and this was the fix.

Open your case and look on your motherboard for the CMOS battery. Within the vicinity (maybe an inch away or so but somehwere around there) of that battery you will see 3 small pins with a jumper bridging 2 of them. Move the jumper over to the other position and press the power button to start the computer. You only need to leave the PC on for a few seconds and then shut it back off by either pushing the power button or holding it in untill power cuts off. Then place the jumper back the position it was in before and turn on the computer. That should be it.

Like I said this is a 95% fix to your problem, but if it happens to be that other 5 percent your going to need to reinstall windows. To do that all you have to do is enter the BIOS, change the boot device priority and select the CDrom to be the first boot device. Put in the windows CD, and have fun.

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Firekid, would resetting the CMOS put all your BIOS settings to default? Would it be a good idea to record your current settings before you do that? Also, would removing and then replacing the CMOS battery have the same effect of resetting the CMOS?

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the answer to all your questions is yes. record your current BIOS settings before proceeding. i think what firekid1239 is suggesting might just work, and besides, there's nothing you lose by doing that.

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resetting the bios would not make any differece to the software or this error you will probably find that this is a deffective hard drive or it is surely on its way out. it is not recommended that you touch your bios if you have no idea of what it is your doing as the bios controls far too much and can cause more problems. it definatly sounds like a hard drive problem then anything else.

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