I have a pc that I desperately trying to get booted.

All it seems to want to do is go into a boot loop of 2 different screens, the first a black one with little information (NVidia etc) - the second one from Phoenix Technologies, award BIOS stating the Processor (AMD Athlon 1000MHz), Ram (128MB), and the drives it has (HD 20.4Gb + CD-Rom).

I have tried everything I keep think if to get it running - different RAM (as I know faulty RAM can cause a boot loop), the RAM in a different slot.
I have changed the BIOS setting to alter the boot drive order - when I manage to get it to attempt to boot from a cd (ideally the XP one) if just very quickly lists both cd drives on a black screen as faulty) I can manage to get it to boot from a WIN98 recovery floppy disk but obviously this will format the hard drive and lose all the data which is not backed up. Also, this will reinstall WIN98 which is not required as it currently has XP.
If I press F8 when it is going through its loop I can get the boot options but no matter which one I try (and I have tried them all!!!) it just goes back to its boot loop.
I have also removed the hard drive and connected it to my other system as a second drive, whilst this was done I was able to access files etc fine on it. I also did a virus scan which located 12 files, 8 Viruses which I have finally removed completely.

I am ata complete loss as to whether the problem is somewhere on the motherboard/CMOS part or whether some of the loading drivers for Windows are missing.

Please help me somebody before I launch this thing into outer space!!!!


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Put it as the secondary drive on another computer and recover the data that way. That way it will be safe to format. Also, your motherboard may have gone bad. In which case, you would need a new one. The best way to test your motherboard is to get some RAM you know works and put it in the slots. If it still says the ram is bad, you know the slots are bad. If the slots are bad, the whole motherboard is probably bad. Hope that helps.


Thanks for the tips. Placing it as the secondary drive on another computer again to copy all data across is a last resort if anyone can actually confirm that it IS the hard drive causing the problems and not the motherboard etc.

I have tried another stick of RAM in the motherboard and just got no response at all - blank screen completely, no boot loop or anything that I know of, all fans etc were working but as far as I'm aware it wasn't actually doing anything - the only way it could then be powered off was to remove the power source.

With the hard drive connected (and jumpered) as the Primary Master drive, remove/disconnect all unnecessary components from the motherboard (CD-ROM/DVD drives, network cards, sound cards, etc.) and try to boot the computer. Let us know the results.

Right I have just disconnected both the cd-drive, dvd-drive, floppy drive and network card. I have also altered the BIOS setup so that it now only tries to boot from the 'primary device' which is the hard drive. Once powered back up again it continues to pregress through the same boot loop as before!!!
Arggggghhhhhhh I want to just launch it into the sea, its frustrating me soooo much now.
Your ongoing assistance is really appreciated as I had totally hit a brick wall apart from the formatting of hard drive option - through which there is no guarentee of solving the problem.

what I would do get another harddrive any size just one that works install it load windows on it ,if it runs then a fresh in stall on thecorrupt dive might fix your problem,
or go to this site get a copy of Knoppix on CD and boot to it and if you computer runs your ram is ok

One way to further pinpoint the fault would be to remove the original hard drive and install another hard drive (which you know to be good) as the Primary Master drive and see if the XP install CD sees that drive and allows you to install to it.
If that works, then your current drive likely has some sort of problem. Unfortunately, if that doesn't work, you could be looking at a pooched motherboard. :(

He could also remove the hard drive too and just use a bootable floppy, this would test the M/B and ram, and power supply of the computer. If this now boots up to a C prompt, you have isolated that part of the computer as good, if it won't work it could also be the power supply

He could also remove the hard drive too and just use a bootable floppy...

We know that works from info in his first post:

I can manage to get it to boot from a WIN98 recovery floppy disk...

If this now boots up to a C prompt

Er- "A" prompt? :mrgreen:

Yup got my "A"s and "C" mixed up :o What I was going to is if the hard drive maybe going bad it could drag down the the system. Just had one that I fixed with a boarderline hard drive that did this. ;)

Lemme know when you want to chuck the computer outta your window.. so I can be there and take it to a computer shop and change the mobo and the RAM probably and use it like new. :lol:
Err.. You might want to thro the printer along with the computer!!! :cool:

SERIOUSLY, try switching the IDE cables on the mobo and see what happens..though it seems that its not the IDE cables or the connectors since the PC cannot boot from the HD and the optical drives. It unlikely that the IDE cables, the optical device and the HD has conked out at the same time. Get the mobo checked by a local tech.

Thank you everyone for all your help, especially SuperSam as your offer of assitance was extremely helpful!!! :rolleyes:

For anyone that is interested, last night I connected another hard drive to it after removing the original and it booted fine straight to Win98 (which was already installed on it). I have since connected the original hard drive again and reinstalled Win98 on it from my Win98 Floppy boot disc and the original CD. It installed it perfectly with no hassels so my conclusion is that one of the original viruses that were removed when I connected it to my other system had attatched themselves to one of the critical Win XP boot files - maybe boot.ini.

When I switch it on now it gives me the choice of booting Win XP or Win98, if I select Win XP then it just loops but if I select Win98 it boots fine. We have managed to back up all the data and are going to reformat and reinstall XP with a new Motherboard/RAM etc anyway as this one is 6+ years old.

Thanks again for everyones assitance. :)


my conclusion is that one of the original viruses that were removed when I connected it to my other system had attatched themselves to one of the critical Win XP boot files...

A very likely possibility.
Glad you were able to pinpoint the problem and rescue your data. Also- thanks for posting the follow-up info; it could definitely be helpful to others who are experiencing a similar problem. :)

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