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Please help!!! I am running a home built 1.8 gig, 512 ram P4 XP machine that has worked fine for two years. Now it started restarting itself after only two minutes. Not enough time to get to system restore. But wait it gets better. Now it won't even get that far. It gets to the screen to pick last good config. Anything I try does not work. I get a boot failure black screen. If I hit f8 during intel screen I have no option to boot from cd-rom, only hard drive and intel motherboard boot. Any ideas?

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Last Post by hp/compaqdave
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Make sure you have "boot from cd rom" set in the system bios as the first boot option. It sounds like a hardware failure to me. If you can't get it to boot from either the hard drive or cd, I suspect your mainboard is gone. Also you can try booting from a floppy and see what happens. Let it run and see if it restarts itself.

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Make sure you have "boot from cd rom" set in the system bios as the first boot option. It sounds like a hardware failure to me. If you can't get it to boot from either the hard drive or cd, I suspect your mainboard is gone. Also you can try booting from a floppy and see what happens. Let it run and see if it restarts itself.

Thanks for the quick response. I do not have a "boot from cd-rom" option on the bios screen. Is there a way to get that back?

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First off, remove any newly attached hardware, if there is any, and try booting it again. If you still have problems then read on.

BIOS vary, you need to look around for a setting for "Boot order" or "Boot priority"...usually it would be under Advanced BIOS features but not on every BIOS. If you're getting an option for "Last known good" your mainboard is not completely "gone" just yet...if that was the case the bootstrap would never get hit and you would get no Windows options at all. It is possible that the CD drive isn't being recognized but I think you would be smart to take a closer look at the BIOS and see if you can find the boot options. Some BIOS will have a section that lists attached devices like hard drives and CD drives...you might want to see if there is a setting like that relating to your CD drive and make sure the drive isn't disabled.

See if you can get into the Recovery Console...it might already be installed, it should be an option on the screen you get that offers last known good, otherwise you'll have to see if you can boot up that CD and go into the repair section of setup and get into the recovery console from there. If you can get in there you could try replacing the system file to fix whatever is causing the boot up problem:

Commands:

C:\WINDOWS>cd c:\windows\system32\config

then do a quick backup of the system file just in case...

C:\WINDOWS\system32\config>copy system system.old

then...

C:\WINDOWS\system32\config>copy c:\windows\repair\system.bak system

then type exit and the system will reboot...might work after that.

If you make it this far, congratulations...but you'd still have to fix whatever was causing the reboots. I would disconnect the internet connection and download Stinger from NAI on a working machine and then run it on the broken machine to see if it finds a virus. If the reboots go away without the internet connection then your machine is probably vulnerable to an exploit...run all critical updates from Microsoft. This could be a little difficult but if you have another XP machine that's not having the problem then you can look at what patches it has and compare the two, then download the updates that are missing from the problem machine to floppies on the working machine and update it that way.

Good luck.

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It's a P4 so it positively has to have a boot from cd option somewhere in the boot device priorities. If you still can't find it, let us know what bios name you have in there. Getting to the last known good screen means it saw the harddrive for a while, but I've seen these things so flaky that it's like someone playing with a switch. This same sort of thing happens with the drive itself. My reason for thinking possibly board over drive is that you're not booting to the cd either, but until you make sure your bios is right, we won't know for sure.

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Are you getting a little window saying its going to restart or is it just hard rebooting by tiself without anything special/different appearing on the screen. Some viruses restart your computer like the sasser or blaster variations.

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I just started it up today and got a black screen saying "Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt: \WINDOWS\SYSTEM\CONFIG\SYSTEM"
You can atempt to epair this fileby starting windows setup usng the original setup CD-ROM. Select "r" at the first screento start repair.

This is the catch now, nothing happens to get to repair. If I touch anything on the keyboard it restarts again. is tis ny help or am I just confusing everyone?

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You need to get it to boot to a cd.

The only options I get in the bios start order options are;
Removable device
Hard drive
Intel (I can't even get it to a boot screen now to get the complete name in the blue pop up box)

Is the Removable device suppose to be a cd-rom or floppy?

Thanks for your help, Mark

AAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :cry:

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Removable device would usually be something like an external USB hard drive or CD drive...ie some device not inside the machine. You could try this option although I doubt it's your cd drive.

I think you might be getting skunked by the BIOS menus...it happens to me all the time. Some BIOS, in my opinion, are hard to navigate and sometimes just changing a variable ends up being a hassle. Some BIOS you have to first pick a combination of boot devices and then tell it, in another field, which device you want to boot first. The BIOS is manufacturer specific, unlike Windows which tends to be the same stuff in the same places, common troubleshooting knowledge on a specific BIOS is going to be hard to come by unless you happen to run into someone who has memorized your particular BIOS screens, its variables and exactly what keyboard commands are required to change it. Some BIOS you change variables with the space bar...others the directional arrows...another the F5 key - look very closely for instructions at the bottom of the BIOS screen, it might tell you how to cycle the various options in a field. Many times with boot orders these days it will be a profile that's a combination of three or four devices that will boot in whatever order so you need to cycle to a profile that has the CD listed as the first device in order. Also, as I said before, make sure you don't have the cd drive disabled in the BIOS or something...I can't tell you where to check that since a setting like that might not even exist in your BIOS for all I know.

I guess another idea would be to try the removable device option. You'd have to find an old external CD drive at the computer shop for a few bucks or something...possibly borrow one from a friend but it might work around the CD/BIOS thing.

Something else to try would be a BIOS update...I'm apprehensive to recommend that since "Diskette" or "Floppy" doesn't sound like it's available to you as a boot device from the BIOS so that might not help since the BIOS is usually loaded from a bootable floppy. Hope this helps.

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It is a Intel GB850 board. And when I just tried to turn it on to get the boot version I got a screen I have seen many times.
"Boot screen version 4.0.17
Intel base code PXE-2.0 (build 083)
Client mac addr: (do I need to give these numbers?)
Guid: (more numbers)
PXE-MOF Exiting Intel PXE ROM
Boot failure system haulted.

And that is what comes on when I start up.

Now When I hit f8 when the Intel boot screen comes on I get the screen " What version of windows would you like to start ( or something to that effect)
With Windows XP as the option to use, If i hit f8 again in this screen it gose to the select " safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt, last known config etc....
None of these work it goes to the "file is missing thing again I mentioned in an earlier post. I hope this can help. Thanks, Guys

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Whoa, back up a sec here. The last line of your POST says 'Boot failure system halted'?

I'd say you have more than an OS problem here if you're failing your POST sequence. At least, that's what it looks like to me.

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Ok I looked up how to get to the BIOS setup on your board...from the Intel site: Boot-up the computer and press "F2" to run Setup.

"Boot-up" meaning immediately after you turn the PC on you can start tapping F2 like once every two seconds...normally you would get a message stating "Entering Setup". If it goes to the Windows startup options you've missed it...reboot, try again until you get to the BIOS setup. This is where you should be able to find the boot order options. F8 from the "Intel screen" sounds like it just gives you a OS boot menu, you need to hit F2 to get to the BIOS setup so you can pick which device boots first so you can pick the cdrom and boot the XP cd.

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I get to the boot option sometimes but there is no cd-rom option in the list. I have checked all of the tabs across to top of the boot screen and I'm pretty sure I have seen the right option while moving through the screens.
Just removable device, Hard drive and the Intel board option.

If my board is trashed, what do you think is a good P4 board that I could use my 1.8 processor in? I'm about ready to just start over with a new board. I have a new 80 gig hard drive to start with so I don't bring the problem with me. Thanks again, Mark

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Intel boards use the Phoenix bios. The boot options are on the next to rightmost tab called "Boot" and the option is Boot priority. If your Atapi CD rom doen't show up there go to the "Advanced Tab" then "IDE Configuration" and the first option on that page is IDE controller and make sure that "Both" is selected. Down below on this page it should show you what IDE drives it has detected on start up. If you see both your hard drive and CD Rom drive there. If you needed to change the "IDE Configuration" setting you will need to save and reboot before you can see what drives were detected.

I almost always use Intel boards in the business systems I build and have had very good luck over the years. I also use Gigabyte Boards at times. I think Intel has it for the most straight-forward setups. Just my opinion. The needs for all-out gamers are a little different, so I won't try to speak to that.

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I got it to boot to the cd-rom and the windows start up screen comes up and it loads the files. Then it says it can't find my hard drive. I think I need a basic lesson on hard drive connection as I have moved them around on the ide cables so much that I am not sure I have it connected to the right end (or middle of the cable). I would love to just put in my new 80 gig drive and start over with a clean drive. I can load the rest of the stuff after I get the op sys in. I think 'Im getting there. :) Thanks again, Mark

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Well, glad to hear you're making progress. :) The install of the hard drive depends on what hard drive you have and what cables you are using. One way or another, each drive can be configured as a Master, Slave or put in Cable Select mode. On each cable, there can be only 1 master and 1 slave drive, or 2 drives can be set to Cable Select mode. In Cable Select mode, the position in the Cable that the drive is plugged into determines whether it functions Master or Slave. BUT in order to use Cable Select Mode, you must be using a Cable Select cable! You can tell if you have a Cable select cable, by looking at the drive ends of the cable. Normally the End or last connection "Master" will have be colored black and the middle connection will be colored grey. Standard IDE cables use the same color for each plug. Check the drive manufacture's setting for placement of the jumpers to determine how to set your drive. They normally come configured as "Master" out of the box. Make sure that the drive shows up in the bios on bootup before you bother trying to install Windows. See my last post for where you can see that.

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Helpful, and knowledgeable. D.I.
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I was able to get to the install screen and start the install on a new hard drive, but when it gets to about 38% of installing the files it says cannot install file (blah blah) and it keeps doing that for the rest of the files if you try to skip the file. I had my had drives checked at Comp USA and they were able to see and access them as slaves on their computer.

I have a question that may have something to do with this problem. If I have reinstalled xp on a new machine, does windows have a timer built in to shut down access after ? many starts? As in disable the hard drive to make it unbootable? I think I have heard this may be a way to stop multi-installs of a single copy of xp on a new machine. Thanks for any input, Mark

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There is no such timer in Windows XP. XP only checks to see if you have registered that copy before when you activate it online. It now sounds more like a bad install cd. Suggest you try cleaning it. Look for scratches. To clean it, use a soft cloth and dampen it, then wipe straight from the center of the disk to the outside edge, don't wipe around the disk. Other possiblilities, bad CD player, bad controller, bad hard drive. (You can't tell if a hard drive is good just by seeing if you can access it as a slave. This only means that it's not TOTALLY bad. You need to perform a disk surface scan on it to write and read information to every part of it to truly check it. This is time intensive on a big drive and requires speciallized software. Chkdsk has a non destructive version if windows is running.)

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don't worry it is adware in your c:/ just remove it by any good tool and also from registery( use spy remover and adware away)

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don't worry it is adware in your c:/ just remove it by any good tool and also from registery( use spy remover and adware away)

One has to wonder what thread you were reading......

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don't worry it is adware in your c:/ just remove it by any good tool and also from registery( use spy remover and adware away)

This may have been the case but, I cannot get windows to start at all. Please read the other posts and see if you have any other ideas.

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It never could have been Adware Mark, your problems were occurring much too soon in the boot process for that. Adware doesn't get loaded until later. We had these sorts of problems long before Adware became popular.

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ok im having the same kind of error you're having

my computer is a dell inspiron 8600

my mom was using it and i think it didnt get shut down properly but when she started it up again, it kept repeating the process up to the boot screen

i cant even get into windows

i got into the recovery console,

it says "the recovery console provides system repair and recovery functionality" "type EXIT to quit the recovery console and restart the computer"

but im unable to do anything from here

and i really dont want to lose whats on my HD

any suggestions?

i do have a custom boot screen installed but i never had a prob before =/

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This may have been the case but, I cannot get windows to start at all. Please read the other posts and see if you have any other ideas.

Mark the problem you are having does not involve the OS at all. You either have the hard drive cables backwards, poorly configured bios, bad hard drive(s), bad controller(s), bad battery, or your shorting out your motherboard.

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I get to the boot option sometimes but there is no cd-rom option in the list. I have checked all of the tabs across to top of the boot screen and I'm pretty sure I have seen the right option while moving through the screens.
Just removable device, Hard drive and the Intel board option.

If my board is trashed, what do you think is a good P4 board that I could use my 1.8 processor in? I'm about ready to just start over with a new board. I have a new 80 gig hard drive to start with so I don't bring the problem with me. Thanks again, Mark

go to boot in bios and arrow down to boot device priority and change first boot device to optical drive that you want to boot from.also if you tap esc repeatedly it should bring up a select boot device option

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go to boot in bios and arrow down to boot device priority and change first boot device to optical drive that you want to boot from.also if you tap esc repeatedly it should bring up a select boot device option

i mean press escape(esc) :p repeatedly on reboot

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