Questions

What happened to my Windows and how can I fix it?

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What happened to my Windows and how can I fix it?

yapanitz
After a restart, my windows start asking how I would like to start windows (safe mode, safe mode with command prompt, start normally, last know good configuration) and then will return to the same scenario even after you have picked your choice. How do I fix it?
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    seanferd

    Which version of Windows is this? Do you have an OEM or retail Windows CD, or is there a recovery partition?

    If you don't have any of these, and no way to get to the Recovery Console, I suggest downloading and burning the UBCD or a Linux Live CD like Knoppix so you can fix possible errors without having to do a reinstall.

    If you do, you can always try a non-destructive Repair Install first.

    Currently, you can press F8 to get more options at the boot choice screen. Enable boot logging. You can also try disabling reboot on failure.

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    santeewelding

    For my part -- which is not (his) part -- I would have dumpstered the damned thing and bought anew, entering it as a writeoff, considering, businesswise, how much I charge for paying attention, worse for lifting a finger.

    Yours is the more better way to go.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    I can so clearly see Hobbes eyes darting back and forth now. I caught animation before, but not so sharply. Excellente. B-)

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    santeewelding

    More than that. You catch, English.

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    santeewelding

    To tell you, and everyone else, about Bobcats (~$20,000 a pop), and the backyard swimming-pool industry in Southern California.

    Those things were eventually discarded, rather than repaired, the way that I discarded paper clips, there was so much money being made.

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    OH Smeg

    Sorry I don't know anyone who deals in equipment that small.

    No profit in dealing with the small end of the market.

    Col

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    seanferd

    Do tell.

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    santeewelding

    With those things; backhoes, too.

    I had been -- not so much, now, due to the "climate" -- inured to their structural evolution (as well as Col mentions, with the larger pieces, four-inch thick members, and all, snapped in two) for all of about 30 years.

    Tell Col, if you remember, about standing inside a clamshell, and making it right.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    you've two repair options on it when you boot from it. One via the Recovery Console which is offered first. I've not used it, I won't speak to it.

    The second option comes via the Install sequence. You have to sit through driver load to get to it, as well as read the screens carefully. I've had great luck with this option.

    You'll need to set your BIOS to boot from CD.

    This applies, at least, to Win2K and WinXP. I can't see why it wouldn't apply to Vista and/or Win7 - oh wait, Uncle Billy's in town.

    It strikes me your master boot record is out of whack.

    etu

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    yapanitz

    Can you send me some more details please? I forgot to mention my OS was Windows XP SP3 2002 Professional.

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    OH Smeg

    As apposed to a System Makers Recovery Disc most times but you boot off the Install Disc and follow the prompts to install Windows.

    You are given an Option to Repair Windows early on which takes you to the Repair Consul and I've never had much joy with that so you press the other option. The next time you are prompted to press the R Key you press it and do a Repair Install.

    But you should have a full backup before starting this process. If you don't you run the risk of loosing your if something is to go wrong during the Repair Install.

    Full Details are available here

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978788

    Follow the directions listed under the Method 2 Heading.

    Col

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    OH Smeg

    I'm not sure about Vista as I haven't used it that much but by using the F6 Key on 7 you are taken to a Prompt to repair Windows instead of the Boot Options Menu.

    So 7 and possibly Vista are different in this regard to XP and earlier versions of Windows.

    Col

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    yapanitz

    I think I see the problem now. Can it be my HDD is broken? I tried formatting my PC with the same CD. Set the 1st boot to my DVD ROM and the 2nd boot to my HDD. Surprisingly, after the Windows XP reboot after it is done copying file to be installed (my OS), it turns out that it can't boot on my HDD. I even tried switching my 1st boot and 2nd boot but it looks like it cannot boot with my HDD although it doesn't indicates any error message. My HDD is more than four years old.

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    boxfiddler Moderator

    Has it been making any noise? Usually, though I'd guess not always, they make odd noises before they go. I'm running on an eight and a six year old hard drive, so that may or may not be the problem.

    Check the link that Oh Smeg provided in response to your request for more detail.

    Also, check your internal drive connections. Maybe you've a loose drive cable, or even a bad cable. If so, they're easy enough to replace.

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    seanferd

    First, go to the HDD vendor's site and download their tool for testing drives. Run this to see if the drive is failing or has bad sectors.

    If the drive is OK, get DBAN or Killdisk and use this to wipe the drive before re-installing XP. (Back up all your data first!)

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    yapanitz

    Sad to say I can't get my PC with Windows. I set the first boot in the DVD ROM and the second boot in the HDD but when Windows is done copying files and reboots, the PC just can't seem to continue and always reboot to the same phase in which you should press a button to start with your installation CD. Its like its not detecting my HDD and I don't have an spare PC to try it. Some of my friends says it can be a memory failure.

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    HUM

    OH Smeg

    Are you leaving the system alone when it reboots?

    If when it comes to the the Press Any Key to Boot From CD screen you press any key you are restarting the Install Process. You should leave it alone and it will then proceed to the next part of the Install Process.

    Col

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    santeewelding

    And, to reveal, is my own habit of screwups.

    I thought the same, Col, having done exactly the same, before I caught on to my error.

    Further, as he testifies, it was supposedly bad RAM; new, supplied by a friend.

    Do you suppose the friend was also involved in the (new) install process, and knew better?

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    yapanitz

    I saw the problem now. Bad RAM. Need some replacement. I asked my friend to about it and said it was a bad RAM. He let me borrowed his spare and it worked. Damn. So stupid for skipping that one. Thanks to all of you sharing your time troubleshooting my computer.

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    seanferd

    Hope fresh RAM has your system back to normal.

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    yapanitz

    After trying my friend's RAM, I returned it to him. Then I tried my old RAMs one by one and to my surprise, they both worked. I also tried diagnosing them with MemTest and it says they passed the test successfully. Then what was wrong with my PC to display such messages over and over again?

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    OH Smeg

    If you did no matter that they both Test OK there could be timing Issues that are causing problems between the 2 Different Modules.

    It's part of the reason why Memory Makers tell you to use Identical RAM in different Memory Slots.

    Col

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    seanferd

    If it is working now, I imagine the RAM needed to be re-seated, or that the contacts needed to be cleaned - they may have been cleaned enough simply by pulling and re-seating it.

    If it is not working, refer to the previous comment about mixing RAM modules.

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    yapanitz

    If ever buy new RAMs, should I buy two single channel RAMs?

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    0 Votes
    seanferd

    We don't know anything at all about your computer.

    Check the documentation at the vendor's site for the RAM specifications for your exact model (better: serial number) of system board.

    You can also use this:
    http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/

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    4itpro

    When you select Last know good configuration it will take you on last logon & take you necessary backup then format your system & installl the new window.

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    yapanitz

    It won't help either because it just restart the computer again and again. Any choice wouldn't make a difference.

  • +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Which version of Windows is this? Do you have an OEM or retail Windows CD, or is there a recovery partition?

    If you don't have any of these, and no way to get to the Recovery Console, I suggest downloading and burning the UBCD or a Linux Live CD like Knoppix so you can fix possible errors without having to do a reinstall.

    If you do, you can always try a non-destructive Repair Install first.

    Currently, you can press F8 to get more options at the boot choice screen. Enable boot logging. You can also try disabling reboot on failure.

    +
    0 Votes
    santeewelding

    For my part -- which is not (his) part -- I would have dumpstered the damned thing and bought anew, entering it as a writeoff, considering, businesswise, how much I charge for paying attention, worse for lifting a finger.

    Yours is the more better way to go.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    I can so clearly see Hobbes eyes darting back and forth now. I caught animation before, but not so sharply. Excellente. B-)

    +
    0 Votes
    santeewelding

    More than that. You catch, English.

    +
    0 Votes
    santeewelding

    To tell you, and everyone else, about Bobcats (~$20,000 a pop), and the backyard swimming-pool industry in Southern California.

    Those things were eventually discarded, rather than repaired, the way that I discarded paper clips, there was so much money being made.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Sorry I don't know anyone who deals in equipment that small.

    No profit in dealing with the small end of the market.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Do tell.

    +
    0 Votes
    santeewelding

    With those things; backhoes, too.

    I had been -- not so much, now, due to the "climate" -- inured to their structural evolution (as well as Col mentions, with the larger pieces, four-inch thick members, and all, snapped in two) for all of about 30 years.

    Tell Col, if you remember, about standing inside a clamshell, and making it right.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    you've two repair options on it when you boot from it. One via the Recovery Console which is offered first. I've not used it, I won't speak to it.

    The second option comes via the Install sequence. You have to sit through driver load to get to it, as well as read the screens carefully. I've had great luck with this option.

    You'll need to set your BIOS to boot from CD.

    This applies, at least, to Win2K and WinXP. I can't see why it wouldn't apply to Vista and/or Win7 - oh wait, Uncle Billy's in town.

    It strikes me your master boot record is out of whack.

    etu

    +
    0 Votes
    yapanitz

    Can you send me some more details please? I forgot to mention my OS was Windows XP SP3 2002 Professional.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    As apposed to a System Makers Recovery Disc most times but you boot off the Install Disc and follow the prompts to install Windows.

    You are given an Option to Repair Windows early on which takes you to the Repair Consul and I've never had much joy with that so you press the other option. The next time you are prompted to press the R Key you press it and do a Repair Install.

    But you should have a full backup before starting this process. If you don't you run the risk of loosing your if something is to go wrong during the Repair Install.

    Full Details are available here

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978788

    Follow the directions listed under the Method 2 Heading.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    I'm not sure about Vista as I haven't used it that much but by using the F6 Key on 7 you are taken to a Prompt to repair Windows instead of the Boot Options Menu.

    So 7 and possibly Vista are different in this regard to XP and earlier versions of Windows.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    yapanitz

    I think I see the problem now. Can it be my HDD is broken? I tried formatting my PC with the same CD. Set the 1st boot to my DVD ROM and the 2nd boot to my HDD. Surprisingly, after the Windows XP reboot after it is done copying file to be installed (my OS), it turns out that it can't boot on my HDD. I even tried switching my 1st boot and 2nd boot but it looks like it cannot boot with my HDD although it doesn't indicates any error message. My HDD is more than four years old.

    +
    0 Votes
    boxfiddler Moderator

    Has it been making any noise? Usually, though I'd guess not always, they make odd noises before they go. I'm running on an eight and a six year old hard drive, so that may or may not be the problem.

    Check the link that Oh Smeg provided in response to your request for more detail.

    Also, check your internal drive connections. Maybe you've a loose drive cable, or even a bad cable. If so, they're easy enough to replace.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    First, go to the HDD vendor's site and download their tool for testing drives. Run this to see if the drive is failing or has bad sectors.

    If the drive is OK, get DBAN or Killdisk and use this to wipe the drive before re-installing XP. (Back up all your data first!)

    +
    0 Votes
    yapanitz

    Sad to say I can't get my PC with Windows. I set the first boot in the DVD ROM and the second boot in the HDD but when Windows is done copying files and reboots, the PC just can't seem to continue and always reboot to the same phase in which you should press a button to start with your installation CD. Its like its not detecting my HDD and I don't have an spare PC to try it. Some of my friends says it can be a memory failure.

    +
    0 Votes

    HUM

    OH Smeg

    Are you leaving the system alone when it reboots?

    If when it comes to the the Press Any Key to Boot From CD screen you press any key you are restarting the Install Process. You should leave it alone and it will then proceed to the next part of the Install Process.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    santeewelding

    And, to reveal, is my own habit of screwups.

    I thought the same, Col, having done exactly the same, before I caught on to my error.

    Further, as he testifies, it was supposedly bad RAM; new, supplied by a friend.

    Do you suppose the friend was also involved in the (new) install process, and knew better?

    +
    0 Votes
    yapanitz

    I saw the problem now. Bad RAM. Need some replacement. I asked my friend to about it and said it was a bad RAM. He let me borrowed his spare and it worked. Damn. So stupid for skipping that one. Thanks to all of you sharing your time troubleshooting my computer.

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    Hope fresh RAM has your system back to normal.

    +
    0 Votes
    yapanitz

    After trying my friend's RAM, I returned it to him. Then I tried my old RAMs one by one and to my surprise, they both worked. I also tried diagnosing them with MemTest and it says they passed the test successfully. Then what was wrong with my PC to display such messages over and over again?

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    If you did no matter that they both Test OK there could be timing Issues that are causing problems between the 2 Different Modules.

    It's part of the reason why Memory Makers tell you to use Identical RAM in different Memory Slots.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    If it is working now, I imagine the RAM needed to be re-seated, or that the contacts needed to be cleaned - they may have been cleaned enough simply by pulling and re-seating it.

    If it is not working, refer to the previous comment about mixing RAM modules.

    +
    0 Votes
    yapanitz

    If ever buy new RAMs, should I buy two single channel RAMs?

    +
    0 Votes
    seanferd

    We don't know anything at all about your computer.

    Check the documentation at the vendor's site for the RAM specifications for your exact model (better: serial number) of system board.

    You can also use this:
    http://www.crucial.com/systemscanner/

    +
    0 Votes
    4itpro

    When you select Last know good configuration it will take you on last logon & take you necessary backup then format your system & installl the new window.

    +
    0 Votes
    yapanitz

    It won't help either because it just restart the computer again and again. Any choice wouldn't make a difference.