XP boot

By ta01 ·

I have a friend's CPQ Presario 1500 laptop running XP Home SP2 that will not boot to the OS, safemode or safemode with network but will boot to safemode with command prompt after a very long wait(ten minutes).
Last known good configuration doesn't work either.
It will also not boot to the cdrom drive even after enabling the cmos to boot to the cdrom drive first.
It will boot to the floppy drive (yes, this machine is a couple of years old) however after creating the six disk boot set from MS and booting to it, "biosinfo.inf error code 1408" is displayed and there's not much on the web about this.
I'm unable to run chkdsk/f or /r (volume in use) from the command prompt but chkdsk by itself shows drive errors.
Please help. I'm tired....
Thanks ahead of time for any help.

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by demosthanese In reply to XP boot

Man that sounds nasty. But just to better organize things lets make a list of what DOES work vs. what doesnt.

The system boots so we know:
FLOPPY all work. Atleast for basics.

So what doesnt work?

something in BIOS (btw i checked that too, no info.. wierd)

The system WILL get to the safemode w/ cmd. So we know the OS itself is PROBABLY in tact. So the problem is somewhere between powerup and OS init. I would first try to flash your cmos/bios. It wouldnt hurt your hdd and if nothing else you get updated firmware. You can probably find more info on your error code once you get to the cmos/bios manufacturer website.

If that doesnt work try running some memtests. Normally a system wont start w/o memory installed but you may have a fried board that still has some form of conductor between the pins (ie a short on a toasted mem segment). This would also explain why the system will load but not everything and its really slow when it does load.

Next lets look at the periphery that isnt working:
While its REALLY unlikely to be causing a problem you may want to remove all the drives from the computer and if there is a manual switch for the network adapter turn it off. There could be some sort of feedback loop or something in there.

As far as CHKDSK goes im not really sure what to make of that. Could be any number of things with what you are describing. Since you are already inside the OS im thinking the HDD is ok. But for some reason the cmd prompt isnt seeing it accuratly enough to read it (kinda like a blind guy not being able to touch his fingertips together, he know hes has 2 fingers, but there is no spacial relation between em).

Finally if you have the means, remove the HDD and replace it with another one. You never know there could be a problem in there.

Hope this help!

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Thanks, demosthanese and update

by ta01 In reply to EEWWW...

The machine finally booted (20 mins) into plain safemode with icons but no task bar. I was able to launch task mgr and run disk clean up but not defrag or chkdsk /r. Can't explore the floppy drive either. Still won't boot to the CDROM either. Man this is weird. I'm just about positive it's virus related or hardware or both(?) All I know is that whatever I do, it is super, super slow. I think I should just turn it over to the local comp guys and maybe they can diagnose.
I'll try some of your suggestions in the meantime.

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Safe Mode

by IC-IT In reply to Thanks, demosthanese and ...

While in Safe Mode open a cmd prompt and try the Chkdsk /R
It will state that it can not do this Blah, blah ... would you like it to run on reboot.
Tell it Yes.

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chkdsk /r

by ta01 In reply to Safe Mode

Yup, tried it..."volume locked" or something like that.
Today, I was able to launch IE v6.0 but not able to browse anywhere..."Page can not be...".
I also am not able to run most .exe's. Still no task bar even though I now have icons and am able to launch task manager. Still unable to boot to cdrom or floppy.
I created a basic floppy boot disk and after setting the cmos and restarting with the floppy in the drive, the boot just goes to "Windows XP starting" and then sticks at the Compaq welcome screen unless I F8 at which time I can only get into safemode, safemode w/. network and safemode w/. cmd.. I have a feeling now that it's virus, spyware and removal of spyware related. I also can't open cd's but can open floppies. And it still takes about 20 minutes to boot into safemode. Curious thing, during this 20 minute period the HDD LED does not blink at all(?) It's like, it's not do anything and then an hourglass appears. Also, most of my troubleshooting is being done without network connectivity. At this stage, I'd just like to format the drive and reinstall the OS, I think. My buddy doesn't
have his disks though.
Any other ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Try this

by IC-IT In reply to chkdsk /r

Go to this site and download Spoybot Search and Destroy. Also (same page) download the Detection Updates. Put the files on a flash drive.


Then boot into Safe Mode with a Command Prompt. At the prompt type explorer.exe
plug in your flash drive and transfer the files to the desktop. Run the install first, then the updates.
Run Spybot, on the menu bar - Mode - use Advanced Mode. Click on Tools, in the right window check BHO and ActiveX.
Open each areafrom the left pane.
In the right pane Delete anything with a Red X. Uncheck other suspicious Items.
Back to the left pane, click on Startup. **** away or uncheck anything suspicious.
Back to the left-top grey choice (spybot) click it. Immunize first, then Check for problems. Upon completion, run any Anti-virus programs you have. If you have none Go to Download.com and download AVG Free. Search for its updated definitions and put those on the flash drive too. After installing use the Update from location function to find and install the definitions.

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Circuit City says...

by ta01 In reply to Try this

It needs a new hard drive. I'm not convinced, but...

Thanks for your help.

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Can you...

by demosthanese In reply to XP boot

...boot to a cd? I thought you had said something about it working in an update. If you can try UBCD4win.com i use that when i get into a spot i cant figure out. the program allows you to build a shadow copy of your hdd and put it onto a dvd/cd. you then boot to that cd and it gives you a memdisk os that you boot into and it has a HUGE amount of utilities built into it to test basically everything on your system.

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