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Can't boot. Ack.

Old 05-17-04, 07:56 PM
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Can't boot. Ack.

Windows 2000 machine. My daughter's. Used heavily for IRC and bitorrent and all things anime.

First sympton something was wrong- Went to install Microsoft Excel 2 days ago and it kept failing, saying it could not create a windding.ttf file in the fonts directory. Me being in a hurry, I installed the program to the d drive instead.

Today, there was some strange things going on. The home page was reset. I downloaded and ran ad-aware and it found over 100 files, of which 20-30 it had to reboot to delete. So I rebooted.

But it will not come up. It shows the status bar with Windows loading... and everytime, it stops at exactly the same spot. Then it gives a disk I/O error. My thinking is that there is something wrong with the drive and it hangs up when trying to access the truetype font.

But here is where it gets strange. I can't boot off a floppy or CD. If I insert the W2K floppy, I get a black screen. It does not see the W2K CD at all. I checked the boot sequence in the bios and it's fine. Everytime though, it just goes back to loadind W2K off the hd and hanging at the same point.

I have tried soft and hard boots.

Any ideas????

Thanks!
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Old 05-17-04, 08:18 PM
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umm... the hard boot thingy is weird...

but have you tired booting into W2K's safe mode? then running chkdsk or scandisk to see if there are any hard disk errors?
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Old 05-17-04, 08:31 PM
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A drive problem could keep things from showing up for a while. Sometimes you have to wait many minutes before it gives up on it. You could try disconnecting the hard drive(s) (and make sure the BIOS settings are on Auto for the drives) and see if the floppy or CD boots up.

I've heard of BIOS viruses but never saw one. You could try clearing the CMOS that holds the BIOS settings. There should be a jumper that lets you do that.

Of course you want to get anything critical off there before you screw around. You know the drill, put the drive as a secondary drive on another machine.
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Old 05-17-04, 09:06 PM
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It keeps posting to the screen...over and over...

Disk I/O Error : Status = 0000800
Disk I/O Error : Status = 0000800
Disk I/O Error : Status = 0000800
Disk I/O Error : Status = 0000800
Disk I/O Error : Status = 0000800
Disk I/O Error : Status = 0000800
Disk I/O Error : Status = 0000800
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Old 05-17-04, 09:11 PM
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Looks like you have a disk i/o error.

I'd still do what I said above to try to boot from CD or floppy. Try the drive on a different computer. Forget clearing the CMOS.
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Old 05-17-04, 09:14 PM
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Originally posted by X
[B]A drive problem could keep things from showing up for a while. Sometimes you have to wait many minutes before it gives up on it. You could try disconnecting the hard drive(s) (and make sure the BIOS settings are on Auto for the drives) and see if the floppy or CD boots up.
I tried this. Disconnecting the boot drive does change things. Instead of the I/O Error message, it says no boot media and tells me to insert it or reboot. However, it does not see the CD drive.

If I put a floppy in, this trumps everything and I get nothing, just a blank screen.

I did make sure that the BIOS booted in sequence from floppy - CD- HD
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Old 05-17-04, 09:17 PM
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Strange. You might try clearing the CMOS then.

Is the CD-ROM on its own cable? Are master/slave or cable select jumpered correctly?

I can understand a problem with a floppy not booting. The light isn't constantly on on the floppy drive and its cable is well connected, isn't it?
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Old 05-17-04, 09:19 PM
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I will go back and check those things, but it all worked prior to this. I have booted this computer before.
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Old 05-18-04, 03:18 AM
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Tried boot drive on a different computer, also hangs up at a point when loading windows.

Strange set of circumstances.

1. IDE hard drive (boot) is bad.
2. Original computer can not boot off CD or floppy, though it used to. Does not recognize floppy or CD.

On one boot, all I got was pages and pages of code on the monitor. This was with no drives connected at all.
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Old 05-18-04, 05:18 AM
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Ack

I hope you enjoyed my lame attempt at humor.

I would start replacing parts in your pc till something clicks: drives, cables even the RAM. Sadly it seems like there might be multiple problems, I guess trying a different hard drive in the PC is the next step.
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Old 05-18-04, 08:16 AM
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Did you try the boot drive as a non-boot drive in another machine?

dave
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Old 05-23-04, 07:37 PM
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I think it's time that you just bite the bullet and invest in a new computer for your daughter. I am an anime enthusiast myself and it seems to me that her computer is just too outdated for her own good. A couple of hundred dollars and you should be able to build her a half decent machine, i'm sure shes worth it.
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Old 05-23-04, 07:59 PM
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Originally posted by Dave99
Did you try the boot drive as a non-boot drive in another machine?

dave
^^^
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Old 05-24-04, 02:51 PM
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One way to check if it could be a hard drive problem is to go to CMOS and enable S.M.A.R.T. and see if it gives you a warning about an impending drive failure when you boot up. If so, back up whatever you need on it and get a new drive.

I had this same problem of not being able to boot to Windows about a month ago. I tried reinstalling Windows (so booting from the CD was working) but it wouldn't finish installing at all-it would get to a certain point before quitting with a blue screen and an error message. Enabling S.M.A.R.T. warned of a failure. I was able to get most of what was on the drive off, but a few files could not be copied even though they were showing up in Explorer. In another machine, I tried using Western Digital's utility for scanning the drive for problems, but the program wouldn't do it and showed a message that there were too many bad sectors.
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Old 05-24-04, 06:30 PM
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Clear cmos, memory, motherboard.

In that order.
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Old 05-25-04, 08:46 PM
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Originally posted by DiNkAi
I think it's time that you just bite the bullet and invest in a new computer for your daughter. I am an anime enthusiast myself and it seems to me that her computer is just too outdated for her own good. A couple of hundred dollars and you should be able to build her a half decent machine, i'm sure shes worth it.


Always nice to have an impartial observer's opinion!

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Old 05-25-04, 08:47 PM
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Originally posted by Dave99
Did you try the boot drive as a non-boot drive in another machine?

dave
Yes. It had a disk i/o error also. Strange. And the boot floppy, which used to work, now is trashed.
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Old 05-25-04, 11:40 PM
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The OS on the working HD refused to load? Are you certain the bad drive was set as slave not master? Another thing to try is download the utility for that HD and it might be able to fix some of it (WD Data Lifeguard seemed to fix some failing hard drives to add a bit life to it before to recover data but I guess if the floppy drive isn't working on whatever computer you put it in...). Try swapping the cables around for the cd roms/HD. Clearing CMOS looks like a good idea also.
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Old 05-26-04, 10:30 PM
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I think dave tried to ask this, but have you added the drive in as a slave drive in a seperate machine and then see if you can browse out to it.

My thought is Virus, so I'd be careful about the machine you put it into.

I assume you have a few old drives around. I'd install XP or something on an old drive.

Then add in the injured drive as a slave drive. If this works then Viruscan the drive, and see what happens.

If it works and you can't see anything you may need some of the data recovery tools, that is if you want to recover the data on it.
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Old 05-26-04, 11:27 PM
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I think my brother had a similar problem, it was a bad sector. You should attach your HDD to another machine and run defrag on it. Personally I'd just get another HDD, or maybe even follow DiNkAi's advice and get a nice cheap Dell (or a laptop since she's at college -- assuming this is your college daughter).
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Old 05-26-04, 11:29 PM
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I'm surprised nobody has suggested connecting that hard drive to another computer to see if it works that way.

Give it a try!
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Old 05-26-04, 11:46 PM
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On a second thought, somebody's probably sabotaging it. 'Tis better to appease!
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Old 05-27-04, 12:28 AM
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Originally posted by X
I'm surprised nobody has suggested connecting that hard drive to another computer to see if it works that way.

Give it a try!
I am not sure that will work.

However in a different computer it might boot. I would try that
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Old 05-27-04, 08:33 AM
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Originally posted by DiNkAi
I think it's time that you just bite the bullet and invest in a new computer for your daughter. I am an anime enthusiast myself and it seems to me that her computer is just too outdated for her own good. A couple of hundred dollars and you should be able to build her a half decent machine, i'm sure shes worth it.

Sounds to me like the best suggestion yet!
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Old 05-27-04, 08:54 AM
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this may sound crazy, but i've read this on arstechnica forums and shacknews forums. some people have sworn by it as a fix for HD failures.

put the HD in a anti-static back and stick it in the freezer for 30 minutes to 2 hours. and then try put it back into your computer and see if it works.

hey if you've tried everything, what have you got to lose on this?

Last edited by peon73; 05-27-04 at 09:03 AM.
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