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Startup problem!

Posted on 2000-05-15
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Suddenly one day my computer totally freezed at startup. It freezes just before it normally starts WIN98, but now nothing happens. It seems like it never even tries to find the statup-files(boot-files). So i can't even load anything. Not even a boot-disk. It don't search for boot-files at a:, c:, or d:.
Once there came a message that said that an error had occoured because of a problem dividing with zero.
I'm running WIN98 on a 100 MHz.
Is this a BIOS failure, or...?
How can i solve this??
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Question by:daggodt
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 2811986
It could be either hardware or software. Until it happens again,it is hard to say. Probably NOT a BIOS error since it only happened once.
Things to check.

1)  Heat (overclocking or faulty fans/ventilation)
2) Power supply
3) Fauly RAM chips.

Also it may be a good idea :
Download the Startup COP a free pcmag utility from
                       http://www.zdnet.com/pcmag/pctech/content/18/08/ut1808.001.html

 Run it and it will show you everything that is listed in all the possible startup
places, and allow you to disable things one at a time until the problem is eliminated.

If you can supply more detail about your computer, we may be able to help more.
In any case a single glitch is almost impossible to debug.
I hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:jj_mako
ID: 2812043
i know this sounds weird,
i had a problem like this once, it went away when i had a cd loaded in the drive.

i downloaded new drivers from the cd drive manufacturer and it went away.

also, i noticed that it would lock up right after the light on the cd drive blinked, like when it was initializing the drive on bootup.
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2812617
How to Check for a Faulty Math Coprocessor
To determine if the math coprocessor installed in your computer is faulty, follow these steps:
1.Open System in Control Panel
2.Select the Device Manager tab
3.Double-click System Devices, and then double-click Numeric data processor
4.Click the Settings tab
5.The following message is displayed in the Diagnostics box:
Your computer's numeric data processor has passed all diagnostic tests and appears to be working properly
 or
The numeric processor in this computer can sometimes compute inaccurate results when dividing large numbers

if you get the second message, you have a faulty Math  Coprocessor. In that case you can switch of the use of the Math Coprocessor, by selecting the Never use numeric data processor on the  tab.
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Expert Comment

by:kannabis
ID: 2812928
Does the HD spin up?  What exactly does nothing mean?  If it's crashing at the win98 screen, Have you tried entering windows in safe mode?  Hit F8 at the starting win98 prompt and you will see a menu come up.  Select safe mode and see if you can get into the system like that.  If you can then I would suspect perhaps a corrupt driver.  Have you installed any software before that problem?  It might be resolved by running scandisk.  Let us know if you can get into win with safe mode.

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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 2813167
> an error had occoured because of a problem dividing with zero.

Are you running Windows 95 on a computer with a 350Mz (or faster) processor?
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Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2813314
Edited text of question.
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Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2813324
Edited text of question.
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Expert Comment

by:jj_mako
ID: 2813905
during POST does it find all your hardware (ie. floppy drive, hard drive)?  does the light come on on the floppy during POST?  does the Hard drive light even blink?
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 2814191
Did you try going into the BIOS and reloading the BIOS defaults ?
If the BIOS shows what is installed in the machine, Hard disk, floppy, etc, make sure that all these show up as normal.

Have you checked your power supply. If your 12 V line is bad, your hard disk/flpoppy drive will not work.
Have you checked that the BIOS backup battery is still good. On a 100 Mhz computer the battery could have dies, and you may need to replace it and then clear /reset all BIOS settings using a jumper on the motherboard.

Please supply more info on your computer.
Type of motherboard/BIOS etc .
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Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2814275
The machine finds all hardware(floppy, HD), but the HD is not working(but i hear it starting up).
The floppy-light blinks once during POST, but the machine does not search for boot-files on it.
Right before it usually sais"Starting Windows 98", the screen freezes, and a blinking marker is standing still.
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Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2814411
I tried replacing the CMOS battery with a new one, but that didn't work either.
And alle the cables are OK...
any other solutions...
I'll increase the point to 1000 to the one that comes with the correct answer....
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Expert Comment

by:jj_mako
ID: 2815045
can you access the bios?  if you can, check the boot order.  
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Expert Comment

by:jj_mako
ID: 2815046
can you access the bios?  if you can, check the boot order.  
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 2815152
If you can access the BIOS, Load the default settings and check that your Floppy is the first boot device.
You may have a bad hard drive, or problems with the hard drive files/partition/boot files.
You might also try reseating all cards, and remove/replace the RAM.
I hope this helps !

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Expert Comment

by:ampcats
ID: 2815308
what does auto detect hard drives come up with?

looks like the bios is loading a boot sector, or at least having instructions to do so accepted by HDD controller, and is hanging waiting for data to be returned...

If bios finds it, try booting from a floppy and then fdisk to look at the drive

if you can see it, can you see partitions (option 4) - is one drive set active?
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Expert Comment

by:jj_mako
ID: 2815372
is your proccesser over-clocked, or was it ever?  my very highly educated partner says that you processor went bad.  however, i don't think he's that educated, but i'll give him the benefit of the doubt for this.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:kannabis
ID: 2815571
Boot the system with a floppy if you can, make sure that the floppy has the fdisk command on it, and type "fdisk /mbr" without the quotation marks.  That sometimes fixes that problem.

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Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2820436
i can access the bios, and it find both the floppy and the HD. But it won't load any boot files on the floppy. It don't even tries to search for it on the floppy.
I also reloaded the default settings in the bios, but that didn't help either.....
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 2821238
Try a different boot floppy, and maybe the floppy drive needs to be replaced ? Can you borrow  a floppy drive from somewhere ?
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Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2821553
but even if the floppy is not working..the system should anyway be able to search for boot-files on the CD-ROM or the HD. It doesn't search on neither of them....
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 2821660
See if you can find the jumper that does a CMOS reset ( cleans out all CMOS memory ). That may fix the problem.
Other options are, disconnect the hard drive from the computer ( Power and IDE cable ) and try to see if you can then boot a floppy. On older machines, sometimes the first sector of the Hard drive was read even though you only wanted to boot from a floppy.
Set the BIOS to None for your Hard disk after disconnecting it.
This may help.

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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 2821683
> It doesn't search on neither of them....

Are you sure?  The BIOS only needs to read two sectors from the hard-drive, in order to look for the boot-record.
That can happen in about 9 milliseconds; that access is easy to "miss".

Take the hard-drive to another computer, and run an anti-virus check, using "InoculateIT Personal Edition" (which is a "free" download from http://AntiVirus.CAI.COM) and the "boot-record" will be examined, and this program will state something like "standard WIN95 boot-record has been found", if the boot-record does exist.
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Expert Comment

by:johnsavior
ID: 2831044
Hi daggodt,

I think your problem is not on BIOS, but one of your RAM has damaged.
If you have more than one RAM board, used TRIAL & ERROR method to choose which RAM board has contain damage RAM.
From my experience, most damaged RAM is on first or end position on RAM board.

Good luck.

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LVL 17

Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2831597
Looks like a wild guess posted as the answer???

Maybe it is the "hfhhfrenddrdss" they fail and causes these same symtoms.
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Expert Comment

by:jj_mako
ID: 2833726
ray,

meet johnsavior.
0
 
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Expert Comment

by:kannabis
ID: 2834313
I just noticed that there were about 3-4 "answers" submitted all from the same guy.

Johnsavior.........Don't post comments as answers please
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 2834560
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Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2834816
Sysexpert: Your last advice didn't work either..
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Accepted Solution

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SysExpert earned 500 total points
ID: 2835216
Next step is to strip the machine.
Remove all cards except the VGA card.
Leave the hard disk disconnected.
make sure the floppy drive cables are connected and reboot.
If this does not help, then your motherboard probably died ( and hopefully went to that great bit bucket in the sky .... )
0
 

Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2836419
Thank you SysExpert!
If you say so, then it probably is so!
Just another lousy machine.
Thank you anyway....
0
 

Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2844863
I talked to an expert at a computer-store nearby, and he told me that it probably was my BIOS, or perhaps the motherboard,  that had caused all this trouble.
I could try to flash the bios, but that costed to much. So I think sysExpert was the one with the best comment, so here is the 500 points...

Thank you guys!!
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Author Comment

by:daggodt
ID: 2844866
Comment accepted as answer
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