XP Boot freeze

I've run XP happily on an Athlon 1400 256MB, GeForce2 MX400 for well over a year.

Today I tried to start something insignificant (MS Money) and got a garbled dll message (garbled as in random text about a failure) and it failed to start. To be honest, I ignored and simply rebooted.

The reboot hung on the XP Home splashscreen, and then when I rebooted again, it hangs before there, a couple of seconds into the boot (when the NT style white line reaches its full length at the base of the screen).

No F8 safe modes work (stop at the same point) and the CD recovery yields "Unexpected error (0) occurred at line 1768 in d:\xpclient\base\boot\setup\arcdisc.c." so I can't use the console. In short, I've no access to the HD at all!

The computer has had nothing new in the last month and has just been used day-to-day. I reversed a BIOS upgrade that I did about 3 months ago (just in case), but no change. I also replaced a CPU fan about 3 months ago, but the BIOS reported temperature is well within range (52 c).

All this seems to be pointing to a pretty catastrophic memory error, but I've only got the one module in there (so no swapping in or out). Also running a full BIOS memory test gives no problems. Before I rush off out and buy another, has anyone experienced something similar, and could it be anything but memory?

All help VERY gratefully received!

JB

BeljamesAsked:
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CrazyOneCommented:
Use the setup disk to see if you can get into the RC with them.

Obtaining Windows XP Setup Boot Disks
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;310994 


The Crazy One
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CrazyOneCommented:
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BeljamesAuthor Commented:
Tried both the above.

Get the same error message when using the setup disks, and the diagnostic reports no errors following an advanced test.

Still no wiser!!
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CrazyOneCommented:
NOTE if this doesn't find anything wrong with the RAM this DOESN'T mean the RAM is good you would need to swap out the RAM with known good modules for testing. However if it does find something wrong then chances are the RAM is bad.

DocMemory PC RAM
Diagnostic Software
http://www.simmtester.com/PAGE/products/doc/docinfo.asp
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CrazyOneCommented:
>>>Also running a full BIOS memory test gives no problems.

The BIOS check is not a very comprhensive test infact it isn't much of test at all. The utility I listed is a bettter tester but even if it doesn't show any problems this does not mean there isn't problem with the RAM. The only true test is to use known good RAM.
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BeljamesAuthor Commented:
I'm running a full burn-in test on the RAM using DocMemory right now. Will keep you up to date (Thanks for the help).

IF this fails, I'll buy some RAM tomorrow. If that fails, I'll smash the computer to pieces...
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CrazyOneCommented:
>>>>I'll smash the computer to pieces...

Been know to do that myself. LOL
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BeljamesAuthor Commented:
DocMemory showed no fault after 35 passes on a burn-in test.

Replaced the memory this morning, and problem is fixed, as suspected. Worth noting that this issue can arise not just when installing XP (as noted elsewhere), but also when running it!

Thanks for your help.
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tedskyCommented:
Greetings!
If your XP was installed to a FAT32 drive/partition, you can use WinME's SCANDISK utility from a WinME bootdisk.
SCANDISK /autofix /surface
You may have found a bad spot on the hard drive, which running MS Money for the first time unveiled (actually running it files to be used and/or created, which may have tried to access a bad spot for reading and/or creating).
Usually MS Money only puts a mem-res routine into your startup, which is another issue.
http://www.bootdisk.com for a WinME boot diskette image.
Ted
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BeljamesAuthor Commented:
Thought about this, but it still would not explain why the RC would not work from the setup disks. The problem with the setup disks was also apparent when the Hard Drive was physically disconnected.

The HD is NTFS on this machine as well.

Anyway - new memory, problem gone, so happy now!
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tedskyCommented:
Hi - didn't even see your comments when I posted (something weird at EE, I think).
Glad to hear all's fine.
Ted
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Beljames,
No comment has been added lately (144 days), so it's time to clean up this TA.
I will leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area for this question:

RECOMMENDATION: Points for CrazyOne
Please leave any comments here within 7 days.

-- Please DO NOT accept this comment as an answer ! --

Thanks,

PeteLong
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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