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Windows XP Endless Reboot

Posted on 2004-04-08
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have a user who ventured to install a brand new printer on her own without informing anyone.  I don't know how she did it, but somehow she damaged the Spooler Subsystem, and that's when she called me.

I tried to fix the situation by repairing the Windows XP installation.  I ran the repair, and rebooted....and it's been rebooting ever since.  It's stuck in an endless reboot.

I've tried copying kernel32.dll from the CD to the HDD, that didn't work.  I've tried fixboot and fixmbr in the Recovery Console, and that hasnt worked either.  The boot.ini on the disk looks fine, so any ideas as to why the endless reboot???
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Question by:RSarumi
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by:stephenmmitchell
ID: 10786776
When does it reboot?
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by:RSarumi
ID: 10786892
On startup...a screen appears that says "Setup is restarting"...then it reboots....
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by:stephenmmitchell
ID: 10786932
Before or after you see the windows XP Logo on the screen?

I assume you have tried running the repair one more time, if not, try that.
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Author Comment

by:RSarumi
ID: 10787092
After I see the XP Logo screen....I've tried running repair numerous times after.....doesn't work.....

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by:rgblois
ID: 10787446
It's possible that the system is trying to install some type of device(s), and is having trouble.  What I recommend, if possible, remove all extra cards, devices, etc, that are not important, like sound cards, network cards, printers, scanners, modems, etc, and try it again.  It sounds like there is a device that it cannot install for some reason, and is getting stuck in a loop.  If setup completes after doing this, add each device that you removed one by one, and see if you can single out the device.

Let me know if this helps any, or if you have any other relevant info that might be helpful.
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by:eric888
ID: 10787590
Try swapping ram modules.  It could be a strange coincidence that the memory just went bad.  Do you see a quick blue screen that goes away with no time to read it?  A dump file might help with troubleshooting.
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Author Comment

by:RSarumi
ID: 10787656
I dont think it's a device, because I've taken the hard drive out of the machine, and put in my machine which is in fine working order....and when I boot off of it on my machine, it still endlesly reboots.....therefore, I dont think its the machine itself.

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by:shaggyb
ID: 10787857
go into the recovery console.... (boot to the cd and enter recovery)  and run chkdsk /r
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by:RSarumi
ID: 10789126
Shaggy..just curious...what is the function of the /r switch?
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 10789191
Repairs all problems I believe. :)
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by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 10789192
Sorry....repairs all bad sectors, moves readable data out of them.
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by:complus_usa
ID: 10789349
I just had same problem on a machine and was a corrupt XP boot loader. Hope this helps!
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by:lgeral
ID: 10789776
Hello,

The Pc may reboot because an XP service is crashed. In the configuration of that service the option may be to reboot if it crash. For example go to service folder and double clic on RPC service, go to the folder "what to do if crashing" and see how it is configured : on fisrt crash : rebooting, on second crash ... etc. Change the option with for example " do nothing". normallly your machine should'nt reboot anymore, letting you the time to fix the problem.
on the screen before the reboot, you have to identifie what service is crashed and go there.
let me know if its work.
regards.
lgeral@itsgroup.fr (France)
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by:qfren
ID: 10790712
>>and when I boot off of it on my machine, it still endlesly reboots.....therefore, I dont think its the machine itself.


Try using the free diagnostic utility from the vendor of your disk to check for problems with the disk


Maxtor/Quantum
http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/products/index.htm
fujitsu
http://www.fcpa.fujitsu.com/download/hard-drives/#diagnostic
Samsung
http://www.samsungelectronics.com/hdd/support/utilities/utilities_index.html
Seagate
http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html
Western Digital
http://support.wdc.com/download/
www.westerndigital.com
IBM and Hitachi
http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm#DFT



mc
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by:shaggyb
ID: 10790923
>Sorry....repairs all bad sectors, moves readable data out of them.

that is correct for /r
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by:RSarumi
ID: 10791695
I've just finished running chkdsk /r to no avail.....
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by:G_Carter
ID: 10791855
Try a new install of XP into a different folder and see if you get the same result.  If it works, you may be able to get more information into the problem and perhaps fix the original install.  If  you can't fix it at least you have not lost any data by reformatting.  

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by:shahrial
ID: 10792260
type FIXMBR on the recovery console

Steps:
1. Insert the WinXP CD, change BIOS boot sequence to boot from CDROM. Boot.

When you reach the Blue setup window options are:
1. Install Windows XP Professional by pressing ENTER
2. Repair Windows XP Professional using the recovery console by pressing R
3. Exit setup without installing Windows XP Professional by pressing F3

You have to press R and you will enter the recovery console which is in DOS. In there type FIXMBR.

After that u can boot normally like before
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Author Comment

by:RSarumi
ID: 10792763
G Carter, so you're saying that if I do a fresh install to a different folder on the same drive, the user wont lost any documents or setting (i.e. profiles, My Documents folders, etc.)?

Also, now I am getting "NTLDR not found"

i've tried copying ntldr and ntdetect.com from the CD , but after each reboot, the same message appears....
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by:shahrial
ID: 10792788
Yup, try mine. It's your solution. ;)
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by:G_Carter
ID: 10792844
Well they will lose the settings, because it is a fresh copy of the OS only in a different folder, but the files will still be there in the old installation folder.  They will need to be copied/moved to the new installation.  

After you do the install, get all the updates etc, create the user accounts and profiles then move the documents from the old installation folder to the right locations in the new installation.  

YOu will have to reinstall all programs etc since it is a new install.  Not to rub salt in a wound but I think there may have been an easier way to deal with the original problem.  But  hindsight is always 20/20 and I have had LOTS of hindsight :-)
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by:RSarumi
ID: 10792877
G_carter, not rubbing salt in the wound at all.....I think the easiest thing would have been for this user to contact me first before doing anything!!!!!!!!!....lol

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by:jatcan
ID: 10793345
Can you boot to command prompt only?

If so, do it, then run appwiz.cpl from the command prompt, then un-install all printer software related to the printer that the user tried to install...you may want to un-install all unknown/un-approved software while you're at it...

then run msconfig.exe and click services tab, click the box which says "hide all MS services", then disable all 3rd party services that are not needed for the PC to boot---or just try the disable all button-make sure that MS services are hidden first if you plan to check the disable all button!

Then run regedit and do a search for all instances of the printer make/model/name individually; delete these entry's. I don't have to tell you to backup your registry before you do this right?

Lastly navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon

on the right, look for the following string/value:

string: userint
value: C:\WINNT\system32\userinit.exe,

make sure the drive letter is correct for the system drive(I assume C: but have seen D:,E:,G: depending on install situations)

Hopefully this will recover your system

If you cannot boot to the command prompt: you get ntldr not found or soemthing...download the nt offline registry editor (do a search for exactly that) and check the winlogon key using that boot disk, the bootdisk script defaults to change the NT password so you must read the script prompts to get into registry editing mode...
AND, failing all that use knoppix linux cdrom to boot linux from cdrom and then transfer the users important files to a network location OR if the users PC has a burner in it to burn the files to cdrom...

Lemme know how all that works out will ya?

Cheers,

Jatcan
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by:jatcan
ID: 10793371
oh yeah---if ya have to recover files then maybe the user losing some important ones to her/him but not the company might be in order to make sure she/he never does this again. To bad you couldn't tell which were important to the company and which weren't eh?

Cheers,

J



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Accepted Solution

by:
trimixdiver earned 500 total points
ID: 10796873
Thow her to the wolves! Make her sweat a little. Tell her she violated company policy.

At least thats what I would do before I reimaged the PC and told her she lost her files because she was stupid.


Thats just my opinion, I have alot like "her" in my company

Pat
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by:jatcan
ID: 10797662
LOL- a little extreme but violiating company policy also has it's negative sides. If you really WANT to be a Pr**k about it, then inform the IT Manager and the employee's Department manager and let them work it out...if she keeps installing crap or doing crappy installs as it were it simply makes you job more secure! But I guess ya have to put up the appearance of being upset about the whole thing.

Cheers,

J
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by:jatcan
ID: 10797672
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by:jatcan
ID: 10803102
Oh yeah--the spooler subsystem cannot be damaged that easily by a simple user who has no priveleges on the system (assuming NT here) so stop the spooler service, delete all files from the spool directory (c:\winnt\system32\spool and C:\WINNT\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86), restart the spooler service, re-install any printers she needs on the system and see if that does the trick..assuming of course you still have the problem and CAN boot into at least command prompt?

Waiting on your feedback...

J
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Author Comment

by:RSarumi
ID: 10804829
This user is on an XP machine...I've tried stopping and restarting the spooler service, but that did not help either...

It's too late to make her sweat, i've already installed her HDD on another machine, and backed up her files, and set up a network connection to them on her old machine.... ;-)

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by:jatcan
ID: 10806618
stop the spooler service, delete all files from the spool directory (c:\windows\system32\spool and C:\WINDOWS\system32\spool\drivers\w32x86), restart the spooler service, re-install any printers she needs on the system and see if that does the trick
Did you delete the printer drivers(if any) and all printer software, then remove registry entry's for said printers, then shut down, then start her up again, then  re-install printer drivers?

Just curious?:-)

J
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Author Comment

by:RSarumi
ID: 10806728
Jatcan, I can't even boot the machine to get to delete any files at all....

I did try deleteing the printers, the drivers, and software.  However, the spooler service was still damaged and I wasn't able to re-install any printers....

I'm still getting "NTLDR is missing" on this machine.  i've tried copying it and ntdetect from the CD, but for some reason it won't stick, and I keep getting the same error message on each reboot afterwards.
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by:d_may
ID: 10810228
reading
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by:haresh-nyc
ID: 10811301
Do you have access to ERD commander ?
I would recommend you boot with ERD and set the "print spooler" service to DISABLED,
just to see if the machine keeps rebooting or not.

2nd, while you're in ERD, I would do a find and see if you could find any *.inf files which are the same as what came with the printer inside your c:\windows\inf folder and temporarily remove them. the inf folder is of course, hidden.

If you don't have ERD commander, you can do this same procedure using the recovery console.
ERD would also let you view the event viewer very easily, and I'm very confident, there would be very facinating entries in your system and application logs.

hope this helps....
Haresh
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by:haresh-nyc
ID: 10811310
As far as the ntldr problem, are you sure you've flagged the existing files to un hide, un system, and un read-only them before copying in the "good" ones ?

just a side question. How are you getting in to boot up if the system says ntldr missing ?
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by:jatcan
ID: 10812566
I'd make sure there was no flopy or bootable cd in the drives also,...

:-)

J
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