Solved

Windows 2000 reboots itself almost as soon as it starts

Posted on 2004-08-03
21
619 Views
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Windows 2000 reboots itself

I installed Windows 2000 as an upgrade from Me (in other words, not dual boot).  For a few months it ran fine but then it

started to reboot itself at random times.  This got more and more frequent until, now, it usually restarts during the first

progress bar (the thick white one that lets you press F8 for Safe mode etc).  Sometimes, it gets as far as the W2000 logo  

screen but then hangs.  Until a few days ago, I could start in Safe mode but even that does not work now.  So the problem has

got progressively worse. I never see the blue screen of death.

I have done the following:

0. Searched Google, Norton for 'restart loop'; several refs to XP, none to 2000.
1. Ran Norton AV scan - found and removed 3 files that had W32.RANDEX (but they were Me files anyway, I think).
2. Ran Norton's cure for the KLEZ worm - not found.
3. Removed NAV in preparation for re-installing W2000 (I learned that I should have done this before I upgraded in the first

place).
4. Tried to re-install W2000 from setup diskettes - Setup runs and even copies files from the CD but, after the first reboot,

the machine goes into its reboot loop.
5. Tried to repair W2000 from the repair CD I had made - it read the diskette, asked for the CD but then went into its reboot

loop after the first programmed restart.
6. Run hardware diags - passed all tests.
7. The disk had a system recovery partition, which I think ran under W98.  I tried to install W2000 on that - same problem.  

I wondered whether the disk was faulty despite the good diag report.  So:
8. Moved the main partition to another part of the disk (Partition Magic).
9. Formatted the recovery partition and installed DOS in a small partition on the disk - OK (this was to see whether the disk

was good).
10. Sworn a lot, almost wept - no good.
11. Pulled out hair - no good.

Does anyone have any ideas as to cause and cure?  PLEASE!
0
Comment
Question by:overj
  • 8
  • 5
  • 4
  • +1
21 Comments
 
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Debsyl99
ID: 11703406
Hi it sounds like you may have a virus - blaster variant for example as this is known to be one possible cause of the problem that you're having. Have you tried a repair installation from the cd (not the same as running setup repair)
How to run a repair from the cd
http://www.windowsreinstall.com/install/win2k/repairw2k/page1.htm

This may help hetting it booted, then you'd need to run updated virus protection on it asap -

Online scanners - Trend
http://housecall.trendmicro.com/
Panda
http://www.pandasoftware.com/activescan/com/activescan_principal.htm
Housecall
http://housecall.antivirus.com/housecall/start_frame.asp

Let us know if this is any help,

Deb :))
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11703417
Every expert here will tell you that an upgrade path is not the best choice.  In that vein, I would suggest you slave the drive to another system, copy your data that you need, then reformat and reinstall your OS.

I will assume that you tried Last Known Good, so that is all I will say on that...

You could try using the Recovery Console and run chkdsk -r, then if still unsuccessful, the fixboot/fixmbr commands:

What can I do with the Windows 2000 Recovery Console?

http://www.jsifaq.com/sube/tip2000/rh2037.htm

3201 » What are the Recovery Console commands?

http://www.jsifaq.com/SUBG/TIP3200/rh3201.htm
0
 
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Debsyl99
ID: 11703418
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11703429
And after thinking about Deb's suggestion, you should slave the drive anyway, and use a good AntiVirus scanner on the drive from a system you know is clean..!!  :)
0
 

Author Comment

by:overj
ID: 11705546
Thank you all very much for this advice; I'll let you know what happens.  

The Administrator default password is blank, is it not?  Julian
0
 
LVL 40

Accepted Solution

by:
Fatal_Exception earned 168 total points
ID: 11706355
Correct..  If none was set during or after the installation, then it should be <none>, so you will just hit enter when asked for the PW..

FE
0
 

Assisted Solution

by:todrescher
todrescher earned 166 total points
ID: 11707182
The way you describe the problem, I think hardware, likely power supply. Bad power (even if only slightly bad) can cause random reboots in a machine.
If you have another (working) machine, try putting your hard drive from the bad machine into it and seeing what happens.
You could also try checking out your RAM stick(s). Remove all but one and try to boot the computer. Replace that one with one of your others and try again. If one stick causes problems and the others don't, you've found the problem.
0
 

Author Comment

by:overj
ID: 11709345
Debsy.
Thank you for your advice.  However, it turns out that my W2K CD is not bootable.  Please tell me why I should start the

repair process from a CD rather than from the Setup diskettes - and, if it is essential, whether I might be able to create a

bootable CD on another machine.

Fatal Exception
Yes, I tried all the boot options but exactly the same thing happens.  I tried CHKDSK /r but it did not help.  I will now try

fixboot and fixmbr but I wonder whether the registry has got in a mess and how I could fix that; problem is that the range of

commands you can run from the repair console is limited - I wanted to edit BOOT.INI but could not find a way.

I backed the data onto CDs when the trouble first started, so that's OK; perhaps I should just format the disk and have done

with it.  Don't like to be defeated, though.  Do you think that formatting the disk will clean it properly or is there a utility that really scrubs it?

Todrescher - thanks for that advice, I had wondered about hardware but I have run the diags twice and all is apparently OK (though that doesn't testthe power supply, of course).  I haven't another machine that I can put the disk into but I'll try to think of something.
0
 
LVL 20

Assisted Solution

by:Debsyl99
Debsyl99 earned 166 total points
ID: 11709824
Hi,

Your cd should be bootable, but you may need to change the setting in the bios - hit the del key when your pc starts up, then scroll through the options on the bios screens until you get to a screen that lists,

1st boot device,
2nd boot device

etc. Change the first boot device to cd-rom, the second boot device to hdd, and then save the settings and exit. This should give you the option to boot from cd as long as it's in the drive.

Having said this, if you have the data backed up to cd, then the best option in your circumstances really is to reformat completely and re-install,
0
How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11710954
If you are using the CD to get to the Recovery Console, then it is a bootable CD.  (if you are using the setup floppys, that is a different matter, of course).  If your CD is a Recovery CD from the manufacturer, then if you try using it, then it will more than likely reformat the hard drive anyway...

And I agree, a fresh install is always a great idea.  If you boot to the Cd, then delete the partitions and reformat.  That should take care of anything that is on the disk that is causing the problem (like virii).

FE
0
 

Author Comment

by:overj
ID: 11728991
Well, I deleted the original partitions on the disk, created one new one that takes the whole disk (20GB) and started to re-install W2000 from a set of setup diskettes.  It progressed from these to reading the CD and copied its files to the hard disk (C:\WINNT).  Then it rebooted itself, as is normal - but exactly the same thing happened as before ie. it went into a reboot loop and eventually hung with the W2000 screen displayed, showing half the progress-bar complete.

The BOOT.INI file is a bit odd in that it contains 2 options:
  Windows 2000 Professional
  Unidentified operating system on drive C:
even though there is only 1 partition on the disk.  

I don't think the disk is bad because (a) it passed diags (b) PartitionMagic has checked for bad sectors and done everything else it does at least twice (c) the original files were still readable (d) I installed DOS on a partition and it worked OK.

The power supply seems to drive the PC fine - it has been worked pretty hard that last few days.

Could the BIOS have gone bad (it is the latest version, installed some months ago, since when it has worked perfectly well)?

Does anyone have any other ideas?
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11729918
Is this a brand name PC, or a custom build..??  (Some manufactures create hidden partitions on these drives for purposes of their own...  )
0
 
LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:Debsyl99
ID: 11730120
Hi,

I know this is a long shot but it could be memory problem - which is can be hard to test for. We had this same problem with two machines that ran Me fine a couple of years ago. Came to upgrade to windows 2000 and they just wouldn't take it. Tried everything, eventually swapped the ram and it loaded fine. Is there anyway you can swap the memory?

Deb :))
0
 

Author Comment

by:overj
ID: 11750909
The machine in an IBM NetVista 2257, about 2 years old, with a 20GB disk

that has a single partition, now empty since I reformatted it.

Memory - I have run MEMTEST86 and it reports only 4 small errors.  And

the machine runs DOS and a Win Me DOS environment perfectly well; I have

run those for hours.  As regards the upgrade from Me to 2000, I did that

some months ago and 2000 ran much better than Me had been, until this

reboot crisis.  I don't have any spare memory that I can try but I do

have 2 modules in the machine and have tried each separately without

success.

Someone has suggested that a capacitor on the motherboard has failed; if

that happened over time, I suppose it might explain why the reboot

problem got progressively worse.
Julian
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11751648
When capacitors fail, usually the system will fail to boot period.

IBM puts a hidden partition on their drives, which is used for Recovery purposes.  Usually these are accessed by tapping F11 at boot.  If you go through the Recovery proceedure, it formats the drive, installs the original OS, and all the original apps.

Additionally (from what I remember of IBM) your system BIOS looks for the IBM signature on the drive, which allows it to boot.  This is just for reference, as I am not sure that this could be a problem in your case.....  Perhaps the signature is corrupted somehow..??  

FE
0
 

Author Comment

by:overj
ID: 11895351
Sorry, no cigar.  The problem was a bad system board - capacitors were all swollen up, had rounded tops.

But there were some good tries - can I allocate some points for them?

Julian
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 11895590
Absolutely..   determine the grade and split or award the pts as you see fit..  :)

FE
0
 
LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Fatal_Exception
ID: 12325588
Looks like we need to split this one up..

FE
0

Featured Post

How to improve team productivity

Quip adds documents, spreadsheets, and tasklists to your Slack experience
- Elevate ideas to Quip docs
- Share Quip docs in Slack
- Get notified of changes to your docs
- Available on iOS/Android/Desktop/Web
- Online/Offline

Join & Write a Comment

NTFS file system has been developed by Microsoft that is widely used by Windows NT operating system and its advanced versions. It is the mostly used over FAT file system as it provides superior features like reliability, security, storage, efficienc…
In this article, you will read about the trends across the human resources departments for the upcoming year. Some of them include improving employee experience, adopting new technologies, using HR software to its full extent, and integrating artifi…
This video shows how to remove a single email address from the Outlook 2010 Auto Suggestion memory. NOTE: For Outlook 2016 and 2013 perform the exact same steps. Open a new email: Click the New email button in Outlook. Start typing the address: …
When you create an app prototype with Adobe XD, you can insert system screens -- sharing or Control Center, for example -- with just a few clicks. This video shows you how. You can take the full course on Experts Exchange at http://bit.ly/XDcourse.

708 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

12 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now