Problems booting from MS DOS floppy disc

Posted on 2004-10-07
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
A7N8X delux
Athlon XP2000
Seagate bararcuda 7200.7
OS Win XP home

I don't know where to start as my computer has developed many problems in past week.

One problem i have is that when i try and boot from a start up disc i can't get into the C drive.  Just get a 'invaled drive specification' prompt.  Someone who fixes computers at work thought i may have a bios virus so i wanted to flash bios.  Asus's instructions include booting from a floppy and copying awdflash and new bios file onto C:\ drive and running utility from there.

The other problems include taking ages to log on (not boot up).  Especially having logged on and off having been on-line (??!!).  Tends to be OK after fresh boot until i go online that is (BT Broadband).

MS word (Office XP) hangs.

Virus scanners say system is clear (Norton AV 2002 and online scan (PC-cillin))

Have re-installed windows onto brand new HD.  wanted one anyway to make backing up easy.  Seemed OK for while but same issues returned within a few hours..... have used old HD as data back up.

I originally felt the problems were caused after using 'reg first aide' to clean up registry.  Hence re-install.  But now after re-install problems remain.

Any ideas welcome.  don't know how to figure out if this is a virus or not.  Am tempted to format and re-intall windows and leave old HD on sideboard!!  What stops me is the thought it may be a boot sector virus or other such thing that will evade the format.

What would be really helpful would be some advice as to what steps i need to take to try and figure out what is going on.
Question by:adam1008
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Author Comment

ID: 12250313
I forgot........... the clock doesn't tick evenly!!!  Thre normal seconds then one slow one.  As a result time goes out until its sychronised at some point.  Been doing this for ages though so not sure if its related.
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Expert Comment

ID: 12250614
If you installed a fresh OS, it is unlikely to be a virus.  The clues that you gave about the hard drive not being detected and the time being off seem to point to a motherboard problem.  First, check in the BIOS to make sure your drive is being detected properly.  Second change the IDE channel that you plug the drive into; ie, from Primary to Secondary.
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Expert Comment

ID: 12250618
If you're running XP, your file system is probably NTFS. If you boot from a DOS or win9X floppy, you don't have NTFS support and the O/S will not detect the drive as a logical unit - hence no drive letter C: allocated.

As for other problems, you may want to clean out all third party programs you donät need and check how many/which processes are running on the machine after boot up.

Author Comment

ID: 12250740
Sorry my title is perhaps misleading as the floppy is a MS startup disc created from XP rather than a DOS disc.  I'll try both above and post what happens.

Author Comment

ID: 12251023
Well i've checked the BIOS and it seemd all drives are identifeid in the right places as the right drives.  Also the BIOS clock is ticking fine its the windows clock that is off.

I have go rid of all unnecessary programs (uninstalled via control panel) and have loads of processes running under task manager.  I'll list them all as i'm not sure what your looking for

System Idle Process

All ideas gratefully received


Author Comment

ID: 12251057
I forgot i have also booted from my norton anti virus 2002 cd and scanned for viruses with nothing found although i guess my NAV 2002 cd is very out of date by now.
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Accepted Solution

rid earned 250 total points
ID: 12251088
There's a lot of info on on services for windows.

Many antivirus programs slow down the computer. If there are two AV softwares active you'll have chaos. Is there a change in the process list between off-line and on-line?

Author Comment

ID: 12251239
As far as i am aware I only have one Anti virus scanner running (Norton) the on-line scan was just to double check.

When i go off line i only loose one process (iexploer i guess although i didn't check).  So no, not much difference.

Author Comment

ID: 12251587
Another strange thing.  i can't set my home page to anything other than msn.  If i change it to google it doesn't stay there but reverts to msn next time use iexplorer.

Expert Comment

ID: 12264849
this may sound weird but when you rebuilt your computer on the new hard drive, did you have the network connection connected? if so did you rename the computer the same name? also, are you behind a nat? the reason im asking all these questions is because i had a similar problem with a computer i was rebuilding and i named it the same and was on the outside of my networks nat. immediately after i rebuilt the computer and renaming it the same name it was dead. i know it sounds weird but the computer prior to being rebuilt it was crapping out like you had stated.

hope that helps
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Assisted Solution

Callandor earned 250 total points
ID: 12275414
If you're losing your home page setting, run CoolWebShredder on it.  You should also run Adaware, to get rid of other spyware.  The complete list is here, compiled by many experts:
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Expert Comment

ID: 14917873

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