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PC keeps shutting down on start-up

Posted on 2006-05-02
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
My pc keeps shutting down at start up I think it started doing it after I changed the cd rom to a cd/dvd so I have tried disconnecting it but the pc still shuts down at start up. What is happening and how can I cure it?
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Question by:glg138
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42 Comments
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16585019
Not much to work with... What OS? Does it post, or turn off a few seconds after turning on? Is the CPU fan plugged in and spinning?

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16585048
What I forgot to mention is that it started to shut down after I tried to use the new cd/dvd I put a interactive cd into it and just as the curser turned into the egg timer the pc re-started and now at start up it gets to the point just before windows xp opens and then re starts
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16585057
Its a P900  with 1meg of ram and the cpu fan works fine
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LVL 69

Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 16585094
You have some bad software installed from the CD which you should get rid of as soon as possible.  Try using the Add/Remove programs in Control Panel, but that doesn't do it, you may need a repair install: http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16585112
OK. Now try to boot into safe mode. Tap <F8> as it is booting, a menu will appear, select safe mode. A fair bit of text will scroll past, but with luck it will come up. Once at the desktop, click Start, Run, and type sfc /scannow This will check for damaged files and may correct the problem. After the process is complete, restart and let it boot normally. Your XP CD will be required.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16585148
It won't let me boot up in any mode I have tried safe mode and command prompt only and it still restarts?
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16585215
Next would be to boot to your XP CD and enter recovery console. At the command prompt, type fixboot and press enter, then fixmbr and enter. Try it again. It is XP - you didn't say? If it is 98, then an over the top install will be the easiest fix most likely.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16585508
Scary stuff

I have FIXBOOT OK but when I typed FIXMBR I got this warning…


This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record.

FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed.

This could cause all the partitions on the current hard drive to become inaccessible.

If you are not having problems accessing your drive do not continue.

Do I go for it?  Its my wife computer and she will be mad if she looses her files...
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LVL 12

Expert Comment

by:Craig_200X
ID: 16591404
sounds like a power supply issue. whats your wattage on the PS.. and whats your estimated usage?


check the calculator here:
http://www.extreme.outervision.com/index.jsp
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16594272
The calculator asks for things that are way over my head what I can tell is the following it has:

Socket T462 with a AMD 900MHz

The motherboard has, P&Q 0 138 cm – 1 94v – 0 on the back of it but I haven’t a clue who makes it.

2 X 512mb 133MHz Dimm SD Ram

1 X 40gb Maxtor Fireball 3 ATA/133 HDD

1 X GF4mx420 PCI graphics card

1 X 3 ½ Floppy drive

1 X CD Drive.

I did try to power up with the original configuration using the onboard graphics card and only one 512 ram but its just the same it gets to the windows XP screen with the little blocks going from left to right and then restarts again.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16594372
It is unlikely (but not impossible) that you will lose, or at least make it a bit difficult to recover the data on the drive if this process goes awry. IF you only have one partition on the drive - ie C: is the whole disk, then it is highly unlikely there will be a problem. If you have more than 4 partitions, you will definitely have a problem. In this case don't do it. For extra protection, you have a couple of options. Slave the disk into another PC and remove the important files, or ghost the drive to CD or DVD if you have the facility, so files can be recovered from the image via ghost explorer if necessary. You may be able to copy files to floppy or USB key from recovery console. Ultimately it is a punt, but it sounds like we have located the problem. Even if it mucks up, data recovery software such as GetDataBack can recover the data from the drive. Some cost though.
 
Good luck
 
Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16594373
I have just powered up with the XP disk in to give the FIXMBR a go and now I get this message:

LINE 286 of the INF file \i386\txtsetup.sif is invalid

Setup cannot continue. Press any key to dxit.

That’s not a typo it’s actually on the screen as dxit

Not sure what to do now?

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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16594403
Urgent question - is this a SATA setup?

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16594865
what is SATA?
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16594958
I have rebooted and now I got this message:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16595469
From the details you supplied above, it is not. SATA is serial ata - newer hard disk system and txtsetup is related to sata drivers. Just an anomaly in this case it would appear. That it can't find \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM does suggest that the master boot record (mbr) is corrupt.The "Setup cannot continue" message indicates that it may have replaced the System file with the backup created when the system was first set up. Boot to recovery console and go ahead with the fixmbr. If this succeeds it will be able to find its system files on a normal startup, however it will now most likely need a repair install to get up and running. If you get the setup cannot continue message again, boot to the CD, start Windows setup and select repair when you get the option. This will reinstall the operating system. It will reinitialise the registry though, resulting in installed programs no longer functioning. All programs will have to be reinstalled, but data should not be lost. Even more now it would be a good idea to slave this disk into another system and recover important files before proceeding. It is possible that your hard drive is dying.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16596957
How do I boot to the recovery console?
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Expert Comment

by:Craig_200X
ID: 16597019
insert the setup CD and it will ask you if you want to (R)epair by going to the recovery console.. then it will ask you the admin password and your in
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16597140
I have tried that when I boot up from the XP disk it gets as far as stating press any key to boot up from cd... I press a key and all I get is a blank screen!
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Expert Comment

by:mandude0
ID: 16600571
Here is a possible problem. The CD/DVD ROM went bad without warning. Open the case and pull the IDE ribbon and power connector off of the CD/DVD drive. Try to boot from there without the CD/DVD drive connected. I have seen optical drives prevent a system from booting before. It may have somehow developed a short. You may need to replace it but optical drives are pretty cheap now a days so that shouldn't be too difficult. You can even pick up decent Dual Layer DVD-RWs in the $40 range.
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16608255
Tried that its just the same first time I get asked which mode I want I went for safe mode it gets to the end of all the text and restarts.  The second time it went as far as looking for the bot up on IDE-0 and then the screan went sort of grey blue not quite black and just hung there?
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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16612837
<<That’s not a typo it’s actually on the screen as dxit>> There is something weird going on here. HDD may have failed, but it really should tell you if this is the case. BIOS may be corrupt. Clear it and set to defaults. There will be instructions in the manual. If no manual, unplug it from power, remove the motherboard battery and leave it for a half hour. Put it back together and try again.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16613146
Tried that, it still goes as far as “Searching for boot record from IDE-0…OK” then I get a blank screen.  Then if I turn the power off and restart I get the choice to restart normally, safe mode or command prompt.  I have tried all of these and the machine just keeps restarting.  I can not even get the machine to boot up from the XP CD.

I think it is now time to resort to a very large hammer and look for a new PC!!!
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16613355
Hammer getting closer, but not yet. Check the boot order in the bios. Put CD first, and be ready to press that key when prompted.

CB
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16613443
Well, did that and got the following message:

LINE 7971 of the INF file \i386\txtsetup.sif is invalid

Setup cannot continue. Press any key to exit.

But I suppose we are getting somewhere because it can now spell ‘exit’ correctly!!
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16614739
I thought earlier that txtsetup.sif was specifically part of sata setup, but it turns out in this instance it is a startup file for Windows standard setup. This suggests that the PC is not reading the file correctly - either the CD is dirty or scratched, of maybe the CD reader needs a cleaning disk through it. Can you use a different CD drive?

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16615443
I installed a different CD?DVD drive and it came up with:

“Pri Slave Drive – ATAPI incompatible”

Press F1 to continue and then it restarts again.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16618826
OK. Some progress. May have an IDE cable issue. Swap the cables HDD / CD. Ensure that both devices are pinned as master and installed to the plugs at each end of the cables, not the plug in the middle. The red tracer goes to pin 1 which is closest to the power socket on the drives, and is marked on the mobo. Of course it the cables are keyed, they will only go in one way. What now?

Chris B
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16618840
Now reading properly - just got up. Primary slave says you have it on the same channel as the HDD, or you have the HDD on secondary. Either way, not good. Separate and set HDD as primary master, CD as secondary master.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16622642
Well I did that I changed the cable over and its just the same although the first time I booted up it recognised the CD but quickly afterwards crashed the second time it came up with the same message:

“Pri Slave Drive – ATAPI incompatible”

Press F1 to continue and then it restarts again.

Mmmm, I think its now time for the hammer!!!!

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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16623186
So you have nothing plugged into the primary slave position and you used a different cable? Then this is looking like a mobo/ide channel failure. One more thing before pulling out the hammer would be to disable the primary channel in bios - if the option is there - and plug the drive and cd into the secondary.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16624640
Ok tried the other slot and got this the first boot up:

Pri Master HDD Error

Pri Slave Drive – ATAPI incompatible

Run Setup

Press F1 to continue and then it restarts again.

The second reboot all I got was:

Pri Slave Drive – ATAPI incompatible

Press F1 to continue.

and then it restarts again.

0
 
LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16624649
Go to the drive page - first page I think, and set all 4 to auto. Try it again

CB
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16624786
Well that got a bit further it got to the part where it says Searching for boot record from IDE-0…OK and then it restarted?
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16624868
Not helping much though. Are we getting the option to boot from CD - with the XP disk in, and what happens if you press a key?

CB
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16624871
No it seems not to see the cd now
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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16624888
Just checking - did you move the CD jumper to slave when you put them both on the same cable?

CB
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16625022
yes i did

G
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Accepted Solution

by:
burrcm earned 2000 total points
ID: 16628628
Your hammer or mine? It would appear that the motherboard is dead. Time to extract the data if you haven't already - slave the HDD into another machine, or buy a new drive and use this one as the secondary - replace the board, format and clean install. You can still pick up new socket A boards - Ebay is easiest, but it might be time for a serious upgrade. Sometimes it just can't be fixed.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16632405
Thank you for your patience and help I accept your hammer and award you the points

Many thanks Graham.
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LVL 28

Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 16637439
Thanks. Sorry we couldn't organise a better outcome.

Chris B
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Author Comment

by:glg138
ID: 16641219
No worries the new computer arrives tomorrow

Graham.
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