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WIn XP hangs on MUP.SYS

Posted on 2007-09-28
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Last Modified: 2008-06-01
Win XP Pro hangs with a blank screen. If started in safe mode, it scrolls the drivers until MUP.SYS is seen and then hangs. Investigation on the web shows great mention of this problem but no real solution.
I have 4Gb memory and 2 x300Gb discs with a Pentium4.

I've tried booting from the WinXP Cd, and at this moment it's just sitting there saying 'setup is starting windows'.
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Question by:dengolding
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Expert Comment

by:cyanit
ID: 19978123
Since you can't run the windows xp recovery, then you have a big problem. But you could try some of the tips in the following link:
http://www.aitechsolutions.net/mupdotsysXPhang.html
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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 19978191
Try reducing the memory to one stick - try each in turn.

Chris B
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19978909
This is not a solution, but may help keep things on track. In safe mode, XP shows the last device successfully loaded which is usually mup.sys or agp440.sys depending on one's setup. Problem is occurring father along in boot process.

Since mup.sys or agp440.sys are last line shown, people assume they are the problem and that's not the case.

Test memory and hard disk to rule out possible problems with those components. Use memtest 86+ and manufacturer's hard disk diagnostics. Everything you need is on the UBCD.
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19980091
I can now get to the recovery console and ran chkdsk /r which took over 1 hour. There were four lines that said that modifications ha dbeen made but the problem still exists. The console is at the DOS prompt.
As I can now get into recovery, what should I do next.

Thanks
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19980335
Test memory and hard disk. If they test OK, try a repair install of XP. Here's how:
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19980637
I've taken out the 4 1gb memory modules and tried each one. One of them brought up in safe mode but when retried, did not.  The power supply is 500w switched. There used to be a facility to step through startup so you could say yes or no to each driver but it's not an option now it appears. So, still no joy.
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Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 19982800
MUP.SYS is the basic hardware detect of the machine type, which means the HAL detect.  If this is not working, you have either --

(1) tried to copy a setup from one system to another with different hardware -- the HALs are different, so it will ALWAYS hang at MUP.SYS, and there is no way to get beyond it without a reinstall with HAL change.

(2) your installation is corrupt, on the hardware side.  This means you have either got a corrupt registry, or you have added new hardware or device drivers that are causing problems, or XP is simply corrupt.
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19983378
The computer is virtually new - not even M$ Office on it. The last thing loaded was Sibelius 5 software. SInce booting 3 days later, the problem has occured. Is there any way I can get to system restore
to get back to before the install. I'm going to try a new power supply just in case -it will be useful as a spare if it's not that. I've downloaded UBCD and burnt it to CD but cannot run it on the destop pc. I can boot the pc to recovery console but the cd drive won't open.
It's beginning to look as if windows needs to be reinstalled. This is a desparate time for me.
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Expert Comment

by:burrcm
ID: 19983484
A Windows repair install appears to be the best option at this point. Proceed as if for a new installation, but late in the setup options it will find the existing installation and offer the repair option. This will preserve programs and data and will restore the system to normal function provided there is no hardware failure. It would be a great idea to image the drive first in case of a major problem occurring.

Chris B
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19983921
UBCD is bootable. Why won't it run -- apparently you can boot from XP CD?

I don't understand about CD drive won't open.
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19984817
I didn't realise it was a self extracting iso image. Cd is now booted into UBCD and tests are running. Previously I'd booted to the recovery console and the Cd drive wouldn't open to let me change Cd's.
It would be great if the authors of WIn XP got system to announce what it was about to load followed by result  instead of just showing success after loading. That way we'd know what it had hung on.

Thanks for all your collective help so far. The points will be definitely be awarded once this is sorted one way or another.
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Expert Comment

by:scrathcyboy
ID: 19985928
"Is there any way I can get to system restore to get back to before the install."

Sure jsut go into start help and support, restore computer to a previous state, and choose the restore point just before the sibelius install.  That will do it.

"I'm going to try a new power supply just in case -it will be useful as a spare if it's not that."

Irrelevant.  this is a software issue, not a power supply.

"I've downloaded UBCD and burnt it to CD but cannot run it on the destop pc."

I think that is heading you in the wrong direction.  Did you try arepair install, the UBCD won't get the system repaired, it sounds like you first need to try a repair install, then if not, a clean install.

Repair install -- boot from the XP CD, then go through the screens as if you are going to reinstall, but when it detects the existing install -- PRESS "R" at this point, do NOT press enter.

If that does not do it, follow these instructions for a clean install --

When you do a clean install of windows, it wipes out only THREE main directories --

1.  windows
2. program files
3.  My documents

So all you have to do is make a new directory on your hard disk called --

Original-docs

Copy ALL your documents into that directory.  While you are at it, ALSO BURN THEM TO CD for a backup copy.  Next, go into Add/remove programs, and write down all installed programs.

Third, go into documents and settings / your user name / application data

copy that entire directory tree to another folder on the hard disk called -- appdata.original
Then while in your profile, copy the desktop and Start menu program folders to folders on the hard disk with a different name.

That takes all of 5 minutes.  Now you are ready to reinstall CLEAN.  Boot from the CD, go through and to the question install windows anew -- say yes -- and when you are done, you will have a completely clean copy of XP on the hard drive.  All MyDocs, Program files, and old windows programs are gone.

Now use the list of installed programs to reinstall them.  As you install each one, go to the directory --
appdata.original -- and copy back your settings for each program.

finally use the start menu/programs and desktop folders you copied as a way to recreate your desktop links.  Lastly, everything in -- original-docs -- copy that back into the new "My documents" directory.

You have a completely clean, but recreated, windows installation -- good luck.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19986153
My point is that it's best to test memory and hard disk prior to attempting a repair install (or running chkdsk /r). If there are problems with either memory or hard disk, they need to be corrected before attempting repair or re-installation. Simply a rather quick and painless precaution.

I long ago recommended a repair install if memory and hard disk test OK. With a rather new PC, I recommend a completely clean install rather than a parallel install if repair install does not work.


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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19988030
Here's where we stand at the moment.
The computer won't boot past MUP.SYS so I can't do a system restore the normal way.
I've run UBCD on memory and no errors have been found although I'm not sure how long to leave it running.
I have 2 Maxtor Sata hard discs (i.e. not IDE) and UBCD doesn't appear to cater for those. I c an't image the drive as the only sata socket is on the pc that won't boot. I don't have any other software that will boot to do this.
I've done a repair install twice to no effect.
I can get into the recovery console and can do the folder copies as mentioned presumably, and I will attempt this but it's going to take a while.
I'll report back.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19988126
Have you tried Maxtor diagnostics on hard disks? UBCD is just a collection of utilities assembled on one handy CD.

Are the drives in a RAID array or stand alone? If stand alone, disconnect non boot disk and test boot disk. Do not connect second drive until testing/recovery is complete.
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19988362
"Have you tried Maxtor diagnostics on hard disks? UBCD is just a collection of utilities assembled on one handy CD."

Not yet - I'll have to go to Maxtors site, but this is starting to take so long that it would be quicker to reinstall windows and reinstall everything.

"Are the drives in a RAID array or stand alone? If stand alone, disconnect non boot disk and test boot disk. Do not connect second drive until testing/recovery is complete."

The discs are stand alone.

I've got to recovery console and logged on as administrator, but access is denied on  trying to create a folder to put the copies into.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19988375
Maxtor diagnostics are on UBCD. My point was that UBCD is a collection of utilities, not a program in itself. Did you even look at the Hard Disk Tools section?
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19988412
"Did you even look at the Hard Disk Tools section?"

Of course I did. I tried every diagnostic tool and test in each section  that wasn't destructive. The Maxtor test just gave a white blank screen. As it's now 1.20am in the Uk I'll leave it until tomorrow and reboot UBCD and try again with the disc tools as there was more than one for Maxtor I think. I'm sure I tried everyhthing relevant. I can assure you that I have examined and tried every suggestion made so far as is possible.
I've also emailed the software house for the recent software I installed. It was the first reboot after installing it that the problem appeared. However, the computer and software was functioning ok until I turned it off and rebooted 3 days later.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19988459
Try Seatools for DOS diagnosics -- Under Hard Disk Diagnostic Tools. Seagate purchased Maxtor and Seatools works on Maxtor drives.
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19989729
Now I have something to report that may help. I tried seatools and all I got was a blank white screen and a flashing cursor. I then went to maxtor/seagate site and downloaded their seatools which included sata in the specification. Once again, white screen and flashing cusrsor.
Then, I booted the same disk on my old desktop pc with IDE drives and it booted straight into the diagnostic program. So, the question now is, why won't it work on my problem pc.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19990011
Since you have two hard disks, connect them one at a time and run Seatools. Disconnect both power and signal cables from disk not being tested. If Seatools won't run on either disk, you need to test memory and rest of system.

Let Memtest 86+ run for at least 4 passes.
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19994116
Hi Willcomp.
I've tried the discs one at a time but still just a white screen with flashing cursor. (cables were removed from disc not being tested). Memtest 86+ has been running for 5 hours now and has reached 5 passes with no errors. Is 5 hours reasonable for this sort of test? I'll leave it for another couple of passes.
I have to go on-site for a client the next two days but can run any other suggestions in the morning.

Thanks to you all again.
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Expert Comment

by:willcomp
ID: 19994490
Seatools will work with a SiI RAID controller. I'm rather puzzled as to why program won't run. Try downloading from Seagate site and create boot floppy or CD.

May be a hardware or BIOS problem that is causing your symptoms. Have you flashed BIOS recently?

Installed software will have no effect on booting from a boot CD.

Another thing to try is Knoppix. That will help differentiate between OS and hardware.
http://www.knopper.net/knoppix/index-en.html
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 19997492
I changed the power supply (which was only 12 months old) and the pc booted straight into windows setup asking for the XP Cd. It's now completing that so I'll see whats up when I get back off site in qa couple of days..
I hope to give one final report and award the points then.
Thanks all.
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LVL 32

Accepted Solution

by:
willcomp earned 1500 total points
ID: 19998871
Looks good. Although power supplies can cause strange problems, that's the strangest one I've run across. As you may have gathered, I suspected a hardware issue, but not power supply. We'll have to give you a gold star on this one if that cures the problem :)
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Author Comment

by:dengolding
ID: 20020544
Well it's running ok now and the app software didn't have to be reinstalled, as I expect the recovery console repair did have some effect. So it was the power supply causing the problem.
The only other thing that comes up is a clash of drivers from Roxio, my music software that's announced that the Asio drivers have changed. However, that  wouldn't have mattered of course when I did the hardware test.
Points go to Willcomp.
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