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Laptop will not boot - OS or Hardware or both

Posted on 2007-10-20
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Last Modified: 2010-03-05
Greetings Experts,
I have a HP / Compaq Presario 2100 / 2104 US Wireless workhorse laptop, running XP home.

Last week I went and copied a dvd move to my laptop hdd. I had to move several user files to my other computer thru the LAN. I freed up enough space to copy the movie (approx 8 gig) to the hdd. I got a balloon message that the memory was low, and I shut down the laptop, thinking all was well.
Ive tried to restart it for several days to no avail. On ac power or battery, it just starts to boot then shuts down. It just recycles with Windows did not start successfully, recent hardware or software might cause this.
Select the options:
1) Safe mode, 2) Safe Mode with Networking, 3) Safe Mode with Command Prompt, 4) Last known good configuration, 5) Start Windows Normally = Not one selection will work.

Ive checked the set up boot order and all is well.
1)      Removable Device, 2)      CD-Rom Drive, 3)      Hard drive, 4)      Built in LAN

Ive searched the EE Knowledge Base and found this link!
http://www.experts-exchange.com/OS/Miscellaneous/Q_22140688.html?sfQueryTermInfo=1+boot+doesn%27t+laptop

Ive tried TheLastFantasy: suggestion and tried the XP home recovery.
Ive then tried zielke51: suggestion and steps using the XP Home Cd.

1. Insert and boot from your WindowsXP boot CD.
2. At the first R=Repair option, press the R key
3. Press the number that corresponds to the correct location for the installation of Windows you want to repair. Typically this will be #1
4. Enter in the administrator password when requested
5. type: cd \windows\system32\config
6. Depending on which section was corrupted type: ren software software.bad or ren system system.bad
7. Depending on which section was corrupted type: copy \windows\repair\system or copy \windows\repair\software
8. Take out the CD ROM and type exit

I can do step 1 and 2, but it never gets to step 3 or 4!
I tried step 5, and got this command is not recognized
I tried typing in {DIR) and got a return error occurred during directory enumeration!

Ive removed the two ROM chips (384mb total), and tried to restart the laptop. All it did was try to start, and turn the fan on for a sec or two, then recycled several times to reboot, doing the same thing. There were no beeps, but Im not sure if I had the unit muted or not.
Ive re-installed the chips and attempted to restart the laptop. It does the same thing over and over again. I can get the Windows Xp splash screen, and see the progress meter cycle 5 times then it flashes a blue screen, but I cant pause it to read it, and it then aborts the start up, again and re-tries to boot.

In safe mode I get to the line multi (0) Disk (0) Rdisk (0) partition (1) \windows\system32\drivers atisgkaf.sys  then it stops, and shuts down.

When I hit the (ESC) with the  CD in and the laptop rebooting I can get the  MS Recovery Consol screen! I press R and  get the (above) command is not recognized again. This time I followed
jcdesign4u:  advice
boot with the windows CD and go to the recovery console
Enter the following commands:
FIXMBR  (ENTER) = This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record. FIXMBR may damage your partition tables if you proceed. It could cause all the partitions on the current HDD to become inaccessible.
If you are not having problems accessing your drive do not continue.  Are you sure you want to write a new MBR?
I typed N and got a c:\>prompt.
I typed in chkdsk  **without the R and pressed (ENTER).
The volume appears to be in good condition and was not checked. Use /p if you want to check the volume anyway. ***Whats up with that  a typical MS redundant question?***
Anyway  I type chkdsk/p and get a the command is not recognized.

Here are my questions:
1)      If I max-ed out the HDD with the movie file will this cause the said problem?

2)      I have all the CDs, Diver Recovery CD, OS CD, MS Windows XP Critical Security Updates, and the Documentation Library. Which CD is best to use, the OS CD that came with or another copy of XP home with the recovery console.

3)      Also, can I get to the desktop somehow, thru dos and delete the movie files on the desktop, before booting up windows again.

Thanks in advance!
Snipe44
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Question by:Snipe44
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

by:
Robert Sutton Jr earned 500 total points
ID: 20115922
For starters, it doesnt sound like this problem was caused by "Making or copying" a movie. Whatever happened/or you did, prior to shutting the pc down prior to your 1st occurance of this issue is where you need to start. Making movies or even copying a movie file from point A > to point  <B will not cause this issue. My first guess would be to start with looking at the files you moved to "Another PC' prior to doing the movie task. Look at all the files you moved to see if you moved any windows files that are needed for your boot.ini  . This is where windows calls to see wihch files are needed to boot the machine. Im not saying you moved that exact file, but maybe something it needs to call. There could be several reason this has happened to you especially AV and Os files.
               Start by looking at the files on that other PC that you moved over form your  Presario and examine what you moved. If you still don't see what you are looking for, then try either booting in safe mode, and or choosing the option of "Last known good configuration". Otherwise, you can as a last resort attempt a "Windows repair" (Master boot record, etc) with the Non-HP version cd that you stated you had.
    Start there any let us know.
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LVL 70

Assisted Solution

by:garycase
garycase earned 500 total points
ID: 20115930
"... If I max-ed out the HDD with the movie file will this cause the said problem? " ==> the copy by itself shouldn't have caused this.   You may have moved a critical system file off of the PC while freeing up space;  or something may have gone wrong with the copy process that caused an issue on the hard drive.

"... I have all the CDs, Diver Recovery CD, OS CD, MS Windows XP Critical Security Updates, and the Documentation Library. Which CD is best to use, the OS CD that came with or another copy of XP home with the recovery console." ==>  A standard XP install CD and a complete new (clean) install is the best approach;  but of course you'll lose all of the data currently on the laptop if you do this.   You might be able to do a "Repair Install" if the original OS CD is a standard XP CD ... but not if it's a "recovery" CD.  

"... can I get to the desktop somehow, thru dos and delete the movie files on the desktop, before booting up windows again. " ==>  The Bart's PE CD you made should allow you to do this.   Just boot to it; and you can then explore the files on your hard drive ==> this will let you (a) delete the movie file; and (b) copy all of your data to an external hard disk so you can safely do a clean install of XP.

Your questions' title (OS or Hardware) implies you're wondering if this is a hardware failure ==> it's possible; but given the details you provided I'd say it's almost certainly NOT a hardware problem.   Something has simply been corrupted ... and a new install of XP should resolve it.   The only real issue is to be sure you save any important data before doing so.
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LVL 93

Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 20117445
and if the lappy runs fine from the BartPe, it shows your hard is ok.
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Expert Comment

by:Computer101
ID: 20302850
Forced accept.

Computer101
EE Admin
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Author Comment

by:Snipe44
ID: 20402632
Sorry for the long over due follow up!
Health and computer issues, kept me from my obligation to follow up sooner.

I tried The Walocks suggestions, searched the moved files several times and verified I only moved user files. I couldnt Boot in Safe Mode or Last Known Good Configuration Mode, or any other mode for that matter.  I tried using the computer specific restore disks, to no avail.

The Bart's PE CD you made should allow you to do this. 
Nope, I couldnt control the laptop to allow the CD/DVD to access the Bat PE copy on the Cd and DVD. Yes, I even tried both formats just incase one would allow me access, over the other.

I even went so far as purchasing an exterior hd case to try access. That too led down the dead end path. I couldnt access any file on the hard drive, that way either.

My final and only choice was to side step in start up, and reformat the hard drive completely, as I had hope not to do.

At this time I feel neither suggestion / reply, facilitated my direct question to not have to reformat the hard drive.
If points must be awarded, I would only give up 25% of the offered points to garycase:
For stating A standard XP install CD and a complete new (clean) install is the best approach;

If the admin feels different/otherwise, feel free to award points the way you feel.
Special thanks to The Warlock and garycase for attempting to help me resolve this matter.

Snipe 44
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