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System keeps going into "standby loop"

XP workstation in SBS2003 network, everything was working fine until today (famous last words)
Long story short, we had some issues with an ancient dos based pc, and i needed to hook up the HD from that pc to the XP workstation to get the data off.  That worked fine, hooked up drive, connected, copied files, disconnected.  So, the hardware setup is as it was originally, one master drive.  Now, when i attempt to logon to Windows, it allows me in, but after about 15 seconds the system "Prepares for Standby" and goes into standby mode.  It then continues to bring itself out of, and go back into standby, for an indefinate loop (with no pause.  it justs stands by, then displays the "computer locked, press ctrl alt del to unlock" for about 5 seconds, then "enters" standby again.  if i try to press ctrl-alt-del to unlock machine and bring out of standby, "preparing for standby" appears before i can log back in.  have already checked power options, everything is set to "do nothing" and "always on".  safe mode allows for successful login, and standby problem DOESNT continue.  However, going back to normal mode, logging onto both the network and the local machine creates the standby issue.  any help or suggestions would be appreciated.
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jc8125
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jc8125
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1 Solution
 
tomdlgnsCommented:
can you boot into safe mode?

if so, does the same thing happen with the stand by loop?

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jc8125Author Commented:
yes, i mentioned in the original post that safe mode allows me to log in with no problems, but then subsequent normal logins result in "the standby loop"
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florin_sCommented:
try setting the power options to always on from safe mode. also check if the power button on your chasis doesn't hangs or the standby button on your keyboard is not stucked.
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jc8125Author Commented:
the power options are and have been set to "always on".  i've tried changing the behavior of the power button from "do nothing" to "ask" and back.  i've tried changing keyboards..  i've verified that the button on the chassis is not stuck/jammed.  i left the power supply and computer unplugged all night, and when i hooked it up this morning - the computer stayed on for about 1 minute maybe (not long, but noticeably longer than it was staying on yesterday) before returning to it's previous "standby loop" behavior.  this is a bare bones machine so i'm fine with a reinstall if necessary - but i'd hate to do that and find out it's some kind of power supply problem causing the shutdown?  i'm doubting that hardware is the culprit, because i would assume it would still cause problems in safe mode?  any advise on where to go next would be greatly appreciated.  
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tomdlgnsCommented:
@

yes, i mentioned in the original post that safe mode allows me to log in with no problems, but then subsequent normal logins result in "the standby loop"

sorry, i must have skipped right over that.
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tomdlgnsCommented:
a reformat will take about 40 minutes.  if you don't think it is a hardware problem, just reformat it and see if the problem continues.

usually when i have power supplies go bad they just stop working.  that leads me to believe that this is not a hardware related issue.

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jc8125Author Commented:
tom-
no problem, i wasn't trying to sound short - just had a long day and this problem isn't helping things any.  :)
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tomdlgnsCommented:
dont worry, we have all been there...i was in your boat for about a month troubleshooting stuff.  of course you think you have tried EVERYTHING up until you check one little box and everything works....
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florin_sCommented:
try scanning your hdd for viruses
also try booting from a "live" cd like minipe to see if the problem happens again.
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jc8125Author Commented:
ran virus scan and spyware/junkware, nothing detected.  ended up getting frustrated and formatting/reinstalling box.  works fine now.  best logic i've come up with is that perhaps the machine was in standby or hibernate instead of being powered off when i initially unplugged it for hard drive installation.  i've read that if a system change is made during standby, etc, it can cause all kinds of screwy behavior.  don't think it's likely that the pc was in standby - but i can't say 100% that i powered it down.  nobody had used pc for over a month, saw the dark screen, didn't hear any noise, went ahead and unplugged.  lesson learned.  thanks for the attempts.
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jc8125Author Commented:
after hours of trolling forums and knowledgebases, i'd say that "format and start over", like oh so many windows issues, is unfortunately the final solution.  
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tomdlgnsCommented:
ty for the points!
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