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Computerstartup problems

Posted on 2009-02-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a computer that has been turned off incorrectly (holding down power button) and now it blue screens when it tries to start Windows (XP Home).

Nothing unusual there.  The problem is that I can't start the system in either safe mode or normal mode (it blue screens and restarts both times).  Also, when it does restart and is going through a POST I can turn the computer off from the on/off switch but it them restarts about 3 seconds later.

I've removed the hard drive (SATA) and connected it to my computer through a SATA Dock but my computer asks if I would like to format it ... which of course I don't  :)

If anybody has some troubleshooting hints to allow me to get Windows XP starting again, or at least recovering the info on the drive, that would be appreciated.
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Question by:johnoz66
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Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 23669397
Not sure about the issue with the PC apparently rebooting once off, but there are a couple of things you can do to recover the data.  You can put the drive in another PC as the second drive and if you can see the data on it you can copy it over to the primary drive then put it back in the original PC and reformat and reload.

You can also do the second level repair.  Boot from the XP disk.  Ignore the first option to repair and go past the point where you hit F8 to accept the license.  After that you should get a second chance to run a repair do this one.  It will completely remove all old Windows system files and replace them with fresh ones. It will leave all data and applications as well as registry intact. It will take you back to the OS level on your boot disk so you will have to patch back up to your current OS level.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 23669521
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by:gurutc
ID: 23669751
Hi,

Another option to fix this system, test it, or recover data is to download and build the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows at www.ubcd4win.com

This CD will help you test and find the error.  It will also help you to gain access to the data on this system and likely recover that data if the OS is un-fixable.

Good Luck,

- gurutc
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Expert Comment

by:cmsart
ID: 23669816
boot using windows installer cd and opt for repair. it might work repairing the windows. If data is not crucial then you can reinstall the windows. if possible install the windows without formatting, this may save your data. but I am not sure reinstalling will retains your data. never tried it. but it will remove all your settings, installed programs etc.

other option is add another hard disk and make it primary. the existing hard disk should be secondary. load windows on new hard disk and try to retrieve data from the old one. reinstall the windows on the old hard disk after data is recovered and store on other partition/disk/media.
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by:dbrunton
ID: 23671029
I think there's two problems here.

Corruption of the hard disk and a possible motherboard fault.

gurutc has suggested the UBCD4Win.  I'll suggest the UBCD.  The UBCD http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ is easy to make.  Download links are the icons at the top of the page above Overview.

Make the CD and boot from it.  Use memtest from the memory checkers and let it go through your memory about three times.

Because it's bootable and if the system crashes on trying to use it you'll know that you have a hardware problem of some type; motherboard or probably PSU.

If it passes the memory test OK then you can look at recovering your data.

With your disk slaved in another computer as suggested by jhyiesla  there are various utils available to recover the data.

Recuva http://www.recuva.com/   is free.
PC Inspector http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm  Free
GetDataBack http://www.runtime.org/  Free to try.  If it sees your files you pay for full functionality.

With data recovered you can then consider either a reinstall or trying to recover the corrupt hard disk.
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Expert Comment

by:datasniffer
ID: 23672585
Looks like you have partition corruption, I would try the boot disk and if the fdisk utility is on it try the command

fdisk /mbr

and then restart. otherwise you may need something like this
http://www.partition-recovery.com/
This can be used on the drive while its in the sata dock.
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Expert Comment

by:cmsart
ID: 23678034
i think either windows is corrupted or partition. chances motherboard corruption are very little but cannot be negated.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 23678909
some feedback please...
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Author Comment

by:johnoz66
ID: 23678932
Thxs all for the suggestions.  I will try some of them tonight and report back.

So far I have removed the hard drive in an attempt to remove the data after connecting it to a second computer but it asks me to format the drive.  I've also attached a second power supply to see if that fixes anything, which it didn't.  Will try the UBCD tonight along with the data recovery programs and maybe the XP repair install.  
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Expert Comment

by:cmsart
ID: 23679993
can you tell how many partitions you have on hard disk?
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Expert Comment

by:gurutc
ID: 23680148
Hi,

One thing you can do with the UBCD for Windows is get a good backup of everything before you try all the other ideas.  I recommend doing this first.

Good Luck,

- gurutc
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Author Comment

by:johnoz66
ID: 23680638
Just a single partition and I would love to back it up but when I try to read the drive using an external case in another computer it asks me to format the drive so I can use it.

I'm still trying to get to those suggestions ... it's a bit crazy here tonight  :)
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Expert Comment

by:gurutc
ID: 23680709
Make sure you get up and take a break every now and then.  I make all my Queen Mother mistakes when I try to charge through a problem without getting up every now and then.

Good Luck,

- gurutc
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Author Comment

by:johnoz66
ID: 23680848
thxs gurutc, it might be time to take a break.  I promise to report in tomorrow  :)
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 2000 total points
ID: 23681329
if it asks you to format the drive, that means it sees a problem on it.
to verify if the disk is ok or not, run the diag you need from :   http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287
if it comes back, run chkdsk on it from recovery console :http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314058
to start it, pop in the XP cd, and when it asks what you want to do - press R
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Author Comment

by:johnoz66
ID: 23691343
I checked the drive using the Samsung utility.  It came back with errors which I hope are just windows errors.  Running chkdsk from the recovery console now to see if that fixes anything.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 23693210
>>   It came back with errors   <<  then your drive is bad - those are NOT windows errors
if you do not have the data yet, a chkdsk can do more harm...
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Expert Comment

by:cmsart
ID: 23698706
it seems that your drive is affected. windows do repair some of the errors (using chkdsk), but if there are bad sectors then they cant be repaired. however you can use hard disk but it can go down any time.

i recommend running chkdsk couple of times and also from windows.

in such scenario, install new drive and recover data from the old drive. avoid using old drive. you can use utility like getdataback, from www.runtime.org for data recovery.
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Author Comment

by:johnoz66
ID: 23699135
Chkdsk seems to have fixed the errors.  I can now boot into windows without any problems.  I understand the drive itself may be going bad although the errors appeared during the surface scan of the drive so I'm hopefull that the error was software and not hardware.  I'll be making sure the data is backed up in case it happens again.

Thxs to everybody for helping me out, I appreciate it.

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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 23699430
then run the diag agaiin - it should show no errors
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Author Comment

by:johnoz66
ID: 23706985
ran the diag again and it came back clean.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 23708858
ok - then it seems everything is ok - ready to go
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