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PC Operating System Errors

Posted on 2009-04-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-06
I have a dell Dimension 8400 which started bluescreening.  It would say there is an unmountable boot drive.  However this happened every so often.  I scaned the hard found some bad sectors, so I decided to install a new hard drive and and transfer over the data.  I inserted a new hard drive loaded on Xp and theings were fine.  Then I was installing SP3 and it did not install proberly and everything else kept not installing correctly and began blue screening again.  So I decided to try yet another hard drive.  Windows loaded great.  The service pack loaded fine, then the other updates began not loading, niether would AVG.  itunes would load but it would not actually open.  After a few restarts now the computer boots up and says it had to use an old registry.

Any ideas on how to fix this?  I am guessing this is more than a hard drive issue.
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Question by:iFrog
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by:BGTSLLC
ID: 24061386
Couple of things...

1.  Please explain how you are performing the installation of XP?  Don't leave out any details.
2.  Please explain how you are performing the MS Updates?  Again don't leave out any details.
3.  Who is your ISP?
4.  Define NEW HDD.  Brand New?  Used?
5.  What XP CD are you using?  Dell OEM?  Other?

Aside from those questions I am going to recommend a course of action:

1.  On old HDD run chkdsk /r again.  Allow it to repair.
2.  Test how it boots, etc.
3.  Repair the XP installation on the old HDD.
4.  Test how it boots, loads windows etc.
5.  If it appears to be working fine, UNINSTALL ANY AND ALL MS UPDATES.
6.  Test again.  If it works fine then...
7.  Get copy of Acronis 9.0 and clone the drive to a new HDD.
8.  Install that new HDD and see what happens.

Answering the above questions and following these steps will help narrow down and isolate exactly where the issue is.  It's very possible that the updates aren't downloading properly due to a slow connection, or in the process described above something is being missed.

Let me know and thanks.
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by:saiprasad_kinnera
ID: 24061415
did you try booting thru safe mode and i you perform repair?

check below link, there are few things suggested which can be tried

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/51352-2-dell-dimension-8400-wont-boot

hope this helps
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24061566
To answer BGTSLLC's questions'

The 2 new hard drives are Brand new ( just bought) Western Digital 320GB Cavier SATA drives.
Then I am installing the OS I am using a Dell OEM CD Windows xp with SP2.  On the install I boot directly to the CD drive and perfom a new install with NTFS file system format.  I simply just follow the windows automated clicks.  I do only set up one partition.

As for the updates, once XP is installed, I am going to start>all programs>windows updates.  From there I am clicking on express updates and allowing the machine to update its self.  There is not alot to explain on this.

My ISP is comcast.


On the old HDD when I ran chkdsk /r it ran for a about 4 hours before telling me it could not completely repair the hard drive.  I tried it twice with the same result.

Now when you say to a repair installation, what exactly are you talking about?  When I boot to the dell OEM XP disc, and I say repair the drive I am sent to a DOS screen that allows me to run chkdsk, fixboot,fixmbr and so forth.  Is there a certian comand I should run?

thanks for your help

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by:Michael-Best
ID: 24063678
Do NOT run Chkdsk or run a disk defrag on this drive if your drive is failing these can kill it.
You likely do not have a floppy drive on that unit. Without a floppy drive you cannot load the needed apps.
If you have a floppy drive on that unit or you can use a USB floppy drive.
Here a link to HDD makers Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities
http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287#samsung
No floppy?
Download free and burn a boot CD on a computer with a CD burner.
Diagnotic tests for your computer.
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
and/or
http://www.ubcd4win.com/
Hit "c" (+"Alt")  during power on to boot from CD, then run in DOS.
Install and run HDD health on all your computers to warn you before HDD fails  http://www.hdsentinel.com/dl.php (trial version has restricted features, but you dont need them)
If HDD is failing:
See my accepted answer on HDD recovery:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Networking/Network_Management/Disaster_Recovery/Q_24224088.html
If HDD OK try:
Advanced SystemCare Free is a comprehensive PC care utility that takes a one-click approach to help protect, repair, and optimize your computer.
http://download.cnet.com/Advanced-SystemCare-Free/3000-2086_4-10407614.html
Happy Computing
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by:nobus
ID: 24066413
i would start by running ram and disk tests (ubcd is a great tool for that) to be sure about the basics.
can you post a minidump?  rename it to **.txt
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24087166
Well the hard drive checked out just fine.  Ran chkdsk /r twice and it was running fine.  Now however I am getting the BSOD and it gives me Non Paged Area Error and Bad Pool Caller, and won't even boot up.
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by:nobus
ID: 24087713
once more : can you post a minidump?  rename it to **.txt
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by:iFrog
ID: 24090061
here is the mini dump.  I am not sure if I did this right.  It seems as if there is an issue with AVG.  It keeps giving me errors saying it can not write
Mini040709-02.txt
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by:BGTSLLC
ID: 24090190
If even after reinstalling to a completely NEW HDD and you're not cloning information, and you continue to experience the same issues at some point do one or both:

1.  Obtain a different Windows XP CD
2.  Replace the CD/DVD drive

The only consistent factors are the XP CD and your CD/DVD drive.  

Let me know and thanks.
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24090245
Well I have used different Dell CD's, but I have not tried a different CD drive.  I do notice that the CD drive when booted into normal mode always has a green light on.
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24092495
Ok, so I have tried a USB CD ROM drive as well as the secondary CD drive in this PC.  Neither would boot to the CD.  I even switched the IDE cables arround.  The only way to boot to CD is through one DVD drive.
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by:nobus
ID: 24094354
your minidump is corrupted; copy it to another location, and just change the last 3 letters to dmp.
can you repost it?
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24119850
ok here it is.
Mini040709-02.txt
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24121098
also corrupt.
how did you do it?
copy the Mini040709-02.dmp to another location (eg my documents), then right click it, select rename, select the extension letters and delete them,or rename them to txt
then attach the file here.
If you did this correct - the dump itself is corrupt, and you have to wait for another one to appear
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24154392
ok, so this is what I am now trying to do.  I just want to load a new hard drive in and start from strach.  Sounds easy, but I am having difficulties.  I have a brand new WD 160 SATA drive.  I ran the WD setup disk on the drive.  The BIOS see the drive.  When I run windows setup, it says it can not see the hd.  So then I realize I need to install the drivers.  I pull them off from dell.  Create a floppy, run the F6 at the beginning install the drivers and I continually get the blue screen of death.  It tells me their is an error, and if it continues then try another disk.

How do I fix this?
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Expert Comment

by:concorso
ID: 24154486
IFrog,

The original problem you posted and the new problem described in your latest comment are very easy to fix. Open the BIOS and set the SATA to IDE rather than AHCI. In some BIOS, this means setting the "AHCI Mode" to "Disabled", whereas other BIOS give the choices "Configure as AHCI" and "Configure as IDE", in which case, you would choose "Configure as IDE". AHCI is a newer programming specification used by Windows Vista that allows hot-plugged devices to be seen without rebooting. Windows XP requires the IDE programming specification to avoid BSOD and the F6 prompt.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 400 total points
ID: 24154992
>>  beginning install the drivers and I continually get the blue screen of death.   <<    there seems to be a problem here. It can be the disk, cable or the controller - onboard
you can test disk and cable on another, working system, or test with known good disk and cable on this system.

how old is the pc?   it may have bad capacitors, check them for leaking or bulging  ones as shown on  www.badcaps.net
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24158831
Ok I did change the BIOS settings.  That worked, I could load the operating system.  However During the operating systems install, once I got a BSOD that said a serios error occurred.  The 2nd time I got a BSOD that said win32k.sys.

Any ideas why?

on the motherboard there are bad CAPS.  I guess i need a new one.
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nobus earned 400 total points
ID: 24159079
you need a new mobo, or replace the caps - all of them
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Expert Comment

by:concorso
ID: 24160064
Would you please tell us the complete history of this PC and whether any components were changed?
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24162005
I orded a new motherboard, almost all of the caps were poped and some under the green CPU cooling  housing unit were leaking.  

The only parts that were changed was the Hard drives I been trying to fix the issue.  However i do agree its got to be the mobo, i keep running into the same hard drive issues and I have installed 3 new hard drives.
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by:nobus
ID: 24165193
if the caps are bad, you can be sure you run into problems...
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by:iFrog
ID: 24177962
Ok, so I have placed the new motherboard in the system.  Began reloading the operating system again and once it was loaded My operating system immedantly restarted due to a serious sytem error.  Appaeratnly it was a driver issue.  I loaded everything from Dell, then I began downloading Service pack 3.  It downloaded and installed.  On the reboot I got a BSOD c000021a Fatal System error.

So I tried booting the safe mode.  Same error.  Tried different hard drives, same error.  Tried unplugging each pci card ( video, modem, sound), same error.  Tried using each stick of ram, same error.

Is this machine a gonner?  We have replaced the motherboard and hard drive, what else could cause all this?
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Expert Comment

by:concorso
ID: 24178064
Power supply, memory, or CPU.
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by:concorso
concorso earned 100 total points
ID: 24178083
Did you remember to disable AHCI mode for the new mainboard?
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 24178158
is the nem mobo the same? otherwise, try a repair install : http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24179065
Yes I did remember to change the SATA setting to ATA.  The new motherbaord has the same part number.  I repair install has already been tried.  

Since the new Motherbaord went in, Windows only loaded once and has bluescreened after that.  Doing the repair install the caused the blue screen as well.

The blue screen does not give me and error codes.  It just goes blue right after the windows XP icon and loading bar.

Why would the power supply need to be changed?  It worked before?  Already changed out the memory.
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by:nobus
ID: 24179318
any minidumps?   post them - rename them to ***.txt
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24179323
can't get to them
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24179396
the blue screen now displays before the windows logo even displays.

The bluescreen is ACPI.sys

I have figured out that the address is displays, currently: f744ecdd base at f7438000

That will change depending on the stick of RAM.  There are 3 sticks @ X 256 and 1 X 1gb.  I have tried different combinations of the RAM all give the same error.
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by:nobus
ID: 24179668
why can't you get to the minidumps?   post what happens - i can't see it
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by:iFrog
ID: 24179745
Because the BSOD occurs before I can get anywhere.  

I found a post elsewhere that described pressing f7 instead of f6 when loading windows when ou have acpi.sys errors.  I am trying that now.
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Expert Comment

by:concorso
ID: 24180025
If the power supply voltages fall far out of tolerance intermittently, a BSOD could result. While it is rare to get a bad CPU, the symptoms would be exactly as you described. I am more wary of your 256*3+1024*1 RAM configuration. Try running just one stick of RAM: the 1024.
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by:Michael-Best
ID: 24180050
change the SATA  cable, it a common issue.
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Author Comment

by:iFrog
ID: 24180058
I have changed out every cable in the machine now.  I am reinstalling windows currently with only one stick of ram in the machine.  So far so good, its taking the updates much better.  I am hoping this works but I do not have much faith at this point.


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by:Michael-Best
ID: 24180342
good luck
5am in Tokyo. I must goto sleep.
Also
Test Memory to be safe:
http://hcidesign.com/memtest/download.html
Also
Download free and burn a boot CD on a computer with a CD burner.
Diagnostic tests for your computer.
http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/
and/or
http://www.ubcd4win.com/
Hit "c" (+"Alt")  during power on to boot from CD, then run in DOS.

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by:nobus
ID: 24182267
>>  Because the BSOD occurs before I can get anywhere.    <<  that is no reason; you can :
-hook the drive to a working pc and copy them
-boot from a live cd and copy them
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