Windows just reboots continually, in a perpetual cycle

I have run FIXBOOT, FIXMBR, and chkdsk /r, but the computer still just reboots. It comes up with the following screen to select:
  Safe Mode
  Safe Mode with Networking
  Safe Mode with Command Prompt
  Last Known Good Configuration
  Start Windows Normally
No matter what I select, it just reboots again.

I have run anti-malware scans until I can't see straight, using the latest copies of AVG, AdAware, Spybot and Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware, but still it keeps rebooting.

This computer was working fine a few days ago. A few weeks ago I tested the power supply, and it was fine.
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coderlenAsked:
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ChickensaurConnect With a Mentor Commented:
You can also run a non destructive reinstall of Windows.  Basically go through the normal installation but don't format the hard drive.  Just tell Windows to install to the same directory as it was before.  Some things may break like programs and updates, but at least you will be up and running.
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Syed Mutahir AliTechnology ConsultantCommented:
Whats your machine hardware ?
Hard disk type ?
Which screen does it reboots from ?
You say you have run scans, were you able to logon ?
what are the recent changes software / hardware you have made ?

if you installed any drivers or hardware recently, try removing that and then see if that works,

but before everything else , check the following :

Can you check in your BIOS , you may have a setting for SATA Disks (if you are using that), AHCI or ATA
make it to ATA mode and see if that helps.

It will be either on the first screen or in the disks or in the advanced section (I have forgotten the exact menu name but it will not be hard to look for). SATA MODE = ATA (if it is set to AHCI or AHCI if it is set to ATA mode to see if it boots.
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coderlenAuthor Commented:
mutahir, thanks for your reply. I will answer all your questions.

This computer is at least 8 years old.
Whats your machine hardware ? KT600 Dragon Plus V2.0, VIA VT8237 Serial ATA RAID BIOS Setting Utility V2.20
Hard disk type ? Hitachi Deskstar 164.7 GB  ATA/IDE 7200 RPM
Which screen does it reboots from ? "Start Windows Normally" is the choice which is highlighted by
default, but as I said, it doesn't matter which one you choose, it automatically reboots.
OnBoard SATA-IDE (Disabled/Enabled) - Either setting, it still reboots by itself.
You say you have run scans, were you able to logon ? A few days ago and last week I was still able to logon. That's when I ran all those scans.
what are the recent changes software / hardware you have made ? No hardware changes, just installing anti-malware software, specifically, Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware.

I think that answers all your questions. Let me know what you think, and thank you.
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RicoomCommented:
Windows is well messed up! work of some virus or something! You can transfer the files to another hardrive on other computer and then Format the HD and reinstall the windows.. That should do the trick!
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ChickensaurCommented:
I would try this, just because it sounds like a blue screen that you are describing.  Turn off your computer and pull out the power.  Hold down the power button for about 30 seconds then plug it back in.  When you start the machine, start taping F8 like you were going to go into safe mode.  I forgot the exact option but tell the computer not to auto restart.  Let the computer boot normally and see if you get a blue screen of death.  If you do, post the whole thing here.
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computertraderCommented:
I have seen this problem in a lot of computers where the owner uses a hard shut-down to close down the computer.  Do as Chickensaur advises and you will get a blue screen telling you that there is a problem with a .dll file in your system32 folder.  If you still have your original OS disk you can use it to fix the problem otherwise you will have to reinstall the whole OS to get the computer to work again.
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coderlenAuthor Commented:
Chickensaur, that was a very unusual suggestion you made. I tried it, but it didn't work. Thanks, though.

This particular computer doesn't have an option to not auto restart. However, when I plugged in another hard drive, it did. On that hard drive, I chose to boot normally into Windows. But it STILL auto-rebooted, so I'm still at a loss as to what to do.
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davidlevans13Commented:
I had this problem with a client's computer. After slaving drive to my machine and running an A/V scan on drive ( found a few minor things) I reinstalled into client machine. ( I could have done a manual restore while slaved to my machine but....)

 I used a UBCD4Win disc to do a manual system restore.  I followed these instructions here:
 http://hypography.com/forums/tutorials-and-how-tos/17193-xp-recovery-instructions-for-ubcd4win.html

It rebooted fine after that. But, I ran some scans and thought I would try a reboot...  same problem again.

I did another manual restore and when it booted up fine, I checked the Event Viewer (Event Log?) and noticed some event that corresponded with the reboots. I researched possible solutions and the remedy was to update the system to SP3, and install all the updates that had been missed.

The computer had the Auto Update function turned off....  I wound up with about 65 updates installing.

Thereafter the machine ran fine....  I did have a little trouble with video drivers but sorted that pretty quickly.
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smiffy13Commented:
You could try a repair install of windows, you won't lose any of your data or programs, but you will have to reinstall windows updates: http://michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
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coderlenAuthor Commented:
computertrader, I did not get an actual blue screen, it was black. But you might be on to something with the .dll file problem. I can use my Windows XP Pro disc to get into Repair Mode, and do some stuff at the command line, because that is my only way to get into the system to look at things. Safe Mode is definitely not an option at this point, as it just reboots no matter what I do.

I'll look at my System32 folder and see if there are any ,dll files out of whack. Too bad I don't get the actual blue screen, or I would know exactly which .dll file needs replacing.

I appreciate what you said, that a whacked .dll file causes rebooting problems. I'll look into that on Monday, unfortunately I won't have any time to do it until then. Thanks for your suggestions.
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burrcmCommented:
As above. The repair you mentioned earlier where you can run the dos commands is too early. Go past this as if installing a fresh copy. Late in the process it will look for existing installations, and when it finds the existing installation take the option to repair. This will almost certainly get you back to a functional system.

Chris B
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rindiCommented:
It may be yet too early to try repair installs etc, as this could be a hardware issue. Also, the fact that you don't see a Bluescreen doesn't mean you haven't got one. Bluescreens often happen so fast you can't see them, and then the PC reboots, if it is set to reboot at System Failure, which is the Windows Default (I always change that setting, as this is a terrible default). You'll find this in "Control Panel", "System", "Advanced" tab, "Startup and Recovery" Settings button, under "System Failure". Just disable "Automatic Restart". I also always set the "Write debugging Information" to a "Small memory Dump".

If you have the disk which always causes the reboot connected to another PC running Windows, or if you have booted up your PC with the UBCD4WIN which has been recommended above, look for *.dmp files on the HD of the rebooting PC. Zip the last 3 such files and upload them using the Link below:

http://www.ee-stuff.com/

This may help us find the cause of the reboots or crashes.

An 8 year old PC can easily have a hardware issue that causes reboots or BSODs, often bad RAM or a bad HD can cause this. If I'm not mistaken the UBCD4WIN also includes memtest86+ which you can use to test the RAM (It is not in the Windows environment, but rather when you start the PC with the CD you first get a small menu with some options what to boot to, and here you should have memtest listed). A further cause on such an old PC can be overheating, so clean out all dust and make sure the fans run smoothly, and also that the heatsink on the CPU is firmly attached.
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coderlenAuthor Commented:
This problem was resolved by doing a complete reinstall of Windows, as Chickensaur suggested. All the data files are still there, as he said they would be. Some user settings will have to be reset, but otherwise everything's OK.

Thanks to you others who posted. There were some really superb suggestions, and I really appreciate the links to other sites and software. You guys are too good!
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coderlenAuthor Commented:
No problems here on reinstalling Windows. I did try a Repair Install before I did the complete reinstall, but that took absolutely FOREVER (3 hours) with lots of manual intervention. The reinstall was a piece of cake, and all the data and applications are still there.
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