XP home stuck in instant reboot loop

KellyOfColorado
KellyOfColorado used Ask the Experts™
on
Hi gang,
  I have a Toshiba Satellite laptop that won't boot up. It permits the selection of safe mode, safemode with networking, safe mode with command prompt, last known config and boot normally. I don't have the option to disable auto restart on error.
 All these options end with a hard reboot and the process goes around again.  The blue screen happens so fast, that you can't even see the color.  The last driver I can see load is system32/mup.sys.  This one loads right after system32/ndis.sys
  Anyway, I'd like to solicit suggestions on how to troubleshoot this.  I have no information from the user on what was done/happened before the problem.  (it belongs to the CEO's wife and she surfs game sites a lot;  that's all i've been told).

Thanks!

- kel -
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If you cant' get into any of the safe modes or last know good menu i can suggest two things

Grab and boot to an XP cd.

When it loads you can hit r for the recovery screen. In the black recovery screen try a check disk

chkdsk /r

If that doesnt work you can boot back into the XP cd and go through the install process but chose to do a repair on the system. It will reload the windows files but keep your documents, programs and settings the same.
First thing first,  I would pull the drive, put it in an enclosure and pull his data off. No matter what happens even if you have to format the machine you will look like a hero because you have the user’s data.
I presume this is a problem with your memory (RAM) cards try with single RAM if you have to RAM cards or try with a new one if you have only one RAM card.
You can recover all user data by booting this laptop with UBANTU LIVE CD (free). Boot your machine with this CD and copy all valuable data to Removable Disk (Flash Disk).

Author

Commented:
Thanks all,
  I was considering the suggestion from baycss, and should probably do this first.  I was hoping that there was another way to disable the auto reboot so i could at least check the logs.
  Anyway, I'll try your suggestions with ssameeragayan next, then jei.

I appreciate all your input!

- kel -
Hey Kelly,

NDIS is a networking driver. Problems with this driver can either be from a damaged or tampered copy of the driver on the system (possibly from malware), or a failing network card or device. One thing you might want to try is to either pull the network card out (if there is one) or disable the onboard network interface from the computer's BIOS (if that option is available). If you do this and Windows boots up, you'll know it was the network card. At that point you'll need to replace the network card, but at least Windows will be back up and running. Worth a shot.

-Gatekeeper6838

Commented:
If you type F8 as the computer boots the option to disable auto restart should be available.
 

Author

Commented:
Thanks to edbedb.  I disabled the restart and have an error now. It fails with a stop 0000007B error. However, I can't find much helpful on the second parameter - f78aa528

Researching further now...


- kel -

Commented:
I suspect that you atapi.sys file has been corrupted and will have to be replaced.

Author

Commented:
back again. edbedb, I replaced teh atapi.sys file - removed the drive and put it into an external enclosure.  Also, ran a Norton virus scan on the drive and it found nothing.
Any other suggestions of files to replace?  The safe mode boot up loads drivers through:

atapi.sys
disk.sys
CLASSPNP.SYS
fltmgr.sys
sr.sys
PxHelp20.sys
KSecDD.sys
Ntfs.sys
NDIS.sys
Mup.sys

then after a pause, it bluescreens with 0000007b (0xf78aa528

Other ideas before I re-install Windows?

Thanks!

- kel -

Commented:
I think we should look at the hardware. Check your RAM. Try reseating the modules. Replace it or try starting the computer using 1 memory module at a time in different slots.

Author

Commented:
Good idea.  I'll try that next.

Thanks!

- kel -

Author

Commented:
the laptop has two modules.  I removed the top module and tried safe mode;  got blue screen, but the second parameter has changed to 0xf7b87528.

Next, I removed the bottom module and put the top one into that slot - same result.  Lastly, I moved the top module back into the top slot, leaving the bottom socket empty.  no change.

Commented:
Check the hard drive for errors. Probably the easiest way for you to do it would be to hook it back up to the other computer then run chkdsk on it.

Author

Commented:
Thanks again.  will do, update to follow...

Author

Commented:
put the drive back into the enclosure and ran chkdsk /f on it from the workstation.  The test said it found and fixed errors.
Returned it to the laptop and am back to the original problem;  boot hesitates at loading mup.sys, then bluescreen STOP error;  0000007b f78aa528

I really appreciate your input on this

Commented:
The hardware seems to be okay. Here is what I would try next. Connect the drive to the other computer again. Back up the SYSTEM file in C:\windows\system32\config. Then replace it with the SYSTEM file that is in C:\windows\repair folder and give that a try.

Author

Commented:
The C:\sindows\repair folder has system.bak which is about 1/2 the size of the system file in C:\windows\system32\config.
  This would be the file;  just rename the copy after i put it into the system32/config folder?

Commented:
It should be just system but I would go ahead and give that one a try.
If this doesn't work I would try a repair install or a full install if that fails. Don't forget to recover the data first.

Author

Commented:
thanks. will do.  I finished the data backup a couple of hours ago, so I'm good if I have to install again.

update in a few...

Author

Commented:
no change.  tying a repair install now...

Author

Commented:
okay...this is *really* obnoxious.  I booted from the XP CD, and selected Repair.  At the which Windows installation to log into prompt, I selected the only option - C:\WINDOWS - and the laptop did a hard reboot. Just like when you allow the laptop to boot up normally;  black screen for a few seconds, the POST and boot up.
  what's up with that?

Author

Commented:
okay.  imadope.   I didn't RTFS during the selection process and I caused it to reboot. nevermind.

now, I have to figure out what the admin pw is.

Commented:
No, the repair install is after that. You would press enter at that screen and then 'R' at the next menu if it's available.

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