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Windows XP Boot Cycles Before Splash Screen & CD Recovery Consule

Posted on 2012-08-17
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Dear Experts,

I have a Windows XP machine which boots to the 'windows didn't start propeoryly last time screen' offeirng me to start normally, safe mode etc. Regardless of which option I choose it reboots the machine back to same screen. Here is what I have tried so far.

1. Won't enter the reovery consule from original install CD. When I select the operating system to load it hangs i.e. no administrator password offered up.

2. Used BartPE boot CD and run MBRFIX and MBRwizard but no change.

3. Tried setting the registry Crashcontrol key to 0 but didn't stop it from re-booting.

4. Tried pressing F8 and disabling the crash reboot that way but no change.

5. Opened the boot.ini file and compared with a good one. Both had same entries.

6. I can insert a good win XP HD and it boots ok so I know the hardware is good.

Can anyone help me to know how to break into the boot cycle and see where it is going wrong? Any utilities you can suggest that will help out.

Using the BartPE CD I can access all the disks files ok.

Thanks, Gary, UK
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Question by:Elisys
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Expert Comment

by:DJ2liveUK
ID: 38304293
have you tried performing an in place installation of Windows XP?

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/978788

I would try this after all the other things you have tested.
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Expert Comment

by:netballi
ID: 38304296
If you can boot off the BartPE CD you should be able to boot off the XP CD as well.

Just boot the machine with XP installable CD and Repair the system.

Also from BartPE you can run chkdsk utility to check the condition of your HDD.
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rindi earned 1200 total points
ID: 38304305
Boot again with Bart, then find and zip the last 3 minidump files (usually in c:\windows\minidump and hidden), then attach the zip file in your next comment.
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by:smckeown777
ID: 38304317
Sounds like you need to run chkdsk on the drive, if the drive needs repair it will do exactly what you are seeing...keep rebooting to the 'Windows did not start properly'

Boot up your BartPE CD, right click on the C drive, run chkdsk to repair and see how you get on
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Expert Comment

by:Corlie008
ID: 38304319
I would start with a mem test and a check on the hard drive (chkdsk) ...
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by:Elisys
ID: 38304400
Please find attahed the minidump file at time the machine initially failed. This is the only one in the directory, so current re-booting does not appear to be storing any going forward.

Regards chkdsk, I ran this overnight and had no problems.

Regards the install CD, I don't want to do a destructive install/format but it won't run even run a non-destructive re-installation of windows or recovery console.

N.B.While running BartPE command 'fixmbr /drive 0 savembr badmbr.bin' I am being denied access to the mbr file. Could this have something to do with the problem?
Mini062212-01.dmp
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Assisted Solution

by:smckeown777
smckeown777 earned 300 total points
ID: 38304415
The dump analysis doesn't point to anything specific which could mean its a memory issue
I had issues recently with running an XP repair that kept failing at different points into the process...replaced eveerything bar the ram in the pc and couldn't get it to work

Then I ran memtest and found the failing module...have you ran memtest yet?
www.memtest.org
minill.txt
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Expert Comment

by:smckeown777
ID: 38304421
Also in relation to BartPE, I was also using it to try to diagnose the issue, and it ran fine(i.e. never crashed) which is why I never thought it was a ram issue...so it can happen...
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Author Comment

by:Elisys
ID: 38304427
There was a RAM problem but I have replaced this now and ran other HD wiht Win XP installations ok. Might be that the initial RAM issue has caused a problem in the OS file system.
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Expert Comment

by:smckeown777
ID: 38304431
Yep...could be, so since you replaced the faulty ram did you re-run chkdsk? Might be worth a shot just to be sure...
But with the new ram the repair should really work...

What errors are happening when running the repair? My errors were related to filecopying - i.e. it kept failing on certain system files when reading from the CD drive...
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Author Comment

by:Elisys
ID: 38304449
Its difficult to see what is failing since the machine hangs as soon as you try to enter the recovery console. Also trying to disbale re-booting on error after pressing F8 makes no difference so I donlt have anything to go on.

The chkdsk was run after the RAM was replaced.

The machine runs other XP hard drives ok so must be down to this specific drive.

Not sure why the mbr file is locked?
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 1200 total points
ID: 38304473
The dump shows a corrupted registry hive. You can try the instructions in the following Link to restore from your backup hives:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/307545
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Expert Comment

by:smckeown777
ID: 38304474
Ok did chkdsk find anything did you notice? Did you run it by command line or GUI?

Hard to say why mbr is locked(could still be file system corruption), or maybe even an infection
When running Bart can you access the drive? Create folders/files? If not its a drive issue and since chkdsk isn't repairing that means its failing...
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Author Comment

by:Elisys
ID: 38304557
Tried copying in the five '.\windows\repair' files using BartPE since I can't run the Recovery Console as described in the 'kb' files but made no difference. Still re-booting even before reaching splash screen.

chkdsk was run from BartPE using its own GUI.

Note I can access and r/w files on the suspect HD ok using BartPE.
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 38304590
The issue might be with the power supply and a failing 3.3 v voltage controller which will mimic a memory related errors/behavior. A drop on the 3.3 volt which powers the memory triggers the reboot.

Do you have ganged memory setup?
Multi channel configuration? Which motherboard/system is in use?
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Assisted Solution

by:rindi
rindi earned 1200 total points
ID: 38304595
Then it looks like the backup hive files were bad too. I'm afraid your left with a re-install from scratch.
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Author Comment

by:Elisys
ID: 38305818
I reset the BIOS to Default settings and this alowed me to display the BSOD after disabling the reboot form F8. The error code was 0x0000007B followed by 0xc0000034 which points to the mass storage controller.

I could then run the windows Recovery Console and consequently chkdsk, fixboot and fixmbr but none of htat made any difference.

I didn't mention that I also changed the mobo prior to changing the RAM. I didn't think about this since the problem before chaning the mobo looked the same as afterwards i.e. continuous rebooting. However I now believe that the original probelm was caused by the faulty RAM and I then introduced a new problem by changing the mobo.

Changing the mobo meant that the original hard installed drive disk controller would not be compatible with the new mobo. I therefore did a 'Windows Repair' from the install CD and can now run up ok.

Thankfully me data is still intact, although I could copy that over using BartPE.

The reason I didn't want to do this at first was because there was some registry settings for an installed application that I wanted information from. However seems that the cusotmer who's machine it is already had a go at re-installing and wiped out the registry info anyway. thats the way it goes I guess.

Thanks for all your suggestions.
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