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BSOD - Windows won't boot.


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aNihilist aNihilist is offline
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02-Feb-2011, 08:14 PM #1
Question BSOD - Windows won't boot.
How it happened:

I had a game (Machinarium, though I doubt that is relevant) and Winamp open. Normal behaviour. Suddenly everything died and a BSOD appeared. I restarted without noting the error message (sorry), and since then I can't get past the memory check. A black screen with flashing underscore instead of the windows logo. I can't boot in safe mode, or even get the boot options to show (last working settings etc).

I of course done a little research after collapsing in a pool of tears for a day or so, and so I know that my best option is to boot from the windows CD and take it from there. I have no windows CD though (I thought I did, but when I booted from it it seemed to be a Win98 CD. I've never even owned a Win98 machine, so have no idea how I have that. I can't repair XP boot files using a 98 CD, can I?). I will be able to obtain one at some point. Since i'm running OEM XP, do I need an OEM CD? Or can I use a full version and the OEM key on my machine? Do I even need a key to repair boot files?

I've been using PC's for over ten years and have never had a BSOD, I take pretty good care of my PC's. I didn't really know what was happening when it showed, and I've always solved PC problems without much effort, so didn't even note the error message displayed on the blue screen.

I checked it wasn't faulty RAM, I switched from a 250w PSU to a 500w (I was given the PC second hand and didn't notice it was only 250w, but it seemed to be doing fine since I got it a few months back).

Is it even possible that hardware caused it? Am I wasting my time checking? I suppose i'm just here for suggestions as to what I could try while waiting for a windows CD.

Thanks for any suggestions.

---------

Packard Bell XP SP3
P4 3.06ghz
3gig RAM
9500GT

Last edited by aNihilist; 02-Feb-2011 at 08:17 PM.. Reason: Sorry, I thought my PC specs would be automatically set as my signature. Added manually.
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rotarysteve rotarysteve is offline
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02-Feb-2011, 08:29 PM #2
Kind of studying this, but a castrophic hardware failure somewhere????... dunno.... guessing some, but will look forward to other input.
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02-Feb-2011, 08:47 PM #3
Any new hardware attached to the computer??? If so disconnect them and re-boot. I suppose winamp could of contributed,but can't image you couldn't get in with safemode and will have to wait for more expertise on this.
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02-Feb-2011, 08:56 PM #4
Boot to setup - BIOS normally F2
See if the HDD is found in the BIOS.
Post model of Packard Bell.
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02-Feb-2011, 09:03 PM #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by rotarysteve View Post
Kind of studying this, but a castrophic hardware failure somewhere????... dunno.... guessing some, but will look forward to other input.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rotarysteve
Any new hardware attached to the computer??? If so disconnect them and re-boot. I suppose winamp could of contributed,but can't image you couldn't get in with safemode and will have to wait for more expertise on this.
I've had the 9500 in there for around 1 month with no problems, but I tried with the old 6200LE and nothing changed.
After realising that the PSU was 250w I thought that might have been the problem, but I have been running more power hungry suff than Machinarium+Winamp without problems for a month.
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aNihilist aNihilist is offline
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02-Feb-2011, 09:22 PM #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macboatmaster View Post
Boot to setup - BIOS normally F2
See if the HDD is found in the BIOS.
Post model of Packard Bell.
It's an IMEDIA H1509 (from the back of the case).

The HDD is recognised, has boot priority and shows as Ch0 M. : ST3160812AS (the standard drive for the H1509, I think).
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02-Feb-2011, 09:22 PM #7
That graphics was recommended on a minimum 350watt PSU.
If the drive is recognised in the BIOS, then check that the Time and date are correct in BIOS.
Ensure it has not been reset to default so that if the motherboard is so equipped onboard graphics are NOT enabled and we have the correct settings.
If all is correct there
HAD the PSU failed hence the change OR was this just a shot in the dark so to speak.
If the hard drive is NOT seen in the BIOS, put it an enclosure or in another computer a slave and see if it can be read.
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02-Feb-2011, 09:37 PM #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macboatmaster View Post
That graphics was recommended on a minimum 350watt PSU.
If the drive is recognised in the BIOS, then check that the Time and date are correct in BIOS.
Ensure it has not been reset to default so that if the motherboard is so equipped onboard graphics are NOT enabled and we have the correct settings.
If all is correct there
HAD the PSU failed hence the change OR was this just a shot in the dark so to speak.
If the hard drive is NOT seen in the BIOS, put it an enclosure or in another computer a slave and see if it can be read.
The time and date are correct.

The PC will still power up with the old 250W PSU, so it didn't explode or anything. I just thought that maybe the blue screen was a precaution against overloading the PSU? Like windows was protecting my hardware by stopping everything before it exploded. Could be completely wrong.

If it was a CPU problem, would I even be able to reach the BIOS? Can I assume that the CPU is fine?
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02-Feb-2011, 09:42 PM #9
Just seen your reply that is a Seagate 160Gb sata drive
I am thinking overloaded PSU, overheated due to underpowered graphics card.
System shuts down for protection - as per temp settings in BIOS.
HDD data corruption results.

Go to the Packard Belll site - here
http://www.packardbell.co.uk/pb/en/GB/content/download

Check manual for diagnostics perhaps on F11 which may include hardware check with report etc.
OR disk check.
If no luck there you need an XP CD for recovery console to run chkdsk /p at console and NO a Win98 will not do.
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02-Feb-2011, 09:46 PM #10
Quote:
If it was a CPU problem, would I even be able to reach the BIOS?
NO You would even get into BIOS.
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02-Feb-2011, 10:00 PM #11
I am signing off shortly.
If all is OK on the PSU motherboard etc, which it appears to be as it is loading BIOS, I am on the track of a corrupted MBR on the hard drive.
You have the following options
1. Puppy Linux boot CD if it does so you know your ram and other hardware are on the face of it OK. recover your data
2. Take out HDD slave it, or enclose it, connect to another computer - recover your data
3. Make a recovery console CD if it sees the HDD run chkdsk /p on Recovery Console.
4. Wait until you obtain a XP CD. run recovery console
5. Make an UBCD4win see if you can recover there.
Which way do you wish to go.

I would urge caution on running FixMbr and Fixboot on Recovery Console - if that hard drive is the opriginal from Packard Bell with the original installlation it may have a recovery partition and if FixMbr does not work you may not get back to the Recovery Console.
as per this:
This computer appears to have a non-standard or invalid master boot record.
FIXMBR may damage your partition table if you proceed.
This could cause all the partitions on the current hard disk to become inaccessible.
If you are not having problems accessing your drive,do not continue.

Last edited by Macboatmaster; 02-Feb-2011 at 10:06 PM..
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02-Feb-2011, 10:06 PM #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macboatmaster View Post
I am signing off shortly.
....
Which way do you wish to go.
I'm not sure right now, but thank you for your help. Now I at least feel that it can be fixed and so I don't have to kill myself. I'll post again after I try some things.
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02-Feb-2011, 10:18 PM #13
OK wait to hear from you.
If you have valuable data, not backed up on an external drive your first task is to secure the data.
Secondly, if that Packard Bell has diagnostics see the link I sent, run them on boot.
Just because it is a blank screen on Windows load does not mean that the diagnostics will not run.
Next - recovery console.
Next see again on the site if the Packard Bell provided software, which if still available, you can buy from PB at relatively minimal cost would help. There may be a soft recovery option.
Next and most drastic - obviously and ONLY as a last resort reinstall XP.
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03-Feb-2011, 01:39 AM #14
I have had PSUs that were not overloaded still fail, 500w or not it could of been a cheaper brand or a slightly defective model.Maybe look into getting a Reputable brand PSU?what is your Brand anyhow?
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08-Feb-2011, 08:27 AM #15
Update:

After a week of getting my hands dirty (including to build a pc out of old parts as something to temporarily work from), I now think that it was the HDD it's self which was the problem. I have the machine - with all the hardware present when the problem happened, except the HDD - fully working, with a clean install of XP on the current HDD. I have already switched to the 500w PSU just incase, though.

All that remains is to recover the data. When I boot with the potentially faulty HDD as slave I get a blue screen, which stays for only a fraction of a second and I haven't been able to catch the code yet (I will though). I'm using an IDE as the master and I might even have the jumper in the wrong place (pretty sure it's set to 'Master/Single', which should be alright with a SATA slave?), but i'll deal with that when I have the energy. If it isn't the jumper, I'll use a SATA-IDE converter thing and boot it as slave on another machine, just to be sure that theres nothing wrong with the SATA cables/sockets (though it's recognised in bios, so I doubt that). If not, i'll try to reformat the Windows partition and see if I can boot with it as slave then. Lastly i'll look into data recovery software (lastly because I'd rather work with hardware than software. Software scares me).

This has been an enormous pain in the ***, but I'll fix it, and it would have taken me two years to learn from a book what I have in the past week with my hands.
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