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Missing Files constant rebooting??

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by MattJ81, Nov 16, 2011.

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  1. MattJ81

    MattJ81 Thread Starter

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    Hello,

    I have a strange problem, here's the details.

    I got an an error trying to boot, hal.dll was missing, I tried some things using my xp cd but my access was denied to everything so I assumed I have some kind of hardware failure. I messed around a lot (tried other drives, removed my motherboard battery and ram, switched cables etc..) until isapnp.sys was missing. I think I have a bad ribbon cable so I messed around swapping hard drives and cd drives , my motherboard may be failing I have no idea but anyway...

    I finally managed to boot off of an old drive, (being able to post this) but once I managed to boot with this drive and my primary, (I have no idea what happened to missing hal.dll) so I copied isapnp.sys from this drive to the other and tried rebooting. I cannot boot from this drive with the other present, everything just constantly reboots. I have this one as master and the other as slave, I make sure that this drive boots first but it resets to 2nd in the bios everytime.

    Do I have a virus? Everything seems to point towards that.

    I've tried everything what should I do? I have a lot of valuable data on my primary drive.

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. Elvandil

    Elvandil

    Joined:
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    It sounds like the drive has failed/is failing. Hal.dll is almost never really missing. The error can be due to many things, most often a corrupted boot.ini file. But hal.dll has no special privilieges and if it is really missing, other files most certainly are, too.

    If you have a master/slave configuration, be sure that the jumpers are set correctly. Sometimes, there is a different setting on the master depending whether a slave is present or not, too, so check the maps on both.

    I'd get my files if possible as soon as you can. Any file (or whole system) that is not backed up is one you should expect to lose. All hard drives will fail.
     
  3. MattJ81

    MattJ81 Thread Starter

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    I have a couple of questions,

    The drive I am using now has 2 operating system choices to boot from, one is just a shell from where I messed up a format, anyway I have to select the operating system to boot. When I try to boot from my regular drive it automatically goes to the safe mode options, no matter what I pick I am missing a file. I have played with all jumper settings I am 99% sure they are set correct to boot from the spare by setting it as the master, either manually or by cable select. So, when I try to boot off this drive with the regular present... almost everytime I check the BIOS the regular drive is set to boot first, right after I change it to boot second.

    But sometimes with different jumper settings this drive remains set to boot first but when I try to boot I don't see the operating system option for this drive I only get the safe mode options for my regular drive, it appears to acting as the master.

    Why can't I boot with this drive while the other is connected? Usually a drive will not be recognized and not bother anything, can a failing drive override my boot preferences? Could I have a virus messing with my motherboard? I removed the RAM and battery but it didn't help.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Messages:
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    It's hard to say what's going on with he boot. There could be an MBR on both drives that affect what is happening since you installed a second OS. But if a drive is defective and won't boot, then the next drive in the boot priority would be tried. If the machine only tries to boot from th designated drive and that drive is defective, then it won't boot. If it tries to boot from the next drive in the priority but its configuration reltive to the machine has changed (no longer the chosen boot drive, for example), then the drive sees a different environment from the one that was present when the OS was installed, and it won't boot.

    Triple-check the jumpers. If one of the drives is a Seagate, that could be a problem, too, since I have had a couple times when Seagates would not work with other brands on the same IDE cable.

    Test both drives, too, one at a time.

    Viruses don't get into boards. A virus would have to be on a drive and unless a boot virus, can do nothing at all without a running operating system to support it. Viruses are programs and they can't "run" all by themselves.
     
  5. MattJ81

    MattJ81 Thread Starter

    Joined:
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    OK I triple checked the jumpers, I have managed to boot with the spare drive with my regular drive present. I swear I had tried cable select and manually setting master and slave but evidently I had something wrong. I am very curious tho, here's the deal..

    Using cable select, with my regular drive connected as slave... My spare drive is the primary drive and my regular drive is the secondary in the BIOS. The first time I check the boot order the spare drive is first, every other time it resets to second even after I set it back to first and save the changes, so it is constantly trying to boot first from the slave, why is that?

    I only have one IDE slot now and the cable that was connected to it is also toast, maybe something shorted it out? I set my spare drive to master using jumpers and my regular drive to slave. The regular drive no longer shows up in the boot order menu so I am able to boot with the spare drive and I can see all my data on my regular drive (this is getting confusing).

    So what do I do now? I should also add that my regular drive has 2 partitions, 1 solely for windows and antivirus and drivers, the other for all my other programs and data. I am running a full disk check on both drives(partitions) but other than that what do I do to fix the not booting problem? hal.dll and isapnp.sys are both present.

    I really appreciate the help.
     
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