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Weird problem and a warning!

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by uk_john, Oct 14, 2008.

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  1. uk_john

    uk_john Thread Starter

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    Firstly, I see lots of posts about users not being able to boot up because various system files cannot be located or the OS drive cannot be located, etc. This is usually after a restore, etc. The answer is usually how to get that file into the Systems folder as though it is actually missing. If I tell you my problem, you may not be so sure these system files are actually missing!

    Firstly, let me say I have an IDE caddy system on my second cable with my DVD writer. This allows me to boot up with different hard drives in this second slot, giving me more storage options, etc. This may be what is confusing my BIOS, but I don't know why.

    Anyway, my problem: If I leave my PC switched off for a while, plugged or unplugged, I cannot boot up my PC. AT the point where XP would load I get various errors, such as 'cannot find OS', or cannot find '<System>\Windows\System\(name of file). The system files that are missing can involve any number of system files as are mentioned many times in these threads. Sometimes I will also get 'please insert an OS disk' and 'cannot find disk'.

    After multiple reboots and unplugging and plugging the power supply I can sometimes boot to XP. But this is rare if the PC has been switched off for quite a while.

    What DOES work every time, is using the OS disk to boot to the XP Install/Repair screen, choosing 'Repair' and at the point where it asks which OS, as in

    '1=C:\Windows (Press Enter to cancel)'


    All I do it hit Enter to cancel, let the PC boot and it boots to Windows XP Pro Sp3 with no problem! I do not actually go into repair and do anything, I just cancel out of it!


    Anyone have any idea whats going on? It cannot be the drive, as after the above it will ALWAYS boot to XP with no problem, and having booted I have no problems with my PC, as in going to the internet and posting questions like this! :)

    Obviously I am being told that certain system files cannot be found when they are actually there. So when you see someone saying that they have this 'missing system file' at bootup, I would not automatically assume the files are not there -as in my case!
     
  2. TooBad

    TooBad

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    It has simply lost the direction as to where to look. When you boot from the CD, it then searches all the disks and "finds" the OS disk and files and the path is restored to the BIOS. As to why your BIOS loses its path, it could be your BIOS battery is low which would explain losing the path after being turned off for some time. Being plugged in does not save the BIOS if the battery is low.

    This is my best guess given the clues you provided. Anyone else have a different theory?
     
  3. Sequal7

    Sequal7

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    Run a disk check, or better yet find out what disk manufacturer you hard drive is and run their system tools.
    It could be a corrupted disk (running a chkdsk /r in the repair console may help) or worse yet, (and perhaps the more likely) the drive is failing or dying.

    Can you get into the repair option and if you can, have you tried a chkdsk /r option?
     
  4. uk_john

    uk_john Thread Starter

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    As I say, it cannot be the disk, or I would not be able to just do what I mentioned in my post! I have had my PC on for 12-16 hours in one go with no crashes or problems or anything to suggest my drive has a problem. I regularly defrag my disks and check them and I am confident my disk does not have a problem.

    As to the battery, I mentioned plugging and unplugging to point out that I have tried with and without the power cable plugged in while the PC is off. Now my belief is that the battery gets recharged while the PC is on - is this not correct? The motherboard is new and only 5 months old, hence the battery is only 5 months old (or at least just been used for 5 months).

    If the battery was dying would I have problems booting the bios at all? Or wouldn't the bios lose it's info when I go and check the settings? It's a 'funny' as in bioses I had before could have the floppy set then the cd then the hard drive and on boot up the bios would check the floppy then the CD before checking the hard drive. My bios doesn't do that. I will only check the floppy or the CD if it cannot find the hard drive. To boot from CD or floppy you have to hit F8 for a popup that asks what you want to boot from. Choosing this popup and then the system drive never helps with booting XP.

    I would say my No.1 choice would be the battery but I still think I would see and have more problems than I do if it was the battery!

    By the way, thanks for the help guys! Didn't expect replies so quick! :)
     
  5. TooBad

    TooBad

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    While your system is 5 months old to you, it could have been sitting on a shelf with that battery in it for much longer. As to the BIOS losing all its settings, I would expect that it would, but some BIOSs are different and may be able to keep time and date and such while losing other data. On that, I am not sure. I also don't know whether or not the battery is recharged while in use. They didn't used to be, but I have not rebuilt a system in many years and my knowledge is getting moldy as to MB particulars.
     
  6. uk_john

    uk_john Thread Starter

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    I still say 'Thanks' TooBad! :)
     
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