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Error message at boot-up. Ideas?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Clinton McClure, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    On my main PC, I now get an error message at boot-up which reads something to the effect of Sorry for the inconvienence but windows could not start properly due to a recent hardware or software change. Then I get a list of start-up options including safe mode, safe mode with drivers, last known good configuration, and normal mode. I have tried all of them and sometimes windows will start, but most of the time I get the same error message.

    I haven't changed any system configurations or added or removed any software recently. I finally got booted up and ran both Norton antivirus and ad-aware and both came up empty handed. Could this be a sign of my HD failing?
     
  2. DaveJJ

    DaveJJ Stunt Coordinator

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    I don't think so Clinton. You could try going into the mobo bios and highlight best performance tab and reboot. To access mobo bios, reboot computer and press DELETE and few times and you should see the bios blue screen. Good luck!

    DaveJJ
     
  3. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Unfortunately, there isn't much that anyone can tell you about an error message without the exact text of the message. It would really help narrow down what is going on if you copied down the complete message and the list of options Windows gives you.

    (Sorry, pet peeve. I get eight or nine calls a day where a user gives me "the message said something like..." followed by something that could indicate one of a half-dozen common problems, each of which has a different solution. But I have no idea which solution to apply because the garbled or incomplete report of the error message doesn't include the specific[/li] language the distinguishes one from the other.)

    Regarding the ROM BIOS setup - watch the initial boot screen when you start it the comoputer and keep your fingers right above the keyboard. Chances are a message will flash across the screen telling you which key to hit to access setup. It all depends on the brand and version of the BIOS. Current Dell computers used a BIOS accessed by hitting the F2 key during boot-up. Some systems use the F1 key, others the DEL key. It all depends.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  4. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    When did Microsoft get so polite. [​IMG]

    Seriously, it could be anything without more information.

    It's most likely a corrupt system file of some kind. Make sure your Norton definitions are up to date and you can try and scan it again... otherwise, I'd drop in an OS disk and try a repair.
     
  5. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Sorry for the vauge message. The actual error message is quite long. All my antivirus files are up to date. I'll check the bios.
     
  6. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Ok, here's the whole message.



    I can select any of the five boot modes and press enter to try to start up or I can wait on the counter. When the seconds counter reaches zero, Windows tries to restart. There will be a blue screen with writing appear for a tiny fraction of a second (not even long enough to read what is written on it) then I go back to the error message.
     
  7. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Did you have any power spikes, outages, etc., and is the PC on a good (working) surge protector or UPS? (Surge protectors don't last forever. Each time they stop a surge their ability to stop the next one is diminished. An SP will stop a whole lot of little surges or a few big ones before its ability to do anything is lost and you've just got a power strip. I label mine with an "expiration date" and replace each one every two years even if the indicator light (on the models that have one) says the protection is still working.

    I had one of our office PCs pull this same message and Dell tech support had me strip the thing to the motherboard (disconnect all drives and peripherals, remove the RAM) and power it up, then reconnect one component at a time, powering up each time. By the time I finished, the computer was booting normally and the problem hasn't resurfaced after several weeks. Worth a shot.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  8. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    It's on a surge protector, but there have been no surges, spikes, power outages, etc... recently. I'll try ripping everything apart and putting it back together this weekend.

    Thanks.

    Clint
     
  9. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Clinton has a good idea, but what a PITA!

    Let me ask this - Is there any chance that your case got bumped - and now maybe a card is unseated? Just a hair might be enough to do that.

    That message sucks the big one. I bet the staff at MS is cracking up over it.

    Glenn
     
  10. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Odds are high it's just a registry corruption issue, and a repair install of Windows, followed by a scan from your favorite softwares is in order and will repair.
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    That's almost certainly what happened to the office PC I mentioned above. It probably got bumped by the cleaning crew who were vacuuming the night before. It was a brand new machine (which had replace one whose hard drive had "fried like a mozzarella stick" when we were hit by a monster surge that surge protector died attenuating, but not attenuating enough.)

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  12. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    Chris - What's a repair install of Windows?
     
  13. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    With a windows installation in place, you boot the Windows XP Installation CD.

    As it boots, you will go through as though you were doing a fresh install (hit enter at the beginning.. NOT R here, which is recovery console!!) and it will detect your current Windows XP Installation. When prompted, it will ask you "do you wish to repair this installation?" (here you will press "R") and walla, it does an entire install of Windows XP on top of itself, overwriting the ENUM keys (hardware device recognition sequences) as well as MS Service Keys in the CurrentControlSet. Many times, problems such as yours start because one of those areas has a problem.. so a repair install many times will fix. It's definitely what I would try at this point before swapping hardware around.
     
  14. Clinton McClure

    Clinton McClure Casual Enthusiast
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    After doing a repair install, would I have to reinstall any software (ie: DVD Profiler, Firefox, Excel) or aftermarket devices (ie: video card, printer, modem, etc...) or do all the software and drivers for these stay during the reinstall?
     

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