I have two computer issues that are driving me NUTS!!!

Discussion in 'Computers' started by McPaul, Mar 18, 2004.

  1. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    First, My main computer does not work. It turns on, starts up, the BIOS screen comes up, and a blue screen with some text flashes for a quarter of a milisecond, and then it comes to a black screen with text telling me that windowsXP could not start normally. It offers me 5 options to boot using:

    Safe mode
    Safe mode with networking
    Safe mode with command prompt
    Last known working configuration
    Start windows normally.

    So I tried each of the Safe mode options, and they all do the same thing. it brings up a new screen that shows a whole bunch of filenames just flying up the screen. the system freezes and I need to do a hard reset.

    I have tried the last 2 options listed and they both do the same thing. The windows XP starting screen (just the one with WindowsXP text front and center, and a progress bar, not the GUI shell) comes up, the computer resets, and goes back through this cycle of trying to startup, but failing and getting back to the 5 options screen again.

    So. what else have I done?

    I have a boot floppy that I put in the drive, and tried to boot from that. no go. the 3.5" drive light turns on but nothing happens and it boots to the same screen with the 5 options.

    I went into the BIOS screen and changed the boot priority to CDROM. I put my windows disk in and reset the computer. the cdrom light turned on but it repeated the same sequence yet again.

    Now, the week before this all started happening, we had some weird power fluctuations here in Calgary, I had to reset my clocks almost every day. I have the computer on a powerbar with surge protection. The same powerbar as my theater is plugged into. (same model #, not exact same bar) I've had absolutely no problems with the theater.

    So I'm stuck. But all is not lost! I have been using my work pc for the past 2 weeks that my computer has been acting up.

    All has been fine, until now.

    My internet I've been using on my laptop has been very selective the past 2 days. Before that, and ever since I've had it, it's been fine. I can get into HTF no problem, but I can't get into ESPN.com. I can get into redflagdeals.com, but not fantasysports.yahoo.com. Certain things work, certain things do not. My bank works fine, icq.com works fine, web broker, no problem. my fantasy baseball information websites wont work. I'm flummoxed. Why would internet be selective like that? I can't even get into telus.com (one of my company's websites). Job sites don't work. I've been looking for a house. welist.com works, but mls.ca does not. WHAT IS GOING ON???????????? (I can't remember what movie that's from, but it just jumped into my head).

    Any suggestions for me would be much appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. Neal_C

    Neal_C Second Unit

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    If your internet just started being flaky about certain websites and you haven't changed any equipment (ie, router, etc), then I would call your internet provider, it could very likely be on their end. Usually they will even try to access those websites from their computer. If they can get to the websites you can't, they should be able to help you diagnose the problem. If they can't get to the websites either, then they obviously have a problem on their end.

    On your computer, select safe mode, let it scroll all the drivers, etc, that it is loading and then just let it sit.

    I had a driver issue a couple weeks ago and it took my computer about 15 to 20 minutes to load into safe mode with networking. It would scroll through all of its loading stuff, then just appear to be stuck. I just let it sit while I did other things and it finally loaded and I fixed the problem.

    If you get tired of waiting, send it into safe mode right before you go to bed and see if it loads in the 6 or 7 hours while you are asleep.


    Neal
     
  3. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Yeah, Safe Mode can take a while. Just let it sit for a long time. You might also have a video card problem. On my old computer, if the card wasn't seated ALL the way in and snug, it wouldn't boot up either. I would get this problem whenever I pushed another cards or something into the motherboard.
     
  4. Sami Kallio

    Sami Kallio Screenwriter

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    Faulty hardware perhaps. First thing to try out would be to change the battery on your motherboard. If that doesn't help, if you have any spareparts (mb, processor, memory, fan, video card) or can borrow from friends, try them on one by one to see if any of them help.
     
  5. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    well thanks for the information!

    I just tried this again, tried each safe mode, waited for a few minutes after all the filenames shot up my screen, and this time (it's been about 1 week since the last time I even touched that pc), after about 3 minutes, it just reset the computer and brought me back to the options screen. Incidentally, the filenames were all from system32drivers, and the vast majority were .sys files. While I was at it, I tried all the other options and the same thing. Every option just resets the computer.

    It's interesting you say it might be a video card problem. when the computer was working, about a week before this problem started happening, I had another problem where I'd turn the computer on and nothing would come up on the monitor. I found I could resolve this problem by turning the monitor on before turning my computer on.

    You say you had this problem "whenever I pushed another cards or something into the motherboard". well it's been months since I last tinkered with anything inside the computer. Although I guess dust might be an issue or possibly a bad video card.

    Neal, I'll have to call my ISP to have them check things out. Thanks for bringing that up, I haven't done that yet.

    I'm going to go unplug my video card, clean out the slot a bit, and plug back in, to see if anything helps.

    Good point Sammi, I have a friend who might have some parts for me.

    Wish me luck!
     
  6. Neal_C

    Neal_C Second Unit

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    The video could be going bad, the video driver could have gotten corrupted, or dust in the slots of the agp or pci slot could be interfering with the contacts on the card touch the contacts in the slot.

    You might open up the case, pull the video card out, clean the dust out a little bit, reseat it and try booting up again. Or if you can get your hands on another video card, try it.

    Let us know what you find out from the ISP.

    LOL...I see you edited your post while I was typing my suggestion [​IMG]

    Neal
     
  7. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Well, my problem was that my motherboard would flex when I pushed the CPU into it, or with something like my firewire card. It would flex, and the end of the card would pop-out ever so slightly.
     
  8. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Well I took out the vid card (It was a struggle until I found that it had a bit of a locking mechanism at the end of the AGP slot. It was a MSI Geforce 3 Ti500 that I bought at the time. It was an open box with only 90 days warranty (the computer is 2 years old).

    Ok. I'm not really much of an "inside the computer" guy.

    I blew out the slot and the card (no, i don't have compressed air). Same thing with the sound card which was right beside it.

    Is there anything else I should be looking for while I have this thing open? could there be a cable to the HD, floppy or CDROM that might be loose or unplugged?
     
  9. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    hmm. damn, when I came back to my couch to type on my laptop, I noticed that when I plugged the network cable back into it, I broke the little plastic catch. Is that really a bad thing?
     
  10. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    meh... no change, same result.
     
  11. Neal_C

    Neal_C Second Unit

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    If you can, try a different video card to see if the card is bad. If it isn't the card itself, I would bet you have a corrupt driver, but the computer not booting into safe mode and just resetting does pose a problem.

    The clip on the network cable enables it to fit in securely at all times. It may/may not be necessary for it to fit properly and snugly, it just depends on the cable and the port. That wouldn't be causing your computer to restart though. But I would replace the cable at your earliest convenience, just so you know it is fitting correctly.

    Neal
     
  12. McPaul

    McPaul Screenwriter

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    Thanks Neal! Now I suppose I have to wait on the phone for the rest of the day with my ISP. Not looking forward to that!
     
  13. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Paul, for the PC, try disconnecting everything you don't need and removing all extra cards as well as much ram as possible. Basically reduce the system down to the bare minimum and see what happens. Because boot floppies and CDs don't work, I suspect a hardware failure. If it works with most things removed, add them back one at a time until you find the culprit. It could take a while because it could be a combination of things.

    It could be your power supply, the symptoms of a bad power supply can be weird. One time I had a power supply that was to weak for my MB/CPU combo. It worked fine until I put on any USB devices, then the system would crash on bootup. I figured it was the MB, but eventually I found it to be the power supply.

    For your internet problem, clean off all the cookies and clear the cache, etc. Try updating or reinstalling your browser. If you are using IE, download Mozilla or Netscape and try the sites before assuming it's your ISP.
     
  14. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    My girlfriend's computer had almost the same thing happen about three weeks ago. First, I put in the XP disc and booted to that. I told it I wanted to do a repair. This takes you to a DOS screen and you have several things you can do. Run a chkdsk. This checks your hard drive for physical errors. That was the problem on hers. I ran chkdsk /f and also ran the two commands to fix the MBR and fixboot. This should at least get your computer running (assuming it's the drive). Then I would recommend saving everything you can, because a physical error on a drive can only be fixed by replacing the drive. My girlfriend's was still under warranty so Dell replaced it. When you get to the DOS screen type "Help" for a list of commands use the one's I mentioned. Good luck.
     
  15. Chester II

    Chester II Stunt Coordinator

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    Paul dude,

    I had the same exact problems you describe regarding your first computer and after tinkering in frustration with my computer for several days I found that the power supply cable powering the motherboard was slightly out of misalignment. I disconnected it, firmly reconnected it, felt a faint "click", and the problems went away. Needless to say....I felt kinda dumb about it....but hey.....it's all good now....

    Good Luck,

    Chester
     
  16. Chester II

    Chester II Stunt Coordinator

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    Dudes,

    oops....I forgot to put "Dude" after "Good Luck"....my apologies....

    Dudes.....
     
  17. JohnVB

    JohnVB Stunt Coordinator

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    Yep, I agree. It's most likely not a video problem. My guess is your windows installation has become corrupt. You can either do the repair thing that Seth has suggested. Or you might try booting from the windows cd and go through like you're going to install windows. When you do that, there's an option that will fix the current installation rather than reinstalling everything.

    This option is a little different than the repair option Seth talks about. I believe you'll see Seth's repair option before you see the option to fix the current installation.

    Hope this helps,

    - bones
     
  18. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    I concur with the power supply possibly being the culprit, what with the flaky power system in (southwest) Calgary for the last two weeks.

    I'd invest in an inexpensive APC backup power supply from Costco. Sure, it will only last 5 minutes with today's high-current computers, but at least you won't get brownout damage!
     
  19. Cary_H

    Cary_H Second Unit

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    Is your computer posting?
    If it isn't getting to where it posts you could have a slice of cheese for a video card and it wouldn't know the diff. If it posts it will tell you if the video card is hooped, but I wouldn't think it will hold it up from booting.
    I won't rule out the power supply, CPU, or the MB as the culprit, but it sounds to me like you've lost some files essential to it booting successfully.
    Your rescue/boot floppy and your XP discs ought to have all the files you need.
    I am not familiar with XP. Is a Dos prompt available to you? If so you ought to be able to copy all the sys files to C to overwrite the messed up originals from either.
     
  20. sam_canavo

    sam_canavo Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Paul

    Sorry to hear about your grief.

    Lets start with the pc.
    Obviously it is posting as you get to the safe mode option.

    Are you hearing any beeps when it boots? Usually with a
    video card that isn't seated properly you won't get it to
    post and you will hear beeps.

    Can you boot to a cd rom? and try fix or reinstall xp?
    I agree it could be power supply or your ram maybe has
    some bad chips?
    Is your pc networked with your laptop?

    Now you may not like this but what about a virus?

    In the last 3 weeks I have seen machines that won't boot,
    reboot after 30 seconds, just hang on the xp screen or do
    as your machine is doing.
    This is why I asked if you are networked to the laptop.

    It seems your laptop got a little internet screwy after
    you pc started acting up.

    I agree with pulling everything and starting with the bare
    minimum and going from there.

    Good luck.
     

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