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Old December 17th, 2008, 06:30 AM   #1
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Editing PC won't boot

After running the defrag on "C" drive, it hung at 47% & I had to manually switch off.
Now after re-booting, the PC goes round in a loop - it gets to a screen
for you to select options such as - start windows normally, - safe mode etc. , yet when you select any, it just re-boots back to the same screen.

I tried booting via the windows disc but in the end it always points me to a screen where you have to re-install windows & lose all previous data, which is something I am loathe to do as I have heaps of programs & apps. on it. - Any suggestions ?

Details, - Win XP Pro, P4 core 2, 2g. RAM, sep. drives for C - (programs), & editing.

RonC.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 07:26 AM   #2
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The failed defrag probably trashed a critical OS file. You'll probably have to re-install the operating system, unless someone knows a short cut. I've only done clean OS installs so I don't know if the Windows installer offers a "repair" option.

For future reference, it's a very good idea to run a full SCNDSK with full surface scan and repair options selected periodically to check all the sectors on disk. That will verify that all the physical regions of the disk in use are in good working order.

One thing that might have happened to you is that defrag tried to write to a "soft" sector and couldn't get the write to complete. From there it lost its mind and crashed/looped. There could also be a more mundane cause such as a power spike or micro-singularity.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 07:49 AM   #3
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Tripp may be correct about the failed defrag causing the problem.

If you haven't already, look in your bios make sure the hard drive still appears...than get your hands on or make a floppy with check disc on it and run it and see what happens.

Check disc can sometimes fix or recover messed up sectors.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 08:25 AM   #4
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Details, - Win XP Pro, P4 core 2, 2g. RAM, sep. drives for C - (programs), & editing
Are you running a old system? P4 core 2???

What type of CPU you are running? Intel or AMD?

I think your CPU may over heat!!!
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Old December 17th, 2008, 11:32 AM   #5
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I had the exact same symptom a couple of weeks ago, except I was not defragging, I was in the middle of formatting an external hard drive. Turned out, the hard drive went south.

If you have additional drives in the computer, disconnect them, that might be the cause.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 03:56 PM   #6
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Thanks very much for all for your help. I will investigate further as suggested but to answer a few details here they are :

The processor is an Intel Core 2, 6400 @ 2.13GHz. Speed 2133Mhz, Count 2. All HD's are recognised OK in the BIOS. - AMIBIOS v 0901 B/D 12/19/07.

I would be surprised if it is a heating problem as all fans are OK & it's reasonably clean inside. Also, it has never shown any instability problems or overheat warnings and I was editing on it without any (PC) problems before I decided to do a defrag, so I too, think that the defrag caused the problem. BUT, just before this, I did try to do a scan - (C drive/properties/tools/scan ) and it asked me to check two boxes to authorise it to do a scan after the next re-boot. This I did, but when I re-booted it just started normally, - no scan. I then repeated this & duly re-booted again, but still no scan, so then I decided to do the de-frag.

The main C drive is good Samsung 250 g which is only about a third full. The defrag was going for about 1hr. - ( went & had tea) and when I returned it was at 47% which I then left it at for about another 20 mins. before I considered it to have hung.

This machine is less than 18 months old and is only connected to the NET for updates etc. - I keep the plug pulled most of the time and it is not used for surfing or email, so bugs are unlikely and naturally I do have an A/Virus program as well.

I will try and make a check disc from the BIOS but I am not quite sure how to do this as I thought these could only be made via windows XP which of course is now catch 22.

RonC.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 04:24 PM   #7
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Good luck. You could make the disc on someone else's pc if possible.

or if you have an old hard laying around install windows on it, make your disc then reinsert your original drive.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #8
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That's no problem Jeff, - I have a working PC with XP Pro on it, but I thought all these do is allow to do a complete re-install & lose all your programs.

RonC.
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Old December 17th, 2008, 08:40 PM   #9
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You can let the Windows XP install try to repair your installation. At one point, it asks if you want to repair using the console. That's not what you want. Continue on, and choose install. It will scan your disks and find the already installed XP, and ask you if you want to repair it.

If you choose to do so, you lose no documents, and your programs should still work. You just lose all Windows updates and have to redo them.

You can find info on this option easily. Check here for example for details:

How to Perform a Windows XP Repair Install

I would highly advise backing up the drive first, though. Always a good idea before trying something like this. For what it's worth, I've done it a few times with no problems.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 05:43 AM   #10
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You need to run check disc....that program needs to be on a floppy. You need to create the program on a floppy.

This program (Named Check Disc) needs to be run (in DOS) to check for bad sectors on your hard drive.

If you don't have any clue as to what I'm talking about, then you should or could take your PC to a repair center to let them do the same thing, or reinstall windows.

Good luck!

Last edited by Jeff Harper; December 18th, 2008 at 06:53 AM.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 04:09 PM   #11
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Thanks Jeff & Vito. I have already tried to repair as you exlplained Vito, - did that first but I realise now that the reason that the windows disc ends up not giving me a repair option at the end of the repair console, is that there is probably not enough usable data left. There is one section where you have to check the agreement & then it gives you the repair option, but in my case it does not, it just asks if you want to install windows (& hence lose all your apps.), or exit.

Now regarding check disc I have used this before within Windows but not from a separate floppy. So I went into my other computer to see if I could put in on a floppy, but it could not locate the file. --?

I am wondering now if I re-connect the drive to another bus and fit another drive - I have a few around, just to enable me to install XP on that one and then (hopefully) transfer all the programs etc, back to the new one and carry on.

I'd hate to have to rely on this for a living as I seem to have a major crash about once a year ! Perhaps I should buy a Mac !

RonC.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 07:06 PM   #12
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I've not tried it but you should be able to run it from a CD-ROM. I'm just not sure what else you'll need for a basic operating system.

You might try the support pages at the Microsoft Web site. I know it's a bit like going into the abyss, but you might get lucky and find what you need.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 07:29 PM   #13
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Go here and download the program that most resembles your hard drive for Western Digital Drives

WD Support > Downloads > SATA Hard Drives

Or if you have a Seagate drive go here:

Seagate Technology - SeaTools

and download SeaTools for DOS.

Hopefully your hard drive is not bad and can be fixed with one of these tools.

I have read that the Western Digital software works with any drive...Seagate only is meant for Seagate drives, but their Seatools still has some functionality for other brands of drives.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #14
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if you have access to another computer:

remove the drive that will not boot and temporarily install it in your second computer.

if it is an ide drive verify you have the correct settings for the jumpers designating master or slave drive on the ide channel, if it is a sata drive there are no jumpers.

boot into windows.

view the drive letter assignments in windows explorer, your temporary drive from your editing computer will be assigned a drive letter. Once you verify the assigned drive letter navigate to your start menu and select the run dialog box.

in the run box type

chkdsk d: /f

replace the letter d with the correct drive letter windows assigned to the drive.

the /f is the fix command

this should take only a few minutes to check and repair. when it is complete shut down the
computer, return the drive to the original computer and all should work.

when windows hangs and or refuses to shut down press and hold the power button of your computer for four seconds. this forces windows to shut down without corrupting the files.
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Old December 18th, 2008, 11:33 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Cooper View Post
Thanks Jeff & Vito. I have already tried to repair as you exlplained Vito, - did that first but I realise now that the reason that the windows disc ends up not giving me a repair option at the end of the repair console, is that there is probably not enough usable data left. There is one section where you have to check the agreement & then it gives you the repair option, but in my case it does not, it just asks if you want to install windows (& hence lose all your apps.), or exit.
You mean it's not detecting the existing partition at all? It just wants to reformat your drive and install anew?

If yes, sounds like you hosed your parition table, or the mbr on the disc. There are software available to fix this. Patition Doctor is one. I had a similar problem not too long ago after a power surge. Partition Doctor detected the damaged parition and fixed it for me. I was then able to boot into Windows normally.

GetDataBack is another great program that will (slowly) scan the drive and allow you to copy your data to another drive.
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