Now I have another dead computer

Discussion in 'Computers, Hardware, and Operating Systems' started by KA9VQF, Feb 20, 2012.

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  1. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    It's probably just a coincidence but my daughters boyfriend downloaded a movie from one of the many bittorrents and burned it to a DVD disk. Now my formally “good” desktop computer will not boot.

    When I try to boot it it starts normally then a blue screen flashes and it starts booting over. Its like a loop, so I'm down to just my laptop here. I have managed to get to the screen where I am offered several boot options including boot in safe mode but it just goes back into the never ending boot loop.

    I have found several websites where folks have the same problem but no real fixes for this. The only thing that really seems to work for any of them is to totally reinstall the operating system.

    This computer was given to me by my older sister and she can not locate the recovery disks she burned when it was new. It is running XP home addition.

    One site suggested I find someone with the same OS and make a copy of the boot ini file and burn that to a DC and try to boot from that. The problem is that XP home edition does not have a boot ini file to copy.

    XP pro does but it does not work in my Home edition version.

    So does anyone know of a workaround that does not involve reinstalling my OS?




  4. AG6IF

    AG6IF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Many of the torrents are infected with nasty stuff. I dont trust any of them nowdays. You can try a "stinger" type antivirus program that boots from CD rom. Of course, you need access to a working machine to get this downloaded, mcafe and symantec each have one.

    Another thing to try is this. Pull the hard drive out and mount it to a USB case, and plug it into a working windows machine with a up to date anitvirus program on it.

    Let the working machine scan and hopefully fix the infections.
    The risk of course is that the virus moves to the working machine and messes it up too.

    Last resort...consider rebuilding the broken machine with's much more secure, it's free, and you wont have any more of these types of problems as the windows virus will not affect the Linux operating system. If you decide to go this route, I recommend download Ubuntu or Mint.
    73 and good luck
  5. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Actually I have already been to that site. It requires the repair disk which is no longer available from HP.

    Or at least the set of CD's my sister made when the machine was new. Those are not available to me.

    I do have the set I made for my own HP machine running XP home edition but they do not seem to work in this much newer HP.

    My old HP is several years older than the one that just died.
  6. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'd again contact H-P and ask about a set of original install disks, they should have that still available, even if you have to go through a few "supervisory" levels. (I ran into that with an old IBM ThinkPad, but they finally got me the XP install disks...)
    The problem is that the version on the recovery disks will be many, many, many security patches and Service Packs back, so if you DO have to resort to a complete "Nuke and restore," devote at least many, many hours to the updates.
  7. KI6USW

    KI6USW Ham Member QRZ Page

    AS a side note, let's not overlook the obvious either. This may be an electrical problem caused by the CPU needing to have the cpu cooling fan cleaned out. Perhaps even taking off the cpu heat sink and cleaning off the old thermal paste from both the heat sink and the cpu and then applying a new coat of thermal paste.

    You might also need to clean out the psu with some compressed air and then check the voltages thru the bios.

    Blow out the entire case while you are at it - too. Having fuzzy domestic critters in the house makes this a mandatory chore and many neglect to do it - as this is proper maintenance anyway.

    Make sure the video card is properly seated and clean the contacts along its edge and use some 'de-oxit' in the card slot too. Clean all contacts with air and inspect for contaminants!

    Once that has all been done, you may need to download a disc check program on another computer and test the main drive. We think of drives as having unlimited lives. But frankly - that just isn't so.
  8. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    As it happens I just did that last month and everything was working as it should be. After it stopped booting I took all but the CPU heat sink apart again and reseated everything just in case something had worked loose. I even replaced the zinc oxide heat-sink grease with new at that time.

    I have a small diaphragm air compressor with a cute little pressure regulator that I use to blow the built up cat hair and nasty smoking build up out several times a year.

    I haven't checked the voltages on the rails and I have no clue how to check them in bios.

    I haven't added any software or hardware since last fall when I loaded 'Command and Conquer the first decade' but everything was fine after that except that I was spending more time playing my game than doing more productive things like reading stuff on line.

    I downloaded a thing called Ultimate Boot Disk and have managed to get the hard drive to check itself and the program tells me there is nothing wrong with the hard drive.

    One of the many programs on the UBCD disk has the option to fix the boot sector on the hard drive but it tells me that the boot sector is fine.

    I sent HP a text asking them to look around for a fixit disk for this model pavillion but haven't heard anything back from them yet.
  9. W9DTC

    W9DTC Ham Member QRZ Page

    have you tried removing power completely for several seconds? I had a similar issue with about 5 of 50 xp machines after the last round of windows updates. resolved by removing power, counting to 10 slowly and the trying again.

    good luck
  10. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes the whole machine was unplugged for several hours while I was cleaning and resetting boards and stuff.

    I've done some research and found a site that shows voltage test points and the voltages that should be on the main buss and my power supply checks out with the right voltages, but it still doesn't boot it still just cycles through the boot and blue screen loop.
  11. KI6USW

    KI6USW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Sometimes after putting the cpu heat sink back on the cpu, the heat sink will fail to lay completely flat on that cpu surface. Make sure it isn't hung up on something! Seen that happen a few times. This will cause the cpu to get too hot too quickly and it will automatically reboot.

    Newer motherboards will have voltage readings in the CMOS. CPU temps as well - check for that in the CMOS too. Some older boards will have these options. But if you are getting automatic reboots; i would first suspect too much cpu heat and then a failing psu next.

    With a blue screen, it will define/explain what part is causing a failure. Make notes. I get a blue screen every once in a while due to my wifi card. Need to get a new one!
  12. W9GB

    W9GB Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did you try hitting the F11 key (F10 is probably your BIOS setup) during this HP computer's POST/BOOT process?

    The proper steps for Recovery are covered on the HP Support web pages, start here:

    HP will sell you 2 CDs. One is the Actual Recovery CD (Restore Plus!) for your HP model,
    the other is the MS WinXP Operating System CD, Home Edition to be used with the Recovery CD.

    IF HP is no longer supplying recovery CDs for your specific HP computer model and a recovery disc can no longer be created,
    you might be able to find a solution outside of HP support.

    BTW, IF your computer has a FLOPPY DRIVE and you have access to a bootable DOS disk --
    then you can likely access the RECOVERY Partition (D:) on the HP hard drive.

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  13. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Linux boot and Windoze BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) visible screens certain preclude a power supply BIOS error, or power supply error, ALL would prevent a display, and usually offer several assorted beeps.

    The startup file(s) associated with Windoze are corrupted. It's often a simple single file, or a few files, but it (or they) are critical. There are hidden files that are corrupted, and because I have DUAL BOOT in Windows and DOS on my systems, the DOS (6.22) partition preserves the Win XP BOOT INI and other files necessary for proper boot. If I have a crash, booting to DOS 6.22 (normally unused) and then reboot to WINDOZE usually restores the corrupted boot file(s) without even a "BURP!"

    Very few (recent) MoBo's will allow a system to operate or display if the processor is used with an improper heatsink; they will either shut down or simply destroy the processor.

    Even display of a "Blue Screen" will indicate that the video system, and at least parts of the MoBo are functional. and that the processor is operating within temp and voltage limits. If any of those systems were out of tolerance, there would be NO display, (and perhaps lots of smoke.)
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  14. KI6USW

    KI6USW Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not always; the psu can get flakey after heating up/time.
    Been there; seen that.
  15. WA9SVD

    WA9SVD Ham Member QRZ Page

    Certainly, the Power supply CAN get flakey over time. but if it's within the "start-up/bootup time, from a cold start it;'s not necessarily he PRIME suspect. A cold start meaning after a few hours, so that OTHER components can also power down and cool down. Almost instantaneous or short order failure or shutdown is indicative of a different failure circuit.
  16. AA7EJ

    AA7EJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    "So does anyone know of a workaround that does not involve reinstalling my OS? "

    1. How is your faulty HD partitioned?
    I usually have small partition with OS and than main programs partition and free space / partition.
    If you have a free space - install another copy of XP to it and than you could recover whatever is stopping you ( important stuff??) from putting an new copy of XP on the partition which will not boot.
    2. If your important stuff is really that important, install fresh copy of XP on another HD and then recover it from the unbootable drive.
    3. Learn about master boot record (MBR) and see if you can access it on your unbootable drive. It is not uncommon to have messed up MBR. This is where the boot process starts and from your description this may be the problem. However, you need to know what you are doing, otherwise it will get totally unrecoverable.
    4. If possible, copy your unbootable disk to another, just for safety.
    5. Does the blue screen have any error message on you can catch before it goes away?
    6. Unless you have backed up your registry, you may not be able to recover any programs anyway, only the data files.
    7. Unplug all unnecessary cards / devices / USB devices etc.
    8. Faulty video card is also a posibilty. Got another one?
    9.Do not waste your time measuring voltages if you are getting one solid beep on BIOS startup.
    10 . Some HP power supplies / motherboards have fault indicators. Does yours?

    73 Vaclav
  17. VA3CSS

    VA3CSS Ham Member QRZ Page

    What you have is a BSOD error, or Blue Screen of Death error.

    By default, XP will reboot on every BSOD. What you need to do is ask XP to stop that automatic reboot. This will give you time to write down the specific Stop error code.

    Armed with that, you know what to do to get the machine working normally again, and likely, without having to re-install from scratch.

    You mentioned in another post that you can get to the "Safe Mode" "Safe Mode with Networking" options screen. On that screen, usually at the bottom, you may see an option called "Disable Automatic Restart." Use it.

    If you don't see that option, then simply start it in Safe Mode. (It won't matter if you choose "with Networking" or not in this case.) Once you're in Safe Mode, you need to do the following:

    RIGHT- click on My Computer
    choose Properties
    goto the Advanced tab
    beside the "Startup and Recovery" heading, click Settings
    remove the checkmark at "Automatically Restart" and choose OK.

    Restart your PC.

    Now, when the BSOD comes up, you'll see a screen full of characters, most of which are irrelevant to you. But there will be one important peice of info. You will see "Stop" followed by a sequence of numbers and letters, such as 0x0000000d. There will be lots of other addresses like that 0x0000000d, but only that first sequence is important.

    Jot it down.

    Now, on a computer that still works, (even if it's somebody else's), you can Google the error: "Stop 0x0000000d" and there's your answer.

    I prefer to go to and search the Stop error there, as this way, you'll get the answer you need directly from the Horse's mouth. ;)
  18. KA9VQF

    KA9VQF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've done all that here is what the blue screen has to say:

    A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to our computer.


    If this is the first time you've seen this Stop error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

    check to make sue any new hardware or software is properly installed. If this is a new installation, ask our hardware or software manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.

    If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. If you need to use safe mode to remove or disable components, restart your computer, press F8 to select advanced startup options, and then select safe mode.

    Technical information:
    ***STOP 0x0000006b (0x000003A, 0x00000002, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

    I do not have the recovery disks that were burned when this machine was new and HP has finally answered my e-mail and they have no recovery disks available for this model. I do have the recovery disks I made when I bought my first HP Pavilion but since they are for that model they do not work in this machine.

    I have found some online from other sources but they are more expensive than I can afford. It really would be smarter to buy a new or at least other {different} computer.

    And of course, since Microsoft is no longer supporting XP they have nothing of help either.

    All the fixes on the Microsoft page seem to require the original setup disk. I borrowed a XP home edition disk from my neighbor but it does not work either probably because her computer is a eMachines.

    I have the bios set to boot from DC and it will boot the UBCD just fine when I have that disk in and boot the machine, but so far none of the things on that disk have worked.

    I can access the main hard drive in a limited way, I can get it to show me stuff when I type in 'dir' in the dos template on at least two of the things on UBCD but it will not list the files no matter what I do.

    Most of the programs on the UBCD seem to want to check stuff on the CD not on the actual hard drive.
    My brother in law brought me a disk labled “The Windows XP Recovery Disk 2003” but it has stuff for windows 95, 98, and 2000 on it and nothing really for XP.

    None of this stuff works because I can not get into the computer at all with any of it.

    The restore disks from my other HP do not work with this one so I guess all I can do is find a fresh copy of XP or maybe 7 and install that.

    This machine met the minimum requirements for 7 dual core 2 gig of ram and it has a 300 gig hard drive. The only thing wrong with installing some thing new or different is I will lose all the crap I had on the hard drive and I didn't want to do that if I didn't have to.

    Oh well, such is life
  19. KI6USW

    KI6USW Ham Member QRZ Page

    So long as the computer hardware checked out OK, I would just get another HD, plug it in, install your OS, and then use that to access your important files from the new drive. Sometimes, ya just have to go there. Unless your box is so old that it has seen better days - then yeah - replace it. Even if you end up doing that, hook up that troubled drive to access any important stuff you need to keep . . .
  20. KK4AMP

    KK4AMP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I offer no help for piracy.
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