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.
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