XP / Restore question

Discussion in 'Compaq' started by - Bobb -, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. - Bobb -

    - Bobb - Guest

    Two parts :
    1 - anyone know what is happening in XP Home when you see "Windows is
    starting ... " [ JUST before the user logon icons appear ( 2 users - no
    pwds)], and
    2. Restore CD - " Last saved" profile? or just Factory restore ? to fix a
    windows system file .

    1. Neighbor has pc in boot loop - tries - reboots-tries....

    I have same model (Presario 5420 ~2001 era) so put his drive in my PC to
    save his pictures/music etc in case needed to reinstall XP. When I put the
    drive in my Pc, ( cable select - his was second connection on primary IDE
    cable) I booted my drive and it announced - "need to scan secondary
    drive - was shutdown improperly" , so I first said no to see 'how bad is
    it" and XP saw nothing on the drive ( so serious issue). I rebooted , then
    chose " YES" to scan his drive and let it scan/fix his drive and I could
    then see his files when I booted my drive - copied his files to CD in case
    his disk was dying - all set.

    Now with his info saved, I rebooted and ON MY PC I have had 2 boot options
    on MY primary drive, ( I often have several drives in there) so I elected
    to now boot his ( as secondary drive). His drive booted up - looked good.
    I bought back to his house ( thinking I was done) and it hangs (his only
    disk drive). So I brought it home again, and, if I make it the ONLY drive
    in my PC ( as with his) using primary IDE cable - master connector , it
    hangs on my PC too - same spot. Not a hardware issue on his PC.

    So , as second drive :
    It boots, I see XP Home startup screens, 1 minute later dev mgr scan
    happens ( little boxes scanning left to right) , hear the beep, then video
    goes blank ( normal so far), and then an XP logo window appears: and
    HERE's where it's different -
    as second drive THAT XP logo screen shortly therafter ( 1 second?) shows
    "Windows is starting ... " ( in 800x600 font) and a few seconds later I
    see their 2 profiles ( logon icons).

    When it's the ONLY drive, I get to ' THAT XP logo screen ' ( in smaller
    font (1024x768?) ) and that's it. I do NOT get the "Windows is starting
    .... " info. It doesn't do that last bit. The 2 profiles are on HIS drive
    so - when it DOES work - it's fetching that logon info from his drive.

    At startup if I press F8 and choose SAFE MODE I see the SAFE MODE window
    but then same XP logo window and hangs then too. I tried SAFE MODE with
    command prompt - same thing.

    Can someone tell me - that far into boot - what is happening ? What files
    is it using ? Keep in mind it DID run scandisk and perhaps changed/deleted
    SOME file. I can't get a log file ( bootlog.txt) to work.

    It's ALMOST there and I don't know " what's NOT working?". Since I have
    same PC as he does, I can copy any system file needed - but what ??
    I'm debating renaming his system32 folder and copying mine into there to
    see if that works, but would like to learn hw to troubleshoot it.

    Since no Safe Mode, I'm assuming some system file damaged. I did boot my
    drive and rename his pagefile.sys in case it was corrupt. It created
    another when I booted as only drive - same symptoms.

    AND when his drive is hanging, I do a hard power-off and XP never notices
    that I powered it off. I EXPECTED it to announce- shutdown improperly -
    need to scan disk - it doesn't.
    Back in as second drive ( with another XP drive as primary) and still
    works fine.

    2. restore ?? With his pictures/music now saved, if I boot his Restore CD
    and go back to his last save, is there a chance that it will fix this
    issue ? I'm guessing that since it's a Windows glitch that I'd have to
    choose " restore to factory". Having seen the menus but never done a
    restore I'd just like to know what to tell him - other than " to be safe -
    buy a new disk"
    and after restore I'll copy XP to the new drive- and we'll put the
    original away.

    - Bobb -, Jan 7, 2008
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  2. * * *

    I would do a hard drive test, I like the one in speedfan, it provides raw
    information locally, and then does a comparison test on-line - Use the
    S.M.A.R.T. tab... ignore the fans speed hot rodding...

    I also like the idea of participation of adding more Hard Drives
    performance figures to to his growing database...

    Bobb, if anything looks a bit odd then I would go get the Hard drive
    manufactures diagnostic software...

    Ben, also had a different Hard Drive testing application that read the
    S.M.A.R.T. info... But that would be my next check, remember drives are
    reasonablly priced today...

    JR the postman
    Postman Delivers, Jan 7, 2008
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  3. - Bobb -

    Ben Myers Guest

    Download HDAT2 and run it. You will find out a lot about the health of your
    hard drive. http://www.hdat2.com/

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jan 8, 2008
  4. - Bobb -

    - Bobb - Guest

    Thanks guys, but my question isn't hardware/ disk-test related. The price
    of a new hard drive is immaterial. I'm just trying to see if I can "fix
    his drive" without wiping/reinstalling XP.
    And then about Quickrestore CD - if I boot it on his PC ( his restore
    partition is fine), will I see menu showing his backup points/dates or
    just "return his pc to factory software " ?

    Two parts :
    1 - anyone know what is happening in XP Home when you see "Windows is
    starting ... " [ JUST before the user logon icons appear ( 2 users - no
    pwds)], and
    2. Restore CD - " Last saved" profile? or just Factory restore ? to fix a
    windows system file .
    - Bobb -, Jan 8, 2008
  5. - Bobb -

    Ben Myers Guest

    The point of our recommendations to run diagnostics is that if the hard drive is
    failing, doing most anything else in software (factory restore, etc) is likely
    to muck up the drive contents even more. Or, at minimum, you will spin your
    wheels and waste time trying to fix a hardware problem with software.

    To state it differently, and to paraphrase Davy Crockett, make sure the hardware
    is right, then go ahead. Whenever a computer is flaky, if you do not have the
    assurance that the hardware is in 100% operational condition, then anything else
    may be futile.

    I could think up other ways of stating this important point about hardware
    reliability, but you should get my drift by now. Now run hard drive
    diagnostics, please, and let us know the results... Ben Myers

    Ben Myers, Jan 8, 2008
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