bpzoom 17:47 27 Oct 2006

XP Home, 2.2gig processsor, Ram 1gb. I believe I have corruption somewhere, which causes the boot up to fail with a whole variety of messages. Similarly with start up from Standby. The machine runs well otherwiseafter several attempts at Reset. I have a XP system on the C: and to prove that there is a boot problem I have a second basic XP Home on a second drive D: without any drivers and without Service pack 2. Both systems share the boot problem. The two DHdD are clear of any corrupted areas. My next step is to blame the motherboard and replace it. My question please is this. There are never any boot up problems or with start up from standby on C: when this occurs soon after the machine has been running. However every boot or restart from standby always fails when the machine has been left, either switched off or on standby for several hours. For example every morning first boot or or restart from standby fails. What can possibly be the difference How can there be a difference between the two set of circumstances? Apart from temporature what else can change after hours being switched off or on standby that does not occur after a short interval of both?

  woodchip 17:56 27 Oct 2006

Sounds like Hardware if both have the Problem. Or Boot.ini may be corrupt. See if computer will start in Safe Mode, keep tapping F8 as computer starts the from list at the top Safe Mode in Safe Mode go into Windows Explorer, under the Root of C:\ you should see Boot.ini open it in Notepad copy and post the text hear. Put seperaters in between the lines or it will get mixed up

  gudgulf 18:10 27 Oct 2006

Probably a capacitor failing........this can be on the motherboard,the graphics card or in the psu.If once up and running it will work completely error free but once given a few hours to cool off it wont start up again without several attempts it certainly seems that way.

Similar circumstances with my pc 18 months ago proved to be the graphics card.NVidia cards in particular can cause this as the BIOS checks the card first and the pc will fail to boot if that detection fails.

Can be difficult to track down as the best method of finding the problem down is by substituting the components.

Are the error messages you get within Windows or in the BIOS?

Perhaps a bit more information about the pc,such as make,model, graphics card type,and age of pc might help us identify the likely culprit.

In the mean time it would be a good idea to switch off the pc,remove the case side and give it a clean out of dust etc and check that all memory cards and graphics card/pci cards and IDE cables etc are fully pushed home in their slots.Then restart the pc with the side still off and check that all fans are running......including the psu fan.

  bpzoom 00:49 28 Oct 2006

The computer is a hotchpotch of different components. The problems began when I dropped in a more modern motherboard, a faster processor and new memory, and the Nvidia GeForce4 all from someone elses PC, into my box and expected XP to accept the changes without a problem. I moved instantly from a much older machine to a 2.2ghz, 1 gb Ram faster machine, which then quickly developed boot problems. Belarc describes the main items as follows:-
System Model Packard Bell NEC P480411101,
Main circuit board NEC computers International SiS650.1
Bios American Megatrends 2.0J 11/02/2002
Nvidia GeForce4 MX 440
The C: system has all updates SP2 etc etc.
The boot error displays are many and various, here are a few regular ones.
1 Windows would not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:\system 32\config.sys
2. Screen display immediately says “Out of Range” followed by some values.
3. No display just the boot freezes half way through.
4. Windows blue screen with all sorts of dire warnings ie. The application failed to initialise properly, or Services .exe application failed. Or Bad_system_config._info
5 After a successful boot following reset "Windows Registry Recovery. One of the files contained by the system Registry had to be recovered by use of a log or alternate copy. The recovery was successful".
6.Once or twice Windows starts to load and then it reverts to the boot up again.
7. Boot gets as far as the Windows banner screen then goes to a black screen with no further disk activity. Reset produces a successful load after all the above occurrences, and the machine runs sweetly.
I think you are pointing at the Nvidia card as a likely source?

  bpzoom 01:01 28 Oct 2006

It won't go into SAFE mode via F8, it just reboots.

  gudgulf 01:22 28 Oct 2006

Initially,yes........but this seems to be more like a Windows problem.Thanks for the extra information.It helps a lot to know the full details.

By switching to a completely different setup whilst using an existing Windows installation you are asking for trouble.

You could get lucky but by and large you really should reinstall Windows from scratch when undertaking a complete hardware transplant such as you have done.

Your original installation still contains, and is expecting to find, all the drivers for your original setup and is probably getting confused by the new is possible to do such a transfer click here but the best way by far is to reformat and reinstall afresh.

I suggest you make sure all connections/cards are correctly fiited into the motherboard then try reinstalling before changing any hardware........if it was hardware you would not get into Windows at all.

  bpzoom 17:25 28 Oct 2006

Gudulf, You are right it was very risky expecting XP to accept a different motherboard, processor and menory. It should have been a clean slate start with XP. Since yesterday following what you have said previously I have unloaded the Nvidia from device manager, taken the card out and rebooted so Windows picked up the drivers for the onboard video. Closded down for 4 hours and it rebooted from cold without a problem. The acid test is the first boot tomorrow after overnight downtime. The downside is the DVD sound has become distorted and the Stanby option has vanished. If this cures the boot problem and tomorrow should tell after the first morning boot, maybe I will only need a new video card?

  gudgulf 17:45 28 Oct 2006

If it is booting correctly with the onboard graphics it could well be a proplem with the nvidia card.

It may be simply a bad fit in its slot and removing/reinstalling the card might sort it.

If not I'd continue using the onboard graphics and sort out Windows.Then if you still get boot problems with the nvidia card consider replacing it.

  bpzoom 09:46 29 Oct 2006

gudulf, following yesterday's successful boot after 4 hours switch off and without the Nvidia card, the early morning start (after 8 hours switched off) failed with System32 config.sys is either missing or corrupt. Back to square one, and it can't be blamed on the Nvidia card.I have to confess that the motherboard, Nvidia card, processor and memory all came from a Packard Bell system which gave continual problems to the owner before he threatened to bin it, then gave it me. I am paying the price for my foolishness. A new motherboard next I think.

  gudgulf 11:16 29 Oct 2006

"System32 config.sys is either missing or corrupt"

That message can occur when there are memory problems, or the system has shut down before the configuration files have been loaded back onto the hard drive from fact just the sort off thing that can happen with frequent system crashes.

You can try running the following commands from the recovery console if you have a full Windows disc.

"fixboot" and "fixmbr" (without the quotes)

Given your other problems though I would still be inclined to reinstall Windows from scratch and see if the pc is then stable before splashing out on any new hardware.

  woodchip 18:14 29 Oct 2006

You need to do a clean install

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