Is this down to a defective hard drive?

  bremner 14:19 24 Dec 2006

Yesterday a friend called to say his computer was stuck in a loop and would not boot. He said he had also seen the system32\config\system is corrupt message. I went and looked at the machine and ran XP repair console and replaced the corrupt system file. Still it would not boot.

I got the machine into Safe Mode after a few failed attempts. I did manage to get the machine working ( I really don't know how) but extremely slowly. This was a fairly recently rebuilt machine with little on it so I took the decison to "start again".

Using the XP disk I reformatted and reinstalled Windows. I updated to SP2 using the cover disk from PCA. I installed and updated AVG & Windows Defender -the respective scans were clear. I activated XP and connected to the web and obtained all the Windows updates. I created two users and copied their old files, which I had backed up and virus scanned into the respective My Documents folders.

My friend collected the machine and once home connected it wirelessly to his WEP protected router and added his Mail accounts in OE.

He then installed Championship Manager 4. Later he was looking through Mail when the machine rebooted. The machine then returned to the loop and would not complete a boot. I went round and nothing I could do would get the machine to boot normally or into Safe Mode.

I have taken out the hard disk and viewed it on my machine. It is an NTFS disk and there are only three folders and the $system files showing: $Extend, System Volume Information and Windows - No program Files, no Documents and Settings nothing else.

I can only think that the hard drive itself is defective but a chkdsk reveals no bad sectors.

Has anyone experienced this before and can confirm a faulty HDD or has any other suggestions as to what has happened.

ps I intend installing a new HDD after Xmas for him to see if that is the problem.


  brundle 14:22 24 Dec 2006

Run manufacturer's diagnostics on the drive;
click here

  bremner 14:37 24 Dec 2006

Thanks for that.

I will try that when I reunite HDD and machine. I can not run it from the external USB caddy, I currently have the HDD connected through, PowerMax does not recognise USB.

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