PC will cold boot but won't restart

  Jem 19:57 19 May 2012

I have a Windows XP Pro SP3 PC which has developed a strange problem - I think after installing a number of Microsoft updates recently.

The PC hangs when it is trying to restart - i.e. as is necessary in some software installs or if you select the "restart" option from the "Shutdown" menu. However, if you let the PC shutdown and then press the start up button it will boot successfully.

The "hang" occurs during the POST sequence immediately after it has tried to boot from CD (which comes first in the boot sequence) and before the loading Windows screen. After a long pause it eventually reports "Boot disk failure - please insert System disk".

So the problem seems to be that it cannot boot from the hard drive C when it is re-starting but has no such problem when doing a normal start up.

I cannot use "system restore" to recover a previous installation because this requires the PC to do a hot restart. I would really appreciate advice from anyone who can suggest a solution.


  rdave13 20:31 19 May 2012

It sounds as it's trying to boot from the optical drive (make sure you have no CD or DVD still in the drive). Change the boot order in bios to HDD first then CD drive if no disc in optical drive.

  Jem 20:57 19 May 2012

Thanks RDave13.

Unfortunately I have tried this. When the hard drive is changed to 1st boot device it still hangs when trying to restart.

Really strange.

  robin_x 21:11 19 May 2012

Are you sure tapping F8 at cold boot doesn't give Repair/Restore options?

  rdave13 21:14 19 May 2012

Sometimes you get a temporary boot order menu from F8. Disregard this and enter the bios. Sometimes tapping the Delete key does this. Check what your manual states how to enter bios.

  lotvic 21:32 19 May 2012

Change cmos battery on the motherboard, worth a try.

  Jem 21:49 19 May 2012

The delete key gets me into the bios. I used this to change the boot order to put the hard disk first.

robinofloxley "Are you sure tapping F8 at cold boot doesn't give Repair/Restore options?"

Do you mean that I should look for a Repair/restore option in the bios?

"Change the battery" - will give this a try tomorrow although not sure how this would explain the problem.

Thanks for all the ideas.

  robin_x 22:28 19 May 2012

Sorry. I meant this from Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

(bout halfway down. 'If XP won't start' solution)

It may not work anyway, re-reading your OP)

  rdave13 22:50 19 May 2012

Something has corrupted the bios I think. lotvic's suggestion sounds good but either change the jumpers to reset the bios or remove the battery, wait for about 30 seconds, and replace. This will reset the bios to default.

  Jem 23:55 19 May 2012

Will try this and report back tomorrow!

  lotvic 00:06 20 May 2012

keep tapping F8 (twice a second) as the POST/bios is loading - black screen, white text - at cold boot (not a re-start) until it brings up a menu for you to choose options from.

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