When XP is booted normally from the hard disk the loading of windows is erratic and slow and very seldom achieves a good load and sometimes reports corrupted files.
However, if it is booted from the floppy disk using the identical boot files ( boot.ini ; NTDETECT.com & ntlder ) copied from the disc then all loads correctly. The machine works fine thereafter. I've run disk checker several times and there are no reports of disk errors and I have also disabled all the programs in startup using msconfig . It appears there is a timing issue when loading from disk. I would appreciate any suggestions to follow up on this problem.
Thanks Woodchip, however the "SFC SCANNOW" command does nothing not even interogate the CD!! With the Load from Floppy it gets straight into windows and the whole system works fine without my intervention.
Thank you very much for your inputs the problem has been resolved and turned out to be a hardware issue. I don’t fully understand why, but it has something to do with the configuration and a failure of a hardware element therein. The system has two identical discs; one configured as Master and the other in a removable chassis and set to Slave. The latter is switched on and off by a key switch which also allows the chassis to be removed. Up until now I’ve used this to provide a full back up of the master disc without problems. The normal mode of operation is with the power switched off to the slave unit and the problem was inherent in this config. Disconnecting the data cable to the slave unit resolved the load problem and I can only assume that there has been a component failure within this removable chassis. I'll now determine the actual cause. Anyway, thanks once again for your help.
PS. My version of XP home SP2 does not have a help file for the System File Configuration (SFC) yet my laptop does!!! Rgds,
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