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Thread: Win XP failure

  1. #1
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    Win XP failure

    HI All,

    My computer running Windows XP Professional seems to have suffered a Grand Mal seizure, on boot 2 days ago it perceived it had some sort of problem and spent half the day running Scandisk and reallocating bad sectors, once it finished it then proceeded to Start Windows and failed.

    Starting windows gets to the last black screen before start and the system freezes, tried to start in “safe mode” and it froze and would not start safe mode, all this consisted of numerous attempts without success.

    My next fall back was Acronis Home Image,as I had made numerous backups since the last clean install, booted from the Acronis Rescue Disk found an appropriate Image and started the restore process, Acronis froze up during the process - this occurred over several attempts - back to square one!

    My next answer was “Fred Langa’s ” Non destructive repair, all proceeded well till it got to screen “11” then it brings up a dialogue box “Please Insert the Compact Disk Labled “Windows XP Professional Service Pack 3 CD into your CD-ROM Drive and Click OK”,

    I don’t have a Service Pack 3 CD, so I went to the Microsoft site on another computer and downloaded a copy of Windows XP Service Pack 3 and burnt it to a CD, the file downloads as an .exe file (click setup to install) inserted the CD into the computer and it will not read the file it requires from it and asks for an address, doesn’t matter what I enter it will not scan the file on the CD!

    My next attempt was to do a Clean Install, again without success when you do it defaults back to the repair option and again wants Service Pack 3!

    Does anyone know how to get the files it wants out of the Service Pack .exe file?

    Next Option is to format the “C” partition and then reinstall XP - how to format the C partition?

    The computer doesn’t have a floppy drive so I can’t use a Win 98 floppy even if I still had one.

    Any not too technical ideas would be welcomed, I haven’t delved into the computer repair bit for many years and am getting a bit long in the tooth to comprehend much of the more tech stuff.

    Thanks

    Max

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  3. #2
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    One thing you might do is download an ISO of SeaTools for Dos and burn that image to a CD and boot with it and test the drive with that and see what it says about drive health. Long test if it's offered as a choice (or don't bother if short test says it's bad).

    Restoring an Acronis image looks to be the best option but lets see if the drive is well first. No use in whipping a horse if it's croaked.

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    Maximum1812 (2013-11-01)

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    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Most imaging software will not succeed in creating an image from a disk that has bad sectors, and also fail in attempting to restore an image to a disk that has bad sectors. It's great that you have an image you can restore, but the disk is the question, as F.U.N. pointed out.

    Follow his advice, and if the disk proves to be bad, get yourself a new HDD and restore you image to it. Over the years, I've done this successfully a number of times.
    Create a new drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "Let them that don't want it have memories of not gettin' any." "Gratitude is riches and complaint is poverty and the worst I ever had was wonderful." Brother Dave Gardner "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else." Sir Thomas Robert Deware. "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?" Captain Jack Sparrow.
    Unleash Windows

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    Maximum1812 (2013-11-01)

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    There is also a chance that you have experienced a ram module failure. If some bits in the ram module have become defective, the system will freeze when trying to use those bits.
    Michael

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    Maximum1812 (2013-11-01)

  9. #5
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    Thank you for your replies and advice, I suspect it is a HD failure as that is what it was checking at the time it died, I will download the utility suggested by F.U.N and proceed from there,thanks bbearren & Michael for your help - will report back when I have a result!


    Max

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    Update!

    I downloaded the ISO of SeaTools for DOS and ran that on the drive, no problems found in both short & long test. So drive OK I again tried to install an Image, again without success.

    So back to the “Fred Langa’s ” Non destructive repair option, went through the routine again however when it asked for the Service Pack 3 CD, I just put in the Windows CD and pressed OK, it went on its merry way and completed the repair.

    Then of course "Bill" decided it needed 135 "Band Aids" which created its own set of problems, after a lot of stuffing around the system is up and running again, and a lot faster as well!

    Thanks for your assistance much appreciated!

    Max

  11. #7
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    That's a very good result. Sounds like you need to iron out the image problem though since this is exactly the situation it's supposed to come to your rescue.

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    If I was in your shoes, I would make a new image of the working system. Then I would take turns trying to restore both the new and older images. If the new image restores properly, then there was a problem in the previous system that got transferred to the older image. Its rare, but, it does happen. If neither can restore, then there is something kaput in your imaging program.
    Good luck
    Michael

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    You may want to try running CHKDSK if you can get to a command line. I recently restored a laptop that crashed after an update. this was after Office Depot declared the HDD dead and unrecoverable (idiots). I pulled it and connected it to my desktop to run it. It took a bit of time, as it was a 750GB drive, but when it was done it had repaired some sectors, then when I booted it went into repair mode, then booted up and all was good.

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    I had the Acronis Drive Manager running on my XP and it said that both of my old drives were bad. After I replaced the drives with a new WD one and cloned it with Acronis True Image, the old drives no longer needed replaced according to Drive Manager. Something seems fishy to me!

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    Drive imaging beats file imaging

    OK, maximum1812,

    so you had a corrupted file rather than a bad disk. Your takeaway from this, though, is that you can't get to your backups if they're on your boot disk and you can't boot. Ditto for Restore Points.

    I'd strongly suggest that you give up on making file images (backups) and begin doing drive imaging. You already have the Acronis drive imaging software for cloning your hard drive; buy yourself at least two more drives and regularly (weekly?) clone your boot drive to one of your backup drives.

    One easy way to do this is to use a SATA/PATA/IDE Drive to USB 2.0 Adapter Converter Cable, available on Amazon and elsewhere for under twenty bucks. I believe that newer versions of Acronis support cloning to external drives.

    If the cost of two new drives is a bit much, think about the agony you have endured lately and put a dollar value on it. You can also look for factory refurbed units; since you'll only use them for an hour or two every other week, they should last forever.

    With cloned drives, here's your worst case scenario: (1.) Your system won't boot (2.) Replace unbootable boot disk with clone disk (3.) Boot with a high probability of success (4.) If clone boot fails like the original, you have eliminated your disk as THE problem.

    What's not to like?

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    Max
    I think what you needed for the repair install was the XP install disk with SP3 integrated into it. I have done some repair installs on XP in the past. I found you needed a disk that was slipstreamed with most of the hotfixes that were in the install you were trying to fix. If your disk was very far out of date it wouldn't complete. The places I used to get the update packs have all given up since XP is on the way out.
    Joe

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