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Startup problems

 
 
Me
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      05-11-2013
Startup problems



Problems with starting had been experienced for more than a week. My OS, Windows XP Home, has been reinstalled two times in the
last few days because of the startup problems; however, they are still occurring.



Yesterday I performed FIXMBR successfully from the recovery console with no change to the startup problems.



I suspected that I would experience some startup problems today so all external USB hard drives had been removed. So today's
startup from cold:

At first attempt the message appeared,

A DISK ERROR OCCURRED

PRESS CTRL + ALT + DEL TO RESTART

I pressed Ctrl+Alt+Del and restarted.

The second attempt gave me an identical result to the first, so I restarted again.

The third attempt, after quite a while stuck on the post screen, went to a black screen, lingered on the black screen for quite a
while, then a white strip appeared across the bottom of the screen and lines flashed across it from left to right, very similar to
the strip that appears when starting Windows 2000, then the computer started, but showed a welcome screen with a window requiring
a password before going any further. I do not use the password procedure.

I suspect that what's happening is that for some reason the computer is unable to read/utilise the correct startup files and is
therefore using alternate startup files included in the system as a redundancy. Is this correct?

Sometimes it still fails to completely start even after doing the Ctrl+Alt+Del procedure numerous times, so I press the power
button for 4 seconds to manually shut down and so far after doing that several it times has started. I am concerned that one day
it may fail to start no matter what procedure I use.



Why is it happening? How can I get the computer to resume normal startup?



Thanks in advance for any and all assistance.



Cheers

Buck



 
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Paul
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Posts: n/a
 
      05-11-2013
Me wrote:
> Startup problems
>
>
>
> Problems with starting had been experienced for more than a week. My OS, Windows XP Home, has been reinstalled two times in the
> last few days because of the startup problems; however, they are still occurring.
>
>
>
> Yesterday I performed FIXMBR successfully from the recovery console with no change to the startup problems.
>
>
>
> I suspected that I would experience some startup problems today so all external USB hard drives had been removed. So today's
> startup from cold:
>
> At first attempt the message appeared,
>
> A DISK ERROR OCCURRED
>
> PRESS CTRL + ALT + DEL TO RESTART
>
> I pressed Ctrl+Alt+Del and restarted.
>
> The second attempt gave me an identical result to the first, so I restarted again.
>
> The third attempt, after quite a while stuck on the post screen, went to a black screen, lingered on the black screen for quite a
> while, then a white strip appeared across the bottom of the screen and lines flashed across it from left to right, very similar to
> the strip that appears when starting Windows 2000, then the computer started, but showed a welcome screen with a window requiring
> a password before going any further. I do not use the password procedure.
>
> I suspect that what's happening is that for some reason the computer is unable to read/utilise the correct startup files and is
> therefore using alternate startup files included in the system as a redundancy. Is this correct?
>
> Sometimes it still fails to completely start even after doing the Ctrl+Alt+Del procedure numerous times, so I press the power
> button for 4 seconds to manually shut down and so far after doing that several it times has started. I am concerned that one day
> it may fail to start no matter what procedure I use.
>
>
>
> Why is it happening? How can I get the computer to resume normal startup?
>
>
>
> Thanks in advance for any and all assistance.
>
>
>
> Cheers
>
> Buck


Do you have a backup copy of the C: partition ?

It sounds like the disk may be in bad shape.

I wouldn't go a step further, without checking my backup status.

If you don't have a backup hard drive, you can pick up a
disk enclosure with USB interface for the job. That's what
I use here, for backing up my laptop. The backup drive should
be as big as, or bigger, than the suspect disk.

Once you tell us you have your backup copy made, then
there are a few things you can try.

*******

You can use the Health tab in HDTune, to check the hard
drive S.M.A.R.T statistics. If drive failure is imminent,
the evidence may be in there.

http://www.hdtune.com/files/hdtune_255.exe

In this example, Reallocated Sector Count is showing "98% life".
Basically, once it goes below 100%, you have to watch it
very carefully (for growth rate). On a drive here, it lost
several percent in only a couple days, which meant I replaced
it in a hurry. It won't just go linearly down to zero,
like the gas gauge on your car. The disk could die at any
time - even if it said "50%" it could die instantly. When
it says "100%", that still doesn't say things are perfect,
but at least you don't have an immediate worry.

http://forums.seagate.com/stx/attach...7/1/hdtune.jpg

HDTune also allows you to scan for bad blocks, by doing a
read surface test. Since the disk has automated bad block
replacement, you would normally not expect to see any
"red" blocks in there.

*******

The reason for this care, is to help to decide what to do next.

If the drive is not healthy (and your symptom description
already tells me it may be too late), then if you use
an "in place" repair utility, it can do even more damage
than you've already got. For example, if you run CHKDSK
to repair the file system, if the disk is not healthy, any
writes to the disk that CHKDSK does, could cause data loss.
CHKDSK should only be run, if the evidence suggests the
dish is still healthy.

If the disk was 100% healthy, and passed all your physical
checks, then you could afford to be a bit more adventurous.
But if the disk is sick (worrying signs in HDTune), your
very first priority is getting the data off the disk.

The "ddrescue" at the end of this page, is an example of
an approach for data rescue, when the disk is near dead.
It helps scavenge as many sectors as possible, copying them
to a known-good disk drive. This tool doesn't have a nice
GUI, which is why you'd likely need help with using it.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/Damaged_Hard_Disk

Paul
 
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