Booting problem - think its the hard disk

August 1, 2011 at 13:28:43
Specs: Windows 7

I have a desktop PC running Windows XP. During the boot process it gets as far as the XP logo loading screen then the power goes off. I tried booting in safe mode but the power still goes off.

I suspected it was a problem with the PSU so I replaced it, but the problem remained.

I then tried booting from my Windows CD. This worked and asked me if I wanted to install a fresh copy of Windows. The problem with that is there is not enough room on my hard drive for another copy of Windows and I cannot delete the partition that is currently on the hard drive as this contains important information I need to recover.

As I was desperate to recover the data from my hard drive I purchased an IDE docking station to connect to my laptop. Fortunately the docking station has allowed me to access most of the files I need off the hard drive but wont let me access all of the files. ie. some folders won’t open.

The above leads me to believe it is the hard drive that is faulty and was causing the desktop to power off when booting. Does my assessment sound correct? And is there a way I can sort the problem so I can get my desktop running again with the same hard disk (without re-partitioning)?

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August 1, 2011 at 13:48:36
You could test your HDD with the free manufacturers hard drive utility available from the hard drive manufacturers website to make bootable floppies or CDs to thoroughly test your hard drive surface area, mechanics and electronics:

- Seagate/Maxtor (Maxtor acquired by Seagate): Seatools.
- Western Digital: DataLifeguard.
- Fujitsu: Fujitsu Drive Test (FJDT).
- Hitachi/IBM: Hitachi Drive Fitness (HDFT).
- Samsung: (HUTIL).
- Toshiba (Fujitsu, Samsung or Hitachi utilities may work).

MOOOOooove! OH and you're welcome!

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August 1, 2011 at 15:35:14
AFTER you recover all the file you need, put the drive back in the original pc, boot from the xp cd and run chkdsk

you can also run the other test from the original, as it seems booting from the cd is not a problem.


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August 2, 2011 at 02:45:59
Both chkdsk and the Seatools scans seem to run fine without finding any errors. There are still certain folders however that I can't seem to access on the Hard Drive using the docking station.

Does it sound like a Hard Drive problem or something else?

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August 2, 2011 at 04:13:09
Ok... I re-attached my hard drive but, where as the power always seemed to go off at the same time previously, now the power is going off a random times.

After switching the PC off and on a few times it now seems to be staying on so I am running a chkdsk /r on the hard drive.

As the 'switching off' seems to be happening at random times I am now back to thinking the problem could be with my motherboard or a loose connection. I have replaced my PSU with a brand new one so I don't think it can be that!

Any suggestions on how I can find out if its the motherboard?

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August 2, 2011 at 08:28:21
Does the machine power ALL the way off, or just reboot itself?

If it's a Seagate HDD and you ran SeaTools, and it didn't find any issues, sounds like the HDD is OK.

Check for bad capacitors on the motherboard:

Also check the wires INSIDE all of your Molex connectors (White plastic power connectors). Sometimes wires INSIDE the Molex connectors can come loose inside those holes in the plastic connectors.

You could have a component level motherboard issue, RAM issue (or RAM slot issue), loose CPU heat sink, Virus, Corruption etc.

MOOOOooove! OH and you're welcome!

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