|"If you did NOT get ANY errors loading files from the Windows CD when you ran the Repair installation procedure, "|
What do I mean by that?
As in, when you run the Repair installation procedure (the same applies to running Setup from scratch), you should not get ANY errors saying Setup can't load or can't find a file that's supposed to be found on the XP CD.
The XP CD loads files initially before you see the screen where you can choose to press R or continue on to Setup where you can choose to Repair your existing Windows installation, if the choice is there (it may no longer be there when you try booting with the CD now - if that's your case see NO CHOICE below).
Once you choose to Repair your existing Windows installation, Setup loads more files from the CD. You should not get ANY errors saying Setup can't load or can't find a file that's supposed to be found on the XP CD, in Setup, at any time. Sometimes you may need to click on Retry, but if it still can't find the file on the CD it wants, that is NOT normal.
In that case you have a hardware problem, see BELOW below, and/or a problem reading from the CD,
See Response 7 in this:
"If your computer goes through a boot loop while you are trying to run the Repair installation procedure from the CD, you probably have a hardware problem.
As in - it reboots for no apparent reason before you see "Restarting the computer in xx seconds" or similar. "
After you choose the Repair installation procedure,
- if it does NOT complete the first stage of Setup, you do NOT see "Restarting the computer in xx seconds" before the computer reboots,
In that case you have a hardware problem, see BELOW below.
- if it DOES complete the first stage of Setup, you DO see "Restarting the computer in xx seconds" or similar, the computer reboots, but the second stage of Setup does NOT get to "Restarting the computer in xx seconds" or similar, and re-starts the second stage of Setup again, the second stage of Setup does NOT get to "Restarting the computer in xx seconds" or similar, and re-starts the second stage of Setup again, in and endless loop, you have a hardware or conflict problem. The most common cause of that is a poor connection of a card in a slot, a card that is not all the way down in it's slot, or a damaged card, or possibly, a PCI card other than a PCI video card is in the last PCI slot closest to the center of the mboard.
In that case, unplug the AC power to the case or otherwise switch off the AC power to it, remove all cards in slots and devices that are plugged into anywhere that are not essential for running Setup, and try booting from the XP CD again.
If the choice "Repair you existing Windows installation" or similar is no longer there when you try booting with the XP CD..........
Your hardware must be having no problems when you do this....
- You could try other people's suggestions, such as those in Response 2, but none may work now since you didn't successfuly complete The Repair installation procedure.
- You could attach the drive to another computer so you aren't booting from it, and copy all the personal data you don't want to lose to elsewhere. You don't need to be concerned about anything you can re-install because you have the disks to install it, the keys for (if that applies), or anything you can easily download from the internet again. Don't bother copying Windows files otherwise, that wereinstalled initially, or that were installed by you installing SPx updates. .
Your hardware must be having no problems when you do this....
Attach the drive to your computer again, and install Windows from scratch.
Then copy the stuff you saved back to your computer, or attach the drive to another computer so you aren't booting from it, and copy the data you saved, move the drive back to your computer.
- your XP CD must have at least SP1 updates built in in order for hard drives > 137gb manufacturer's size = 128gb in Windows and your mboard's bios to be recognized as their full size by Setup.
CDs with SP2 or SP3 updates built in have SP2 or SP3 printed on the CD. All the regular CDs with SP1 updates built in I've seen do NOT have SP1 printed on them, but the volume label - the name you see in My Computer or Windows Explorer for the CD - is different for CDs with no SP updates than it is for CD swith SP1 updates - you can look up the volume label on the web and find whether it has SP1 updates or not.
If it has no SP updates, and you DO have hard drives larger than 137/128gb, then you must make yourself a "slipstreamed" CD (preferably a CD-R) that has the contents of your CD that has had the SP3 updates integrated into it, and use THAT CD to run Setup. When you have SATA drive controllers on the mboard, you might as well integrate the drivers for that into the contents of the CD while you're doing that.
If your XP CD does not have SP3 updates built in, but it does have at least SP1 updates built in, the best time to install SP3 updates is after Setup has finished, before you have installed a lot of other software, especially anti-malware software.
If you do that, you are most unlikely to have problems while or after installing the SP3 updates.
If your XP CD does not have SP3 updates built in, and it does NOT have at least SP1 updates built in, you should install SP2 updates first, then install SP3 updates, before you have installed a lot of other software, especially anti-malware software.
Whenever you load Windows from a regular Windows CD (or DVD) from scratch, after Setup is finished you must load the drivers for the mboard, particularly the main chipset drivers, in order for Windows to have the proper drivers for and information about your mboard hardware, including it's AGP or PCI-E, ACPI, USB 2.0 if it has it, and hard drive controller support. If you have a generic system and have the CD that came with the mboard, all the necessary drivers are on it. If you load drivers from the web, brand name system builders and mboard makers often DO NOT have the main chipset drivers listed in the downloads for your model - in that case you must go to the maker of the main chipset's web site, get the drivers, and load them.
Load the main chipset drivers first.
If you were using passwords for any user, you will be denied access to certain personal user files and folders that were originally on your drive when you try to copy them on another computer, or when they have been copied back to your original drive in the new Windows installation.
How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP
NOTE: you probably have to reboot the computer before the settings you change actually take effect!
This can cause rebooting for no apparent reason....
Examine the mboard to see if you have bad capacitors, and/or other findable signs of mboard damage .
This was the original bad capacitor problem - has some example pictures.
History of why the exploding capacitors and which mboard makers were affected:
What to look for, mboard symptoms, example pictures:
Home page that site
- what the problem is caused by
- he says there are STILL bad capacitors on more recent mboards.
Pictures of blown capacitors, other components, power supplies, Athlon cpu's, etc.:
If you see no evidence of those things....
a faulty PS can cause rebooting for no apparent reason....
Check your PS.
Make sure the current voltage readings in the bios arewithin 10%.
Makesure thefan(s) on the PS is(are) spinning.
See response 4 in this:
If you find nothing wrong with the PS....
(the only way to rule that out for sure is to try another known good PS)
Since you have already tried re-seating the ram.........
Try a memory diagnostic utility that takes a lot less time to run a full pass than memtest86 does, this one is pretty good - Microsoft's Windows Memory Diagnostic:
It can be toggled (press T) to do a standard or a more comprehensive set of tests - use the default 6 test one first - if it passes one pass of that, use the latter one. A few of the tests in the latter set are intentionally slower.
If you don't have a floppy drive, see the Quick Start Information at that Microsoft link for how to make a bootable CD of the Windows Memory Diagnostic (you need Windiag.iso - you don't necessarily need to use the program they mention to add it to the CD).
If you get ram errors, that doesn't necessarily prove the ram is "bad".
Try re-seating the ram again, and cleaning it's contacts if you haven't already done that, and running the diagnostics again.
If you STILL get ram errors, that doesn't necessarily prove the ram is "bad".
It might be
- one or more modules is incompatible with using it in your mboard
- the bios Setup may not have the right settings for the ram you have installed.
If you STILL get ram errors, ask me about those possibiliities.
Once the ram passes the diagnostics tests........
Open up the case by removing the left side panel as seen when you're looking at the front of the case.
Check all the connections of the wiring to make sure they are all the way onto their pins and into their sockets, especially the main connector from the power supply. The wires close to the mboard going into the main power connector/socket should be more or less perpendicular to the mboard surface rather than at an angle. Make sure all cards in slots are all the way down in their slots.
While you're in there, if the cpu fan/heatsink has mung (dust, lint, etc.) on it, clean it off, but DO NOT use a vaccuum cleaner to do that (they produce a tremendous amount of static electricity when running, and anything connected to them can discharge that to your components) - use canned air, or an air nozzle if you have access to an air compressor, or an artist's brush that can be used in small spaces, etc. It may be difficult to clean the top of the heatsink under the cpu fan - the most likely place to have mung on it - and the bottom side of the cpu fan blades unless you remove the fan. If you have a case fan, clean that too if it needs it.
Also check for mung on the video card fan and heatsink if it has that, and the power supply's openings / fan.
It is common to un-intentionally damage IDE data cables, especially while removing them - the 80 wire ones are more likely to be damaged. What usually happens is the cable is ripped at either edge and the wires there are either damaged or severed, often right at a connector or under it's cable clamp there, where it's hard to see - if a wire is severed but it's ends are touching, the connection is intermittant, rather than being reliable.
Another common thing is for the data cable to be separated from the connector contacts a bit after you have removed a cable - there should be no gap between the data cable and the connector - if there is press the cable against the connector to eliminate the gap.
80 wire data cables are also easily damaged at either edge if the cable is sharply creased at a fold in the cable.
Try another data cable if in doubt.
Check your SATA data cables. The connector on each end should "latch" into the socket on the drive and on the mboard, or on the drive controller card - it should not move when you merely brush your hand against it near the socket - if it does, mere vibration can cause a poor connection of it - use another SATA data cable that does "latch", or tape the connector in place.
(There is a slight projection or bump on one side of the outside of the connector that "latches" it into the socket - it's easily broken off or damaged)
The same thing applies for the SATA power connection.
Check your hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostics.
See the latter part of response 1 in this:
(thanks to Dan Penny for this link:)
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities
If you don't have a floppy drive, you can get a CD image diagnostic utility from most hard drive manufacturer's web sites, but obviously you would need to make a burned CD, preferably a CD-R for best compatibilty, on another computer if you need to.
If the hard drive itself tests okay, any data problems found can be fixed, one way or another.