Computer reverted to 3 yrs earlier

June 30, 2012 at 19:36:08
Specs: Win7, AMD 2.90 ghz, gb mem 32 bit
Is my other computer that is the problem. Ran malware bytes and AVG one night and when i came back, i had the problem screen, Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and disk hardware.

Then I hit enter and get two choices, both the same, WindowsXP home edition. If i select the first one, I go thru this all over again. If i hit the second one, which is the same, it will boot up.

Only thing is that it looks like it did quite a few years ago. And many apps are not there. Malware bytes and AVG also not there. It also says System Restore was not activated. I never deactivated it.

I have reinstalled malewarebytes and AVG and Kaspersky, found nothing except Kaspersky found two things of mild nature.

The computer is a homebuilt, AMD Athlon XP 2400+, 1.50 Ghz, 1.00 GB Ram.

It is not used much except by daughter who would like to get her I-Tunes back.

Any help appreciated . . .

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June 30, 2012 at 20:39:31
Tell us the make and model of your brand name system, or if you have a generic desktop system, the make and model of the mboard.

The model, sometimes the make, of a mboard in a generic desktop system is usually printed on the mboard's surface in obvious larger characters, often between the slots.

The specific model of a brand name system is often shown on a label on the outside of the case somewhere, or it can often be determined by going to the brand name's web site and loading a program they have available, if Windows is still working, on the subject computer.

If this is a desktop computer, is there more than one physical hard drive installed ?

Go into your mboard's bios Setup while booting the computer.

Are the time and date the correct current time and date ?

If NO, the bios Setup settings have been set to defaults including the time and date, probably because your Cmos battery is too weak or dead.
You must replace it. The + on the top of the battery must be visible when it has been installed.
After you have replaced it, the first time you boot the computer, you will see an error message "Cmos Checksum Error" or similar You must go into the bios Setup and set at least the date and time to current settings to get rid of that error while booting the computer..

When the bios Setup settings have been set to defaults, if you have more than one physical hard drive installed, if two drives both have at least one Windows installation on them, the default settings may be booting from the Windows installation on the wrong physical hard drive.

The fact that you're seeing a multiboot screen where you can choose one of two Windows installations - a screen you haven't seen for years - one of which works fine but did not have malwarebytes and AVG and Kaspersky installed in it, leads me to conclude that you have at least two hard drives and the bios is booting from the Windows installation on the wrong physical drive by default, and that you have three Windows installations on the computer - two on one physical hard drive, one on another physical hard drive which is the Windows installation you were using previously recently.

To fix that situation, AFTER you have replaced the Cmos battery and have set the current date and time in the bios..
In the bios Setup, there is either
- a list of hard drives - they're usually listed by their model number - the model of the hard drive you want the computer to load Windows from must be listed first in the list, Save bios settings
- or - there is more than one hard drive listed in the Boot Order or similar list - they're usually listed generically - the model of the hard drive you want the computer to load Windows from must be listed first in the list, Save bios settings

Whatever the other drive(s) listed are, the one at the top of the list by default is obviously not the right one. If you have only two physical hard drives, the choice is obvious.

"malewarebytes and AVG and Kaspersky"

AVG and Kaspersky anti-malware software each have at least one resident module - a part of it that is running all the time in the background all the time in Windows looking for suspicious activity.
You should NOT install more than one anti-malware program in Windows that has a resident module, because the resident modules are likely to CLASH with each other and cause you problem, unless you DISABLE the resident module(s) of all such programs except one.
The free version of Malwarebytes has a resident module but it causes no problems; the Trial and Paid versions DO have a resident module that can cause problems if it clashes with the resident module of another anti-malware program.

"Anti-malware" programs also applies to anti-spyware software, and third party software firewall software. .

Further info...

How to disable your security applications

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July 1, 2012 at 14:44:05
Thanks Tubes. Will do what you suggest as soon as I can and get back to you. Pretty sure I put the "old" drive in, meaning it has two drives, but only shows one. later, and thanks

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July 1, 2012 at 15:27:11
You could have the same problem if the only physical hard drive the bios is detecting is the "old" drive that has two Windows installations on it, but you have not mentioned that you were fiddling with hard drive connections inside the case or bios Setup settings before this problem happened.
(In some bioses you can disable detecting drives connected to a certain data connection; in other bioses you can't.)

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July 2, 2012 at 15:25:17
Ok Tubes, got some info:
It is a homebuilt desktop with 2 harddrives. Am in the bios and the date is good, 7/2/2012 but the time is 3 hrs older than current time.

the mother board is an Asus A7VBX-X
CMOS bat is CR2032. I have the same bat in another computer that i don't use anymore.

The bios shows Primary Master then Primary Slave.

I have not been inside this computer in quite a while.

So i will try and get a new cmos bat and install it then see what goes, right?

Wait a second.

Upon save and exit bios, it booted up and went into checkdsk-checking file system. Then booted WinXP again. Did NOT ask for which XP I wanted and I am now getting a reactivation notice which I just did.

My Computer now shows both C and D Drives as it did not before all this.

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July 2, 2012 at 15:52:14
Sounds like you need to replace the battery. The cmos is forgetting its brains. You going into the bios gave it back its brains. They just won't stay after you have turned off the computer until you replace the battery.

Answers are only as good as the information you provide.
How to properly post a question:
Sorry no tech support via PM's

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July 2, 2012 at 19:38:04
If the time was out of whack, the Cmos battery is probably too weak.
Some bioses show you what the current Cmos battery voltage is in the Hardware Monitor or similar part of Setup . That's 3.3 v when it's new, for a "button" battery such as the CR2032.

I replaced a Cmos battery in a friend's computer I was working on a few days ago because the bios wasn't retaining the current time and date, but it was still retaining some other non-default settings that don't need to be updated once you've set them. The battery turned out to read 2.x volts on a multimeter.

"It is a homebuilt desktop with 2 harddrives"

"My Computer now shows both C and D Drives as it did not before all this."

The drive letters assigned to drive partitions are not "written in stone" in XP, and you can't treat a physical drive the same way as a logical drive that a drive letter is assigned to in Windows unless the physical hard drive has only one partition on it.

- if the bios loads the Windows partition you were recently using from the hard drive that has only one Windows installation on it, it sees itself as having been installed on C.
- if the bios loads either one of the Windows installations on the "old" drive, if they were both working properly, they each see themselves as having been installed on C That Windows installation will see the other Windows partition on the same hard drive as having a drive letter other than C.

In both cases, that's assuming they were assigned C when Setup was run. They may not have been

- if there are one or more existing partitions on any hard drive in addiition to the one you're installing Windows on when you run Setup that were made by Windows 2000 or higher that are detected by Setup, the new Windows installation of 2000 or XP will NOT see itself as having been installed on C - the drive letter assigned will the f the first one alphabetically AFTER the ones that have already been assigned, unless you have deleted the partition that was originally assigned C and that's the one you installed Windows on.
- Windows 2000's and XP's Setup assigns C to the partition Windows was installed on if it's the only partition detected by Setup, if any only if the IDE drive is connected to a Primary IDE header and has been set to Master or is detected as Master.
E.g. If an IDE CD drive is jumpered as or is detected as Master, an IDE hard drive with one partition is connected to the same data cable and IDE header is jumpered as or detected as Slave, the CD drive will be assigned C, the hard drive partition Windows is installed on will be assigned D.

Vista's and Windows 7's Setup uses different drive letter assignment rules. The first installation of the partition Windows is installed on on a computer will always see itself as being on C, whether there are other existing partitions that have been previously assigned drive letters by 2000 and up or not.

Windows 95's to ME's Setup uses different drive letter assignment rules.

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July 3, 2012 at 14:46:59
installed new cmos batteyr and all is well .I set the time and date. Reboots the right way now but for an instant i am getting a screen that has the PCI device listings. Any way to avoid that?

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July 3, 2012 at 17:58:37
We're glad to hear that you solved your problem.

Is that with default bios settings ?

"for an instant i am getting a screen that has the PCI device listings"

It's the I/O device settings, etc. That's normal , assuming default bios settings are running the ram at the highest possible speed (e.g. DDR2 1,066 mhz ram may be runnnmg at 800 mhz with default settings when the cpu can use 1,066 mhz), but if you don't want to see that you could look in the the bios Setup and enable a logo screen to cover that up, if that setting's there.

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July 3, 2012 at 18:06:22
ok and thanks for your help.

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