Windows Won't Boot Up ... Keeps Rebooting

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Postby evasive » Thu Feb 20, 2014 2:46 am

check the boot order and make absolutely sure the harddisk is listed as 1st option, no opticals, network, add-in cards, usb sticks, external drives whatever. better yet, try power down the system, disconnect all the optical drives and power on to see if you still have this behaviour
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Postby Karlsweldt » Thu Feb 20, 2014 7:28 am

Was the replacement hard drive identical to the old one, or has a higher capacity? And what is the BIOS date of the system?
A BIOS should properly report the statistics of a hard drive, but if outside its limits, may fail to access it. The primary partition must be within the BIOS limits. It is on the primary drive header, correct?
Do as evasive suggested and let us know.
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Postby bdub » Thu Feb 20, 2014 11:51 am

in the root of the c: drive (besides regular folders), what do you see? you may have to show hidden and system files to see what I'm talking about (as well as show extensions, do both these through folder options, tools-folder options-view). you should see some files that have .bat, .ini, and .com for extensions, and you should have one that is just plain "ntldr". just trying to find what your missing.
also if you right click "my computer", properties, advanced tab, "startup and recovery" section at the bottom, settings button... what's it say when you open the "edit" notepad there?
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No Communication

Postby OneSpirit » Thu Feb 20, 2014 4:25 pm

I not only disconnected the optical drives. I used a different hhd 500GB WD I knew to be good. Formatted a section and tried installed windows with the same results so that should eliminate the hhd as the problem.

There doesn't seem to be any communication between the hhd and the mobo. Not hearing any spinning at all.

The hard drive I got as a replacement is the same size as the original. 80GB ... the BIOS revision date was 3.23 07/16/2003. V 6.0 Core version.

When .... and if I can get it back into windows I will check it out bdub. :-|
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Postby Karlsweldt » Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:53 am

Have you done a voltage check on the PSU output to the system? Use a digital type multimeter, use one black lead as common and probe the ATX power plug back. All voltages should be within +/- 1% ideally, up to 2% error is acceptable. The -12 volt source can be off by up to 1.5 volts, and still be good. But the +12 volts must be very close to that level, or there will be insufficient power to servo motors and other devices for proper operation.
The sound from modern drives is very faint, but still should be audible. Use a short length of tubing from your ear to the drive for improving the detection. If no indication of spin-up and warm-up sounds, then try a different power lead set. And if the +12 volts is lower than around 11.5 volts, suspect the PSU as weak or failing.
As to reading the hard drive directory, you can do so in the command-prompt window.. use the command dir C:\ /a /s /p which will show all files, directories and sub-directories, and pause for each page.
When done, just type exit To close the box.
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Postby bdub » Fri Feb 21, 2014 1:16 pm

I thought you could get into windows with the recovery cd in?
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Wipe the disk

Postby OneSpirit » Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:26 pm

Karl ... I switch out P/S a 300W for the 250W both acted the same and I am sure the 300W P/S is in good condition.

bdub ... I wipe the disk and was going to attempt another install before I used a known working hhd. I figure since the mobo is most likely not communicating with the hhd, a new mobo must be purchase and the hhd would have to be formatted for the new board. I figure it would not be a good thing to depend on the recovery disk to make contact. There is no guarantee it will last. If you think it is worth it I will install it again. :-|
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sat Feb 22, 2014 8:29 am

That 300 watt PSU may still not have enough output current. At least a 450 watt is recommended. Maybe it did work well before, with a lesser PSU. But for testing, use a more robust PSU to eliminate that as a cause.
Any time you take a hard drive from one system and try in another, there may be BIOS differences that prevent access. The only sure condition is when a drive is formatted in the system it will be used on. If the other system is 99.9% identical, then likely no problems. If an OS detects major differences in chipsets or features, it will go belly-up. You may get repeated BSOD "stop" errors, but may also get 'nothing'.
A BIOS date of 07/16/2003 should have no problems with an 80 GB drive.. but try a partition setup with 2 x 40 GB to see if you have success. If the cylinder/head/sector count is identical to the old drive, it should be accepted otherwise.
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I'll see if I can reinstall

Postby OneSpirit » Sun Feb 23, 2014 8:13 am

I'll give it a shot. Maybe if I can get back to the point where it will work with the recovery disk, perhaps it will run that way and last a bit longer.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Feb 24, 2014 6:59 am

One critical file for Windows is the boot.ini file. With only one OS installed, a typical file should be similar to this notation..
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition" /fastdetect /NoExecute=OptIn

You can manually edit this file, by going to the Control Panel, then System, and choose Advanced. There you will find "Startup and Recovery" with a Settings tab.
But make a backup of the file, before any tinkering with it!!
During the OS install, this file is created (along with the ntldr file) to convert the BASIC mode of operation to the needed platform for Windows or other OS types. The MBR notes its location for access. If improperly parsed, then possibly no OS initiation.
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