WinXP dead install or dead HDD?

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WinXP dead install or dead HDD?

Postby OldPhatDad » Sat Feb 02, 2013 4:09 pm

So I tried to reboot my computer and I get a stop error:

STOP: 0x0000007F (0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)

I googled this and most results seemed to indicate it could be the system's memory. So I tried new memory in the board and ran Memtest86+ as well. No errors with Memtest. Machine still won't boot.

So I tried a Linux Live CD and was able to salvage some files.

So then I tried to reboot and see if I could get back to desktop in XP. Sometimes it will go to desktop but before I can do anything I get the STOP error again. Once, before it went that far, it went straight to CHKDSK and started indicating that it was deleting files and moving some to other folders.

Now, when I finally get it to attempt to boot, I get an Active Desktop Recovery screen. If I try to get it to restore the active desktop I get an error. If I tell it to run scripts anyway or if I tell it to not run scripts, I get the STOP error again.

So I figured I'd try a repair. Popped the install disc in the drive and started it up. But I don't get the repair options. Once it loads all the drivers and files, it immediately starts up XP and I get the STOP error again. I don't even get the choice of whether or not I want to do a fresh install (and at this point, I figure reinstalling the OS is the only option).

So, in light of that, am I dealing with a dying hard drive or is there something else going on? I'm stumped. Rig is in the sig.
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Postby bdub » Sat Feb 02, 2013 7:50 pm

7f could show that the board's sata controller is not in the right state for what the OS is ready for. for instance if you formatted the os in IDE mode, and the boards sata controller got changed to RAID or AHCI mode, then the OS doesn't have the driver installed to run on that mode.
i've seen it also happen in reverse, an OS ready for AHCI, but mobo changed to run IDE... stop error 7f.
this could have come from the bios being reset with jumper, or your bios battery dying and therefor self-clearing itself everytime you take the power off the power supply.
check your bios's sata control setting.

with your repair attempt, it sounds like maybe the install disk is never being hit... maybe the optical drive is not inline to be booted first? or the install routine is not seeing an hdd because, once again, the sata controller is set wrong, and you did not supply the "f6" driver that is needed to see drives in ahci or raid mode on that controller.
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Postby evasive » Sun Feb 03, 2013 2:24 am

replace CMOS battery first.
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Postby OldPhatDad » Sun Feb 03, 2013 7:23 am

Awesome! Thanks for the input, guys. I'll grab a new CMOS battery today and give that a shot. I'll post back when I get a chance to test it out and let you know if I meet with success.
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Postby Karlsweldt » Sun Feb 03, 2013 10:45 am

The CMOS or BIOS battery typically is good for about 3 years.. depending on use. If the PSU receives mains power, then a stand-by +5 volt circuit will power essentials.. such as USB ports and the CMOS memory circuit. The battery is only as a backup for when no power is available to the PSU.
But while inside the case, look over all the capacitors on the mobo. If any show signs of domed tops, excessive leaning or leakage, they are bad. More info at www.badcaps.net/ . Recapping a mobo is not all that hard. You need exact replacement low-ESR class capacitors and good soldering skills.. plus patience! A soldering gun or iron rated at around 100 watts or more is recommended, to "get in and get out" with the heat so as to avoid damaging nearby components or circuits.
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Postby OldPhatDad » Sun Feb 03, 2013 11:34 am

Okay, it's not the CMOS battery (I guess that would have been too easy).

Karl: I checked the capacitors and they all look perfect.

bdub: I can't imagine it would be the sata controller, as I changed nothing in the BIOS nor did I fiddle with the board drivers. The machine was fine until this occurred.

I'm really starting to think it's either a screwed HDD or my OS install is somehow completely borked (virus/malware, maybe? Everything scanned fine a few days ago though).

Anyway, I'll check out the sata drivers and if that doesn't work, then unless anyone has some other ideas to try I guess I'm going to install a brand new HDD and go for a fresh OS install.

Thanks all for the help and suggestions. It's greatly appreciated.
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Postby OldPhatDad » Sun Feb 03, 2013 3:00 pm

Update: I got to desktop!

Went into the BIOS after it was reset to default from switching the CMOS battery and after checking out various settings, I noticed that with AHCI off, the sata ports (in IDE mode) were set to 'legacy IDE'. I changed that to 'native IDE' and it worked!

Installed the latest chipset drivers and now deep scanning the drive for viruses, just in case. We'll see how that goes and if all turns out well, I'm good to go. I may just do a clean install anyway though, just to have a fresh start without all the clutter I've accumulated over the years as well as just for the piece of mind knowing it's a clean system.
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Postby evasive » Mon Feb 04, 2013 12:37 am

So it sounds like the original CMOS battery did lose its charge, lost the settings and set your SATA controller to the default "legacy IDE" causing problems. Thanks for the feedback, I'll put this on the list of possible problems caused by a flat CMOS battery :) It's growing rapidly these days...
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Postby Karlsweldt » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:36 am

A CMOS or BIOS battery.. or any other type that is Li-Ion or Ni-Cd.. has a sharp drop-off when the charge life begins to end. Other types of batteries have a "soft" drop-off (alkaline or lead-acid).
While the CMOS memory circuits require only around 2.5 volts to maintain paged memory, that is a threshold that may be compromised when a battery (or other power source) weakens. The feed for the BIOS and CMOS power is divided by diodes and resistors, to effect a steady and precise voltage level. One diode feeds from the +5 volt stand-by source, another diode feeds from the resident battery. If either source fails, the other is always there. The diodes prevent back-feed to the other sources. Zener diodes maintain the desired voltage level, and resistors limit the current and voltage.
If no AC power enters the PSU, then the +5 volts stand-by is lost quickly. If the CMOS battery is "old" and near its end, then very likely the BIOS settings will revert to default.

Reference: CMOS circuitry.. http://www.fairchildsemi.com/an/AN/AN-77.pdf
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Postby OldPhatDad » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:08 am

Well, back to the drawing board. I shut my rig down last night and when I restarted this morning... STOP Error. So it wasn't the BIOS settings or the CMOS battery, it seems. I checked the BIOS and it's still set the same way it was when I had the last successful boot up. So since I'm picking up a new HDD today anyway, I guess I'll just do a fresh install on the new drive.
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