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  1. Big Daddy
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    Win2k won't boot, won't reinstall, nothing


    Hi all,

    Wow, I've got a good one... I am not an EXPERT at PC repair, but I know plenty. This one has me baffled, however. My brother came up for a visit and brought his roomate's computer. This computer has Win2k pro installed, but apparentley has not booted in nearly a year. Anyway, I told him I would take a look, and I did. Indeed, it wouldn't boot. It would start, but once it got to the Win2k splash screen, it would immediately freeze. The first thing I noticed was that at POST time, a quick message flashes by saying, "Primary IDE channel no 80 conductor cable". Now, at the time, there was a 40 pin cable attaching the HDD, but since then I have replaced that with a proper 80 pin cable. I am still getting that message. I have googled to little avail.

    I don't think that's the main problem, however. On more than one occassion, I got no video either. I systematically removed devices to try to see if I could find any shorts or other weirdness. I noticed that of the 2 128MB RAM sticks, one was PC133, and one was PC100. It's been a while, and I can't remember if that's truly taboo or not, but I did find out that when used one at a time, I have not had any video errors. If I only use the PC100, I get no probs everytime, and same goes for if I use the PC 133 by itself. Together, they cause erratic loss of video. Only the PC100 is in there now.

    Ok, when Win2k tries to boot, it freezes at the same time, EVERY time. After the black screen with the moving "blocks" at the bottom, when the Win2k logo and bluish screen comes up, it immediately halts with no fanfare or error. It also frezes at a similarly timed point when trying to boot into safe mode or Last Known Good Configuration.

    Ok, so I figured Windows was hosed completely. Tried to format and reinstall. No dice. I have tried (2) Win2k Pro CD's and an XP Pro CD, but every single time, it freezes when setup reaches the point "Setup is now starting Windows". It freezes... Every time... I am lost. Any thoughts? Boot sector virus? Bad karma? Please help, guys. This is driving me nuts! Thanks!

    Chris
    Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!
  2. #2
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    Contributing User
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    How about checking out your ram with one of these free diagnostics? Also, mismatched ram will cause problems.

    Windows Memory Diagnostic
    http://oca.microsoft.com/en/windiag.asp

    Memtest86 - A Stand-alone Memory Diagnostic
    http://www.memtest86.com/

    good luck
    Tom
  4. #3
  5. Big Daddy
    Devshed Beginner (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    Thanks for the reply, but that would only work if the machine would start. That's usually the first step to getting online to be able to use diags like that. No worries, I've determined that this machine is possessed, and have pretty much given up. Not a big deal.

    Chris
    Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!
  6. #4
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    Registered User
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    Just checking out posts and saw yours. I think you box IS possessed. Just for grins, is it possible to stick in a spare video card ? My curiosity tells me to disable the onboard chipset (if it can be done without being started up).
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  9. Big Daddy
    Devshed Beginner (1000 - 1499 posts)

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    Tried another video card. No difference. No worries. I took a whack at it, but the machine is back with the owner and I am out of it. He is going to try a brand new HDD. Not my business anymore. I agree. My vote is for posession. Oh well, I tried.

    Welcome to DevShed!

    Chris
    Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!
  10. #6
  11. echo $usertitle['computer'];
    Devshed Supreme Being (6500+ posts)

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    steal the hard drive, mount it in linux and have a go with a few tools then see whats up...
  12. #7
  13. Big Daddy
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    LOL, thanks computer, but the HDD is in the garbage somewhere in Maryland now, and I am in Boston. No dice! Thought about it, though...

    Chris
    Pop, pop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is!

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