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Intermittent booting problem of Windows XP

Last response: in Windows XP
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July 1, 2009 10:00:01 PM

My legacy 350MHz PII Compaq PC6400 (with 3844MB RAM) ran well with XP (Pro) for at least several months. It still runs well if I succeed in booting. But now it seems that I have to try 7 or 8 times each day (or even after several hours of Power Off).

Often it hangs at the Windows XP Logo (about half way through loading of drivers). When I retry in Safe Mode, it may or it may not work. If works, I do a CHKDSK and it never finds any problems. But then, when I Restart windows normally (just after the successful Safe Mode session) the XP booting completes OK and the machine runs just fine.

I have run several RAM and HD tests, in Windows or booting with a diskette/CD-ROM but I found no problems.

Does this mean that this old PC's motherboard will die soon (it's hopeless) or can I fix anything to eliminate the problem.

Thanks for any clarifying info.

tony1ac
July 1, 2009 11:33:21 PM

What`s the last thing u do it like install new software or device with driver, or tell us about is the last problem u faced it before this ?

2nd, how did u do CHKDSK ? details plz , maybe some thing wrong.
July 2, 2009 6:08:39 AM

pcexpertq8 said:
What`s the last thing u do it like install new software or device with driver, or tell us about is the last problem u faced it before this ?

2nd, how did u do CHKDSK ? details plz , maybe some thing wrong.


About a month ago I installed an IBM ethernet 10mbps card in ISA slot with good driver downloaded. Before that I had replaced the hard disk and filled up RAM (PC100) to 384 MB and installed USB 2.0 card in a PCI slot. Once XP completes booting everything works fine.

I ran CHKDSK (i) after booting in Safe Mode from command prompt (ii) from NTFS4DOS a utility in UBCD4WIN boot_CD (iii) scheduled run from Win-XP at next reboot. I also ran a full surface check with HDTUNE utiity. No problems were found.

This is my second PC, originally built about 1999. Its a bit slow but still OK to navigate the Net.

My first PC, a legacy Dell PIII "on steroids" is a bit newer and much faster. The Dell showed the "Intermittent Boot XP problem" only once during its long life.

I have recently replaced the CMOS battery on both PCs.

So, can this problem be fixed or am I seeing signs of machines that will die in the near future?
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July 27, 2009 10:03:30 PM

Here is answer to my problem:

-- A marginally defective USB 2.0 (AlI 4 + 1 ports card for PCI) purchased from SABRENT in 2004.

Although it seemed to work well WHEN BOOT COMPLETED, e. g. did a good backup with Norton Ghost to Corsair flash drive, it worked OK with some peripherals but not others. Also, when I tried to install it (in another partition) with apt driver in Win98SE, that working Win installation suddenly went crazy.

After removing said USB2 card, my legacy PC runs without problems both in Win98SE and WinXP. (Actually said PC to send this.)

Additional Query: Is there some software tool which does comprehensive hardware tests, not running in Windows, which could have found my problem and which can definitely help decide if the issue is Hardware or Software?

Thank you.

tony1ac
July 28, 2009 4:40:21 AM

Something that old with boot issues, my first thought would be the PSU. Do you still have the stock PSU in? What is it?
July 28, 2009 7:30:59 AM

It is still the original Compaq 200 watt PSU.

It's sufficient for the limited use made of this PC with limited processing power, graphics and RAM. As such, I never had PSU problems. If necessary, I move the data (using an Ultra external USB/Firewire HD Enclosure) to my stronger Dell PC and work there. Mostly, I have been using the Compaq to test a wireless network of 3 machines, so that I can check if my nephew (on another floor) can properly share my DSL connection. Happy trails.
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