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I need help bad !!

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  • Homebuilt
  • Windows XP
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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October 28, 2007 5:00:41 AM

Sorry if this isn`t the right place ask but i have a big problem with my pc. I put the thing together myself a few years ago and the only things i changes in the last year have been the vid card and ram, its been running without any problems for months.

Now today out of the blues, it restarted itself and i lost all control, it won`t get me in windows. I t gets to the windows xp screen and the next screen should be the ''pick a user'' screen but it never gets there, it restarts again, over and over, infinite looping !?

I can get into the bios but thats it. I tried with the win xp cd in to boot from it but it gets me to that page that asks how to start windows, safe mode or last know good config etc. Safe mode sounds good but it wont let me pick anything, when i reach that page the keyboard doesn`t respond and when the timer gets to 0, it tries to start up windows and again doesn`t make it pass the windows xp logo page, restart loop again.

So i basically lost all control over it, i would gladly format the darn thing but i can`t boot from my xp cd :( 
I don`t know if i have a virus or fried something but i`m clueless right now.
If anyone have any suggestion i would really appreciate it.

More about : bad

October 28, 2007 5:42:44 AM

If you can get hold of one, or have someone make you one, I know the files for a windows 98 boot disk can be downloaded from online. Make ,yourself a windows 98 floppy boot disk. Boot the pc from that, and be sure to load it with cd support. It should boot from that, then be sure to load your cd drivers. You should now be at a DOS prompt. Of course C: will be your hard drive. Or it should be.

There's a command called "dir"m note, don't use the quotations or comma. But that command should let you see what is in the directory you are in in DOS. Of course surely you know that if you want to change say to your d: drive in DOS, you would simply type d:

Now a note in case you don't know, sometimes in dos, your drive letters change temporarily. What you do find your C: drive, that should always stay as your primary drive.

To format, type

format c:

this will format your hard drive if that's what you want to do. If you want to do a quick format, you should be able to do it by saying

format c: /q

Now, the formatting usually this way will format your drive as FAT32, not NTFS that most people run. If you want NTFS file format, then either during setup of windows, maybe you can reformat to NTFS, or do some searching, because I'm certain at least with XP there is a command in the command prompt that will convert your drive from FAT32 to NTFS.

But in any case after you format, change your directory to your dvd drive, and on the old disks you could just type setup and hit enter and it would run it. But it may not with your cd since you said that's having a rough time. Another option is to cheat and do the trick with the boot disk I told you, then if you have like windows 98 or 95 laying around, install that using the method I showed you. Then install windows XP from inside the OS. That might work.

You also when you try to boot, go for the one that says "last known good configuration that worked" Sometimes you load that and all is well.

However your situation does sound like virus, so whenever you get into windows, make sure you immediately deploy a firewall, you can get zonealarm for free online, also deploy antivirus, AVG antivirus can also be found free online with free updates. Also, you will need to apply all updates to windows. I had something similar to what you are speaking up with an old version of XP that didn't have all the service packs, and you'd boot, it would get to the startup, and it would count down 30 seconds, and it would kick you out. Whenever you install windows again, do it without internet connected, have someone download zonealarm or similar firewall beforehand. As soon as you install windows, put the firewall on your PC, enable it, connect, this should protect the PC long enough to get your updates, then get antivirus do all updates, and as long as you keep the updates on, it should be fine.

Sorry for the very long post....lol
October 28, 2007 5:44:42 AM

Btw, try "last known good configuration" option before others, if that's successful, then immediately get firewall, updates and antivirus.
Related resources
October 28, 2007 5:48:31 AM

I can`t pick ''last known good config'' or any other option, keyboard just won't respond when i get to that screen. Sounds like formatting from dos might be the way to go. I'll google dos first thing tomorow.
October 28, 2007 5:50:18 AM

DOS is disk operating system. Give me a min, let me see if I can get you a link.
October 28, 2007 5:51:46 AM

o.O? Wait. Format? Why don't you see if un-upgrading your computer fixes it...why go through all the time of re-installing XP to find it's back in the infinite-restart loop anyway?

EDIT: My bad, I thought you had done a recent upgrade.
October 28, 2007 5:54:25 AM

Btw, I don't guarantee that this will fix it, but it's worth a shot. And like I said if you have to, if you have an old windows 98, me, etc disk lying around, install that and then reload xp from inside that OS.
October 28, 2007 5:56:15 AM

Well the last thing i changed was the video card and that was at least 4-5 months ago, i might have the old one somewhere.

Thanks for the boot link, i'll go buy some floppy tomorow and try to find a pc i can use.

I'm on my mom's laptop and it doesn't have a floppy drive :( 

October 28, 2007 6:00:20 AM

Man....one thing you may want for later, I got it off ebay, it's called PC wizard, it's a bootable disk, kinda neat. Lot of different utilities, I even tried it out, it's got a version of linux on it so if you get locked out like that, you can actually boot linux, and try to fix what's wrong through there...

Btw, on that website, I think they had a link for a bootable windows xp disk, you may be able to download that and reburn a new xp disk.....
October 28, 2007 6:02:25 AM

Yeah, forget what I said, it really only applies to problems that arise immediately after an upgrade, not more than a few days after.
October 28, 2007 6:03:59 AM

Did you install something prior to the problem? A conflicting program can do this too.

If you can access your BIOS be sure to check that you have it set to boot from the CD 1st. I find it strange you can't boot from your CD unless the boot device isn't your CD rom.

Don't use the recovery console just choose to do a repair installation and it should go thru the full menu of a clean install and when its done it will have reinstalled your OS and leave all of your files in tact. If its a conflicting program this should fix it then go in and uninstall any files associated with that program.

There could be a few other reasons for this. Let us know if none of these ideas work and we will go from there...
October 28, 2007 6:07:49 AM

First boor device is cd rom, my keyboard also works fine in the bios.

When i try to boot from the cd it get me into recovery console but the keyboard dosn't respond there.
October 28, 2007 6:09:27 AM

Don't feel bad man, it's all good, I know I just built a new pc and I'm thinking the board went bad, so got it exchanged for a new biostar board, haven't assembled it, but hoping it was only the board and not my hard drives or anything. Had used a very very cheap PSU, big mistake I think. But swapped it later for a better one, seemed ok, but started getting lockups and blue screens. Happened for a while, left pc off a few days, tried to boot one day, and BAM, no hard drives or dvd drives or even floppy showing up in the bios. So I'm hoping it was just the board, which I'm guessing, b/c the other parts I'd never had probs with before. So yes, my month old system was down, had to wait almost 2 weeks for my new board, but hey, it all worked out, now just gotta finish the new paintjob on my computer case....it's one of those old chieftec cases with a door and side window if you know what I'm talking about....

Ok, I'll stop highjacking the thread, Rick, hope this works for ya man. I got my degree in IT, but honestly I mostly learned by just what your doing, something messes up and ya gotta fix it.
October 28, 2007 6:10:15 AM

So the keyboard responds before then?
October 28, 2007 6:11:42 AM

Well i'm going to sleep on this one and get back at it tomorow. Thanks for all the suggestions.
October 28, 2007 6:11:46 AM

Stop and take a deep breath. If you want to wipe the data on your drive you don't need to use a DOS boot disk and load Win98. It looks like you might have a virus or corrupted OS. Remove all disks from the CD/DVDs. Right at the end of the BIOS screen hold down the F8 key. This should bring you to a boot screen. Choose to boot into safe mode with no LAN support and see if it boots. If it does you can try to do a Restore.
Click start->all progs->accessories->system tools-> restore. Choose an earlier restore point and cross your fingers. If you can't boot into safe mode, without using the XP CD, then your OS is probably corrupt. You could verify this by downloading a copy of Kubuntu that will load from the CD without writing to your hard drive. If you want to keep your data don't format, and in either case don't bother formating to FAT32 it is just a waste of time. There are bootable disks that will allow you to see your NTFS files and copy them off before you format.
October 28, 2007 6:11:55 AM

Ok so you can boot from cd though? Sounds like if you use the trick I showed you in DOS, format that entire hard drive, you might be able to toast that virus or whatever it's got, then you could try and reboot from the cd.
October 28, 2007 6:12:53 AM

Shawn,

Yeah keyboard responds in bios no problem, just not in recovery screen, weird.
October 28, 2007 6:13:41 AM

Oops, didn't see Zorg's post, but yeah, sounds like he's got a better idea. But now you've got a couple of ideas. Sometimes I like to format just to do a little housecleaning......lol
October 28, 2007 6:16:01 AM

Zorg, the only thing though, if he's got a virus, if he copies anything, He might accidentally copy the virus and have the same problem he's got. But...maybe if he can get a version of linux with an antivirus that he can just run off cd, that could be a possible fix as well......
October 28, 2007 6:17:23 AM

Housecleaning? When you clean out your house, do you throw away all your furniture, carpets, appliances, and anything else not nailed down? That's what your doing when you formatting the hard drive, not cleaning the house, but emptying it completely.
October 28, 2007 6:17:31 AM

Zorg,

F8 gets me to recovery screen where there's 3 different safe mode options, a last know good config option and a start windows normally option. That last one is highlighted and i can't move to the other ones since keyboard won't respond, i just watch the timer go down to 0 and it tries to start windows normally wich loops.
October 28, 2007 6:17:35 AM

Either way rick, good luck with it, sounds like you've got some ideas, There's usually always a way to fix it unless some hardware is toasted, which at least you don't have that situation doesn't sound like:) .

October 28, 2007 6:18:40 AM

rickbmb said:
Zorg,

F8 gets me to recovery screen where there's 3 different safe mode options, a last know good config option and a start windows normally option. That last one is highlighted and i can't move to the other ones since keyboard won't respond, i just watch the timer go down to 0 and it tries to start windows normally wich loops.


USB keyboard? try a ps2-style if ya got one.
October 28, 2007 6:19:04 AM

hhhmmm, one last thing, check your keyboard connection, if you have an old spare laying around, maybe try that just in case.....
October 28, 2007 6:23:08 AM

Does the keyboard work in the BIOS? Maybe try a different USB or as BCBoy said get a PS2 keyboard. I've never heard a Virus do that but I'm sure it's doable, and probably done somewhere. Either way do you want to save some files? If so, I'll find the NTFS boot disk.
October 28, 2007 6:25:22 AM

o.O? r u following me?
October 28, 2007 6:28:42 AM

Throwing everything yes, does it work, yes...lol. Works very well when you have 2 hard drives, just send everything you want to the second drive, the roast the c: drive....
October 28, 2007 12:34:47 PM

shawn26il said:
Zorg, the only thing though, if he's got a virus, if he copies anything, He might accidentally copy the virus and have the same problem he's got. But...maybe if he can get a version of linux with an antivirus that he can just run off cd, that could be a possible fix as well......
True, he would have to be careful copying. If he copied the files over but didn't open any of them then he wouldn't get infected. He could then run the scanner after he reloaded XP. I've saved email attachments and changed the extension to txt and opened them in notepad no problem, but you are right care must be taken.
October 28, 2007 10:46:28 PM

I would take the 1st advice and use a different keyboard. That is the cheapest way to work around. Usually a PS2 works best but if you don't have one then use a USB keyboard.

I have had that to be the case numerous times with similar situations. If it don't work the you can throw out your sofa... :p 
October 29, 2007 3:27:50 AM

I like to keep a spare PS2 around for the older mobos that won't allow you to get into BIOS with USB. Some Dells ship with a USB keyboard and yet won't allow you to get into BIOS with it. This might have been after a CMOS reset, I'm not sure, in either case that's ridiculous.
November 2, 2007 5:26:40 PM

Update.

I made a win xp startup disk at work, just tried it on my pc. I can boot from the disk and keyboard works with adapter usb to someting with pins.

Now all i have is A:, when i try to got to C: i get invalid drive ?? Is my hd fried ? I tried other letters but all i can go to is A: and B: wich seems to both be the same drive.
November 2, 2007 5:34:07 PM

Ummm.. did you make a dos startup disk (ahhh, n/m XP startup disk)? It won't be able to read NTFS.

When using recovery disk, if memory serves, you need to log on as administrator, with it's password too access the C drive.

It's been quite a long time since I had to mess with that. :oops: 
November 2, 2007 5:37:22 PM

I just right clicked on A: and picked ''format'', then an option screen comes up and i chosed ''create startup disk'' or something similar.
November 2, 2007 5:44:13 PM

rickbmb said:
I just right clicked on A: and picked ''format'', then an option screen comes up and i chosed ''create startup disk'' or something similar.


Try using the XP install CD, and use the recovery utility. Or, if you have nero 6.0, you might be able to make a bootable CD to use DR-DOS. I did that and was actually able to see my drives in NTFS. :D  . o O(thats how I actually flashed my bios)
a b B Homebuilt system
November 2, 2007 6:44:10 PM

Yeah, when I told you try boot disk, try making a windows 98 boot disk, that gets you down into dos, where you maybe can't see files in ntfs, but if there's a drive, you can format that sucker real good:) .
November 2, 2007 7:56:45 PM

ohiou_grad_06 said:
Yeah, when I told you try boot disk, try making a windows 98 boot disk, that gets you down into dos, where you maybe can't see files in ntfs, but if there's a drive, you can format that sucker real good:) .


Yeah, format into FAT16 or FAT32, not into NTFS.
November 3, 2007 2:36:07 AM

Ok now with the keyboad working properly i can boot from the win xp cd, i can also use f8 and load safe mode. I get an error message saying that a file is missing or corrupt, the file is ''system32\rivers\isapnp.sys

There`s a weird sign just before the word ''rivers'' but i don't know how to get it lol. The error message also says that i can go to the recovery console and try to repair it. So i boot from the cd, hit r to repair and then i'm at
C:\WINDOWS>

How can i try to repair it from there ?
November 3, 2007 3:08:11 AM

Ok googled how to fix that and done, i replaced the isapnp file with a good one from the cd.

Now i get this error message (grrrrr)

''the application failled to initialize properly (0xc0000005). Click ok to terminate the application.''

Clicking ok leads to a completely black screen with a mouse cursor. Not good.
November 3, 2007 3:19:29 AM

This thing is dead

This error message came back:

''Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt :
System32\*RIVERS\isapnp.sys''

The * is actually a white square rotated 45 deg.

If no one has any idea, i'll format the whole thing lol
November 3, 2007 3:42:07 AM

The keyboard trick would be the cheapest solution I would try. Also, I like Zorg's idea of running a live Linux to see if it's not a hardware issues. Ubuntu 7.10 allows you to access NTFS drives and burn the data to disc with the live CD.
Also, FORGET formatting with a Win 98 boot disk. It's pointless to format into FAT anymore considering you'll have to reformat to NTFS anyway when you reinstall XP. Also, it TAKES forever. It took a good 30 minutes with a 10GB HDD. If you really want to format and start over, download Gparted, burn it to disc, and then boot into it.

Ubuntu: http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download


Gparted: http://sourceforge.net/project/showfiles.php?group_id=1...

Edit: See the keyboard trick didn't help and for spelling.
November 3, 2007 6:23:33 AM

It's a bit late in the piece, and you don't sound like someone that's un-experienced, but did you try resetting bios to default?

November 3, 2007 6:36:46 AM

rickbmb said:
This thing is dead

This error message came back:

''Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt :
System32\*RIVERS\isapnp.sys''

The * is actually a white square rotated 45 deg.

If no one has any idea, i'll format the whole thing lol


Errr... So it can't see: System32\Drivers\isapnp.sys

Looks like the sub-folder drivers got corrupted. I'd say to avoid headaches a fresh install may be best. Although depending on how old the HD is, you may have physical damage on the disk. You could download the manufacturers software diagnostic to see if its actually having problems reading/writing.
November 3, 2007 7:57:04 AM

Maybe he deleted the Drivers folder, that would explain why it doesn't recognise the first character :lol: 
November 3, 2007 10:32:02 AM

oops...
Got lost here...
sry
November 6, 2007 1:52:25 AM

Get the manufacturers boot disk and zero write the drive, then install XP.
November 6, 2007 2:22:22 AM

I had a system come to my shop last week same problem. I told my customer only bring the tower as I have keyboard ect..... to test with. He brought it over and boom, it worked fine no looping. Turns out his mouse was crap and making his system restart. I would definately try a different mouse and keyboard. You can get a cheap set for $12.00 Any ways good for me because I still charged him $50.00 for 1 minute of my time.
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