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CONFUSED - hard to even explain properly

Last response: in CPUs
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January 16, 2010 1:26:48 PM

I'm working on an e-machine running XP, and out of the blue it will not load past the login page.
It says "applying personal settings" then logs back out.
Will not load in any mode, so I can't access anything on the computer to try and fix.
Here's the weird thing: i took the HD out and put it in my own computer, but would still not load, in fact...it won't even get to the login page!
I was thinking bad HD, but when I tried my own HD from my computer and put it in the e-machine, it wont load either!
Why doesn't my good HD not work on the e-machine?
Why does the HD from the e-machine not work in my computer?
I know this may sound confusing, but when I put the good (my own) HD in the e-machine in theory it should have worked
BOTTOM LINE: the good HD will not work on the e-machine leading one to believe that there is a problem relating to the unit it'self and not the HD true?
Then why doesn't the HD from the e-machine work on my own computer which has no problems?
Do I have a bad HD and a MB too or some other kind of multiple problem?
The HD from the e-machine has to be bad or else it would work when I put it in my own computer, but I can't figure out why my own HD would not work when placed in the e-machine
Any help would be appreciated

a b à CPUs
January 16, 2010 1:55:50 PM

YOu can not move HDDs from one system to another and expect them to work as a boot drive - The OS will have different drivers on each system so taking a working HDD from one system and placing it in another will not work - Unless the 2 systems are completely identical which is very seldomly the case. (you can place them into another system as a second HDD so that you can look at or copy files off of the other drive but you can not use it to boot windows !!)

You say the system was working before correct ?? - It sounds like one or more of the system files has become corrupted - try booting from your Windows install disk and then run a repair install of the OS or if you do not have a windows disk try to boot into safe mode and do a system restore to have it replace the system files to an earlier version.
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January 16, 2010 2:16:20 PM

Contrary to popular belief, I have switched HDs before from one to the other to test them.
The HD I have in my current pc was taken from another one (different brand) and has worked fine for a year now.
I cannot access anything because I can't go beyond the login page.
I have tried safe mode and all the others, but the same thing happens each time.
Also, the keyboard is suddenly not recognized on the e-machine, and the mouse will only work part of the time.
I tried to use the XP disk to repair or do a fresh install, but all that happens is the sound of the CD in the drive but nothing ever comes up.
I have Malwarebytes on a flash drive, but it doesn't recognize it either when I plug it in.
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a b à CPUs
January 16, 2010 2:25:09 PM

Have you tried installing his HDD in your system as a secondary HDD (not to boot the system) and then booted your system to see if you can access the files on his HDD - you could do that and then run malwarebytes and a virus scan on his HDD while it is in your system (just do not run any of the .exe files from his HDD in case they are infected) to see if there is some sort of virus causing it and also to verify if in fact his HDD is dead or working.
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January 16, 2010 3:29:24 PM

My computer knowledge is limited although I consider myself above average when it comes to working on PCs although I have never performed what you are speaking of.
I'm pretty much limited to hardware/software installation.
In fact I pretty much built my computer with the exception of the MB, so basicly it was a fairly simple project.
I really need to learn the dynamics of devices and hardware and such as opposed to just being able to install them and knowing the basics.
Would you care to give me a step-by-step of the process that you're speaking of?
I'm always willing to learn and I'm not afraid to ask questions.
I would not have gotten as far as I have without asking questions. :) 
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a c 172 à CPUs
January 16, 2010 3:40:50 PM

sunlight_26 said:
Contrary to popular belief, I have switched HDs before from one to the other to test them.

Yep. It's been my experience that it works about half of the time.
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a b à CPUs
January 16, 2010 3:53:18 PM

sunlight_26 said:
Contrary to popular belief, I have switched HDs before from one to the other to test them.
The HD I have in my current pc was taken from another one (different brand) and has worked fine for a year now.
I cannot access anything because I can't go beyond the login page.
I have tried safe mode and all the others, but the same thing happens each time.
Also, the keyboard is suddenly not recognized on the e-machine, and the mouse will only work part of the time.
I tried to use the XP disk to repair or do a fresh install, but all that happens is the sound of the CD in the drive but nothing ever comes up.
I have Malwarebytes on a flash drive, but it doesn't recognize it either when I plug it in.



Well, contrary to what you might believe, and you may have gotten lucky doing this, as sometimes it will work, most of the time though, it never works correctly, and it should not be done if you expect Windows to be 100%. If you are happy with a flakey, bugging under performing install of your OS, then by all means go right ahead.
When you switched that drive, and tried to boot with it attached to another system, whatever problems you had, are now compounded 10 fold.

I am pretty sure now that the best you can do is a repair install.
Put the XP install disk in, select "new install" ignore the "repair console" thing at the beginning, it is pretty much useless.
The install program will continue to run, then it will find your current version of XP, and warn you that if you continue, you will lose all your files.
It will give you the option at this point to either do a new installation, or a repair installation.
Choose repair, let it run. It will look like it is doing a full install, but when it is done, all your programs and files will remain intact.
You will have to let all the updates run again, as this wipes them all out.
You will also have to install any secondary device drivers again, as it will load all the default Windows drivers.

If you do not have a retail version of XP, and you only have a restore CD, I don't know, you might be in trouble.

Just hook the drive up as a secondary drive in another system. When you boot the system, it should show up as simply another drive, like E or F or whatever, and see if you can access any of your files this way. If you can, save everything you do not want to loose first, before you try to do anything else.
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a b à CPUs
January 16, 2010 3:54:41 PM

What I mean is to have your system running - now shut it off and take the HDD from his system and install it in yours (Do not remove your HDD but add his just like you were adding a second HDD to your system.) - after installing it turn on your system and enter the BIOS and see if both HDD's are shown - make sure your original HDD is listed as the primary boot drive and save the BIOS changes and let your system boot - when windows loads you should be able to go into My Computer and see his HDD listed as anothee HDD in your list of HDDs and be able to use explorer to view the various files ( If this works then you know his HDD is functioning and it is a software issue not a defective drive - If it will not show up then it is likely that the HDD is defective) - If he does not have any critical info on the drive you could also make copies of any important files (like pictures, documents, etc. to a DVD) and then reformat the HDD while it is in your system and then go back and put it in his system and install windows as if it were a new HDD (just remember doing this will delete everything from his HDD so that may be a last resort !!)
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a c 172 à CPUs
January 16, 2010 3:58:18 PM

I also agree with jitpublisher. It's not a good idea.

This topic comes up about once every other month.
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a b à CPUs
January 16, 2010 4:05:37 PM

jsc said:
I also agree with jitpublisher. It's not a good idea.

This topic comes up about once every other month.


I'd agree as well - considering that doing so if successful will have the new system change device drivers etc. when it boots and save those changes to the HDD and that may cause your original system to become unstable as well when you swap it back to the old system - so you now might have 2 non functioning systems after the test !!
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January 16, 2010 4:10:20 PM

jitpublisher said:
Well, contrary to what you might believe, and you may have gotten lucky doing this, as sometimes it will work, most of the time though, it never works correctly, and it should not be done if you expect Windows to be 100%. If you are happy with a flakey, bugging under performing install of your OS, then by all means go right ahead.
When you switched that drive, and tried to boot with it attached to another system, whatever problems you had, are now compounded 10 fold.

I am pretty sure now that the best you can do is a repair install.
Put the XP install disk in, select "new install" ignore the "repair console" thing at the beginning, it is pretty much useless.
The install program will continue to run, then it will find your current version of XP, and warn you that if you continue, you will lose all your files.
It will give you the option at this point to either do a new installation, or a repair installation.
Choose repair, let it run. It will look like it is doing a full install, but when it is done, all your programs and files will remain intact.
You will have to let all the updates run again, as this wipes them all out.
You will also have to install any secondary device drivers again, as it will load all the default Windows drivers.

If you do not have a retail version of XP, and you only have a restore CD, I don't know, you might be in trouble.

Just hook the drive up as a secondary drive in another system. When you boot the system, it should show up as simply another drive, like E or F or whatever, and see if you can access any of your files this way. If you can, save everything you do not want to loose first, before you try to do anything else.


My plan was to repair or re-insall, but nothing happens when I put the cd in the tray other than the sound of it running, then after a minute it dies back down
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