I have seen this problem before. Windows seems to be in an endless boot up sequence. The problem seems to be damaged boot sectors on the Hard drive. I have run into this before and is curious. Is there a way to format the drive so that the boot sectors are physically located in an undamaged section of the drive?
Replacing the drive is no longer an option as IDE drives are now unobtainum..
Thanks everyone for the advice.
The present machine is a laptop, but I have encountered the problem before.
The problem drive is a seagate Momentus 40Gb IDE (Don't laugh) Model number : ST94Q11A
It seems the mbr gets physical damage and the recommendation from shops is always one of "replace". But - out here in the Sticks (South Africa) we try to fix before we replace. IDE drives cost the equivalent of half a new laptop these days. From there my enquiry.
Fzabkar: I do not suspect the ram, as replacement of the HDD results in a working machine.
Danny2000 : FixMBR yields no results.
Phil22 : Thanks - that at least answers one question I always wondered about. Pity though. Could have meant the resurrection of old drives.
Scout_03 and LP-90 Amazon refuses to ship to South Africa. They did books and CD's only for a while, but that has stopped as well. Buying over the internet is often a problem in South Africa as many people simply do not ship here. Which is why we try to fix before we buy.
Thank you everyone - I will try your suggestions and get back as soon as I have results.
If the MBR (sector 0) were physically "damaged", then the machine wouldn't get anywhere near Windows. Therefore the diagnosis doesn't make sense. That's why I'm suggesting that the drive be tested using the manufacturer's software.
I tested this drive on Seagate's Seatools for windows via a usb connection.
(I have a usb to HDD convertor cable)
The drive tests fine on the Short Generic Test
The long generic test however picks up faults - I set the test to fix automatically.
After running the test the drive tests fine.
However - I still can't explore the drive via Explorer. This just causes the whole PC to "hang".