endless loop

After starting windows XP, my C-partition is tested every time I start my PC.This test is always passed, instead of goig on the system does a kind of reset and starts all over again.This goes on and on. Is this a hardware (ECS K7S5A Pro mainboard, windows XP, 256 MB SDRAM, 30 GB Maxtor) or a software problem? The mainboard is brandnew.Could anybody help?
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  1. Some questions:

    Did you change any settings in XP prior to the last reboot before the problem?

    Has the drive showned any errors like this before?
  2. I didnt change anything. Windows worked well before this problem occurred.It may have something to do with another problem I had lately. The same system with my last motherboard stopped at the most unexpected moments,only powersupply and the CPU-fan went on but anything else stopped. I could not figure out where the problem originated, virus checks were o.k.,
    a new power supply did not change things so I bought a new motherboard.
  3. > I didnt change anything.

    You might have to reinstall XP and give it another chance but I have a caution.

    If you're locked out with endless loop, the install program that runs after booting with boot-cd might force you to reformat the partition before reinstall.

    The files will be lost but one way to save the files is to use another XP machine and use the drive directly cabled as a secondary, then recover the files before re-install.

    Also if you had another machine you could also run a full disk scan as well. NTFS can be very unfriendly if you lock yourself out due to its security features.

    I use another method and install always on system another XP OS on secondary drive for emergency use. I can boot off a hidden partition as well. Its an old hat technique and still used by some of my geek friends, now I mentioned them we're even. Heaps of HD space required is one of its many drawbacks but can be very handy for minimising down time.
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