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Old 09-04-2006, 11:35 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Boot Problem

I posted in another area asking for help with a new PSU, but it occured to me to ask you all for advice on my boot problem before spending money on a part I might not need.

I have a 6 year old Gateway computer that my son uses when he is home. He started having some issues with it quite some time ago and ended up disabling the firewall. He also never replaced his anti-virus software when the subscription ran out, so when he had some recent issues I thought he had gotten a virus.

I don't remember everything exactly because it has been a few weeks ago that the worst of it started, but I think the computer was slow and he just wasn't able to do some things that he use to be able to do. It finally got to the point where it would boot and I could see his wallpaper, but there were no icons on the desktop and I couldnt' access the taskbar or start menu.

It was time for a fresh installtion of the OS anyway, so that's what I did. Everything worked fine for all of half a day or so, then the computer spontaneously rebooted a couple of times within 30 minutes or so. The last time there was a message of "Reboot and Select proper Boot device or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device." Pressing Ctrl/Alt/Delete from there gave me the option to start windows normally, in safe mode, etc. Choosing either safe mode or a normal boot gave me a blue screen with the message "A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer...UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME."

I checked to make sure that the computer boots to the hard drive first, and searched the internet for a solution to the problem. I found another tech forum with a similar problem that suggested a PSU issue, hence my search for a PSU replacement. However, I want to be reasonably certain that this is really the problem before I shell out the bucks.

Any ideas???


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Old 09-04-2006, 12:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Replacing the PSU is not a bad idea. The power supply is constantly sending power to the motherboard, optical drives, disk drives, etc. If at any moment that signal is lost even for a millisecond, the computer will reboot. This is signs of a bad power supply.

The UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME suggests that A) The boot sector of your hard drive has gone bad B) The RAM is failing. I would suggest re-installing Windows, but when you do, partition the first 5 gigabytes, and install Windows on the rest of the hard drive. Sometimes a sector on the hard drive will go bad, and will cause Windows not to boot up properly. To prevent this from happening, Run the Windows XP disc you have, and go into the Repair Console. It will be a black screen where you can type. Type in "chkdsk /r", it will begin scanning the hard drive for errors, and if it finds any errors, it will "quarantine" that part of the hard drive so it won't be used anymore.

Another possibility of that error is the fact that you might have bad RAM. RAM often causes problems like that. Blue screens happen frequently when RAM is failing. Try taking out one stick of RAM, and running the system on the remaining stick.

If you have anymore questions, let me know.

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Old 09-04-2006, 12:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your suggestions. I will definitely try them when I get a chance, but it might be several days before I can take the time to fool with it again. I will let you know what happens when I get the opportunity to check it out.

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