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Old 04-14-2006, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Problems booting old computer

Problem:
My brother's computer is 5-6 years old and stopped booting once we tried to remove his dvd drive (we assumed it was not getting enough power to run properly).

System specs:
300W PSU
Athlon 900 MHz
768MB DRAM (100 MHz)
GeForce 2 MX
DVD-ROM 16x
CD-R/RW 48/16/48
Sound Card (I think its SB AWE32- it's in the ISA slot)
USB card (with a Logitek gamepad attached)
USB Linksys WLAN connection point (don't know the technical name for this thing)
IWill KK266 Motherboard

Detailed Problem Information:
He also used to have a modem, but removing it improved the stability of his optical drives (they used to occasionally crash his computer when reading disks- mainly during intense activities like installations. Plus they were finicky about opening when pressing eject button), which is why we thought it was a PSU problem. So we decided to remove the CD Burner also, and we set the DVD to master. Now Windows XP won't boot. It gets to the step where the "Welcome" screen should show up but restarts instead. Booting in safe mode freezes the Windows bootup before it gets that far.

Any ideas on what to fix or need more information?
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Old 04-14-2006, 06:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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try a repair install
http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm
and i suggest youll get this psu for it http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16817103463
reliable & have good amp rating,better then most 300w's
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Okay there is a new piece of information:

His screen bleeds white during the RAM check, and it spreads to cover the entire screen until the Windows Logo with the moving bar underneath appears, at which point the image fixes itself (going into the BIOS setup also fixes the screen). Apparently it has done this before he was even having trouble with his boot up but it didn't happen all the time. So my question is, how does this change the problem? I thought it may be something burning, but I don't notice any odors and neither the video card nor CPU were hot to the touch once we turned it off (the BIOS CPU temp sensor said it was about 46C, no sensor on anything else).

Since he can't boot, he can't backup his files before doing the repair install that you linked to so he would like to try that as a last resort.
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Old 04-14-2006, 10:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I think the PSU might be on its way out
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Okay, I substituted another PSU from a working computer (also 300W) and it didn't help anything. But that white blur hasn't shown up since yesterday, so not sure what's going on there.

Anyway, NEW INFORMATION:
He's reinstalling Windows on a different hardrive (more on the hardrive at the end). The thing is, once it got through the installation (so he says, I wasn't there when he installed it) it just started the install process over again. Another weird thing, now from the time it detects the IDE components to the time it shows the chart with that info and has the "Verifying DMI pool...." there is about a 30-45 second hang where it does nothing. This is new behavior since installing this alternate hard drive, which was formatted prior to all this. We did this so that he could retrieve his files from the other hard drive without formatting it.

One last thing to mention, now he says that he downloaded the latest nVidia driver before this whole boot problem occured, so is it possible that this is the problem? (it's a GeForce 2, remember)
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Old 04-15-2006, 06:21 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Try re-seating all of the cards and memory. The heating and cooling process can cause these items to un-seat themselves. This will cause many problems.

If this doesn't solve the problem, try removing all of the cards, except for the video card, then see if it boots.
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Dang, I was hoping you wouldn't reply so fast . I hadn't checked it out before I posted, and it turns out that some of the wiring was not correct in his box. Long story short, Windows XP is now installed on Hard Drive B (the blank one) and the computer is working.

I am now pretty sure that problem was with the video card driver since we are now back to everything from his original setup except for a different hard drive- and it's working just fine.

So is there any way to restore his "old" driver? Hard Drive A is the secondary so we can read data from it just fine and copy it to Hard Drive B. Tried System Restore, but it couldn't see the Restore points that were on Hard Drive A. (I guess this is no longer a hardware issue)
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Old 04-15-2006, 08:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The best way would be to use the OEM disk that came with the card.

However, if you don't have it, simply check to see what the driver is and run a search on google to see if it is available. Sometimes they are available for several years.

Last, you can find the oldest possible driver and try it.
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