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Old 01-03-2005, 07:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Odd problem...

Today I built a computer for a friend. I put it together, installed Windows XP Home, installed all updated drivers and everything was fine. I played around on it and made sure everything was fine. I even restarted 4 or 5 times just to make sure everything was going smoothly. Sure enough, no problems. He came over and picked it up and took it to his house, but now it won't start. It goes through POST, but comes up with an error message that says "Windows encountered a fatal error", and then the screen that has options to "start windows XP normally", "start in safe mode", "start with last known good configuration", etc comes up. He can't get past this screen. Whichever option he chooses, the computer simply restarts and the cycle continues. Does anyone have a clue as to what could be happening? I'm stumped because like I said it worked fine after 4 or 5 restarts. I didn't do anything like shut it down improperly or anything, so I'm clueless.
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like data may have been damaged sometime between the trip from your house to his, try popping in the XP Cd and doing a repair.

Also, did you by chance install SP2?
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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well the hardest thing when youre trying to help someone out is getting them to admit everything they did. chances are if he originally got it to boot he did something he shouldnt have. if you can get some clues from him as to what he did that could help solve the mystery.

BUT on the otherhand if it did that the first time he booted something just went horribly wrong.

but at this point if windows is erroring fatally its about that time again... format and reinstall. really all there is to do at this point if you want everything running smoothly and fresh. better off just doing that and throw the situation into the murky waters of computer failing mysteries with the rest of em.
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Old 01-03-2005, 07:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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gaara, you're right, it does sound like something may have been damaged. And yes, SP2 is installed.

MST3kGeek, I'll take your advice and talk to him and see exactly what he did. I'll tell him to pop in the cd and try a repair, and if all else fails, then he can re-format entirely. That would suck, but it would be better than that stupid startup crap happening.

I'll talk to him and see if it's still doing it. Hopefully this was a one time problem, and now it's done. Thanks for the suggestions, I really appreciate it. Keep 'em comin'
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It's highly, highly unlikely that SP2 is the culprit here since you have already mentioned that it worked just fine before, but SP2 has been known to have problems with specific proccesors without a patch, in which the computer will get stuck in a continuous reboot cycle.

I still think that a bit of corrupted data is the culprit though, which shouldn't be too much trouble to fix. Good luck!
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you for the reply. I agree about SP2, because it worked fine so many times. I just talked to my friend, and he said that for some reason the computer booted up this time. He's in windows now doing whatever. Why did it start up correctly this time? Did the corrupted data somehow fix itself?
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sometimes computers just act up and no one can explain why. Hard to say exactly what the problem is, but I'd suggest you take a look at it sometime soon and make sure everything is going all right, it would be absolutely dreadful for your friend to lose important data due to a problem that could be pinpointed and corrected earlier.

A reinstall may be best though, it sounds like something went wrong with the initial installation, it's just not very major as of yet.
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Old 01-03-2005, 08:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Sounds good dude, I think I'll suggest a complete re-format. I guess spending that extra 45 minutes will be better than the frustration he has now Thanks again, I appreciate the help.
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Old 01-03-2005, 10:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"well the hardest thing when youre trying to help someone out is getting them to admit everything they did. chances are if he originally got it to boot he did something he shouldnt have. if you can get some clues from him as to what he did that could help solve the mystery."

I have a friend (the one I got the 1500 dislay from) that spilled coffee on his notebook and asked another friend to help fix it, without mentioning the coffee. He waited till another person opened it to see the problem and only then admitted the problem. Like...no **** why your PC ain't workin.
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