Win2k wouldn't boot, won't reinstall. Nothing...

cjwsb

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Hi all,

Wow, I've got a good one... I am not an EXPERT at PC repair, but I know plenty. This one has me baffled, however. My brother came up for a visit and brought his roomate's computer. This computer has Win2k pro installed, but apparentley has not booted in nearly a year. Anyway, I told him I would take a look, and I did. Indeed, it wouldn't boot. It would start, but once it got to the Win2k splash screen, it would immediately freeze. The first thing I noticed was that at POST time, a quick message flashes by saying, "Primary IDE channel no 80 conductor cable". Now, at the time, there was a 40 pin cable attaching the HDD, but since then I have replaced that with a proper 80 pin cable. I am still getting that message. I have googled to little avail.

I don't think that's the main problem, however. On more than one occassion, I got no video either. I systematically removed devices to try to see if I could find any shorts or other weirdness. I noticed that of the 2 128MB RAM sticks, one was PC133, and one was PC100. It's been a while, and I can't remember if that's truly taboo or not, but I did find out that when used one at a time, I have not had any video errors. If I only use the PC100, I get no probs everytime, and same goes for if I use the PC 133 by itself. Together, they cause erratic loss of video. Only the PC100 is in there now.

Ok, when Win2k tries to boot, it freezes at the same time, EVERY time. After the black screen with the moving "blocks" at the bottom, when the Win2k logo and bluish screen comes up, it immediately halts with no fanfare or error. It also frezes at a similarly timed point when trying to boot into safe mode or Last Known Good Configuration.

Ok, so I figured Windows was hosed completely. Tried to format and reinstall. No dice. I have tried (2) Win2k Pro CD's and an XP Pro CD, but every single time, it freezes when setup reaches the point "Setup is now starting Windows". It freezes... Every time... I am lost. Any thoughts? Boot sector virus? Bad karma? Please help, guys. This is driving me nuts! Thanks!

Chris
 

David Lindon

Golden Master
Messages
15,233
Hi chris,
well that sounds weird. Firstly, I definatly would recommend running 2 different memory speeds. Do you have a boot disk? It would look like the boot sector of the disk may be damaged. Let me know if you have any luck.
 

cjwsb

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Hello David!

Thanks! Nice forum you have here!

You WOULD recommend running BOTH RAM speeds? I do have a boot disk, but for DOS. Actually, I have posted this question in several other forums (I just found this one today and it looks very nice) and have gotten several responses. Basically, I am pretty sure that the HDD is fine. I even got to the point where I installed DOS 6.22 on it. No problems there! I have FDISK'ed the MBR, formatted the drive, checked for shorts, etc. Everything SEEMS perfectly fine with all the hardware. This is amazingly baffling to me. I DID, however, find a virus on the floppy I used as a boot disk when I put that floppy in another machine to copy it for my brother. I suspect the virus came from the broken machine onto the floppy. It was a "Trojan.Zeroboot" virus. Perhaps that was causing a problem in the broken machine, but I removed the HDD completely, attached it to yet another computer, and ran a full virus scan that came up empty. In addition, wouldn't FDISK'ing the MBR get rid of any boot sector virii anyway? This is frustrating the bejeesus out of me, man! Help!

Chris
 

David Lindon

Golden Master
Messages
15,233
Hello,
No I would NOT recommend running the two speed RAMS. Have you tried formatting and re-installing 2K and what happends then?
 

cjwsb

Solid State Member
Messages
18
Hi again, David,

That's what I thought, reagarding the RAM. I am only using one speed. <y problem is that Windows won't even install! I have tried multiple CD drives, multiple media, etc. Nothing is working. The Windows install always freezes in the same place: on the blue screen (where the progress goes by at the bottom) at the very end when it says "Setup is now starting Windows 2000". At that point, it freezes every time. Weird!

Chris
 

XtremeWarrior

In Runtime
Messages
102
Well I had the same problem about 4-5 months ago and I never did work out why It didn't work but when I went to install Linux that worked fine so I assumed it was windows the problem (but it worked fine before so I don't know).
The only thing I can think of is that it could be a hardware problem of some sort an win2k is less tolerant than some other systems or something
 

neil_kct

Solid State Member
Messages
18
i had a similar win2k problem. try to boot in safe mode. (hold f8 when machine boots for menu or f12 cant remember! think its f8) if it boots in safe mode it'll be a driver problem, possibly as it was with mine. i would run win98 on that machine anyway
 

per

BSOD
Messages
805
Remove everything except the video card and one stick of ram. If that doesn't work swap the ram. If still no go swap the video card. It is trying to load a piece of hardware it doesn't like.
 

lhuser

Golden Master
Messages
13,147
Your hard drive may start to be defective. Try a hard drive test from the manufatcurer to see if there's any errors
 

lurkswithin

Fully Optimized
Messages
1,690
First. The ram issue, While both sticks work seperately but not together is a built in bios/board issue and you can't do anything about that. That system requires matching ram to work properly, which was typical of older boards. Use either one and you should be fine there as you have already seen.
2nd) Per is on key in his statement. The installation has been installed and during that time it tries to install the other hardware that you have. Strongly recommend that you remove everything except I stick of ram, HDD, Vid card,optical drive. I suspect it to be an NIC card that is causing the issue as it has been noted to that before.

If it still fails to install properly then I suggest that you try to install it through another windows system such as xp to that drive. here is the link from M$ on how to do that.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;304868

Also you might try the 3 W2K bootdisks to boot it up

Welcome to the forum and good luck
 
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