Windows XP install borked, and cannot do clean install

Discussion in 'Windows XP / Older OS' started by charlie_r, Dec 21, 2009.

  1. charlie_r

    charlie_r MDL Novice

    Dec 21, 2009
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    I have managed to screw up my win XP install.

    Was trying to set up a dual boot using Acronis disk director OS selector, to try out windows 7.

    I suspect that my winXP drive died because of this. Reports as unreadable by Acronis.

    Now I am now trying to do a clean install on another (blank, formatted) drive, with the hope that I will be able to rescue some of my files on the trashed drive.

    Win XP setup loads everything into memory, then gets to the "setup will now start windows" message and then freezes for about a minute or so, then resets the computer to it's POST.

    Any Ideas why it would be doing this?

    Comp is a home build, specs as follows:

    Gigabyte K8U 754
    AMD Sempron 3400+
    1.5G ram
    using IDE hdd for OS, SATA for dvd & SATA hdd for program files etc.


    Any help will be appreciated!
     
  2. cingularv551

    cingularv551 MDL Junior Member

    Oct 11, 2009
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    Do you have any bulging or leaking capacitors on the motherboard?
     
  3. charlie_r

    charlie_r MDL Novice

    Dec 21, 2009
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    Did a full disassemble, for thorough cleaning after it died, inspected MB with magnifying glass, noted no obvious anomalies. None of the caps appear to be bulging or leaking.

    Will load Ubuntu just fine.

    Could Acronis have screwed my BIOS?
     
  4. btfsc

    btfsc MDL Novice

    Oct 6, 2007
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    XP does not support SATA hardware without adding drivers.
    It may be confused by the mix of IDE and SATA.
    If you have an IDE CD or DVD drive stick that in and try to install from it.
     
  5. 911medic

    911medic MDL Guru

    Aug 13, 2008
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    I would try different media. Maybe an ISO with a slower burn. I would think the optical drive is the issue here. Acronis has nothing to do with the BIOS and this scenario is not realistic. can you try to repair the drive with XP on it..hook it up and repair the boot sector and mbr..

    Fixboot and repair mbr....Worth a shot...:cool::cool:
     
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  6. charlie_r

    charlie_r MDL Novice

    Dec 21, 2009
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    #6 charlie_r, Dec 21, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009
    (OP)
    In BIOS settings, there is the option of raid or ide on sata ports, have it set to ide. I will try the F6 option and see if that makes a difference.

    Edit: If there wad a problem with SATA vs PATA, my dvdrom drive wouldn't be working, and windows disk wouldn't be loading the preinstall items, would it? Dvdrom drive is on SATA channel 2.

    It won't even let me get to the first repair option, resets before that first option screen comes up. I have tried 4 different disks, 3 that I burned, and my daughter's OEM disk. All give the same result: computer reset just before that very first option screen that should give me the option of using repair console. If I could get to that point, I would use fixmbr.



    One other thing I'm curios about. When the comp goes completely through the POST, with no floppy or cd in, it gives the error message NTLDR not found........ I've only seen that on factory loaded machines. Would the use of an OEM disk do that? add a line or two to the BIOS string?

    If needed, I will flash the BIOS, and start from scratch.

    Edit2: Update-- have tried flashing bios with gigabyte's q-flash. no joy. gives error message "file size too large". Current bios is ~275KB, file on floppy is ~430KB. When attempting floppy boot, gives error "non system disk......"

    When I try normal boot, goes through POST, checks for floppy, cdrom, then gives error "NTLDR missing.....". The hdd is supposed to be empty. Will do zero fill on it, and see what happens.

    Thanks for your suggestions!
     
  7. charlie_r

    charlie_r MDL Novice

    Dec 21, 2009
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    Couple of edits to above post.
     
  8. 911medic

    911medic MDL Guru

    Aug 13, 2008
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  9. heliosys

    heliosys MDL Novice

    Jul 12, 2009
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    Acronis can't screw your bios. Since NTLDR missing message is showing, your files should be accessible, Ubuntu is booting, use it to transfer files.
     
  10. charlie_r

    charlie_r MDL Novice

    Dec 21, 2009
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    That's the point I'm trying to make, there are NO files on the disk I am trying to do a clean install on. I have cleaned the current drive, at least it is supposed to be clean. I did a 3x overwrite on it. Still get the ntldr missing message. With a clean drive, there should not be a ntldr missing message. Where would the bios get the idea that it needs to look for it, unless an oem install changed the bios?

    An install of Ubuntu could not mount any of the drives on the comp, especially my system drive. That is why I cleaned off an older 20GB drive and am trying to use it for a clean install.

    It seems no matter what I try, it is stuck in the reset after load mode. As stated in previous posts, it will go through the initial loading of the files windows needs to install, right up to the point of showing "starting windows" at the bottom of the screen. It will not go to the first install or repair screen. It is at this point that the computer resets to the POST screens. According to the bios computer health screen, all voltages and temeratures are within normal parameters. Will post what that shows in a bit.

    I have done a mem test with the Ubuntu disk, and all shows good after letting it run for 3 hours yesterday.

    I am at wits end here trying to figure out what went wrong with my computer.
    I have tried everything I can think of to get it working again, along with the several suggestions that have been made here.

    Any other ideas where that ntldr error would come from?
     
  11. charlie_r

    charlie_r MDL Novice

    Dec 21, 2009
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    Here are the results from the pc health status screen in bios:

    CPU temperature: 61c
    system temperature: 23c
    Vcore 1.42V
    DDR25V 2.56V
    +3.3V 3.38V
    +12V 11.84V**

    Note: the +12V has always shone this value.

    These values are the same as what was being reported by speedfan while the comp was working
     
  12. urie

    urie Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 21, 2007
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    If you can boot from an old xp boot floppy do it then fdisk you obviously haven't formatted properly.
     
  13. heliosys

    heliosys MDL Novice

    Jul 12, 2009
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    #13 heliosys, Dec 22, 2009
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009
    In your first post you said, "Now I am now trying to do a clean install on another (blank, formatted) drive, with the hope that I will be able to rescue some of my files on the trashed drive." On my first post I'm trying to ask you to boot into Ubuntu with your trash drive attach, copy out what's important to you first.

    Anyway did you attach both drive, when you run setup? If i did not remember wrongly ntldr missing just means your computer is trying to boot from a xp ntfs formatted partition. If Ubuntu can't mount your NTFS disk it means it corrupted, that may be causing the problem. To check, unplug all your harddisk, windows setup should just show you no disk found and not restart your computer.
     
  14. charlie_r

    charlie_r MDL Novice

    Dec 21, 2009
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    What I have done:

    Since windows refuses to co-operate, I have installed Ubuntu on the clean drive, and gotten that up and running.

    Yes, the drive was formatted correctly, at least that is what acronis reported.
    Prior to formatting, I used acronis to zero fill the drive. No partition remained,
    the full 20gb was available to ubuntu.

    At this point I will probably stay with the current OS, being 9.10 Karmic Koala.

    When I can order a new drive, I will probably attempt it again, although I really don't hold out much hope of it working.

    I have reinstalled all the drives after getting ubuntu running, and looked at what was my "system" drive. Here's the weird thing: all files are intact, and pass a bitwise comparison with a working copy of XP. Haven't tried to do a bit by bit verification yet, but will probably set that task for an overnight run later on.
     
  15. 911medic

    911medic MDL Guru

    Aug 13, 2008
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    I am not sure why to use the acronis to format drive. The ubuntu with gparted would have been great. Maybe the formatting you used was the issue. I would have used the gparted or the windows formatting..

    If ubuntu installed, the drive is not the issue, rather the method of installing the XP..
     
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  16. charlie_r

    charlie_r MDL Novice

    Dec 21, 2009
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    Install method could very well have been the problem, although not sure how it would have been. As explained before, I couldn't get to that first input screen where you are given a choice between install or command line repair. The computer would restart on it's own when windows tried to go to the install/repair screen. I let it reset several times to see if it would finally get past that point, but no joy. Would only get to where "set-up will now start windows" appeared at the bottom of the screen then reset. Couldn't get to the screen for windows to do the format.
     
  17. charlie_r

    charlie_r MDL Novice

    Dec 21, 2009
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    Tried again tonight to install win XP, after having used gparted on the suspect drive. nothing remains on that drive except possibly the MBR.

    Before I possibly kill the drive entirely, would doing a low level format possibly correct the problem?
     
  18. 911medic

    911medic MDL Guru

    Aug 13, 2008
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    Kill disk is a good alt, or maybe DBAN..the DBAN is free..
     
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