system fails at XP bootup


D

David Besack

I'm trying to help a friend who has a PC built from mostly spare parts
from other PCs, by someone else (not me or him). It was working fine
for a while, but now as Windows XP is starting, he gets a blue screen
flash for a second and then the whole system reboots. It never gets
past the "welcome to WIndows XP" screen.

He thought it might be the hard drive, so replace it. Was able to boot
from CD, install XP again, and it ran fine for another week or so, and
now the same problem is happening.

Any ideas what the cause might be? I thought a faulty power supply
might be the cause, or maybe a problem with the mobo, but I can boot
into the BIOS no problem and everything on the surface looks okay.

Here is what I know of the hardware setup:
AthlonXP 1800+ with stock HSF
single 80GB hard drive on IDE channel 1
single CD-ROM on IDE channel 2
sound and video integrated into mobo
mobo - did not see brand or part #
Austin ATX 300W PSU
case - not sure

Any info or a place I might look first would be appreciated.
 
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J

JK

Try using different ram. What is the cpu temperature? Make sure it is not
overheating. Do you have a spare power supply you could try?
 
S

Shawk

David Besack said:
I'm trying to help a friend who has a PC built from mostly spare parts
from other PCs, by someone else (not me or him). It was working fine
for a while, but now as Windows XP is starting, he gets a blue screen
flash for a second and then the whole system reboots. It never gets
past the "welcome to WIndows XP" screen.

He thought it might be the hard drive, so replace it. Was able to boot
from CD, install XP again, and it ran fine for another week or so, and
now the same problem is happening.

Any ideas what the cause might be? I thought a faulty power supply
might be the cause, or maybe a problem with the mobo, but I can boot
into the BIOS no problem and everything on the surface looks okay.

Here is what I know of the hardware setup:
AthlonXP 1800+ with stock HSF
single 80GB hard drive on IDE channel 1
single CD-ROM on IDE channel 2
sound and video integrated into mobo
mobo - did not see brand or part #
Austin ATX 300W PSU
case - not sure

Any info or a place I might look first would be appreciated.
Has he installed SP2 for XP? MS newsgroups are reporting something called
'loop boot' on some users PC's. Others are using it with no probs. When he
reloaded XP and it ran fine for a while he may have had automatic update on
and it d-loaded again causing the problem to return maybe? Shaun
 
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J

Jim Wilson

Questions:

1. How much ram is installed on the system?

2. What brand is the ram and is it DDR?

3. How many beeps do you get when you first boot the system?


Suggestions: (to do list before spending money)

1. Check all cables. Take hard drive cable out (check for kinks or
damage) and reinstall it. If you have a spare one go ahead and
replace it.

2. Reseat the ram.

3. Reinstall video and audio drivers from the CD that came with the
motherboard. (better yet get latest drivers from website. ( if, and
when, you discover the brand of the motherboard. BTW..... "most"
motherboards have some kind of marking on the board itself.

4. Reformat the hard drive (unless you have important data) and do a
"clean" install of WindowsXP. You will be given a choice as to file
systems during WindowsXP install. Either NTSF or FAT32.

5. Boot the system and go into the BIOS. Check to see that the hard
drive is being recognized correctly. Check other settings to see if
something looks "unusual". (FWIW... only change ONE BIOS setting at
a time, reboot system and test it)

Observation(s):

We have NO way of knowing if the power supply is inadequate or
problematic. That said..... it IS a "possible" source of the problem.
AMD based systems are known to be finicky in regards to power
supplies. AMD has a list of approved ones on their website. We have
been using AMD approved 500w power supplies for the past couple of
years. In most instances a 500watt power supply could be considered
overkill until you start adding additional hard drives etc.

Hope this helps. Post back and let us know of your progress.

Good Luck!


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