XP Pro re-install fails at pci.sys


A

Ajg617

Hello,
At my wits end with this. I purchased a larger HD (250gb) for my Dell D600
and installed XP Pro SP2 fresh (upgraded to SP3 and all updates). Ran fine
for two months then I took an update for XP and shut the PC down for the
night. Next morning it would not boot. A little research told me that the
max HD size supported by my machine was 137gb. It was only a matter of time
before Windows would exceed that size limit according to Dell and the system
would fail to boot.

I could not boot into any version of windows XP nor even get a response from
pressing the F8 key. Total hang.

I booted UBCD4Win and defragged and shrank the partition to 135gb. Booting
in Linux, it was clear that all of my ProgramFiles and Documents and Settings
files were intact, but many key OS files were now zero length.

I restored the registry from a Restore Point that I knew worked using
Registry Restore Wizard.

As of now, I can boot off the XP Pro CD into the Recovery Console. It
detects the only installation of Windows and requests my correct admin
password. Have run chkdsk /r, bootcfg /rebuild, fixmbr, fixboot and can now
get the system to respond to the F8 key and give me the correct OS choice
(only the one XP Pro installation). Any attempt to boot hangs on PCI.SYS.

I have recovered that file from the original CD but I still get the same
message.

Having enough of this, I decided to do a re-install. However, Setup does
not recognize the XP installation though it does give me a message that it
not a good idea to load two operation systems on the same partition (I have
only one currently). So it recognizes an OS, but doesn't recognize it as
what is specified in the boot.ini file or any Windows OS.

Any help would be appreciated.
 
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J

Jose

Hello,
At my wits end with this.  I purchased a larger HD (250gb) for my Dell D600
and installed XP Pro SP2 fresh (upgraded to SP3 and all updates).  Ran fine
for two months then I took an update for XP and shut the PC down for the
night.  Next morning it would not boot.  A little research told me that the
max HD size supported by my machine was 137gb.  It was only a matter oftime
before Windows would exceed that size limit according to Dell and the system
would fail to boot.

I could not boot into any version of windows XP nor even get a response from
pressing the F8 key.  Total hang.

I booted UBCD4Win and defragged and shrank the partition to 135gb.  Booting
in Linux, it was clear that all of my ProgramFiles and Documents and Settings
files were intact, but many key OS files were now zero length.

I restored the registry from a Restore Point that I knew worked using
Registry Restore Wizard.

As of now, I can boot off the XP Pro CD into the Recovery Console.  It
detects the only installation of Windows and requests my correct admin
password.  Have run chkdsk /r, bootcfg /rebuild, fixmbr, fixboot and can now
get the system to respond to the F8 key and give me the correct OS choice
(only the one XP Pro installation).  Any attempt to boot hangs on PCI.SYS.

I have recovered that file from the original CD but I still get the same
message.

Having enough of this, I decided to do a re-install.  However, Setup does
not recognize the XP installation though it does give me a message that it
not a good idea to load two operation systems on the same partition (I have
only one currently).  So it recognizes an OS, but doesn't recognize it as
what is specified in the boot.ini file or any Windows OS.  

Any help would be appreciated.

That is a tough limitation of HDD space, however Windows itself should
not exceed the limit. Your other stuff may exceed some limit, but not
Windows by itself. I have been running XP Pro on the same 40GB for 5+
years and have
w-a-y-plenty of room for Windows if it wants more.

I have no useful comment about your reinstall situation but do on the
other stuff, except it is good you have a bootable XP isntallation CD
and can run RC.

When you see your system hang like that on a driver, the first thought
is this driver is the problem, but generally it is not the problem.
The problem is usually not the last thing you see on your screen that
is the problem, it is what comes after it that is hanging the system.

A good example is when a system appears to hang on mup.sys in Safe
Mode - there is nothing wrong with mup.sys - it is what comes after it
and that is not hard to figure out.

Usually, the next thing after pci.sys is c:\windows\system32\drivers
\isapnp.sys which is a PNP ISA bus driver.

isapnp.sys is related to old style PNP expansion slots (more research
required) so I would start thinking about that and what you have
installed in terms of expansion slots that you can temporarily remove
to troubleshoot, a stick of RAM at a time or something... and since
you know how to replace pci.sys, you can also replace or temporarily
delete isapnp.sys if you are so inclined to help you figure it out.

Bad RAM is also an idea and you can test that. Test it all, take out
a stick, swap them, etc. I don't know what UBCDWIN has for RAM
testers these days, but here is what I do know:

Run a test of your RAM with memtest86+ (I know it is boring and will
cost you a CD).

The memtest will not run under Windows, so you will need to download
the ISO file and create a bootable CD, boot on that and then run the
memtest program.

The file and instructions are here:

http://www.memtest.org/

If someone says to run memtest86, you can say that you know memtest86+
supercedes memtest86 and here's why:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memtest86

Does your old HDD just not work at all or could you put it back
temporarily?
 
D

DL

I think your research is off.
Unless your Dell bios has a limitation, winxp sp2 supports large drives
 
J

Jose

I think your research is off.
Unless your Dell bios has a limitation, winxp sp2 supports large drives

The research is not off.

The limit is imposed by the Dell A16 BIOS and there are no updates
since 2005.

Back then 137GB (really 120GB) was a lot of room.

Dell recommends multiple partitions, but there are rumors of hacked
A16+ or something...
 
A

Ajg617

philo said:
Unless you are running the original version of XP prior to any of the
service packs, a 250 g drive is supported

Unfortunately, Dell BIOS for the D600 lacks 48 bit LBA support. My
understanding is that any app that uses BIOS to access the HD (as I believe
DOS does for example), may alias the data to the wrong place on the HD. Some
significant threads on the Dell Forums about this and of course some less
than honest folks selling big drives on Ebay. On the last MS update before
black screen hang I did see a DOS command window open up as part of the
update process. I'm sure there are other apps that use the BIOS to access
the drive as well.
If your key OS files are gone...then indeed your OS is beyond repair

Actually, I've been able to recover almost all of them. The repair
directory was intact, as was dllcache and drivers not to mention the
registry. I simply don't understand why the recovery console can recognize
the original installation but the repair function can not.
As long as all data are backed up
you might as well format the drive and reinstall

Yeah, this will be the fifth time in one year - runs fine for a couple of
months and then toasted again. Just a pain to re-install all of the apps
again and I'm stubborn too.
 
A

Ajg617

Jose said:
That is a tough limitation of HDD space, however Windows itself should
not exceed the limit. Your other stuff may exceed some limit, but not
Windows by itself. I have been running XP Pro on the same 40GB for 5+
years and have
w-a-y-plenty of room for Windows if it wants more.

I'm over 120 gigs on my desktop which I wanted to mirror on my laptop.
I have no useful comment about your reinstall situation but do on the
other stuff, except it is good you have a bootable XP isntallation CD
and can run RC.

When you see your system hang like that on a driver, the first thought
is this driver is the problem, but generally it is not the problem.
The problem is usually not the last thing you see on your screen that
is the problem, it is what comes after it that is hanging the system.

Actually this is a great point.
A good example is when a system appears to hang on mup.sys in Safe
Mode - there is nothing wrong with mup.sys - it is what comes after it
and that is not hard to figure out.

Usually, the next thing after pci.sys is c:\windows\system32\drivers
\isapnp.sys which is a PNP ISA bus driver.

isapnp.sys is related to old style PNP expansion slots (more research
required) so I would start thinking about that and what you have
installed in terms of expansion slots that you can temporarily remove
to troubleshoot, a stick of RAM at a time or something... and since
you know how to replace pci.sys, you can also replace or temporarily
delete isapnp.sys if you are so inclined to help you figure it out.

Nothing added - laptop - just changed the HD and fresh installed. But
isapnp.sys is next in the bootlog so I'll play with that next.
Bad RAM is also an idea and you can test that. Test it all, take out
a stick, swap them, etc. I don't know what UBCDWIN has for RAM
testers these days, but here is what I do know:

Run a test of your RAM with memtest86+ (I know it is boring and will
cost you a CD).

The memtest will not run under Windows, so you will need to download
the ISO file and create a bootable CD, boot on that and then run the
memtest program.

Thanks, already done - ran for over 24 hours without an error.
The file and instructions are here:

http://www.memtest.org/

If someone says to run memtest86, you can say that you know memtest86+
supercedes memtest86 and here's why:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memtest86

Does your old HDD just not work at all or could you put it back
temporarily?
.

Old HDD is a corporate load with severe restrictions - can't even mount
network drives let alone access them. It's a special build (90,000
employees). My own laptop is shot so I thought I'd try having the Dell do
double duty by simply swapping HDDs. Not working the way I'd hoped.
 
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A

Ajg617

Yup, no 48bit LBA support in any bios version for this machine (see above
reply to philo.
 

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