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Computer Keeps Trying to Boot Over & Over - Harddrive Bad?

by lohryx5 / November 25, 2006 11:38 PM PST

Just got back from a 7 month deployment overseas. Wife says the computer (Medion, Windows XP Home, 3.2GHz Pentium IV Hyper-Thread, 512 DDR SDRAM, dual layer DVD/CD+/-RW x2, no floppy) not sure what else might help) would randomly restart on its own and boot back up. This got progressively worse during the past week. Uninstalled a bunch of Nikelodian flash games the kids had downloaded. Yesterday, I updated Spybot and Ad-Aware, ran them, and cleaned up a few other things.

Then, for no reason, the computer shut off. The Microsoft logo came up (the blue bar got half way across), I saw the "blue screen" for a split second, then the following options came up for restarting:

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt

Start Windows Normally (last known good configuration)

I started with Start Normally, no joy. Proceeded through the other three options, no joy. Can't even get in through Safe Mode. If I let it count down the 30 seconds, it will just keep trying to boot and never get there. I F8 in Advanced Options during the next boot attempt and none of those options worked either. I did Disable the auto restart so I could see what error codes came up on the "blue screen." This is what I got (minus some other text about power interruptions:

A problem has been detected and windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer. If this is the the first time you've seen this error screen, restart your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps: Disable or uninstall any any anti-virus, disk defragmentation or backup utilities. Check your hard drive for configuration, and check for any updated drivers. Run CHKDSK /F to check for hard drive corruption, and then restart your computer. Technical information: *** STOP: 0x00000024 (0x00190203, 0x823790B0, 0xC0000102, 0x00000000)

I tried to use the System Recovery disk that came with the computer to boot from it. When selecting CD-ROM it gives me these choices:

1. Recovery of Startup Files
2. Recovery of System & Driver Files
3. Restoring Factory Settings
4. Reboot

Option 1 didn't work. It keeps starting over and asks if I want to boot from the Hard Drive or the CD-ROM. Just a neverending circle. Option 2, no joy, didn't do much. And I'd prefer not to restore to factory settings or anything that will require me to format my harddrive at this point. I have too many family pictures and personal files that I can't afford to lose, especially since none of them have been backed up to disk in the 7 months that I was away.

Appreciate any help.

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Did cleanup involve removing cover, dusting and
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 25, 2006 11:44 PM PST

Checking the fans? Is the heatsink on the CPU still in its proper place?

Are there capacitors like you see at ?


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Sounds like
by drat_ninny / November 26, 2006 12:05 AM PST

The operating system is completely and totally hosed, and will have to be reinstalled. Preferably after formatting. That way, you can be sure to be rid of all spyware and other such junk.

If you have any important data on there, you can use something such as a Knoppix boot CD to copy it to something else, or pull the drive out and stick it into another computer to pull the data off it.

Once you've formatted and reinstalled, I'd suggest taking steps to prevent this from happening again. The first of which is using a non-IE browser, which limits you to Opera and Firefox. Consider creating limited user accounts for the kids so they're less able to unwittingly infest the system with spyware. You might even consider such an account for you and your wife, leaving an admin level account only for installing security updates and installing approved programs.

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by lohryx5 / November 26, 2006 12:45 AM PST
In reply to: Sounds like

Yes, I did happen to pull off all of the covers and cleaned out a significant amount of dust. Everything looks like it's all in its proper place, and I didn't notice any bad caps. I'm an avionics technician, but definitely not much of a computer tech. Currently at work and can't access the website.

I've heard Knoppix mentioned elsewhere for other problems but I have no experience with it. Will it work even if I cannot boot up in Safe, let alone in any other mode? I've heard I should use a USB Drive Caddy, install my harddrive into it, and then try to recover my files from it using another Windows XP computer...or slaving this one into another computer after changing the jumper settings. I assume, if I get the files I'm trying to save, I would just reformat my original drive and start over...could be a good thing as well since I could get rid of all the other junk that may be one there. Yep, my wife put actuated user logon at startup so the kids couldn't access the computer without her knowledge a couple months ago, but the damage may have already been done by then.

Any idea why this would be a random issue at first and then suddenly become a constant problem?

Thanks to both of you.

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Hats off to you.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / November 26, 2006 1:15 AM PST
In reply to: Hmmm

Check out the words BAD CAPS on to get other sites and pictures with that issue. It's still happening to many. As such a tech you should be comfortable enough to reach in and grab the CPU heatsink and get it as gentle rocking motion to see if it's attached or not. A loose heatsink will move with very few ounces of pressure.

Next up we leave the cover off to sniff out if something's become heat sensitive. Also power supplies do fade on desktops (and just about everything.) I sniff that out by dropping parts out (unplug a CDROM drive) and seeing if that helped.

If the OS is suspect I can try IEFIX ( and scan with the usual tools (free) like Housecall, Free AVG AntiSpyware.


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Agree with bob on the heat/dust BUT...
by Edward ODaniel / November 26, 2006 1:43 AM PST

it should be mentioned that a STOP: 0x00000024 error (also known as NTFS_FILE_SYSTEM error) shows a problem with Ntfs.sys (the file that allows read/write access to NTFS) and can be rather troublesome.

If by some chance you are using SCSI drives check cabling and termination.

Next, run any system diagnostics supplied by your computer manufacturer, especially hardware diagnostics.

Also, check that your AV, spyware scanner(s), and other diagnostic or system tools (third party defrag and even backup tools) are actually compatible with XP and NTFS.

If anyone used any 16 bit DOS tools from a DOS boot floppy they can cause problems.

This link should help you troubleshoot your system (don't let it's mention of windows 2000 throw you and make you think it doesn't apply):;en-us;Q228888

This is a time when having the Installation CD and the ability to initiate a Recovery Console is handy. If you don't have this capability download NTFS4DOS at this link and create a boot diskette (since you don't have a floppy drive you can create a bootable CD). It will have a CHKDSK capability. You can also make use of the XP installation Floppy set if you had a floppy drive.

If you have PC-Magic Encrypted Magic Folders installed contact the publisher ( an updated version of the Mfx.sys to fix the problem.

A priority though is to save the data files you haven't backed up if possible and Knoppix is a real good tool for acomplishing this. Here is a link that should be helpful if you are not familiar with Linux:
Computer First Aid using Knoppix
Part 3: Rescuing Your Data is pretty easy to follow.

After saving the data files you can always use your restore disk to return the computer to factory specs (then be sure to install SP2 and all critical updates IMMEDIATELY).

Enjoy and good luck.

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