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Enable Boot Logging

Recently upgraded my 1999 Dell with a 120G Hard Drive and added 128 RAM so I now have 256. Bought and installed brand new XP Home with SP2.It's a Pentium III and I'm using Antivir (updated daily), Peerguardian 2 and the Windows firewall. I use Firefox. I also run Adaware, Spybot and Webroots Spysweeper (subscriber).All Clean.

I previously posted this on the XP page but I'm not getting any hits

System has been running fine, very smooth in fact until this past week. When I restart the computer, the Dell screen comes on then the royal blue screen with white lettering flashes and it shuts down again. It will keep doing this. The only way for me to start up is to F8 and click Enable Boot Logging. Windows comes up and the system runs fine. Logging out is hit or miss. Sometimes very slow, sometimes quickly. Obviously there is a conflict somewhere. Where would I begin? Is there something I should change under the set up?
I have had virus' in the past that turned off task manager, locked toolbars, about blank etc. but this was before my upgrades. I have been very careful where I go ie., Cnet, Methlabs, etc.
I can't figure it out.

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What hardware issue is here?

In reply to: Enable Boot Logging

You posted in the hardware forum but revealed only that it might be a Pentium 3 machine. Maybe this is something for the XP Forum to tackle if it's a software issue.

-> XP does have an event viewer, but you didn't share what was in that tool.


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What is the cardinal rule of troubleshooting?

In reply to: Enable Boot Logging

Examine recent changes first. The first thing that comes to mind is a memory problem. I know that's not what you wanted to hear, but your sysmptoms are all indicative of a memory malfunction. The first thing I'd try is to open the case, and reseat the memory in it's original slots. Try to boot again. If that doesn't work, try to seat the memory in different slots, whether you change the slots entirely, or just switch one for the other, just move them. You probably have an Intel board in that Dell, they can sometimes be finicky with slot placement with generic ram. Once you tried a few different configurations with the memory chips in different slots, and that doesn't work, http://www.memtest86.com/ Go there and download the memtest program for floppy disk (assuming your machine has a floppy drive, there's a bootable cd version as well if you don't)) and use the installer to write the program to a floppy or cd. Ensure your machine is going to look for the floppy/cd in the bios boot up sequence, and boot to the floppy/cd.
The memtest diagnostics screen can be a little overwhelming for someone not accustomed to it, but what YOU want to look for is a message in the bottom left of the screen that says badmem = ''address(s)'' address being an actual physical memory address (binary). If it shows one with both chips in, write down the address(s). Then what you'll have to do is isolate the chip with the bad address(s) on it. Remove one of the memory modules and run the test again. If that one comes up with bad addresses matching your original test results, you've found your bad chip, if not, take that one out and run the other one. Even if you find that the first lone chip test is the bad one, I'd still recommend running the other one just to be sure. Bear in mind that this program runs in a loop, endlessly, so I recommend letting it run for about an hour. TSing memory is an arduous process, BUT if you do find a bad memory chip, and you have the addresses wrote down, imagine the look on the guys face at the shop you got it from? If you bought it online at least you can tell the RMA guys who think they're gods, (they all do) which addresses are bad. They'll at least think you're not a helpless end user that can be told there's nothing wrong with it. By the way, if in the event you do find that your NEW chip is bad and you're going to take it back, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND spending the few extra bucks for a stick of 512. I don't build systems on winxp with less than 512 Mb. If you find the old one is the problem and you're going to replce it, consider the same advice. Good luck, let me know how it goes. If there's anything you don't feel you have enough knowledge to do or are uncomfortable with, e-mail me and I'll try to help any way I can.

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