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Hard Drive failure? (Windows XP boot cycle)

by kidfarmn / December 30, 2007 3:32 AM PST

Dell Dimension 4400
Maxtor 200GB hard drive replaced original about 2-3 years ago

Ran AVG Free scandisk last night before shut down. Came up clean. Had three trojans identified and repaired within the previous 30 days but had no problems after removal.

Shut down last night. Turned on this morning. Error:

Logon to Windows: winlogon.exe application error
The instruction at "0x75978dc1" referenced memory at "0x00000000." The memory could not be "read."

Click OK to terminate, Cancel to debug.

Either option sends into boot up cycle with black screen w/pointer for about fifteen minutes before blue windows startup screen appears. Then after ten minutes, the error message appears.

At first, it let us enter DOS configurations. Now it won't. It also let us choose to enter safe and other modes. All options would not initialize. Safe mode produced a short run of files, finally landing on a service pack 2 jumbled line at the top of the screen.

Now I cannot return to the safe and other mode options. The computer will not read the reinstallation disk.

I've concluded my hard drive is failing and needs replacement. Sound right?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 30, 2007 4:06 AM PST
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Changing RAM
by kidfarmn / December 30, 2007 4:19 AM PST
In reply to: Or RAM.

I can't get to bios. I can't get to anything in the system.

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Since you can't get into the BIOS....
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 30, 2007 5:42 AM PST
In reply to: Changing RAM

You need to fix the hardware first. A simple test is to unplug that hard disk and see if that allows you to go to the bios. If not that's a good sign it's not the drive.


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Still no go
by kidfarmn / December 30, 2007 6:41 AM PST

I removed a stick of RAM, the system detected it and let me into bios. I changed the boot to start with the CD-rom, but when I restarted the system, it bypassed the CD-rom to go straight to windows bootup. I put the RAM back in as it didn't make a difference, and my system is still stuck in booting up.

Of course it doesn't work when I unplug the hard disk. Boot failure: System failure. How is that a good sign it's not the drive?

Looks like I'm stuck buying a new hard drive or computer and trying to retrieve my info from this disk.

Anyone know if a Maxtor 120GB OneTouch? 4 Mini Hard Drive that's reputed to allow complete recovery of a PC hard drive's contents in case of a system crash or virus might work in this case?


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I'd fix the hardware.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / December 30, 2007 6:45 AM PST
In reply to: Still no go

Since the CD didn't boot your XP CD it's time to try another boot CD and if need be replace that CD/DVD drive. At the very least unplug the failed CD/DVD drive since a failing drive can cause Windows to misbehave.


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