Can't load Windows at startup

By ferrari24
Nov 3, 2007
  1. Can't load Windows at startup (harddrive problems??)

    First, let me start by posting my computer hardware:

    Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4600+ @ 2.4GHz 2 x 512KB L2 Cache Socket AM2 Dual Core Processor
    RAM: 3GB 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM 800 (PC2 6400)
    Graphics Card: eVGA Geforce 7900GT 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16
    Hard Drives: 300 GB SATA
    CD/DVD Drives: DVD+R/RW 4x DVD+R/RW 16x
    OS: Windows XP Pro SP2

    I have been messing around with overclocking (RAM, CPU, and GPU) and my computer would randomly restart and I never saw a blue screen. Now my computer will not load Windows, period. The moment it starts to load up I see a bluescreen flash very fast and then my computer restarts and after this started happening I restored all the defaults in my BIOS. This did not resolve the problem so I decided to try to reinstall Windows XP with the install CD. When I chose to install Windows or use the Recovery Console after about 30 seconds when it [probably] is done scanning my hardware configuration I see a blue screen and my computer doesn't restart.
    This blue screen says something like "ntsc.sys time stamp: xxxxxx" and never terminates until I force-shutdown my computer.

    So, my overview is: my computer gets a blue screen for a frame and then restarts as soon as Windows starts loading and I have my BIOS on its defaults. Loading the Windows installer from the Windows CD gives me a blue screen as well. I was overclocking but having the BIOS on its defaults means it isn't overclocked anymore.

    Help appreciated.

    Major edit: I haven't been able to boot up Windows or do anything with the Windows instal CD. Because of this I tried testing my RAM with the bootable MemTest and that yielded no errors. I also tried booting with one piece of RAM that passed the test 4 times, still the same problem.

    (This part is the most important now) Just recently I took my [only] harddrive out and hooked it up to a different computer.
    If it is connected when the computer boots up the computer reboots just before finishing booting up, so I waited to plug in the SATA cable until after Windows was done booting up. From there I clicked "Add new hardware" from the control panel. About 2 seconds after the balloon in the bottom right said "Found new hardware: SATA ST3300620AS," the computer rebooted right away.

    From this I know that the problem lies with my harddrive but I do not why or how to fix it. I think that the harddrive is still under warrenty but I am most certainly not willing to give it up for I have about 200 GB worth of highly important data on the harddrive.

    What do I do now?
  2. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    You may have damaged the motherboard or RAM. Overclocking can also damage system files. Try clearing the BIOS with the CMOS jumper, its usually next to the battery and then do a full format of the drive before you install Windows. You dont say which motherboard you have but most newer ones are good at resetting the BIOS before overclocking can cause any damage.
  3. ferrari24

    ferrari24 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    I have the Asus M2N-SLI Deluxe.

    I have sooo much stuff on my harddrive that is of great value to me that I am most certainly not willing to reformat the harddrive before making a new backup.

    Also, I can't even load the Windows installer from the Windows XP CD. It scans the system config for about half a minute then goes to a blue screen.

    And what I did to reset the BIOS was that I pulled the battery out, since the new version of my BIOS fixed issues that I had before; it would be a bad idea to re-flash my BIOS to an older version.

    I am guessing it is a RAM issue because I did try overclocking the RAM to a point where I had to reset the BIOS to even get into it (the system speaker would beep for about a second every two seconds until I reset the BIOS).

    I'm guessing it's a RAM issue but I'm not certain really at all...
  4. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    Try Memtest86. I think it can be put on a bootable floppy or cd. Also if you have more than one stick of RAM try booting with one at a time. Maybe only one stick is damaged.
  5. ferrari24

    ferrari24 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    I have 4 sticks of RAM (totaling 3 GB) and I tried using individual pieces. After the one piece didn't work I tried running memtest (yes it is able to make a boot-cd of) and it went through the test 4 times and it didn't encounter any errors.

    The same problems are still occuring even with just one stick of RAM. I still can't load the recovery console or set up Windows XP from the CD or load Windows.

    My next step is to try and access my harddrive from another computer and back up my files (if any of this is at all possible)...
  6. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    u should run mem+ atleast 7 times on each stick of mem just know anything also u should be able ot place that hard drive in another comp. and back up u're data. just make sure the other comp. is not going to try and boot from it, it will not even if the hard drive is good.
  7. ferrari24

    ferrari24 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 33

    I guess you didn't read me edit: I got Windows started on another computer and right after Windows starting installing the harddrive the computer crashed.

    There is something wrong with the harddrive, not with the RAM.
  8. vegasgmc

    vegasgmc TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,377

    You can connect your hard drive to another computer as a slave drive and then drag off the data you need or burn it to a CD or DVD. Now that you kow its the har drive , go to the hard drive manufacturers web site and download and run their diagnostic utility. You say you flashed your BIOS. Go into the BIOS and make sure all the settings are correct.
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