TechSpot

Comp hangs at the welcome screen

By Negative_Pulse
Oct 9, 2003
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  1. Hello all, i registered a while ago but this is my first real post i suppose, i mostly lurk and read the helpfull info.

    Anyways, im pretty screwed right now. I went to turn on my comp a little while ago and it froze at the welcome screen. Odd i thought, but nothing a reboot cant fix, i was wrong. The comp just wont get past the welcome screen, even in safe mode! Another odd thing is, while my comp just sits there my HD is churning and every 30secnds or so my dvd-rom lights up and i hear is searching for a cd (no cd in there).

    So, im using my sisters comp to type this out (133mhz with 32mb ram, LOL). I also poped in my xp cd and did a chkdsk /r thats still running. I cant loose the info on my HD and its one whole partition (i would rather let my comp sit dead for 3 months until i can afford an upgrade than format).

    Any suggestions are more than welcome. I'm worried my comp actually might be hosed.

    my stats, win xp pro, 40gb HD, 512 ram, geforce3, athlon xp 1700. No new hardware added for almost a year. No new sofware installed in the last month except disk keeper 7 trial.
     
  2. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,928

    Give it a good 20 mins to see if it finishes booting. If it doesn't, then reinstall xp (upgrade your current install, so no need to format) and see if that helps. Your data is safe as long as you don't select to format your partition.
     
  3. Negative_Pulse

    Negative_Pulse TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    After running chkdsk it found some errors. I rebooted and got 2 msg's after the load screen (the screen with the bar at the bottom showing its loading) saying how my profile was corrupt and stuff. It sent me into the default profile.

    So im glade its up and running again but what does it mean? Will i be able to recover my profile, what kind of info is stored in my profile? I know your profile is mostly how you want short cuts and stuff but im not sure.

    I'm guessing i had some sort of bad sectors on my HD or something because the comp was working great this morning.
     
  4. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,928

    Log in as administrator, and create a new profile. Your default documents folder and computer/application settings were in your profile.
     
  5. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    Bad hard drive? I think it is a possibility.

    Check the storage forum for links to drive diagnostic utilities.
     
  6. Negative_Pulse

    Negative_Pulse TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    Thanks for the help. I managed to log in as admin (took me a while to remember how to do that) and made a new account.

    I then d/l the western digital util and ran it. Again it found bad area's of my hd! Whats going on, when i ran chkdsk it found bad areas and repaired them, then again with this util.

    Right now im in paranoid mode. I got a little 3.2gig hd im making room on, i want to move that hd as the master and install winxp on that drive.

    Anyone have any suggestions on how to get xp uninstalled on the 40gb hd? Would i be able to just switch the jumpers around on the drive, install xp on the 3.2gb and then manually delete xp on the 40gb which would then be the slave drive?

    Thanks again for your help guys. My first time having hd problems ever since i got my first computer.
     
  7. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    Bad sectors are a good sign your drive is physically going bad.

    I recommend replacing it immediately, since you chances of drive failure are exponentially higher now.

    CHKDSK does not fix bad sectors. It hides them from Windows so they those sectors are no longer accessed... But they are still there. This masks the problem, but does not fix it.

    There are programs out there that attempt to fix bad sectors, but they do not prevent future ones from occuring. Most likely, you will see what is referred to as a "cascade failure". It will gradually get worse as your use your drive. More and more bad sectors will show up. So replacing this drive is the smartest thing to do for your data.

    I've heard low-level formatting several times may help prolong a drive that has developed bad sectors, but this may be a myth.

    HDD Regenerator is a good program that works and does indeed fix about 80% of the bad sectors I've come across. You may want to give it a whirl if you want a temporarily solution. I think the most important thing to do here though is replace the drive ASAP and use it sparingly.
     
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