TechSpot

PC Won't Boot!!

By tigertim36
Jun 27, 2005
  1. Hi All, After deleting all my temp internet files yesterday, I shut down my pc as usual. This morning when I turned it on, it would only show the initial "intel" mobo screen for a split second, then give a singlenhigh beeb, followed 2 secs later by a single lower beep. Then the cursor just sits in the top right hand corner, flashing and nothing more happens. I can hear the hard disk spinning & the pc fan, but get nothing more? I have tried removing my pci components but it made no difference. I have managed to boot off a win98 start up disk, select C: and run scandisk but nothing more. Can anyone advise me what to try next?
    Many Thanks
    Tim
     
  2. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Posts: 431

    Beep code says "System failure"

    Hey Tim, One High beep followed by one short beep is a "System Failure"... nice and vague. Try this:

    With power off, unplug ALL of your harddrives (not just power, but cables too! You can leave them connected to the MB), leaving *only* the floppy. Then turn the computer on. If the MB, CPU and RAM are all okay, you should at least be able to enter the BIOS.

    I think deleting your temp files before this happened is just a coincidence... though it could be that (one of) your hard drives is failing (you didn't tell us about your setup), and the drive crashed during that last proceedure.

    What brand drive(s) do you have? If the computer boots w/o them, they are going bad. You can download diagnostic software off the drive manufacturers website that will tell you if the drive is failing or not.
     
  3. cjohnson_85

    cjohnson_85 TS Rookie

    Mbr?

    I've experienced a similar problem, except without the beep codes. In my case I was able to boot after I rebuilt the MBR (master boot record). You'll need a win98 startup disk or something that has FDISK on it. Boot it and type "fdisk /mbr". There are other programs that can rebuild the MBR, but this is the one you're most likely to have.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Posts: 431

    Too drastic

    Wouldn't that create a *new* MBR and loose all existing information on the disk?

    If his drives are failing but still accessible, wiping out his MBR would be an unnecessarilly devistating loss of info. The best solution, connect a new drive and copy as much data off it as you can. Then reformat the old drive and copy everything back (assuming the old drive is still good. Else, don't reuse it).

    Even if the MBR is gone, there are still programs out there (sector editors, etc) that can at least recover some files (I highly recommend "Active@ Partition Recovery" - http://www.partition-recovery.com/partition.htm). Saved my behind once.
     
  5. cjohnson_85

    cjohnson_85 TS Rookie

    Mbr

    Rebuilding the MBR has nothing to do with the data on the disk. The MBR is simply a sector on the disk that tells the system where to boot from. It can safely be rebuilt with no risk of data loss. You can ask someone else if you want, but I'm 100% sure on this one. (I've used this trick several times.)
     
  6. kenny81

    kenny81 TS Rookie Posts: 33

    What I suggest is to go into the recovery console by booting to the OS cd and run a fixboot, fixbmr and a chkdsk /r, that shuld fix your issue
     
  7. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Posts: 431

    I'm not sure, but I *think* that works only if you have just one partition on the drive. Dunno.
     
  8. tigertim36

    tigertim36 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Again, I've got a bit further now. I put my XP Pro disc in and managed to work out that I pressed F8 to boot from cd. It loaded normally and allowed me to log on. I then went to the start up options and edited the line of text that said:
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft windows XP Professional " /fastdetect/noexecute=optin
    I removed the last bit after fastdetect but I'm not sure if it should be there or not?

    Then I ran Error-checking from the properties of my C drive with all the options checked. It informed me that it would perform the tasks on next start up. I then restarted my pc without the XP disc in and it performed the 5 stages and then let me log on no probs?
    I run purchased and licensed versions of AVG 7.0, SpySweeper and Kerio Personal Firewall.... if my problem was from an outside source.... how did they get in? Or was this just one of those device "hiccups" experienced from time to time?
    Whilst writing this on my PDA I have restarted my PC again and have logged on no probs again..... I'm boggled!!
     
  9. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Posts: 431

    Option okay.

    The "/noExecute=OptIn" setting is normal. Windows probably added it back after you changed it, but you can check by Running "msconfig". It should be the last line of your "Boot.ini" file (if not, that's a problem). I don't think removing that switch fixed your problem. More than likely, the comprehensive Scandisk did the trick. You scanned for bad sectors and autofixed them. That is probably the source of your problem.

    I don't think the cause was external. It sounds like a drive glitch. As suggested before, download the appropriate drive diagnotic software from your drive manufacturers website (you want something that creates a boot disk that runs w/o Windows) and scan your drive for imminent failure. If the electronics are dying or the bearings are wearing out, it will let you know.

    If that's the case, for as long as the drive is still readable, start backing everything up to copy to a new drive asap.
     
  10. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 10,074   +13

    You can save wear on your Hard drives by letting either BIOS or windows automatically spin them down after a certain time.

    I have mine set at 15 minutes.
     
  11. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Maniac Posts: 431

    Ouch!

    Surest way to kill a desktop drive is to jolt it back to life every 15 minutes with 110v of electricity.

    Notebook drives can handle this wear-n-tear because they spin up slowly with a 12v of DC. Desktop power supplies are nowhere near as "gentle".

    Best way to extend the life of a desktop drive: leave it spinning.
    Best way to KILL a desktop drive: Park it every 15 minutes.
     
     
  12. tigertim36

    tigertim36 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank You All for your help. I shall get the software and check my HD. I'll get on with some backing up too:)
    Cheers
    Tim
     
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