Computer simply won't boot....suggestions

By poertner_1274 ยท 9 replies
Nov 26, 2002
  1. I have a problem wiht a friend of mine's mom's PC. He brought it to me saying it won't boot. I took a look at it and it went through the post, but then just sat at a black screen.

    I took the HDD out and put it into my computer as a slave, just to make sure the HDD wasn't dead. It worked, so I scanned it with Norton, and found 400 virii. It took care of them all, so I assumed this would fix the problem, as they were taking up all of the virtual memory for boot. But it didn't work, I put the HDD back and tried to boot, but got the same problem as before.

    I should have looked at the exact components, but I forgot. I am at home now and the PC is at school, I plan on working on it again after break.

    I am assuming that the graphics card is still okay because it displays the post.

    It has 98se on it, I think.

    My solution to him was that the boot loader is messed up, and that HDD is not bootable anymore. I suggested buying another cheap HDD from me or my roommate and putting an OS on that one, then transferring data from the old one to the new one. Then formatting the old one and using it as a backup.

    I haven't personally checked yet, but I know it boots to a boot disk, but the owner informed me that it will not boot from a CD. I haven't tried this yet, as I had to go home for break. This kind of puts a damper on my boot loader problem, if it won't boot from CD though, because I won't be able to install a new OS anyway if I can't get it to boot from CD......

    I will check this out when I get back, but I just wanted to post this little bit to see if anyone had any suggestions. Like I said I have done minimal work on it right now, and will post more detail once I have the PC back in my hands.

    Thanks guys.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Boot sector virus possibly? Norton should have caught it I would have thought though. What about installing 98se right on top of it - does 98se force you to format or can you "leave current file system intact".

    The fact that it won't boot off a cd isn't a big deal. First did you even check the BIOS to see if the CD drive is ahead of the HD? Anyway if it boots from a floppy then just start up with CD-ROM support and navagate through dos to find the install exe for the os. In 2000 and XP its CDROM:\I386\WINNT.EXE
  3. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    NAV doesn't detect every virus out there. In addition to damaged boot sector, it's also possible that the disk is no longer set as "active", so those operating systems won't let you boot from it. I'd boot with (write-protected) 98 floppy, check with fdisk if the disk is active and do sys a: c:.
  4. Eric Legge

    Eric Legge TS Rookie Posts: 132

    With a system that infected with viruses, I would format the whole drive and then reinstall everything.

    But if you don't want to do that try installing Windows 98 to a different folder. That is the same as doing a clean installation because the Registry is fresh, but the file structure remains intact.

    Reinstalling Windows to a Different Folder -

    You don't have to reformat the hard drive to clean-install Windows, just install it to a new folder with a name of your choice such as Win98. After you have got the new installation running, you can make copies of the Windows Favorites, and Application Data folders and then copy them over the folders with those names in the new Windows folder. When you have no further need of the previous Windows folder, you can delete it.

    Visit this MS page - - and look up this Knowledge Base article - "Q193902" - How to Install Windows 98 Into a New Folder.

  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Topic Starter Posts: 4,172

    Thank you all for your replies

    SNGX--of course I checked that

    ERIC--I would rather not format and reinstall, I haven't had time to really work on it, so I will do so today sometime. Also the boot floppy the guy gave me is worthless, I need to make another one.

    I can't imagine this being too big of a problem, just takes time, which I haven't had yet.

    Just wanted to get some opinions first.

    Thanks all :grinthumb
  6. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Topic Starter Posts: 4,172

    Ok I am working on this thing now, although I don't really have time to, I just need to get it back to him so he can return it to his mom. I have booted to command prompt with a boot disk, It said that drive C is an invalid partition type. And that is from the virii I'm positive.

    Well I tried to switch to the C drive to see the contents, but it wouldn't even go there. I also tried to put in a 98se CD and it wouldn't go to that drive either.

    I am kinda stuck here......I'll play around with it a while longer, but if anyone has any suggestions quickly I"d appreciate it :D
  7. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Topic Starter Posts: 4,172

    Well so everyone isn't trying to figure things out, I just formatted the thing and told him that the boot sector was messed up and unfixable. I am reinstalling now, thanks to those that attempted.
  8. duckbert

    duckbert TS Rookie

    Probably USB

    From the looks of it you may have had something as simple as a USB device plugged in. The other thing I would try to do is remove the PCI cards, then reset the BIOS
  9. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,332   +101

    You're 7 1/2 years too late, duckbert.
  10. duckbert

    duckbert TS Rookie

    I found the thread on google and posted it for anyone else who stumbles across the topic
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