continious restarting (smode shows right at mup.sys) done research + please help.

By urgent help ยท 11 replies
Nov 19, 2005
  1. continious restarting (smode shows right at mup.sys) done rsrch + (solved - must see)

    playing a game:


    suddenly game freezes with a reptitive game sound.

    no response from keyboard or mouse.

    held down power key to switch off.

    turned on later. screen came up with

    "We apologize for the inconvenience, but windows did not start successfully. etc. etc Safe Mode/ Safe Mode Command Prompt/ Last Known configuration/ Start Windows Normally"

    ALL options result in restart. with brief Windows Pro splash screen (with logo in middle + meter bar)

    After two days of research (your forum being one of the first that came up on google) i am still experiencing the same problem. i am aware people have had similiar problem but what i type next should give this a sense of uniqueness which terribly scares me :( but then deserves its own post.

    I have performed following attempts at fixing:

    1.) Running CHKDSK: Told me Found and Removed errors.

    As alleged on many websites concerning this issue.

    - Attempted boot...failed. continued to restart at splash screen (safe mode determines it still at mup.sys)

    Verdict: Fail.

    2.) Plugging out Harddrive (BOTH POWER + IDE Cable slots) / plugging in again. Changing boot order etc.

    Verdict: Fail.

    3.) Running CHKDSK /r: Found and Removed errors.

    Still failed to load up though.

    4.) From Windows Pro CD replacing Kernel32.dll with fresh one. Microsoft alleges that continual restart at mup.sys is due to corrupt kernel32.dll file.

    ( )


    Verdict: Fail.

    5.) Plugged out all USB devices (read many websites could be problem)

    Verdict: Fail

    6.) Did not recieve XP disc with my computer so borrowed Win XP Pro from friend.

    changed BIOS boot orde for CD-Rom to load first.

    Either drive is enabled on start up but regardless the disc inside is not detected. (Not a problem with BIOS. Just the CD is not found when its told to boot up first.)

    So downloaded the 6 Floppy Disc Boot Up diskette from microsoft. BIOS Boot set to 3 1/2 floppy first.


    After painfully exhausting process of loading Setup via Floppy's come to options.

    If i choose the first Repair (Pressing R on KeyBoard) i can RUN chkdsk and access the XP pro cd via the commands and it is visible by "map" command.

    HOWEVER. If i choose to "Install Windows XP from setup menu after 6 disc boot diskette. then CHOOSE REPAIR (which repairs - appearing to reformat, keeping all my disc files)

    im always prompted to "Insert The CD Labelled: Windows XP Professional Service Pack 1 CD" regardless of what cd drive i place it in.

    I am really worried i will not be able to load up: Computer hardware specs:

    Windows XP Professional SP1
    Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
    2 x 40 GB HARDDRIVE
    Soundblaster Audigy Card
    ATI Radeon 9250 series Graphics Card
    Creative DVD Drive (D: )
    ASUS QuiTrack DVD/CD-R Drive (E: )
    ASRock Motherboard.

    This is such a vital thing for me as i have music (i am a musician) + inumerable music software on there which is 1/4 backed up (yes my fault - but looking for anti-dote!). I am so not able to handle the calamity of losing the whole drive right now.

    The Harddrive (C: ) data stands as: 40 GB TOTAL Capacity: 5 GB Spare.

    The most worrying of all is that Microsoft has seemed to TOTALLY have ignored this issue - such a crash was never part of Win95/ Win98 as far as my knowledge. Have been through With no avail. Many forums.

    Please if a technician could help me considering the failed attempts i would be so grateful if someone posts one solution please post another and do not wait on me for reply - as alternatives in my hands are obviously going to be convienient any knowledge on this error will be appreciated.

    Seeing my desktop again is now looking like a distant dream....maybe one of you can help me.

    [due to the unsuccessful chkdsk that supposedly reports a removed error. complete re-installation of windows is not the wisest choice as of yet - as it that failure (of chkdsk) indicates maybe hardware issue)

    Anyone who has had a similiar problem and reformatted with still persistent problem your knowledge on how you eventualy solved the issue (concerning hardware fix) would be grateful.

    Any commands for the Repair dos prompt would be appreciated to. thanks

    peace, AJ.
  2. BiZ


    I would say to run the windows install as normal and when prompted to chose the partition choose "leave unchanged" but im not sure how the installer works. So it could reformat the whole drive. Do some research?

    But here is a for sure fix.
    Get another harddrive and hook it up to your computer as a master and hook your current HD up as a slave. Install windows onto the new HD. And then after its installed you can access your original drive and copy the files you need over into that one.

    You could just ask a friend to take theirs out of their computer and hook it up and boot with it and copy the files over then reformat your drive and copy the files back to it.

    Had to do this once to my friends comptuer that got some crazy *** virus that would not let you do anything... damn batch files.

    From what it sounds like you may be needing a new HD soon anyways considering you have 5GB left :)
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    I 2nd the notion of a 3rd HDD.
    But you say you have 2 40gb HDDs. Do you have important data on both I assume?

    Do any of the boot options work? Can you get in Safe Mode? Can you do Last Known Good?
    Does it have an option called something like "disable automatic restart on..."

    Also, there is no good reason why your PC shouldn't boot to your XP CD. Unless the CD itself was not burned right or is messed up somehow, or your CD-ROMs are going bad. If your boot order is right and the CD is good, it should boot. Have you tried booting from both drives? Can you find a different drive to use temporarily?

    The Repair install is a valid option for you, this does NOT include a reformat or partition, as that will erase all data! The repair install is only given as an option if the XP setup actually detects a Windows installation on the drive. But if even setup does not see you have a disk in the drive, I would suspect something wrong with your optical drives. Try yet another XP disk if you can.

    I agree with the above post, and it is probably long overdo for you. Go buy yourself a nice 120gb to 200gb hard drive and load Windows on it. Assuming you can find out why your optical drives aren't booting. Get a Western Digital, stay away from Maxtor.

    Good luck
  4. BiZ


    Yea its the only thing i could think of and relatively easy to do if you know what your doing. Had an idea reading your post Vigilant, there could be a way to run the rescue disk from command prompt and if it could read the drive it wouldnt really matter if it "detected" a windows install or not.

    Also it cant read your drives(not sure thats what you said). Check the connects to your HDs, unplug and replug them. Look for any damage to the cables and if ya want while your doing it you can blow the dust out of your computer. I actually was fixing a persons computer once and a mouse had gotten in to it and pissed on the video card. Although i think any damage from something like that would cause the system to not start at all....
  5. urgent help

    urgent help TS Rookie Topic Starter

    in command prompt it can read my cd-rom drives. so my feeling is it is not the hardware. possibly the cd.

    and to vigilante all modes restart. none work.

    i'm going to try three things from what you suggested.

    first: running repair install from command prompt

    however, I NEED SOMEONE WHO KNOWS THE COMMAND PLEASE PLEASE who could reply. bare in mind the "run" command does NOT work in the Recovery Console (for anyone as far as i know).

    two: trying to get another XP Pro SP1 CD.

    three: The Hard Drive Swap. HOWEVER if i BUY one it will not have an os installed on it right? so how will it load up unless i get a copy of XP Pro with it. ( i basically have another 40 GB HD on the computer, registered as a slave, which is an F: and has about 2GB used on it of .rar'd instrumental music. That is it. - but if i try and boot that as master it doesn't work cus it comes up with a red texted error message at immediate start up with BIOS option .. )

    So borrowing a friends hard drive....can a drive formatted as C: become slave/ does it automatically change? if i plug another fromatted c: as a master and my one as a slave..

    can i just say again thank you so much for your replies.
  6. BiZ


    Ok what you need to do in order to do this with another hard drive is:
    1. Unplug your harddrive with windows installed and move the fuse to slave. It will be labeled on your harddrive which is which either on the front or the side where the fuse is.
    2. Plug the ribbon cable in as a slave. Slave is the middle plug on the ribbon cable.
    3. Then plug it into the power supply
    4. Now take the other harddrive and change the fuse to master.
    5. Plug it up as matter on the ribbon cable. The end plug.
    6. Plug to power supply

    Now if this is a new harddrive you will need to install windows on it. If you borrowed from a friend it will just load windows.

    7. Now copy whatever you want to keep over onto the new/your friends hard drive.
    8. Go into my computer and right click on your old drive and click format and format it.

    Now if its your friends you'll want to reverse steps 1-6 and plug your HD in as a master and your friends in as a slave and install windows onto it, and then copy your files back over to your HD If not you can just leave it like it is.
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Hold the phone here fellas. We need to be carefull of a few things.

    1) Be carefull if you put a "friends" hard drive in your system. You need to make sure it does NOT boot into Windows or run as master! If you put his HDD in your case and boot up into his Windows, it will wreck havoc with drivers and system functionality, you may screw up his drive at the same time.

    2) There is no real reason to put someone else's hard drive in your PC, especially if they have their own OS and files on it. This serves no purpose. If you need to backup files FROM your hard drive, then put YOUR hard drive as slave in HIS PC. This way you can use his own, working, operating system to copy files off your hard drive. Assuming they have enough space to hold all your data.

    Here is my plot. You say one of your 40gb HDDs has only 2gb used? If this is the case, here is what I would do.

    1) Take this 40gb drive and hook it up as SLAVE on someone else's PC. Copy the 2gb of data over to their pc to back it up. They should easily have that in free space.

    2) Once you backup those files, change this drive back to MASTER and put it BY ITSELF in your PC. That is, leave your other 40gb completely unplugged, this will insure you don't accidentally format the wrong drive and loose everything!

    3) The configuration will be: 40gb (master), all by itself on one cable going to the motherboard. Then your 2 CD-ROMs, as master/slave, on the 2nd cable going to the motherboard.

    4) Keep trying to boot off a CD, try another disk etc... You may even want to try having just ONE of the CD-ROMs plugged in at a time.

    5) If you simply cannot boot off a CD, then load up with the floppies.

    6) The command to start setup from the command prompt, assuming you have CD-ROM access. The program to run is I386\winnt. However, there is a trick to it. If your XP boot floppies refuse to read the CD (which you said they were earlier), you can still start setup from command line by following this article:;en-us;307848&sd=tech

    If this works, that is, if you can manage to actually get IN XP setup, then you can format this 40gb drive with a fresh copy of Windows, doesn't matter if Windows is already on the other 40gb. If this works, and you get XP installed, you can hook the 2nd drive back up as a SLAVE to the first drive. Then copy your data over.

    This would be a lot easier if you could figure out why you can't boot off a CD!
    If you want to do a repair install, the DOS command is the same one, this just starts setup, and the repair option is within. Just don't do anything if it looks like it will erase or format.

    Sorry if this seem complicated, it really isn't that hard. It's just a matter of making sure your master/slave is correct through the process. And making sure your data is safe.

    Lastly, if you don't want to swap drives around and screw with the insides. Then give the repair option a go. If, in setup, you do NOT come across an option to repair, then do NOT go forward! Because if repair isn't available, then setup doesn't see any Windows to repair. Note that we're not talking about the Repair (with Recovery Console) that is on the first screen. And again, it would be so much easier if you could boot off a disk! I'd keep troubleshooting that.

    hope this helps, don't worry!
  8. BiZ


    Yea listen to him. I wasn't thinking about drivers.... that could of been bad.
  9. urgent help

    urgent help TS Rookie Topic Starter

    trying windows repair on main harddrive.

    got a cd which was recognised it appears that if you have a copy of XP that is on a 700mb disc then it will nt be treated appropriately. even though it can be copied.

    should be 800mb disc.

    at first however it did not detect a windows previously installedso under advise of i rebooted, chose Automated Recovery console. and typed "bootcfg" which apparently rewrites the boot.ini from any corruption.

    i typed Exit...and vala! it was detected and Repair option was available.

    i'm now at a window which is similiar in format to your XP log-on screen where you choose which account to log into.

    the round checked optio nwhich says "Installing windows" is red and it sys 34 minutes until installation complete.

    I sincerely hope this does not mean i am reformatting completely as i reached here only through repairing.

    its being treated as an upgrade though..

    if doesnt work then will attempt harddrive slave/master swap..
  10. urgent help

    urgent help TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok this is scaring me...

    second time during Windows installation process that it has restarted at 34 minute...

    meaning computer just rebooted itself then a msg saying "Setup is restarting...."
  11. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Sounds to me like something has gone haywire on that drive. Perhaps the hard drive is going bad?
    If the HDD is good, then there is some major software corruption, preventing a proper repair install.

    Either way, Windows didn't work before, and now half way through a repair install, well, it's still not gunna work. But your data is likely still there someplace.
    XP will continue to retry setup each time it doesn't finish. But you should be able to pull the XP CD out and instead run some diagnostic tools, such as memtest86 and the testing tools from your manufacturer of the HDDs.

    A full format is looking better and better... You should probably concentrate on getting your data safe. If you are really worried, it may be time to take the PC to a repair shop to get your data off and test the HDDs.
  12. urgent help

    urgent help TS Rookie Topic Starter

    got it fixed.


    ran repair install.

    what happens is that for some reason some drivers are protected from being overwritten.

    this immediately stops the installation.


    at 37 minute. press SHIFT + F10

    type taskmgr.exe and press enter in command prompt.

    go to processes TAB. End Process on all svchost (sometimes more than one open).

    then the warning message describing the driver overwriting will come up giving you option could appear anything from 5 to 15 times.(be patient) this process happens gradually)

    select YES everytime on warning message.

    However in taskmgr (task manager) i was able to do something.

    Select File from Menu in taskmgr.

    Click Run....

    then a window should pop up requiring you to enter a file + directory into it. instead Click Browse.

    guess what?

    i had access to every file on my hd. so first i copied all vital files i needed to second hd.

    but then it hit me.....the vital.

    i found "My Computer" icon, right-clicked...and selected properties.

    Chose Hardware TAB and then under System recovery option (3rd and final button) i clicked it for advanced settings.

    i DISABLED "Automatically Restart" on Error. (what i'm writing here is a vital piece of information for those having this problem and a key way to get into access the hd and disable automatic restart).

    I decided to Keep the Send Alert Log..option checked so i could see precisely what was crashing my windows installation and stopping log into windows.

    guess what.

    got a blue screen with 0x0000007 error. specifying a "ctoss2k.sys" file in drivers folder in system32. that scarcity of reference is precisely why the "Continious restart" xp problem is so wide-speard with so little concrete solutions.

    so i had no idea what this was i researched on another computer. NO ONE on interent - i repeat no one internet had the same driver fault. so i researched the actual file itself.

    it is a Creative Sound Blaster Driver that had been stumped by cs:source game due to EAX incompatibility - which caused looping sound and freeze of computer.

    so first i tried replacing it by accessing a floppy from shift + F1 - taskmgr - browse process. But FILE was still crashing computer.

    so i DISABLED creative sound hardware (yes you can even get into device manager)

    then i went to C:\Windows\System32\drivers\ and DELETED the ctoss2k.sys file.

    then i loaded the installation repair again.

    and guess the grace of God. it went through.

    once installing i re-installed my Soundblaster drivers.

    now i have turnt of DirectX soundblaster acceleration because allthough the EAX of the audigy enhances new games such as WoW, fear, Quake4....Valve (Half-Life 2 manufacture) do not mesh well with it.

    all the hardware disabling/enabling - ide detaching/re-attaching can in most cases be avoided - because ALL my symptoms pointed to a hardware failure and i was so tempted to buy new parts. BUT IT is the Stupid Automatic restart which VEILS you from the truth. the Error is almost always goingto be due to a driver crash/corruption or XP registers a driver as faulty even if it is not.

    i just wish i could help others.

    if however you have no success after removing file and need to take files out of hd and your win xp repair install keeps restarting.

    what you can do is when it attempts to restart installation. REMOVE the XP cd. from drive.

    then enter Taskmgr.exe and your files. and you will be prompted to enter win XP cd. but as long as you dont you have as MUCH TIME as you want to copy/move/delete from your computer.

    remember however when you click Browse to select view of "All Files" as the default view of directories is "Programs" only.


    the harddrive swap would have worked. but i am almsot 80% convinced that this restarting scenario for people is a driver fault.

    sometimes it can be RAM.

    put your RAM in a different slot.

    if you can buy new RAM.

    but if it is driver then hardware swapping is the harshest way to solve your problem.

    thank again for your help - you were all wonderful and punctual in replies. (Vigilante + BiZ)

    hope this thread stays becasue there are a NUMBER of sound solutions here (no pun intended). peace.
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