Hard disk failure? OS failure??!

By jeremyjoe · 16 replies
Jan 7, 2008
  1. Hi dear forum goers!

    Today I ran into a problem with my SHuttle XPC system. It does NOT load the OS anymore. I don't know if it's an OS or HDD problem...
    I turned it off last night, no problems (moreso than usual) and when I went to turn it on this morning, this message came up:

    "Warning: the boot devices have been changed. BBS Boot priority will be affected. Please enter setup to check".

    So i entered setup and found that my CD-rom drive had been made Primary boot device and that my Maxtor drive had been made slave. So i changed the primary boot device to Hard disk but I could not make my Maxtor drive become Master. Should I?

    SO after I saved and exited, it at least went into loading. But then normally when it loads this white bar at the bottom of the black screen and then goes into the XP (home, SP2) loading screen, it just stops and sits there. Maybe forever, who knows.

    So I went and tried to load it in Safe mode with networking but that prompted the following black screen FULL of text:


    And then a whole LIST of drivers like:


    ....and a whole page I didn't catch....

    What does this mean?? DO i just need a new hard drive (drive's about 1.5 years old, Maxtor 120 Gb i think) or is the OS ready to be reinstalled (again?)

    Thank you very much!!!

  2. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    I would try first to repair, if it doesn't work, reinstall, if it doesn't work then replace the drive

    Thats a weird thing to happen out of nowhere
  3. jeremyjoe

    jeremyjoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow Blind Dragon! That was a quick reply!! :) THanks!

    Yeah, it's totally weird, hardware wise. I'd expect the OS to go sooner than the HDD, OS is pretty fried....

    What do you mean by Repair? I was thinking of reinstalling but that doesnt make any sense if the disk is physically busted......
  4. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    But why assume the disk is busted first, that should be the last thing you assume as you don't want to replace it. It's a lot cheaper to spend an hour or so trying to fix it, then if you can't, consider replacing it.

    Put the boot order back to CD as primary -> insert XP CD -> Reboot

    When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts; Hit enter at the first prompt and choose the repair or recover option by pressing R at the second prompt

    Oh and you can type help in the recovery console for a list of commands and what they do, but just in case ill put them here for you in case you give it a try.

    Attrib: Changes the attributes of a file or directory.
    Batch: Executes the commands specified in the text file.
    ChDir (Cd): Displays the name of the current directory or changes the current directory.
    Chkdsk: Checks a disk and displays a status report.
    Cls: Clears the screen.
    Copy: Copies a single file to another location.
    Delete (Del): Deletes one or more files.
    Dir: Displays a list of files and subdirectories in a directory.
    Disable: Disables a system service or a device driver.
    Diskpart: Manages partitions on your hard drives.
    Enable: Starts or enables a system service or a device driver.
    Exit: Exits the Recovery Console and restarts your computer.
    Expand: Extracts a file from a compressed file.
    Fixboot: Writes a new partition boot sector onto the system partition.
    Fixmbr: Repairs the master boot record of the partition boot sector.
    Format: Formats a disk.
    Help: Displays a list of the commands you can use in the Recovery Console.
    Listsvc: Lists the services and drivers available on the computer.
    Logon: Logs on to a Windows 2000 installation.
    Map: Displays the drive letter mappings.
    Mkdir (Md): Creates a directory.
    More: Displays a text file.
    Rename (Ren): Renames a single file.
    Rmdir (Rd): Deletes a directory.
    Set: Displays and sets environment variables.
    Systemroot: Sets the current directory to the systemroot directory of the system you are currently logged on to.
    Type: Displays a text file.

    And also
    If there is a problem with the Boot-sector on the C:-drive, you can use "fixboot" to write
    a new boot-sector.
    If there is a problem with the Master-Boot-Record of the disk (maybe damaged by a virus),
    you can use "fixmbr" to write a new MBR
  5. jeremyjoe

    jeremyjoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I totally agree with you, I just meant i wasn't sure if it was the OS or the HDD :D

    I will return it to the CD as primary boot device, insert the XP CD and reboot!
    See what happens....gotta find the CD first...

    Do you know what would be better: Repair or Recover?
    I would LIKE to recover the data on my drive but I wouldn't cry if i lost it (downloads, installed games, etc).

    You're so helpful Blinddragon! :D:D
  6. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    Try the repair function first, you won't lose data, but you will have to reinstall microsoft updates
  7. jeremyjoe

    jeremyjoe TS Rookie Topic Starter


    You, sir, are a life saver!! And quite the whiz too. I don't know what I'd do with all those commands (i know CLS! hehe) but thanks for giving me them!

    I am reinstalling right now! I'll keep you posted :D

    Paid for by the committee to elect BlindDragon for president '08
  8. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    you mean repairing instead of reinstalling I hope?

    Repair only fixes corrupt or missing system files which it looks like you are missing

    Hope it works;)
  9. jeremyjoe

    jeremyjoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Oh yeah, totally going for the repair!

    It was going along, checking stuff and then it asked me for an administrator password, which (to my owner's knowledge) I never knew existed....so I tried 0000 and my name and whatever else I could come up with until it restarted because I had used too many passwords...pfff....so Repair doesn't appear to be an option......

    I may have to reinstall, that's what I'll do next. As for data loss, I have 2 partitions so I don't think it will mess with my data too much....C has all the windows stuff. But we'll see. Maybe I'll have a wiped harddisk. That would kinda suck. :)

    Into the reinstallation fray I go! Wooo!
  10. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    the administrator password is most likely the same password you use to access Windows XP on a daily basis.

    If you do not have a password or Windows XP normally starts without asking for one, simply press Enter.

    if you are going to go ahead and reinstall ->

    steps 1-3 same as above until you get to welcome to setup screen

    At the Welcome to Setup page, press ENTER.
    Note If you are using the Setup disks (6 bootable disks), the setup will prompt you to instert the Windows XP CD.
    5. Press F8 to accept the Windows XP Licensing Agreement.
    6. If an existing Windows XP installation is detected, you are prompted to repair it. To bypass the repair, press ESC.
    7. All the existing partitions and the unpartitioned spaces are listed for each physical hard disk. Use the ARROW keys to select the partition or the unpartitioned space where you want to create a new partition. Press D to delete an existing partition, or press C to create a new partition by using unpartitioned space. If you press D to delete an existing partition, you must then press L (or press ENTER, and then press L if it is the System partition) to confirm that you want to delete the partition. Repeat this step for each of the existing partitions that you want to use for the new partition. When all the partitions are deleted, select the remaining unpartitioned space, and then press C to create the new partition.

    Note If you want to create a partition where one or more partitions already exist, you must first delete the existing partition or partitions, and then create the new partition.
    8. Type the size in megabytes (MB) that you want to use for the new partition, and then press ENTER, or just press ENTER to create the partition with the maximum size.
    9. Repeat Steps 4 and 5 to create additional partitions if you want them.
    10. If you want to install Windows XP, use the ARROW keys to select the partition where you want to install Windows XP, and then press ENTER. If you do not want to format the partition and install Windows XP, press F3 two times to quit the Windows Setup program, and then do not follow the remaining steps. In this case, you must use a different utility to format the partition.
    11. Select the format option that you want to use for the partition, and then press ENTER. You have the following options:
    • Format the partition by using the NTFS file system (Quick)
    • Format the partition by using the FAT file system (Quick)
    • Format the partition by using the NTFS file system
    • Format the partition by using the FAT file system
    • Leave the current file system intact (no changes)
    The option to leave the current file system intact is not available if the selected partition is a new partition. The FAT file system option is not available if the selected partition is more than 32 gigabytes (GB). If the partition is larger than 2 GB, the Windows Setup program uses the FAT32 file system (you must press ENTER to confirm). If the partition is smaller than 2 GB, the Windows Setup program uses the FAT16 file system.

    Note If you deleted and created a new System partition, but you are installing Windows XP on a different partition, you will be prompted to select a file system for both the System and startup partitions.
    12. After the Windows Setup program formats the partition, follow the instructions that appear on the screen to continue. After the Windows Setup program is completed, you can use the Disk Management tools in Windows XP to create or format more partitions.
  11. jeremyjoe

    jeremyjoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Good lord. I may just have to do all that.

    I managed to get it to repair the C partition, and it's copying abuncha stuff to it now. When that is done, I will set it to repair the D partition (I have 2 copies of XP running, one I don't use and the other is a new copy over it, I never removed the other one).

    I'll have to print out your instructions!!
  12. jeremyjoe

    jeremyjoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I guess i thought I was repairing (clearly hit the Repair option) but i guess now it's installing. FIne by me :) We'll see if i lose access to the drive or some such nonsense.

    I've got another 39 minutes to go ;)
  13. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    I will probably be asleep in 39 minutes, but there are plenty of great people here that have done this tons of times.
  14. jeremyjoe

    jeremyjoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Huh......well, after 35 minutes it was STILL stuck on 34 minutes....it didn't appear to have crashed, it just sat there, blinking and changing the "this is why XP is so great" text to the right.....little lights were still blinking...so nothing seemed to have crashed but it was just sitting there....for over half an hour....at the same point.

    I'll restart the install..........i am leaning towards complete wipe.... :p
  15. jeremyjoe

    jeremyjoe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    In case you're reading this again, Blind Dragon, I just thought I'd let you know all my problems (seem to be) sussed out!!

    I repaired a part of Windows and then reinstalled it and it all works again! It cleaned off my desktop and has lost most (installed on C it seems) associations of programs installed. Meaning, all my data is still there except Windows does not recognize them as installed programs but they still work just fine.

    So i guess that's this case closed. Verdict: Windows took a huge ****. Problem solved by reinstaling :D.

    Thanks so much for your help BD.

  16. Blind Dragon

    Blind Dragon TS Evangelist Posts: 3,908

    Well, at least your up and running and were able to save some software.
  17. saik0pod

    saik0pod TS Rookie

    I remeber having the same problem, The problem was I had a CD-ROM with Caldera dos inside the dvd drive which, bios then boots up. I just removed the cd rom and set the boot sequence to my HD. It failed because I accidently formated the Hard drive with Caldera. I had to reinstall the OS. This may be your case or it may not be hope this helps.
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