Windows having problems booting

By falleNx33 ยท 21 replies
Jun 29, 2008
  1. Starting 2 days ago when I have tried to start up my computer I couldnt get into windows.

    Normally my computer shows my MOBO brand screen for about 10 seconds and then kicks right into windows but recently its been freezing on that page and giving me an error saying "3rd Master Hard Disk Error Please press f1 to resume."

    When I press f1 it just says ""Reboot and select your proper reboot device" or something like that.

    I have recently added another 1GB stick of ram to my computer. I tried taking it out to see if that was the problem. When I took it out my comp booted up no problem but then failed to boot up again after a restart. I put the ram back in and said the hell with it and waited till today to see what happened. I came home from work today and turned my computer on and it turned right on.

    THe error messages started happening 2 days after putting in the new RAM stick. I do not hear any weird clicking sounds indicating something is out of place or anything...but then again I wasnt listening for them either. Anyone know what could be going on?
  2. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    k well I just shut down and tried booting back up and I got the error trying to start up about 5-6 times in a row. After the 6th time I just entered bios, made sure all my **** was set up correctly and that the first boot device was set to CD and just exited. WHen I exited I got a black screen with a message making me choose the boot device. I chose cd-rom and it booted into windows. THis is really weird.....does anyone know when its not starting up sometimes?

    system specs:

    intel core 2 duo e6550
    2gb corsair ddr2 667
    evga 7600GT
    windows xp home
    Rosewill 550W PSU
    western digital 160GB HD SATA
  3. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    Have you tired clearing/resetting CMOS at all? Also, make sure you are saving and exiting out of the BIOS as opposed to just exiting. Another thing to look at is how your hard drive is configured in BIOS. Make sure that the jumper on the actual device matches what is set in the BIOS... unless it's set to "Cable Select." Is that new stick of RAM the same as the other stick or are they different?
  4. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No theyre the same sticks. THis has never happened until 2 days AFTER putting in the new RAM. Although i dont think its the ram because I took it out last night and booted up my comp and still got the error.
  5. EXCellR8

    EXCellR8 The Conservative Posts: 1,835

    How many DIMM slots do you have? Certain motherboards require that sticks of RAM be seated in specific slots in order to run correctly. Make sure the sticks are where they should be and reset the CMOS with the jumper or pull the battery. Wait 30 secs and turn the computer on (after putting the battery back in of course) then go into BIOS and double-check your settings. If the computer is still throwing errors, my next guess would be that one of the RAM sticks might be faulty.
  6. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah a friend of mine suggested clearing the cmos as well. I have two DIMM yellow one black. The first stick of ram that I put in when I first put together the computer was in the yellow slot, so I just stuck the new stick into the black one. Could a faulty RAM stick cause this error though? I mean it says hard disk so I really hope its not my hard drive....that would be devistating :(
  7. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Is this a Desktop computer?
    I'd suggest unplugging the CD/DVD cable from the Motherboard
    Even unplugging the Floppy Drive
    Also reseating the cables to your Motherboard and your HardDrive

    Is this a Laptop computer?
    I'd suggest to remove the HardDrive, and all power (Battery and Charger)
    Hold down the ON button for 30 secs (discharging all internal voltage)
    Re-insert the HardDrive, and power adaptor only
    Turn on
  8. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow this is starting to get really weird. I turned my computer on this morning and it turned right on with no problems

    Sometimes I can get it to turn right on and sometimes I will get the error message like 6-7 times in a row.

    Kimsland, I do not have a floppy drive and this is a desktop. Are you saying some of the cables may have come loose? I've read SATA cables coming loose a lot so do you think this is a possibility? im not going to open up my computer to check until I get this error again trying to Restart or something.

    Heres what i'll do if I get this error again. Open up my comp.....check if all my cables are properly connected......and ill clear my cmos. Any other suggestions?
  9. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    uhhhh i was just browsing the internet and my comp froze the computer itself was making looping sounds like I was loading something off my hard drive and I got the BSOD. Should I get rid of this new RAM I just put in?
  10. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Please run Memtest for at least 7 passes (~4Hrs) for a thorough test of your Ram
  11. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    uhhhh which one do I download?
  12. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    From Post #18 in that thread

  13. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I tried booting up this morning and got the error I cleared my CMOS and booted back up.

    When I booted back up it said 3rd master hard disk error and CMOS Checksum bad....but allowed me to get into BIOS anyways and fix my settings. After I fixed my settings it booted back up. weird is this?
  14. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i've noticed after clearing my CMOS it tends to work but I had to do it again this morning......when the error message comes up it says

    2048MB OK
    Detecting Pri-Master......CD DVD ROM
    Detecting 3rd Master.....IDE Hard disk
    and so on...........then at the bottom it says 3rd Master Hard Disk Error Press f1 to resume

    so it detects my hardrive as the 3rd i dont know what the problem could be.........?
  15. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Your internal HardDrive should be mounted on its own IDE Cable in IDE0 connector on the Motherboard
    Also, on the back of your HardDrive there is a little jumper, this should be jumpered across CS (Cable Select). You will know which pins are CS, by referring to the picture (label) on top of the HardDrive
  16. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    the hard drive is SATA not IDE.......
  17. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    Try changing your boot order to hard drive first. There's no need to have the CD drive first unless you want to boot from the CD for some reason.
  18. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well I was just watching a video on WMP and it completely froze. I couldnt alt+tab and I couldnt maximize/minimize anything on my task bar. I then got a BSOD with the error message saying this exactly

    "STOP: c000021a Unknown Hard Error
    Unknown Hard Error
    Beginning dump of physical memory"

    I put my head down next to my computer and could hear my hard drive beeping repeatedly over and over until I shut my computer off. A friend suggested switching sata ports? is this a good idea?
  19. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Yes you can safely switch Sata ports
    But this sounds like a faulty HardDrive to me
  20. falleNx33

    falleNx33 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    my friend said he'd let me borrow his external to transfer all my data onto if I wanted to buy a new HD which is what I might do.

    WHen I buy a new HD and go to format it, I wont have any problems using the same win XP cd key will I?

    Any suggestions on good brands to look at? I have a western digital now
  21. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523


    A lot of people have their own preferences, I like WD, but whichever is good
  22. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 13,006   +2,532

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