Windows XP continually restarting

By julian1234 ยท 4 replies
Oct 22, 2010
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  1. Hi.
    I've got a homebuilt windows xp system with the OS installed on a sata drive. There's also two other sata drives and an ide drive fitted for storage.
    It's been working fine but last week it started to reboot each time just as it gets to the XP logo. It also reboots in safe mode.

    I tried several "software" things, to no avail.
    I then disconnected the three extra drives and it booted up OK. Reconnecting any one of them would make the error come back.
    Thinking it was a power issue I ordered an OCZ 600W psu to replace the original Antec 380W one. This arrived today, but fitting it didn't cure the problem.

    If I leave power connected to the three drives, with no data connected, it boots up OK. But as soon as you connect any of the data cables it won't.
    Also each of the secondary drives seem to be recognised by the bios on the boot screen.
    And I've also tried resetting the bios back to default.

    Does anyone have any ideas ? ... because I've ran out !

  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    One of the 3 SATA drives is bad. What is the make and model of the drives?
  3. julian1234

    julian1234 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply.

    However I've just sorted it about 5 minutes ago :)

    I was still trying several thing when I noticed in "disk management" it wasn't showing my "C" drive that I was actually booted to.
    Doing a bit of Googling for this problem I came across a program called Dr Web Cureit (which is free).
    I downloaded and ran it, and it found a Master Boot Record Virus. It then cleaned it. When I reconnected all my drives, windows booted and all the drives appeared.
    I was thinking a couple of days ago about doing a Master Boot Repair from the recovery console, but I wasn't sure if it would have lost all my data.

    The Dr Web program also found a Hosts file problem, which would account for some random websites my browser was occasionally going to. It automatically replaced it with a default file.
    Not trying to sound like an advert, it's one program I'm going to keep.

    I did also try "Unhackme". This reportedly found a problem, but strangely enough to get rid of it you had to pay for a downloadable boot disk !
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Boot record viruses are rare... Did you pull the "infected" drive from another system, or was it freshly formatted? What antivirus and anti spyware do you use?
  5. julian1234

    julian1234 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, it's been in my machine as the main drive for a couple of years.
    I use AVG (free), but don't have any resident anti-spyware. I just run Spybot and Malwarebytes once a week or so.
    My kids sometimes use my pc, so they may have clicked on something they shouldn't.

    Also the hosts file issue may have been a red herring because I looked at the one it backed up and it was a "spybot" generated one.
    Having said that I haven't had any mysterious websites pop up since, if that's what the Hosts file could do.

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