Boots as far as XP starting to load

  Ian in Northampton 19:30 19 Jan 14
Locked

I have a loft full of PCs, and having nothing better to do, decided it was time to work my way through them to see which ones are worth keeping and which aren't.

One of them is an elderly Evesham machine. I had it running fine. The last thing I recall doing with it (and this may be a red herring) is loading a driver for the Audigy sound card.

Now, it won't boot. It gets as far as the XP splash screen, bluescreens a and reboots itself.

It does the same in Safe Mode.

My initial thought was that XP had got corrupted, so I set about installing XP. It loads a fair number of the installation files - and then bluescreens.

I'd wondered whether the Audigy driver was anything to do with it, so on a subsequent reboot, disabled onboard audio. Same result. I'm not surprised: a bad driver shouldn't cause the XP installation process to abort.

I'm wondering whether it's developed a hardware fault - memory perhaps, which is only becoming apparent when the machine tries to access memory beyond a certain point. Does that sound feasible?

Only other piece of possibly relevant information I can think of is that the CMOS battery is patently shot, but I've set time and date and boot order and it seems happy enough until I power it off - when, of course, it loses its BIOS settings.

  Sneeze1 19:35 19 Jan 14

Xp is dying in April isn't it?

  Ian in Northampton 20:20 19 Jan 14

If you mean that MS will no longer offer support/updates for it - correct. If you mean "an operating system that still works well, does everything I need it to and with which I'm hugely familiar" will magically uninstall itself not only from the several PCs I have that run it, but those of millions around the world - well, no, it isn't.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:47 20 Jan 14

it seems happy enough until I power it off - when, of course, it loses its BIOS settings.

Put in a new CMOS battery

Remove and refit memory (may have worked loose if stored in loft where temperature changes.

Run chkdsk on the drive from command prompt if you can get there.

Retry to run a repair of XP or a fresh install if nothing worthwhile on the drive.

  Ian in Northampton 13:58 20 Jan 14

Thanks Fruit Bat /\0/\ - some good stuff to try (altho' I'm not hopeful of getting as far as command prompt).

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:08 20 Jan 14

If it won't get to command prompt and there is nothing worth while on the drive then make sure you format the drive with the XP Cd before a fresh install.

  Ian in Northampton 17:15 20 Jan 14

Thanks again guys. BJH: yeah, I was trying to reinstall XP via a bootable XP CD/DVD. Fruit Bat /\0/\: yep, I do that as a matter of routine. The challenge is to look at the hard drive.

Job one is to identify the type of CMOS battery needed. Then, while I've got the case open, I'll re-insert the memory. Unfortunately, it's not going to happen any time soon as I woke up this morning feeling absolutely cr*p. Apparently, there's a lot of it about. I'll update you when I'm back on the case.

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