Win XP SP2 refusing to start. Is it H/W failure?

  Rayspan 22:36 21 Sep 05

Over several weeks, start-up has frequently failed. Repeated attempts eventually get it up and running, after which performance is as normal. Norton A/V, Spybot, Adaware, MS AntiSpyWare Beta, Hijackthis, a2 have all been run, together with SFC/ scannow. All MS updates, including drivers, are up to date.
BIOS settings have been checked, Fast boot options disabled, and 'Floppy' as first boot, CD as second et.c. Boot up memory test gives OK result.

Microsoft Error report tells me Windows has been 'temporarily' unable to read the disk. I've checked cabling and plug/socket seatings et al.

Now it gets interesting!

Using Local Disk (C:) Properties/Tools/'Check now' option - 'Scan for and attempt recovery et.c.' finds no errors.

Running Norton 'Disk Doctor' with 'Fix' box unchecked reports 'security descriptor errors' as follows:

SECURITY DESCRIPTORS STATUS The 'Fix errors' checkbox was not checked. Corrective actions indicated below were not written to the disk.

Usn Journal verification completed.

Now even more interesting:

Re-running 'Check now' option - 'Automatically fix errors' and rebooting, system crashes at 25% of 'Phase 4.'

Re-running Disk Doctor with 'Fix' box checked and rebooting, system crashes at 27%.

Crash is same in both cases, blank screen, only option to press restart button on PC case.

Where do I look next?

  Taff36 22:41 21 Sep 05

I`m tempted to say PC World for a new drive! Haven`t a clue what all those diagnostic programmes are telling you. Have you tried booting from the XP disc and doing a simple checkdisc from the recovery console?

  woodchip 22:57 21 Sep 05

Stick with the Windows Scandisk, not the Norton one. I use Norton but am wary as It messed up a External drive partition when I allowed it to do a so-called fix

  DieSse 23:07 21 Sep 05

The drive manufacturers website will have some excellent diagnostic tests.

Be careful, though, as some of them will destroy the data on the drive - read the instructions carefully!!!

  Rayspan 00:26 22 Sep 05

This is the most obscure situation I've encountered in the fifteen years since I bought my first PC. This one is number four, so they've lasted pretty well!
I'm inclined to agree with you Taff36, it's always been the HDD that's let me down in the past. But once this one gets going it performs as well as ever. I'm well backed up, so I'll keep going and follow up on the other comments.
If and when I decipher it I'll post.

You won't believe it, but my ****@#** printer has just crashed its paper feed with hideous grinding noises!!!

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