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

  Rayspan 22:25 21 Sep 05
Locked

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?

  Rayspan 22:34 21 Sep 05

Sorry everyone, this should have been posted under 'helproom' - please respond anyway if you can help.

  uisquebeathus 13:55 22 Sep 05

at that position/sector could mean a damaged sector in the disc,
have you ran a scandisk in my computer click on the c drive then properties/tools at the top is error checking, this is then scheduled to be done at the next restart.
what can happen if there is a bad sector it is marked in the drive controller and if there is any spare sectors reserved they are released if not ther is a little reduction in your drive capacity. if the damaged sector or sectors are over a large part of the drive "a" xpsp1 will not install, "b" you will be better getting a new drive asap.

  Rayspan 14:58 22 Sep 05

Thanks for input. That is exactly what I did. There are two options, one is 'scan and attempt recovery' which doesn't involve rebooting,the other is the one you suggest.
The first reports no errors. The second crashes.

The Norton non-fix check reports '0 in bad sectors' but flags a security descriptor error.

Running CHKDSK in start/run, reports no errors, including security descriptors. Can't help suspecting I'm seeing a lot of red herrings!

I'll get a new drive anyway, it's just so frustrating not being able to finger this more accurately.

  Pineman100 18:02 22 Sep 05

This may be a simplistic suggestion, but have you tried just using System Restore to restore back to a date before the problem? Obviously this won't help if you have a physical disk problem, but might just be worth a try.

  Rayspan 19:24 22 Sep 05

Hi Pineman - oh yes, System Restore is a mainstay. Doesn't cut this bit of mustard though!

If only.

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