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Win Xp Home freezes now
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mesmd
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April 7, 2009 - 5:28 am
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Hi,

My power supply burned out while my computer was on the desktop window idle. The system shut down and I shut off and unplugged all electrical devices to the computer. I then got a new replacement PS and installed it successfully. However, now when I turn on the computer, it checks the disk and finds a corrupt *.log file in the C: Windowssystem32 directory. After this, it boots to my desktop as usual. Then it freezes when I try and use the mouse to run any program. I can't remember the exact name of the corrupt file during the Chkdsk as the screen goes by so quickly, but it is a log file from the directory I mentioned above.

I do not have the original Windows installation disk as this computer system was purchased several years ago online. I have backed up most of my 80GB HD, however, I would like to know if there is a utility program or way I might be able to fix whatever software corruption or *.log file that may have been fried when my PS burn out occurred? Maybe there is a CD utility disk that can be booted that can rectify the software corruption that occurred during the PS crash? Or with some advice, I could boot into safe mode and try and fix this software corruption. I am a novice but want to try and fix this if possible so it will boot as normal like before the PS crash?

Thank you very much for any advice to try and correct this problem. i hope you will notify me at my Email address?

Miles

Ps. The system is a Pentium 4 2.4 GHZ, 512MB RAM, 2 80 GB HDs running Win XP Home. I run AVG AV and many Anti Malware utilities and was up to date before the crash.

PPS. I have several restore points but cant get in to run them as the system freezes after booting.

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Jim Hillier
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April 7, 2009 - 6:51 am
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Hey Miles - Have you tried to boot into safe mode?? If not, please do so now and post back whether or not it was successful....To boot into safe mode; As soon as BIOS has finished start pressing the F8 key rapidly...before the OS begins to load.

Please post back here and let us know,
cheers.....JIM

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mesmd
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April 8, 2009 - 3:25 am
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Thanks Jim,

Yes I can boot into safe mode. Should I try and do a system restore point from safe mode to a date prior to the PS crash date? Or do something else?

Thanks again for your support. I really appreciate your help.

Miles

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Jim Hillier
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April 8, 2009 - 4:00 am
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Hi Miles - Sorry about the delay in replying...we've had no power all day.....wonderful!!

Okay, the fact that you can boot okay into safe mode pretty much rules out any hardware problem. Yes, boot into safe mode and restore your system to a date before the problems arose. That should fix it...but if it doesn't don't despair, there are a few other things we can do. Just post back here with the result mate and if the problem hasn't been fixed by the system restore we shall try plan 'B'.

cheers....JIM

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David Hartsock
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April 8, 2009 - 6:37 am
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MIles, Jim is headed down the right path (as always )

Anytime Windows is running there are many files in use. Most are just read from the HD into memory, but some are written to by the OS. An example of this is .log files. When the power supply died Windows was probably writing to that log file, which caused corruption. Now, with the file corrupt, Windows can't open it and locks up.

I would do this before trying any type of restore:
1. Boot into Safe Mode and run a thorough Check Disk - Open My Computer - Right click on the C drive - choose properties - click on the Tools tab - click Error Checking Check Now - A new window will open - Click in both checkboxes - click OK. Click OK. Windows will tell you it can not perform the action because the disk is in use. It will ask if you want to schedule the action for the next reboot. Do so. This may take an hour or more once you reboot (depending on disk size and speed). Let this run its course and see if you can start Windows normally when it is finished.

If there is corruption it more than likely affects multiple files, so we want to get this out of the way. It is also possible the loss of power damaged the disk physically.

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Chad Johnson
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April 8, 2009 - 9:07 am
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here's the part you probably won't like:

get prepared to replace the drive.
you don't have long left on it.
Keep your backups up to date (if you were before, great, if not, start now).
listen for any strange grinding or unusual noises.
The drive itself has been damaged (from the sounds of it). Checkdisk will route around the damaged sections, but it won't change the fact the drive is damaged. Failure is inevitable (true of any drive, but it sounds like yours is near the end of its life).
I wouldn't rely on it anymore as you did before.
Now is the time to make sure you have all installation disks you need in case of failure. The fact that your mouse causes the computer to hang in normal boot implies your drivers might have been damaged with the drive. Windows may not work if all the data cannot be recovered.

Some call me paranoid, I like to think of it as being prepared.

Not to scare you, it could work perfectly for another year. But I feel it's better to be prepared.

--zig

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Mindblower
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April 8, 2009 - 11:30 am
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FOR ALL: This is the time to seriously consider (NO, remove consider and replace with purchase) an inexpensive UPS (that's short for Unlimited Power Supply), but the word Unlimited is an exaguration. All UPS's have a time limit - except they can properly shut down the computer thus saving head and heart aches.

I'm a big time fan, believer and user of UPS's. Not only do I use 'em to protect my computers, but serious (expensive) electronic hardware.

The biggest problem with Windows, is the lack of software to check and correct corrupted and/or mixed files. DOS was excellent in this area (long live DOS).

Otherwise the prevoius suggestions were bang on, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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Chad Johnson
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April 8, 2009 - 6:01 pm
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I always thought UPS stood for Uninterruptable Power Supply.

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mesmd
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April 9, 2009 - 1:48 am
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Thanks to all of you for your advice. My current status is as follows:

1) I thought I could boot into safe mode, as I got the menu after hitting the F8 key after the POST. Then I clicked on safe mode and, once again, it could not complete and locked up while trying. I had to power it off.

2) I was then able to boot into normal mode and tried a system restore point that was created before the PS blew out. During this restore try, the computer locked up and never was able to complete the restore. I had to shut the power down as the keyboard and mouse were inactive again.

It seems like the hard drive may be working as I hear no unusual sounds and it can still boot to the normal Windows desktop? I know that I have corrupted many necessary files to have Windows run. I have not tried CHKDSK/F from safe mode as I can't access safe mode. Should I try running CHKDSK/F from the normal mode and see if this will correct the damaged files upon reboot? I would bet it would lock up during the process?

Do you guys have any other suggestions based upon the assumption that this is a software problem? I realize that the funeral for this Hard Drive is near, but just the remote chance that this may be corrupted system and other important Windows files, (unlikely), what else can I try? Any 3rd party CD utils that I can Boot from the CD drive that might be able to correct the corruption on the Hard Drive,etc.?

Thanks so much for all your support and suggestions. You guys are great and much appreciated!!

Miles

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Jim Hillier
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April 9, 2009 - 3:50 am
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Hey Miles - The lock-up during system restore is a very bad thing.....goodness knows how many system files are now corrupted. How far into the restore was it before it locked up? Can you still boot to the OS??

It would appear Ziggie was on the right track and the HDD may indeed be on the way out. Is there any possibility of 'borrowing' an XP installation disc from somebody? You don't necessarily need [i:h4aczx33]your [/i:h4aczx33]original, just one which is the same as yours...i.e. XP version (Home) with same service pack. That would enable a lot more options, including a full (non-destructive) repair install.

Ziggie may have some more ideas for you.

cheers....Jim

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David Hartsock
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April 9, 2009 - 6:55 am
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The big problem is you didn't a) Do chkdsk before trying System Restore and b) you didn't create a backup before trying System Restore. If the drive is damaged attempting any write operations (think system restore) can cause things to go downhill quickly. Unfortunate, but we've only got the hand dealt at the moment.

I would do the following (in order)...

Use a disk imaging tool (Acronis) to image the drive, or at least backup any files you don't want to lose. Acronis (and most other) runs a version of Linux of the CD. This means it does not use the hard drive at all. Of course during any backup attempt it will read from the drive, but reading is much less destructive than writing. This may be a last ditch effort to protect your data! - Another option is a new hard drive, reinstall the OS, mount the current drive as a slave, see what files you can pull from it.

[b:2uv2v8rm]Run Chkdsk[/b:2uv2v8rm]. Preferably from the recover console of a Win XP disk. If you don't have one borrow one. If you can't borrow one try to do it from Safe Mode, but only long enough to set it up and restart. If the drive is suffering from bad sectors this will fix that. Hopefully it is only damaged sectors and not bearings or motor failure (you would probably be able to hear these).

See what happens after chkdsk. Does it boot? If it does I would create another image and start looking for a replacement drive. Install OS, Install Acronis, see what files you can pull from the image.

If it doesn't boot I would look for a replacement drive. Reinstall Windows. Install Acronis and see what files you can retrieve from your image.

The big thing to remember is try not to write to the drive more than you absolutely have to!

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Mindblower
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April 9, 2009 - 5:11 pm
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Excellent observation and remedy solution Dave (I concur ). Would be a lot easier had this happened to a DOS system, Mindblower!

"Light travels faster than sound;
That is why some people seem bright until you hear them speak"

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Chad Johnson
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April 12, 2009 - 6:46 pm
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nah, this would have been easier on a Thin client solution though. no hardware to speak of outside the NIC and Video.

I would do Dave's steps though. They are the best bet for getting your data off and getting a working computer again.

--zig

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mesmd
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April 13, 2009 - 3:20 am
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Since I do not have the Win XP Home install CD with SP2, I am buying or borrowing A CD full Install with SP2. I will then try a repair install after booting with it.
I have tried the Chkdsk via safe mode, and trying to get a restore point to complete, etc., but all of these methods freeze and never finish! I have much of the data backed up on a USB drive using Drive image. However, I still want to try and fix this HD as I believe that this is a software corruption problem. I do believe that this HD will have its inevitable funeral soon, but just want to try this last ditch effort before replacing it.

Thank you all for your excellent advice and I will post after I get the CD and try the repair installation, if possible??

Miles

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Jim Hillier
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April 13, 2009 - 5:52 am
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Hey Miles - Here is a link to a step by step guide (with screenshots) for repair install of XP, compiled by the brilliant Fred Langa:

http://www.informationweek.com/news/win ... =189400897

good luck with it mate,
cheers.....JIM

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