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Endless reboot cycle (Read 11072 times)
melvyno
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Endless reboot cycle
Mar 14th, 2006 at 3:01pm
 
I have an emachines pc with xp home addition o/s. I don't quite know how it happened as my daughter was using the pc at the time, but I cannot reboot.

The reboot cycle starts off ok, but it then says there is a problem and suggests a choice or 5 or 6 reboot options including safe mode, last known configuration, normal etc... Whichever I choose it starts and then the screen goes blank, the screen says no input, then it loops round to the same problem screen again.

I tried the recovery at start using F11, but after a while the only choice it gives me is to format and reinstall. I don't really want to do this as there is stuff I need to keep and my last dvd backup was some time ago...stupid I know.

Is there anything I can do to recover some files before I format and reinstall ?

Thanks for your time....Melvyn.
 
 
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John.
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #1 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 3:30pm
 
Get the Microsoft Startup CD from eMachines, and boot from that CD and select a XP repair install.  That should reinstall XP without disturbing your data or applications.

Read up some more here:
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=xp+repair+install

After all is working again, purchase Ghost 10 and take regular image backups every week!
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #2 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 3:38pm
 
Melvyn, after booting into the Windows PE environment with a BartPE CD, you can use the built-in File Manager to copy all desired files to another destination (e.g., an external hard disk drive) before you format the system partition.  (You will need access to a functioning PC in order to create the BartPE CD, of course.)

After you are over this episode, you should consider using a tool such as Ghost 10 to create ‘recovery points’ (i.e., image backups) of your PC.  Doing so will allow you to easily recover from your daughter’s mishaps in the future.

Please post the results of your efforts.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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El_Pescador
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #3 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 4:27pm
 
Quote:
"... I have an emachines pc with xp home addition o/s. I don't quite know how it happened as my daughter was using the pc at the time, but I cannot reboot... Is there anything I can do to recover some files before I format and reinstall ?..."

My eldest daughter has an eMachine PC with XP Home Edition, and she recently experienced an anomaly strikingly similar to yours.  My dual goal in helping her was: (1) primarily to secure the entire JPEG library of family photos on her single MASTER HDD which were not backed up anywhere; and (2) secondarily to restore the functionality of her eMachine.

The first thing I did was to dismount her OEM Seagate HDD and install it in a Macally PHR-100A USB 2.0 external enclosure kit (a device with a USB 2.0 hardware/software setup proven friendly to Norton Ghost 2003).  Then, I hooked up her HDD in the enclosure kit to my Dell Dimension 8100 so as to transfer all critical file folders via USB 2.0 to the SLAVE HDD on my Dell for safekeeping.  Once that was complete, I fired up Norton Disk Doctor - included in my Norton SystemWorks 2003 Professional OEM CD - and performed an indepth diagnosis on the external HDD which revealed corruption in the folder C:\WINDOWS\System32.  I responded in affirmative to the Disk Doctor prompt seeking permission to repair the error, which was immediately performed - and successfully, I might add.

I reinstalled the Seagate device as MASTER HDD in the eMachine, and it booted up to function in a totally normal manner.  My daughter immediately commenced to burn CDs of her photo library, and thanked me for my gifts of both an USB 2.0 external HDD enclosure kit with a 60GB Maxtor installed and a copy of Norton Ghost 2003 to merge in with her Norton SystemWorks 2005 Standard.  Whether or not she will ever employ Norton Ghost 2003 to backup her MASTER HDD on a periodic basic in the future certainly remains to be seen.

EP
Cry
 

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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #4 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 4:55pm
 
melvyno

Quote:
my last dvd backup was some time ago...

What type of backup do you have?

Do you use Ghost?  If so, what version?

If you are proficient with using Ghost, and have a second HDD to use, I'd vote for El_Pecador's recommendation to back up the present HDD before doing major recovery changes that could lead to complete loss.

Actually, I recommend *cloning* the *bad* HDD to a spare (if it can be done--using Ghost), and then doing the recovery efforts on the *clone* if you really want to protect the data on the original HDD.
 

No question is stupid...but, possibly the answers are Wink !&&
 
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #5 - Mar 14th, 2006 at 9:44pm
 
El_Pescador wrote on Mar 14th, 2006 at 4:27pm:
"... My eldest daughter has an eMachine PC with XP Home Edition, and she recently experienced an anomaly strikingly similar to yours..."

In the immediate aftermath of the gratifying recovery described above, the 250W OEM power supply in my daughter's eMachine PC crapped out.  Fortunately, Ole Dad had a spare 350W CoolerMaster onhand and she was back in business in short order.  It does make me wonder if excursions from a failing power supply could have contributed in any way to the documented file corruption at the root of her 'endless reboot cycle'.

EP
Cry
 

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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #6 - Mar 15th, 2006 at 1:59am
 
Have you tried booting to safe mode?  I hate to suggest the obvious, but you didn't specfically mention trying it...

A failing power supply certianly cause errors on a hard drive.  The heads on the drive have to be in precise positions to write to the drive, and improper power could through everything off.
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #7 - Mar 15th, 2006 at 12:00pm
 
What a great collection of helpful recommendations in this thread so far!

Most readers of the forum have probably already done so, but the circumstances described by Melvyno show why everyone should have the basic BartPE CD:  it allows you to easily off-load files from an NTFS volume even when the PC cannot be booted.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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John.
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #8 - Mar 15th, 2006 at 1:09pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Mar 15th, 2006 at 12:00pm:
Most readers of the forum have probably already done so, but the circumstances described by Melvyno show why everyone should have the basic BartPE CD:  it allows you to easily off-load files from an NTFS volume even when the PC cannot be booted.

Unfortunately, many new pc's from vendors such as HP, Dell, eMachines, etc. do NOT come with the Microsoft XP startup cd.  You cannot make a BartPE CD without one.  And if you had one, then you might easily be able to use the Recovery Console to fix the problem.

But, for those situations without the Recovery Console or Microsoft Windows XP CD, you can start by creating a DOS boot disk and including the free  NTFSDos utilityon your diskette, which will allow read access to your NTFS disk in an emergency.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #9 - Mar 15th, 2006 at 2:32pm
 
Ghost4me, I too believed that a Microsoft XP CD was required to make the BartPE CD – but, fortunately, that is not the case.  Bart's PE Builder is able to automatically search the system partition for the files required to construct the WinPE environment, which are often contained in C:\Windows\I386.

For example, a Windows XP installation CD was not included with my PC – and yet running Bart's PE Builder successfully creates the .ISO file for the BartPE CD.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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El_Pescador
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #10 - Mar 15th, 2006 at 2:58pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Mar 15th, 2006 at 12:00pm:
"... What a great collection of helpful recommendations in this thread so far!..."

Hey - is this a great forum - or what !!!
 

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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #11 - Mar 15th, 2006 at 3:32pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Mar 15th, 2006 at 2:32pm:
For example, a Windows XP installation CD was not included with my PC

How do you boot into the XP Recovery Console?
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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melvyno
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #12 - Mar 15th, 2006 at 3:38pm
 
Thanks all for your replies....I have tried to create the Bart PE cd on my other rather creaking Win98 PC...downloaded the exe ok, but when I came to run it, the app doesn't work under Win98 !! DOH !

Will have to get a mate to create for me I think unless you gurus can suggest a way of creating the disc on a Win98 machine...

Great site by the way !!
 
 
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Pleonasm
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #13 - Mar 15th, 2006 at 4:52pm
 
Ghost4me, the Recovery Console was pre-installed on the PC by the manufacturer as a boot-time selection – i.e., upon power-up or a reboot, a menu of the boot options are presented which, in my case, are twofold:  the XP operating system, or the Recovery Console.  See the article How to install and use the Recovery Console in Windows XP, which describes the installation procedure (assuming you have the XP CD).

Melvyno, you are (unfortunately) correct.  Bart's PE Builder only works in conjunction with Windows XP SP2.  However, once you have a created the BartPE CD, you can boot any PC that contains NTFS volumes (regardless of the operating system installed on that PC) and retrieve files.
 

ple • o • nasm n. “The use of more words than are required to express an idea”
 
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John.
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Re: Endless reboot cycle
Reply #14 - Mar 15th, 2006 at 5:13pm
 
Pleonasm wrote on Mar 15th, 2006 at 4:52pm:
the Recovery Console was pre-installed on the PC by the manufacturer as a boot-time selection – i.e., upon power-up or a reboot, a menu of the boot options are presented which, in my case, are twofold:  the XP operating system, or the Recovery Console.  

What brand PC?

You're lucky.  The Dell and HP and eMachines I have seen don't have the boot-time selections as delivered (or the CD).  So for many users, when they have a problem and they don't have a Microsoft XP startup CD, they are stuck.  At least from the standpoint of using the Recovery Console for basic repairs.

Their options, like melvyno, are unfortunately to use the manufacturer's restore-cd, which is a image-restore-and-lose-everything cd.
 

Ghost4me  Ghost 9, 10, 12, 14, 15.  Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7
 
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