Cannot boot old PC

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I have an old PC in my shed. It's an 'AMD Athlon(TM) XP1800+', 'ASUS
A7A266-E ACPI BIOS Revision 1011'. It has been running OK. I powered it
down last night, after some hours uninstalling 40-50 unwanted programs
from my C: drive ( originally showing 3% free space and after deletions

But this morning I cannot get it rebooted. It stops after getting this

I reset and powered down several times. Also reset BIOS to defaults. But
no change.

I'm at a loss as to what to try next and would much appreciate the
experts' advice please.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

Re: Cannot boot old PC

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First thing I would do is to boot using the O/S install disc and access the  
system repair menu (usually by hitting F8 after the post message). This will  
bring up several options including one to check and repair the main boot  

If that didn't work I'd then open up the case and look at the memory sticks.  
Let's say (for an example) that the PC has 2 mem sticks. I'd remove the  
stick that's furthest away from the CPU and try to boot. If that didn't work  
I'd then swap the stick I had removed with the one that's still in there and  
try again. Bad memory produces the same symptoms you have described.

Hope this helps


Re: Cannot boot old PC

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Thanks for the fast reply, Andy, which I'm reading on getting back home
some 6 hours after my post.

Before I left I opened the case, glared at the innards for a while,
removed and reconnected the more obvious plugs. And it booted!

HOWEVER ... XP would no longer find my main data drive D (one of my two 60
GB MAXTOR 6L060J3 HDs).  And my system drive C (the OS partition on the
other HD) is now showing only 19 MB free space instead of the 1.2 GB last

I'm now about to head back to the shed.

Could this be connected with my resetting BIOS to default settings?

Whatever little I ever once knew about this stuff, is now a blurry memory.
Primary and Secondary Channels? Master and Slave? etc, etc? IOW, I'm no
techie ;-)

The power and data connections to both HD sockets *seemed* OK, but as one
of my first steps next I'll remove and replace them again. Any other
'obvious' things I should try please?

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

Re: Cannot boot old PC

On 06/04/2013 07:27 AM, Terry Pinnell wrote:
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I have had the power connectors to hard drives (both PATA and SATA) fail
to engage properly, which can be frustrating to diagnose until found
out.  With the old PATA connectors, what helps is to "close down" the
(metal) female sockets so that they positively engage on the male pin.
You don't want them too tight, but you want them to definitely not be

I would also check (with a good flashlight) that you have inserted the
ribbon cables correctly, and completely, into the drives.

As to primary and secondary, those at the two channels for IDE drives on
the board (you will have a primary socket and a secondary socket).  Each
of those sockets can have two devices, a master and a slave.

Master and slave can be set a few different ways, either by the drive's
position on the cable (if cable select), or by a jumper set on the
drive.   It looks like both of your drives are detected, as well as the
optical drives, so they appear to be hooked up correctly.

You might try going into Administrative Settings --> Computer Management
--> Disk Management and seeing what the status of your drives are, but I
wouldn't change anything unless you are sure of what you are doing.


Re: Cannot boot old PC

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Thanks Jon, will follow that advice.

One important correction. I was mistaken in my reply to Andy. From some
2002 notes it seems that C and D are PARTITIONS of one of the 60 GB HDs,
NOT separate HDs. C = OS, D = data. The other HD is used for backup and a
large music collection.

Now off to the shed.
Tuesday 4 June 2013, 16:05 UK time.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

Re: Cannot boot old PC

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Looking in Disk Mgmt it seems that my D partition had somehow got its
letter changed from D to J! I've renamed it D and rebooted. But everything
is now glacially slow. Will report back shortly.

Terry, East Grinstead, UK

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