My latest PC Problem

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I have a Hewlett Packard Pavilion 7955 PC with 512mb and Windows XP.

I started having issues whenever I opened up a text file or folder on
my desktop. The files would open but they would be accompanied by a
message that siad the file was corrupt.

And on occasion I would not be able to open anything. Even the start
menu would only appear for a split fraction of a second when I clicked
on it.

Or only a properties window would appear whenever I attempted to open
up anything on my desktop.

All this necessitating a re-boot of my PC.

Well, I can't even do that now. I only get the following message on
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"windows could not start because the following file is missing or
<Windows root\system332\ntoskrnl.exe.
Please re-nstall a copy of the above file."
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But that is only when I attempt to boot from this drive...

When I attempt to boot using any of my other known working drives or
my DVD player(with Windows XP disk), regardless of the boot order set,
drive positions on the cable, jumper settings, primary or secondary
IDE connection used, as well as new cables, I get the following
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"PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable.
PXE-MOF: Exiting Intel PXE ROM"
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So basically, I cannot boot or repair Windows XP on this PC. Could the
problem by a BIOS problem or my CMOS battery? Is this system ready for
the trash? (I several other systems, but each have their road blocks
when I attempt to install a fresh drive with Windows XP). :-(

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks a lot.

Darren Harris
Staten Isalnd, New York.

Re: My latest PC Problem

Searcher7 wrote:
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If I recall correctly that PXE business is a network book failure.
That's not really surprising as you probably don't have that facility
setup, nor would you need to.  It's probably just getting to that after
all else has failed.

Ok, so the symptoms you describe up to this point could easily have been
caused by a failing hard drive or a flaky power supply, or even the
motherboard.  Either one of those things could have had an escalation in
their failure that has produced the new symptoms.

It sounds like you've been pretty thorough in testing drive
combinations.  Given that any and all drives seem to fail, it sound like
its something more than just a single bad hard drive.

I would suggest this:

1) Get yourself a known working optical drive and a known working power

2) Reduce your system a minimum configuration.  Just the motherboard,
cpu, one stick of memory (if that configuration is legit), the known
good optical drive, jumpered as a master, the power supply, a video card
if your system does not have onboard video.

3) Dust bust the system and make sure all contact points are clean and
undamaged--that means the memory modules and that video card if you need it.

4) You might consider pulling the whole mess out of the case and setting
up the test system on a countertop.  Make sure you observe static
discharge precautions.

If you can get the system to boot, then you can start adding bits back
in until the problem emerges.  If it will not boot in that minimum
configuration, then you have to look to a problem with the memory or
possibly the motherboard.

Re: My latest PC Problem

Searcher7 wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

The "file is corrupt" is not something a text editor can easily determine.
If the data looked like binary, the text editor may comment on the non-text
nature of the file. So the "file is corrupt" tells me the utility saw
CRC errors coming from the storage subsystem (serious problems).

Falling back to PXE (net boot), means that no hard drives were located,
that contained a boot system.


I'd start with memtest86+ from .

You do *not* want to be writing to hard drives, if bad memory is
present in the computer.

You need to rebuild your confidence in the system, by testing it.

Steps 1-4 here, are not attempting to repair anything, but instead
indicate whether it is safe to attempt to mess around.

1) Memtest86+ from . Run at least two passes.
    If there are memory errors, fix it. Either tweak the memory
    voltage and timing, or buy a new module of memory. If errors are
    always at the same locations each time, buy a new module.

2) Linux boot CD. Knoppix 6.0.1 for example

    KNOPPIX_V6.0.1CD-2009-02-08-EN.iso         660558 KB  (ISO9660, burn a CD
with Nero)
    KNOPPIX_V6.0.1CD-2009-02-08-EN.iso.md5          1 KB  (checksum)

    That CD, when it boots, looks like this.

    Tools are along the lower left of the screen. For example, you can
    open a terminal window or a browser.

3) Using Linux, you can run Prime95 as a CPU and memory stress test.
    Booting the Linux CD would also be stressful, and if you see
    a lot of errors during boot, then you'd know that more than
    Windows sees a problem with your hardware.

    Prime95 can be found here. /

    ( gzip -c -d mprime259.tar.gz | tar xf -
      Then execute the 4MB "mprime" executable file. )

4) Knoppix, by default, opens Windows partitions read-only.
    If you needed to copy or move files around, you have to do
    "Properties" on the disk in question, and change the mount
    option to read/write. Knoppix supports FAT32 and NTFS, so that
    isn't a problem. I don't see anything obvious to attempt at this
    point, since I don't understand what is really wrong.

5) You can download and run the disk manufacturer diagnostic, to
    see if there are a lot of sectors damaged or whatever. The disk
    manufacturer diagnostic is self booting as well. I have a
    Seagate Seatools for DOS diskette on my desk here, for that
    brand of disks.

6) If everything in the system looks healthy to this point, *then*
    I might consider running CHKDSK from the Windows recovery console.
    The recovery console comes from your Windows install CD, when
    you boot with it and select the correct option.

    CHKDSK will try and repair the file system.

7) Try booting Windows again. If it still fails...

8) Do a repair install from your Windows CD. That leaves user
    installed programs and data alone. It will require reinstalling
    Service Packs (the ones after the version of the Windows CD),
    any IE upgrades, WMP upgrades and so on. And you'd need to visit
    Windows Update and reinstall a ton of security patches. So while it
    doesn't mean having to reinstall all your programs, it can still be
    a lot of work.

Since you have an HP, option 6 and 8 may not be available to you.
It is possible you could get to the recovery console, using
a set of floppies downloaded from Microsoft. But I doubt a
repair install is possible with the typical media provided
with pre-built systems. They don't have a real installer
CD to work with. It's your system, so you know the details
of this better than I do.


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