Jump to content

27 posts in this topic

Posted

Hello once again. A customer of mine has a business with two PC peer network. The machine that is failing contains a accounting program which they have used for years and it just works. This is why I cannot get them off XP even though I would love to.

I know I could find alternatives but this is the reality and I have to leave as is.

 

As to what occurs. The machine is quite old now but as long as she leaves it on or does a reboot it runs and stays on. If it shuts down and is off that is where the problem lies. Once it is off and you turn it back on it will no boot to XP. She told me she had to use a boot disk to be able to get back into her desktop and then as long as it is on it will work fine.

It is crazy this is happening first off and I told the owner to get a newer machine even if refurbished. She could not explain to me without being there how she uses the boot disk to get back in as she is in the hospital.
 

I went online and found something called Hiren Boot CD but I dont know if that will help. Does anyone know the steps to get the machine running so I can start to backup files?

I have personally never seen this where it can run once on or rebooted but not after shutdown

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Have you given XP Mode a thought?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Don't suppose you've already tried the recovery console and done a FixBoot/FixMBR?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

No the XP mode wont work for them. I logged in there but then she could not explain what else to do. One of things that worries me about fixboot etc. Is that the program relies on the autoexec.bat and some other config file. I hate to loose those and then the program wont work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

One of things that worries me about fixboot etc. Is that the program relies on the autoexec.bat and some other config file. I hate to loose those and then the program wont work.

It won't touch them, they repair/recreate the boot loader/MBR. Could always toss on a Linux live CD to boot from and copy the data too if you're paranoid, or use that Hiren's, either or.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Could be the PSU. I had a similar problem once. Once booted the machine would run fine (well occasionally rebooting itself, but not often). However, trying to boot it cold could take many tries. Eventually it stopped booting entirely.

That's one avenue of investigation at least. In the long term however, I'd back up the application and its data (if possible).

Backing up should be relatively easy. Any Linux distro CD / Pen drive would do the trick. I'd recommend Xubuntu. Enter the live environment, open up the file manager, click on the windows partition on left hand side where the data and program is stored. Then just browse to its directory and make a manual backup to another pen drive / cd.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Had not though of the PSU. I may bring a spare in.. With the fixboot what is the command?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

With the fixboot what is the command?

Fixboot ;D It'll create a bootloader on the partition you logged into, or you can optionally specify a drive. Be careful if you dual boot though, it'll happily gobble whatever bootloader that may already be there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Had not though of the PSU. I may bring a spare in.. With the fixboot what is the command?

fixboot [drive] (C: for example)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks a lot. Been a long while since I have done this and in XP! so it would be fixboot c:  after I get inside the recovery console

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks a lot. Been a long while since I have done this and in XP! so it would be fixboot c:  after I get inside the recovery console

NP, and yes, I usually toss a FixMBR in there as well too, just because, If that's what the problem is of course.. as mentioned above it could be hardware too, but personally I go for the obvious first to rule it out. Pop in the XP CD and boot from that, when it says "Welcome to Setup", press R. It should ask for the installed Windows administrator password.. pretty sure that's how it goes, working from memory, haven't touched an XP recovery in a good number of years.

Of course, it would help if you could say what the system says when it tries to boot. Error message? Just hangs? Etc, would help narrow it down.
2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks a lot. Been a long while since I have done this and in XP! so it would be fixboot c:  after I get inside the recovery console

If it's the same system partition as you're currently logged into (most likely), then you can omit the disk I believe.

Here's the official docs for it:
https://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/windows/xp/all/proddocs/en-us/bootcons_fixboot.mspx

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hopefully this will get them operational for the short term. Long term they need to consider some newer hardware, a newer OS, or maybe even a P2V capture of the XP box. I hope they have reliable backups. It could definitely be a failing PSU - once the power is insufficient to boot, the BIOS wont even be accessible. You'll just hear fans and see the power light is lit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I already told the owner he needs to get a newer machine and not prolong it. I take care of his machines in his home and office for the last 5 years. He trusts me. It is this woman that gives a hassle but in the end he is the one that decides and pays.

I got him a Dell Optiplex Refurb 770 and it has been fantastic! Quiet, fast and runs XP fast. I may get him in the same one or an HP Elite refurb. I thank GOD I have had very good experiences with refurbs/used machines and all his machines (3) fall into this category.

If it works it works :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I should have also mentioned that all we get is a black screen. There is no message after the BIOS info goes off screen

NP, and yes, I usually toss a FixMBR in there as well too, just because, If that's what the problem is of course.. as mentioned above it could be hardware too, but personally I go for the obvious first to rule it out. Pop in the XP CD and boot from that, when it says "Welcome to Setup", press R. It should ask for the installed Windows administrator password.. pretty sure that's how it goes, working from memory, haven't touched an XP recovery in a good number of years.

Of course, it would help if you could say what the system says when it tries to boot. Error message? Just hangs? Etc, would help narrow it down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

I should have also mentioned that all we get is a black screen. There is no message after the BIOS info goes off screen

Mmm it just might hardware related then.. usually when there's a bootloader failure it'll tell you so, not just sit there with a black screen. Still worth trying but..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

It could be a number of things. Bad PSU, memory, Harddrive, etc. Memory can be checked using the memtest utility included on Linux distro ISO's.

One way to eliminate the OS/HD is to try turning off/on and booting directly to Linux iso a few times (set the bios to boot from cd/usb). If it works every time, then it's probably one of them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Mmm it just might hardware related then.. usually when there's a bootloader failure it'll tell you so, not just sit there with a black screen. Still worth trying but..

The fact that it gets past the bios without beeps etc suggests it might just be the HD or OS. As I suggested before, grap a Linux distro, burn to cd or write to usb pen drive, set the bios to boot from it by default, then turn it off and on a few times. If it works every time when before it didn't, it's either the HD or the OS.

http://xubuntu.org/getxubuntu/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

"The machine is quite old now"

Maybe the motherboard CMOS battery is weak, and needs replaced.

I always try the simple fix, first.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Hum, on 22 Aug 2014 - 15:01, said:

"The machine is quite old now"

Maybe the motherboard CMOS battery is weak, and needs replaced.

I always try the simple fix, first.

CMOS battery would have nothing to do with it posting to a black screen...

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Thanks for all the feedback. I went to his office but he had to leave. Had a power supply and boot CD ready but will have to wait. I can post back the results when I finish

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

CMOS battery would have nothing to do with it posting to a black screen...

Over the years, I've had 3 times where the desktop would not post at all, due to the battery.

 

CMOS should be replaced about every 3 years.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

before you do any of the suggestions... i would try somehow to image the drive just in case things go crazy and the drive goes nuts and refuses to boot.......copy the partition to a  spare drive if you have one..................good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Just a heads up - the last time I used fixboot it screwed up my Windows-installation big-time. I usually stick to fixmbr.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted

Guys been meaning to write back. I did not have to do any of that. Things in that place got crazy as the women that runs this PC went into a Diabetic Shock and I had never seen that before. I was able to get her to eat a bit and hold her so she would not fall on the floor.

Anyways I got so frustrated with the machine that I turned it over on it's side and opened the side panel. I looked at every component and was going to swap out CMOS battery and PSU as someone suggested but I did not. Something told me to remove 2 out of the 4 sticks of RAM in there and once that was done and it was upright I turned it on and was able to get into the BIOS. I looked things over and was saw two things I could change so I did.

I restarted and lo and behold it booted into XP. The machine is still having issues though. For example I plugged in my USB stick and proceeded to copy over all the files that make up this DOS accounting program. The good thing is that the program does not need to be installed. Just run the .exe and that is it.

My stick would turn on and off it took me almost 20 minutes of copying these files when it should have taken 1. I told the owner this and explained little by little the machine is having all sorts of problems. Id say the machine is almost 10 years old which is very old. I convincined him to get a newer machine and that I would set it up for him. I am just waiting to see when he is ready to do this and give me a check.
 

When a problem like this arises do not give up. Keep trying and many times you will get to the solution. Still I know sometimes you just got to let it go. Nothing you can do

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.