View Full Version : Now what...?

12-06-08, 08:23 PM
Hey... I'm at my Dad's office upgrading his computers. Here's what he had...

AXP 2800
ASUS A7N8X-X mobo
WinXP Pro SP3

Here's what I've upgraded him to

AX2 5000 (Brisbane)
WinXP Pro SP3

Okay, due to the vast amount of business data on this computer, I opted not to do a fresh install of Windows. Before performing the upgrade, I booted into safemode, uninstalled all the drivers, powered the system off, performed the upgrade, powered the system on, got to Windows splash screen and then the system would reboot to the advanced startup menu for XP. I can access the desktop via safemode, but I cannot perform a regular boot, otherwise it just restarts.

I've tried installing the drivers for the new mobo in safemode... didn't help anything. I tried disabling all startup options in MSCONFIG, didn't do a thing.

And now I'm at a loss. None of his data has been effected, so if a fresh install is necessary well we can do that (it'll have to wait untill tomorrow as we don't have a means to backup *everything* right now), but I'd rather not.

Any tips, pointers, anything would be greatly appreciated right now. I really want to avoid a re-install if at all possible. Might I be overlooking a setting in the BIOS? I didn't modify anything in the BIOS really, other than the time and date and making sure S.M.A.R.T. was enabled for the HDD. Other than that, everything else is at its defaults.

Please, any suggestions I really do appreciate. Thanks guys! :D

12-06-08, 08:30 PM
did you try booting with only one stick of ram in?

12-06-08, 08:35 PM
No, I haven't tried that. The RAM I'm using in it came directly out of the Intel rig in my sig... I just assumed it worked fine in that rig it probably wouldn't cause any problems. I guess I can try that.

One thing I noticed... under Add/Remove Programs the "nVidia Drivers" is still listed. If I click "Change/Remove" it looks as if a windows appears for a fraction of a second and then closes... it's too fast to really even see anything. I've browsed through all the system folders looking for any lingering nVidia drivers and cannot locate any, but I've noticed a bunch of system files that are compressed... probably cause somebody here ran driver cleanup. Might there be a compressed system file that the OS needs to access but can't due to it being compressed? If so, is there a way to undo that compression without manually uncompressing each and every file?

I'm gonna' take a stick of RAM out now, try each one individually, and see if that helps. BRB.

12-06-08, 08:47 PM
Still the same thing, I tried 1 RAM stick of RAM, tried it in all four slots, then I tried the other stick of RAM in each slot, didn't make a difference. :(

I flipped through the BIOS for about the fourth time... can't see anything that appears out of place, I even went ahead and had it load the default values... didn't make a bit of difference. Something is stopping this rig from loading properly and I cannot figure out what it is. :(

12-06-08, 09:13 PM
The only time I've ever had that problem was with memory, sorry I can't be of more help :(

12-06-08, 09:15 PM
No luck yet. :(

I disabled every non-essential service via MSCONFIG, and it still would not boot normally. It seems the *only* way I can actually gain access to Windows and boot to the desktop is via safemode. :wtf:

I was going to disable each and every service and process in MSCONFIG, then slowly enable them all one by one to find out what the culprit might be but it appears I cannot even do that. :(

What about System Restore? I do not use it all that often so I am not sure of how well it works. If I were to attempt to restore the system to an earlier date, will it delete any documents created after that restore point? The critical issue here is that *no data be lost*. So if restoring to a prior point will cause any recent documents to be deleted then it is not an option.

12-06-08, 09:20 PM
The only time I've ever had that problem was with memory, sorry I can't be of more help :(

Thanks buddy. :(

What I'm tempted to do is this-

I have a 74GB SATA150 HDD, it's currently the one in the Intel box in my sig. Well, I'm considering pulling it out to replace the drive in this computer of my Dad's. This drive in my Dad's office computer is an IDE one (ATA133). I would not even mess with any of the data on this IDE drive, I'd just unplug the power connector, install Windows on my SATA drive, install all the drivers and windows updates, install all of my Dad's applications, and then reconnect his old IDE drive to transfer documents. I really don't want to do that cause he has his network setup just the way he wants it, his secretary (this is actually her computer, it's in the front of his office so it *has* to be back up and running by monday) has it setup the way she likes it, etc. That option could take forever, but then again I've already been here for darn near 5 hours and I'm about ready to pull my hair out. :(

I almost don't know what to do. I'm half tempted to just throw his old hardware back in here, see if it'd boot normally then. If so, re-install the appropriate drivers and just let his tech take care of this upgrade. I offered to do this upgrade for my Dad to save him having to pay his tech $40 an hour... but maybe that was a mistake on my part. :( I seldom ever do any work on his computers, he always has his tech take care of things. Maybe that is what I should have had him do this time. :(

12-06-08, 09:27 PM
When switching mobos as you did, occasionally choosing "repair option" off the install disc, then 'fixmbr' will take care of it.

12-06-08, 09:32 PM
When switching mobos as you did, occasionally choosing "repair option" off the install disc, then 'fixmbr' will take care of it.

I hardly ever use XP anymore, let alone the repair feature for XP.

By doing this, is there any way that it could prevent windows from loading entirely, even in SafeMode?

Also, the copy of XP he has (his disc) is pre-SP1... that won't hurt anything, will it?

Right now I'm about to try downloading the latest MB drivers, and see if that fixes anything.

Thanks for your assistance Grey! I really want to get this rig up and running tonight. :o I've been praying for help to beat the band! :lol:

12-06-08, 09:40 PM
It'll take darn near an hour to download the chipset drivers from ASUS as my Dad's office connection seems to have a dl rate of only 150Kbps. :(

That repair options is sounding better, but I'm afraid of any damage it might cause since I'm not 100% familiar with it. As it is now, I can at least access the desktop to backup and transfer his data if a fresh install is needed. I'm just afraid that if I do the repair option that then I won't be able to access the desktop at all in a worst-case-scenerio.

What to do? :(

12-06-08, 10:03 PM
Okay, I booted to the XP CD, and select "Recovery Console". For some dumb reason the display was not perfectly centered, and some of the text was cut off. It was asking me to select a windows installation to boot log into, but I could not see all of the options... so I just exited without changing anything. I do recall the ASR (Automated System Recovery) option, but it's been so long since I've used it.

I'm really at a loss here. I'm now leaning towards just taking the new hardware out and throwing the old hardware back in here. I really don't know what else to do. As I stated a few posts up, I seldom service my Dad's computer- he has another tech do that. I'm half tempted to just have my Dad go through his tech... I'm hecka' nervous about losing any of his data. :o :(

Any last suggestions?

12-06-08, 10:09 PM
Okay, gonna' try putting his old hardware back in and see what happens.

It's weird, at work I never get this nervous, and people bring in the office computers all the time. It's kinda' wierd how I'm so nervous about working on my Dad's rigs, yet if I didn't know him from Adam and he brought this exact system into my work wanting the exact same hardware installed, I'd probably get it performed one way or another. I guess maybe since it's my Dad maybe I'm a bit more cautious? This is almost embarassing... :o

Anyhow, off to put the old hardware back in. BRB.

12-06-08, 11:12 PM
Well, it seems I've wasted my entire day up here. :(

I installed his old hardware, and the system came right up. Reinstalled mobo drivers, restarted, and it's working fine now. I guess if it ain't broke, don't fix it, right? :lol:

Only problem is his computers do not meet corporate's minimum spec... so he *must* upgrade his rigs, and the hardware is already here. Maybe, once I've rested some, I'll be able to get 'em going tomorrow when I am less pressed for time (it's now 9:06 pm and I've been here since about 2pm). I'm tired, hungry, and just plain sick of dealing with these rigs.

I'm really tempted to just have him pick up a 500GB external HDD, back up all of his secretary's documents and such to the external, and do a fresh install on this computer. My only concern, then, is setting up his network exactly as it was before so his employees aren't confused with any new settings when they come in on Monday.

Bah! This is just too stressfull. I'm gonna' see if his regular tech can take care of it. As I stated earlier, it seems I'm just too nervous when it comes to his rigs.

Is that normal? Has anybody else experienced that? You can work on anybody's rigs except your Dad's? Or if it's person you honor and respect deeply, you get nervous when they ask you to work on their computers (because you know they *need* their rigs for their business to thrive)?

I don't know, it just seems like I have so much more pressue when I work on my Dad's computers than I do when I'm at my job... and I'm doing stuff like this all the time at my work... but suddenly when it's my Dad's computers everything is different? Maybe it's just me... :( :o

Oh well, it's working, I'm packing up and going home with my tail between my legs. Think I'll enjoy a nice merlot tonight, or maybe something else. Have to see what's there. I wanna' sleep good tonight though. :lol: Hopefully not remember any of this when I wake up tomorrow! :lol: :p

12-07-08, 12:15 AM
I do all the IT stuff for my clinic and have since 1998 . . .We have grown from three workstations in a peer-to-peer environment to around 20 workstations (up to 30) and a server . . . I have build many of our workstations. I did lots of work for my Dad's accounting firm before he retired as well (boring IT stuff again) . . .it is more pressure when you are being watched . . .

Thanks Darth. I guess I feel so much more pressure because I feel if I don't fix his computer's, I've failed him some how. :lol: Sounds weird, I know, I just really don't want to let him down or disappoint him... but I feel that I have. :(

I did a little investigating tonight, and it seems his tech is using MySQL for my Dad's network- I know next to nothing about MySQL! :( So, I informed him that he's probably better off having his tech do this. I can tell he was disappointed. :( I hate letting him down.