Jump to content

Boot Blues

Recommended Posts

I am having a problem where windows XP during bootup randomly restarts. about one out of five times it will complete the sequence. i have tried editing my boot.ini file multiple times, changing it so that it reads:


/noexecute=alwaysoff /sos /fastdetect /bootlog


just to save anyone the trouble of seaching the net for just what the heck each of those do,


/noexecute option is for microsofts "Data Execution Prevention" and the always off option (obviously) turns it off. read on an nvidia page that the 64 bit procs sometimes stumble with this. it did cut my boot time but no luck on my error.


/sos takes away the charming winows logo boot screen and instead shows the main driver boot and then switches to a screen showing the build of xp and a few system specs (# of procs and mem).


/fastdetect causes NTDETECT to skip parallel and serial device enumeration


/bootlog write boot progress to ntbtlog.txt in the windows folder.


which brings me to one of the strange patrs, it only makes an entry in bootlog.txt if it sucessfully loads. telling me that whatever screws up is before that in the the to do list. also, tried enabling a memory dump, sames ends, won't do it.


also, most of the times it flashes a BSOD before restarting, i tried changing that setting as well, no reboot when error occurs, still restarts so fast i can't read the thing.


i recently purchased a mach 16 dvd burner (pacific digital co). after the initial struggle of getting windows to detect it right, which it finally did. after this my BSOD/restarting problems occurred.


i don't think that its a hardware issue, i've triied to go back to the basic and step by step check eveything, swapped the pata cable for another, switched power connectors, triple checked my slave master pin settings, switched the cable plugs back and forth between drives. everything i can think of and more that i found on the net.


another strange thing, i have mandrake linux installed on a partition of the drive, no problem whatsoever in bootup. a million times i can restart it and never once do i get an error out of linux. this disinclines me further to believing that its a hardware error.


further, said dvd drive works fine in all aspects when windows does boot, and in linux.


two ideas that i've had, but i wanted to check with someone alot more tech savvy then i, were my power supply (its a no name wonder that came with the case, rated at 450 wats but i have to wonder. . .) and a bios flash, i'm still running the shipped bios.


any ideas would be much appreciated, i can't get my wife off my back about this!!i'd be happy running linux in most cases, but she's still stuck on windows.



COMP USA case and power supply combo, rated at 450 watts.

DFI NF3 250GB (LAN party UT)

AMD 64 2800

756 megs ram (1 512 stick corsair valu select, 1 512 stick no name fry's)

Geforce fx 5800

WDC 80 gig pata

52x cd burner dvd rom combo

16x cddvd burner

Windows XP SP2 build 2600 all the latest patches installed, all the latest NVidia drivers recently re-installed


bios settings:

all ram timings set to auto

all other settings at normal (non-overclocked)

SATA disabled

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an exemplary description, hope I can help with my 2 cents.


I'd test the RAM with memtest http://www.memtest86.com/#download0 Make a bootable cd, then test each stick individually and in combination. Your RAM doesn't quite add up if you have 2 x 512M sticks != 756M.


Disconnect the burner (I'd guess you've already done this) and see what happens. Make sure it's disabled in BIOS too. Some ASPI stuff can cause problems. Also some burners cause problems if the 'Large Cache' option is enabled in WIndows - make sure optimise for programs is set in Performance Settings.


Try to start XP in safe mode if necessary. If that works, it really does narrow it down to a Windows driver. Find out how much RAM it thinks it has too, same with Linux using 'free' at a bash prompt.


Try Driver Cleaner http://www.drivercleaner.net to completely remove the nForce drivers and reinstall them for Windows.


If you can get XP to boot, move your swap file, to another partition if possible; I've had all sorts of weird stuff with swap files on a partition with bad blocks.


Please let the forum know how this goes, interesting problem.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

i apologize for making the post so large, i should've left it open to get more replies.


a thousand thanks to okami for his post and helpful suggestions.


I Narrowed the problem down to my DVD burner with some hardware testing. after about a week of correspondance between me and the very nice tech's at pacific digital (recomend their DVD burner to anyone just for the tech response!), we figured the problem out.


There exists a compatabillity issue between the NVIDIA IDE driver and some optical drives. by removing the driver for that particular component and "rolling" it back to the microsoft default driver all of my problems went away.


found that out at www.cdfreaks.net another great forum for cd/dvd burning stuff.


i also get faster burns out of my drive too, so if anyone burns alot and wants to try it out, i'd highly recommend it!


now i just have to write the driver engineer's over at nvidia to see if they are aware of this problem.


(p.s. i really have one 512 stick and one 256 stick, kudos to okami and anyone else that caught me on that one!)

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Create New...