Compaq Presario Boots to XP with ATI Rescue CD fine - hangs without CD

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Hawthorne, Mar 29, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Hawthorne

    Hawthorne Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Posts:
    4
    On my friend's older (recently upgraded) Compaq Presario 6010US w/ XP Home, this morning after being powered off overnight it hangs in the boot screen. Once, out of 12 tries, we were able to get into Windows XP safe mode, but after that, when Windows XP home starts to load normally, it just quits and kicks back out to the initial boot screen, and hangs there, as though waiting for a command. Even F10 which loads BIOS is sluggish, taking a couple of minutes to load BIOS. I tried changing BIOS settings to Full vs Quick POST (Power On Self Test) which I think helped us get into Safe Mode, but, no luck booting to normal mode of Windows XP.

    Then we tried using the ATI Rescue CD (v 9.2323), and it snaps to attention :thumb: , loading Acronis at once, then using the 3rd option to Continue Loading Windows, XP Home loads normally as though nothing was wrong. So, it seems that the BIOS is hung at some point, perhaps asking the CD drive for a bootable option, though, no such message displays during Boot, even with info enabled in BIOS. Boot order is CD/floppy/HD.

    After recently rebuilding this PC we did not do a fresh install of Windows XP Home, which I understand might be the problem, as a new HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) was not created. Yet, once in XP, everything runs fine.

    Compaq Presario 6010US Socket A Motherboard
    AMD Athlon XP 1600+
    added RAM (now 1 GB 2x 512MB DDR 2100)
    New WD 40 GB "C" ATA 100 system drive - full format - Primary EIDE
    Recent & good Seagate 100 GB "F" ATA 100 Data - Secondary EIDE
    (both HDs are jumpered Cable Select, on the same channel with a new Cable select cable)

    new AGP MSI 256 MB NVidia GFORCE 6200 Video card
    new Antec Earthwatts Power Supply
    new Via 1394 Firewire Card
    LITE_ON CDRW LTR-24102B
    new DVD_RW drive NEC ND-3520A
    new Antec Case (noted here as the power switch cable needed to be reconfigured to fit the Compaq Motherboard - Compaq also had the system fan cable run to the Compaq Power Supply, which was the only cooling fan onboard (there are now 3 fans plus the new power supply fan).


    We do have an XP Home Installation CD, and valid license, so could activate that installation, but am not sure an XP repair installation would help, nor even take with the Compaq version of XP Home already installed. We would also rather not reformat the System Drive and reload all programs, though can if that is the best route.

    After the rebuild, we tried using True Image in Rescue Mode to restore a fresh image from ext USB to the new system drive, once all data was transferred to external USB HDs, (disconnecting the old system drive before restoring, as suggested), but couldn't get that restored drive to boot...even though TI reported the operation as successful. TI v 9.2323 doesn't seem to have a separate MBR option, so we simply restored the Drive and Single "C" partition (from 100 GB to 40GB EIDE - only 20GB in use for OS and Programs). Next we used Seagate's Drive Transfer utility, to accomplish the drive transfer directly, which did create what seemed to be a functional and bootable system, and bootable MBR, until this morning.

    Haven't yet tried a full TI restore of the new system drive...would this help, or offer no benefit, since this seems to be both a BIOS and a boot issue?

    My wife says that at work they now leave their PCs powered on 24/7 - with occasional reboots, would this help skip this cold start issue?

    Of course, upgrading to another motherboard is always an option, but we are trying to keep this as simple as possible, and would prefer not have to go thru a complete reinstallation of all programs, or replace serviceable parts.

    Or, he could just boot with the ATI Rescue Disc...if that sounds workable long term to those of you who understand what may be going on here.

    Regards,

    [edited]

    A couple hours later, we found a Compaq document that came with this PC with instructions on how to use their XP Recovery CD to repair the Boot process.

    It goes on to detail how to use the XP recovery console, to run CHKDSK, using the /r command. Does this repair the MBR, or, would it help to run FIXMBR? Turns out that my friend tried to re-install XP once so there were two installations once, now only one XP Home on the new ATA 100 "C".

    After which, the system booted normally several times, then, after trying to uninstall AD-AWARE, the system hung at boot again. Several Control+Alt+Deletes later it booted to Windows.

    So, another mess with various programs and the OS conflicting. Any clues as to why the Acronis Loader can boot cleanly, while the OS flounders? And, in the absence of a clean System Image to restore from, other ways to proceed? Or, do I simply run the Recovery Console again? Any further steps would be welcome, as I hope to leave this PC working smoothly for my friend. And, once these boot issues are resolved, make a good System Drive Image with TI to use should further issues arise.

    Compaq also suggests removing all devices, then adding them back one at a time. I wonder if the new DVD-RW drive might cause this boot issue, in the secondary position with the original CD-RW as the primary optical drive. Easy enough to check.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2008
  2. Hawthorne

    Hawthorne Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Posts:
    4
    I think we have resolved this issue. Turns out that the newer NEC DVD-RW drive wants to be top dog...by moving it to the Master position, and the LITE-ON CD-RW drive to the Slave position, everything boots normally.

    Trial and error did the trick...each optical drive worked separately, but the DVD-RW only works in tandem in the primary position, at least on this Compaq motherboard.

    Today we restored the system drive twice using Acronis True Image 9.2323, which, interestingly, we began the restore while running TI under Windows XP Home, but, even though we selected the option to Reboot the system to continue restoring the system drive, it simply rebooted to the Linux rescue mode of True Image, with no restoration process begun. After which we started the restore again, in Boot Mode, and this worked.

    Thanks Acronis. Good to have these tools on hand. Very helpful, when used carefully.

    Note: there are still pitfalls with this program...last week, while restoring Files and Folders from TI Boot Recue CD, True Image corrupted the file system on the external USB NTFS Hard Drive, a known but to date unresolved issue. Once this occurs, the only path out that I know of is to reformat the hard drive, then add back the data.

    Also, a word to the wise: Protect your original valuable data, in non-proprietary files, on multiple hard drives. Much safer than when they are stored in large container files, like Acronis True Image files (.tib), which are susceptible to corruption. And keep your drives cool!

    Regards
     
  3. DwnNdrty

    DwnNdrty Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Posts:
    3,335
    Location:
    Florida - USA
    Update to ver 9 build 3677. It should be a free update for you.
     
  4. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 1, 2007
    Posts:
    829
    In the future if you run into file system corruption, instead of reformat, run the chkdsk\f command on that drive. That will usually fix the problem.
     
  5. Hawthorne

    Hawthorne Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Posts:
    4
    jonyjoe81,

    I wish that running Checkdisk would solve the file corruption, but no Windows program has been able to clean up that mess, at least none that I've heard of or tried. Check back some time ago in this forum, as this issue was well documented. Seems that something in the way the Linux version of True Image restores certain files leaves them unmanageable by Windows. And, at times, un-openable. Can't delete them, or repair the file structure.

    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=145505&highlight=files+folders+boot+mode

    DwnNdrty:

    Not sure what benefit is being suggested by the upgrade, but, in general, upgrading from one build to the next doesn't always work on older systems. Perhaps, if you know of specific ways the later build would help here...?

    Regards
     
  6. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    3,329
    Location:
    San Rafael, CA
    Follow DwnNDrty's advice. The later builds of TI 9 were much more reliable, and 3677 was the best for many people. The last build, 3854 works well for many as well.

    I use version 3854 on many older Compaq systems with success.
     
  7. Hawthorne

    Hawthorne Registered Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2008
    Posts:
    4
    Thanks. I also use 9.3677, and 9.3854 on my own system. Good to know that they are stable on older Compaq systems. I found while upgrading builds myself that some features worked better, while at times older hardware didn't always show up, particularly in Boot Rescue Mode. So, since this system is quite old, I wasn't sure that upgrading TI builds made sense, as we could see and access the external and internal HDs just fine. I'd never used this build before, so wasn't familiar with its limitations. My friend isn't computer saavy, so I wanted to leave as much in place that he knows as possible. If this will be more stable, then the learning curve might be worth it.

    Is cloning to keep a spare system drive best, or simply restoring an image of the system drive to the spare - both 40 GB ATA HDs?

    Regards,
     
  8. Acronis Support

    Acronis Support Acronis Support Staff

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    Posts:
    25,885
    Hello Hawthorne,

    Thank you for choosing Acronis Backup software.

    Please note that cloning is usually used for transferring system from one disk drive to another so generally speaking it is not for backup purposes. Creating .tib Acronis Backup Archive and keeping it on external or internal hard disk drive is more reliable then cloning procedure. So we recommend you creating backup archives approach.

    We also recommend you to download Acronis True Image build 3854 as described in Acronis Help Post. Please be sure it is more reliable then any of the previous ones and supports all the hardware the previous builds support.

    Thank you
    --
    Nikita Sakharov
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.