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Christopher Low

Major problems

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I have a serious problem with my PC at the moment guys, and the details are listed below.I was using FLED to upgrade certain aspects of Sonoma Skypark, and I had just finished tweaking the taxiways and AI pathways. I then decided that I wanted to add several buildings to the nearby scenery, so I started FLED again, and opened the existing Sonoma Skypark package. Anyway, before I could do anything, one of those dreaded messages appeared. It is slightly different in Windows XP compared to Windows ME, but basically FLED needed to be shutdown because of a problem. When I used Windows ME, I simply re-booted the PC, and FLED would work normally from then on. However, this didn't happen last night. The error message kept on being displayed, which means that I couldn't use FLED. Oh dear.So, I decided to use System Restore to solve the problem. The latest restore point was early yesterday afternoon, which was fine. I accepted this restore point, Windows did a little dance :-) and then the system re-booted.Er.....now we get to the MAJOR problem bit. In short, I cannot boot up to the desktop. The loading process reaches the part where "Microsoft Windows XP" is displayed, and then XP's version of ScanDisk appears (the blue screen showing that the disk is being checked). Several seconds later, the system re-boots again. This happens every time, even if I cancel the ScanDisk process.Just before the system re-boots, I catch a glimpse of another (darker) blue screen with lots of text on it. I have seen this screen before (or something similar), and I am pretty sure that it is displayed when a serious problem has occurred (wow, that was hard to work out :-))I booted up with a floppy disk late last night, and ran the DOS version of ScanDisk. This detected that the true size of the hard disk was not being reported correctly, and apparently fixed it. However, I tried this again, and the SAME error was reported. I then decided to run a surface scan (overnight, since it took around TEN HOURS :-eek ), but there were no errors on the disk.So, does anyone have any idea what could have happened ? I scanned my system for viruses shortly before the problem occurred (just a routine check), and everything was clean.Needless to say, this is a serious problem. Without access to the desktop, I am ****** !Help :-fume Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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Chris,Most of your symtoms sound like a major disk problem but that doesn't work with you disk scans. I dunno. Hope someone else has a good fix for you.

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Hi Chris,Thats terrible news. I don't have xp, but am wondering if XP has a "safe-mode" like win98 does. It would get into the desktop with basic functions but you'd have access to windows' more thorough tools as apposed to the dos ones and you'd be able to check your systems.Jim B.

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Jim,It doesn't even boot up in SAFE MODE ! :-eek Anyway, someone on another forum has suggested re-installing Windows from the CD, and I think that this is probably a good idea. In fact, do you remember me saying that I tried to get Windows Messenger disabled by following a Registry modification method not so long ago ? Well, I assumed that I had successfully reversed the process, but you know what they say:-Assumption is the mother of all **** ups ! :-lolIt is quite possible that any damage that I had done could have been hidden until now. Maybe the damage was done to System Restore....who knows ?I will let you all know what happens.It's amazing to think that I have had more problems with Windows XP in two weeks than I did with Windows ME in two YEARS.......and this OS is supposed to be more stable !!!Chris Low,ENGLAND.

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Chris,We seem to get all new PC's now with XP installed by default, but we were having similar problems to you with nearly all of them on occassions. In the end we decided that it was not a stable enough environment to use with Industrial Control Systems.We did find a solution however - Format the disk and install Win2k professional.As for me on my home gaming systems, I still use Win98. I have had the benefit over the years to have multilple boot OS's on the same hardware by using our MSDN subscription, and can still safely say that from my experiments, 98 is still the OS of choice for gaming for me. My 3DMark tests have also consistently shown that 98 is slightly faster in the benchmarks than either 2000 or XP on the same hardware with the latest drivers and DirectX.RegardsChris E, ENGLANDhttp://www.circle-software.co.ukAvoid AGP texturing = Better Performance ;)

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Hi Chris,What this sounds like to me is that your hard disk has lost a sector. I had a very similar problem with my 60Gb IBM Deskstar drive over a year ago, basically the data seemed to be corrupted and no amount of scandisking it would fix it. In order to get around it I eventually ended up ripping that drive out, replacing it with a Western Digital drive, then using Norton Ghost to copy all my data between the two drives. I ran fdisk and format on the suspect drive to allow it to mark the unusable sector on the drive and it _seems_ OK, but I really haven't trusted it with crucial data since. Everything I want to keep goes on the Western Digital drive.Cheers,Rich.

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Rich,There is (or was - havn't checked recently) a utility on the IBM website to fix that kind of issue. It was a true low level error check and format utility, but of course would only work with IBM drives. Incidently, if you do have an IBM Deskstar, it might be wise to check out this thread, and see how I cured my Deskstar ills with an Athlon heatsink and fan combo.http://forums.avsim.com/dcboard.php?az=sho...=3756&mode=fullChris E, ENGLANDhttp://www.circle-software.co.ukAvoid AGP texturing = Better Performance ;)

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Regarding Windows Messenger and reinstalling -- the best way to avoid the Windows Messenger is to avoid installing it in the first place. A friend of mine told me that he always used the custom install option and WM is not a required component. In many ways it seems that XP is the "dummies" version of Win 2000, always trying to include "features", warning you whatever you do etc. However, it can be stripped down and configured to avoid the nonsense and this process starts with reading the "small print" during each step of the installation.Hans Petter

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Hi Chris,Cheers for the heads up on that thread, I didn't even realise that forum existed on here :-). I had a vague suspicion that it might have been a heat related problem at the time but wasn't that interested in conclusively proving it, I just wanted my PC up and running again. As for the idea of adding extra fans to my case, well it's already too noisy as it is :-(Cheers,Rich.

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