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BN Editor
BookClubEditor
Posts: 546
Registered: ‎10-20-2006
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Your PC: Can't Boot, Won't Boot

[ Edited ]

One of the scariest things that can happen to a PC owner is to be faced by a PC that's just plain dead. A PC that won't boot up is extra scary because it doesn't give you the option to get into your PC to try to fix the problem.

The first thing you need to do is to isolate whether the problem is a hardware problem or a software problem. If your PC is totally dead with no signs on life (lights or sounds) whatsoever, or it flickers into life and then very quickly dies, then the problem is going to relate to hardware. If you see an error message relating to the hard drive, RAM or keyboard during the boot up process (but before Windows starts to load), again the issue it likely to be hardware-related. If the PC crashes while loading Windows, the issue is likely to be a software problem.

OK, you've narrowed down the scope of the problem. What next?

If the problem is a hardware one, you need to go through the rules outlined in the previous lesson to work out what piece of hardware is causing the problem. Remember the rules: Identify, Isolate, Replace, Retest.

If it's a software problem, you need to try to fix the problem in order to get your system working again. There are a number of possible solutions:

Run diagnostic tools. Even if you can't boot up your PC, you can still run diagnostic tools that are loaded onto CD. A good set of diagnostic tools called "The Ultimate Boot CD" is available for free at http://www.ultimatebootcd.com

Reinstall your operating system over the installation on the hard drive. For the majority of software-related boot up problems, this works well. You should be able to do this by placing the CD in the drive and booting the PC up off the disc.

Troubleshooting RAM Errors

One of the most common components to fail in a PC is the RAM. Other than through a thorough troubleshooting of system instabilities, RAM problems are usually diagnosed at system start-up, when the system BIOS returns error messages relating to memory. The type and wording of the error message depends on the system and the fault, but some of the most common errors are:

"Memory size has changed" "Memory access failures" Any other error message containing the word "RAM" or "memory"

You may see these messages after you've carried out work on your PC or after you've added, removed, or replaced RAM.

Let's say you've had the case open to carry out some work unrelated to the RAM modules, and when you restart the PC, you get RAM-related errors. There are several possible reasons why this might happen. You might have knocked a module loose. Check that the modules are securely in the slots. ESD damage might be a possibility if you didn't take adequate steps to prevent it (such as wearing an ESD wrist strap).

Let's say you've added, removed, or replaced RAM in the PC. There is a very good chance you haven't fitted the module into the slot correctly. Remove the modules one by one and replace. There is a chance the module you added is faulty, either because of ESD damage (unlikely if you took proper ESD precautions), or it was damaged in transit or even before shipping.

Discussion

  1. Do you have a set of diagnostic tools that you keep handy in case of a problem?
  2. What problems have you had in the past with your PC?

Message Edited by BookClubEditor on 12-26-2006 01:59 PM

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caroline88
Posts: 301
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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It boots, but...

Hi Adrian,

Good to see you again! I am sure you remember me; LAM.
While booting up my Pentium 4 laptop (AMD) I some-times (!) get the following message: Microsoft Visual C++ Runtime Library, Runtime Error!
Program c:\Program Files\HPQ\SHared\hpqwmi.exe

R6025
-pure virtual function call.

I don't know what this program is doing or supposed to be doing, and I have only installed two program so far (Open Office and a Dutch bookkeeping software), none of these are in my automatic startup. Windows XP Home edition yikes nothing I can do about that as it came pre-installed.

I currently do not have a working internet connection. But writing this reminds me to install Zonealarm anyway, better safe than sorry. After I click away the error message I can work with the computer. Open Office does give many error reports but always manages to recover the file. Maybe I should reinstall it? But the error message is about another program so this could be just a coincidence.

Should I worry about this error and how can I fix it? Or should I always reboot the computer once I have received the error message?

Thank you Adrian,
Caroline
Belief in your mission, greet life with a cheer
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here
~ Caroline
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AdrianKH
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎10-21-2006
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Re: It boots, but...

Hi there Caroline!

Great to see you again! Of couse I remember you!

Have you any Hewlett Packard stuff installed on your system? hpqwmi.exe refers to an HP app used for printers from what I can tell - do you have one installed?
Adrian
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caroline88
Posts: 301
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: It boots, but...

Adrian, It is an HP laptop but I have not installed any printers yet. It could be the DVD writer perhaps?
Belief in your mission, greet life with a cheer
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here
~ Caroline
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AdrianKH
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎10-21-2006
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Re: It boots, but...

What is the model number?
Adrian
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Frequent Contributor
caroline88
Posts: 301
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: It boots, but...

Adrian, I think the model number is HP Compac nx 6125, at least that is what it says on the bottom (Product: ...)

I also checked the manual which reminds me of all the extra gadgets I got that I never asked for but they are part of the package. The 6-in-1 digital mediaslot for SD Card and five other types. I do not even have a digital camera yet. And a PC card slot, I don't know what that is either but I am happy that I have it too LOL. And a video output cable, I am reminding myself I should test if that means that I can play US DVDs on my computer and still see them on my television.

The manual also says I have a RJ-45 and a RJ-11 netwerk connector. Webopedia explains these are both for phone connections, only they are two different sizes. Does this mean these will only work with the phone but not with my ADSL modem? Nope same website says that you need a RS-232 port for that. Such a pity because I am not going to run up a phone bill when I am already paying for an expensive ADSL connection. Has anyone built a thingie that you can create the RS-232 port by plugging that smart thingie into the USB slot? "MEV has a USB-to-RS-232 converter" and I find more detailed reply on another forum http://www.epanorama.net/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=3911&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=
Yikes, first attempt to find out what it costs lands at $227. Hmm. On second thought, this convertor will also provide the parallel port for attaching a printer. Maybe one day.
By a bit of websearch, I managed to answer my own question. Yes there is such a thing as a convertor. (My USB ports are 1.1 and 2.0 if that is important). Supposing that I buy one and get it to work, how reliable is this connection and how fast is it or will it slow down the traffic a lot? I am thinking of mass mailings to my internet business customers, all perfectly legal and double optinned. I am a bit reluctant to be running my business over a wireless connection. My apologies for adding another question that is totally unrelated to the bootup error warning but that is what happens when you start reading computer manuals.

Caroline
Belief in your mission, greet life with a cheer
There's big work to do, and that's why you are here
~ Caroline
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josh_rt
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-25-2006
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Re: Can't Boot, Won't Boot

My computer boots up, goes on the windows loading screen and then stops and goes to this screen:
"We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.

If your computer stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to protect your files and folders, choose Last Known Good Configuration to revert to the most recent settings that worked.

If a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure or because the Power or Reset button was pressed, or if you aren't sure what cased the problem, choose Start Windows Normally.

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt

Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)

Start Windows Normally

Use the up and down arrow keys to move the highlight to your choice.
"

i tried ALL of the boot things listed up there
and no- my computer doesnt die or anything
Frequent Contributor
AdrianKH
Posts: 88
Registered: ‎10-21-2006
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Re: Can't Boot, Won't Boot



josh_rt wrote:
My computer boots up, goes on the windows loading screen and then stops and goes to this screen:
"We apologize for the inconvenience, but Windows did not start successfully. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.

If your computer stopped responding, restarted unexpectedly, or was automatically shut down to protect your files and folders, choose Last Known Good Configuration to revert to the most recent settings that worked.

If a previous startup attempt was interrupted due to a power failure or because the Power or Reset button was pressed, or if you aren't sure what cased the problem, choose Start Windows Normally.

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt

Last Known Good Configuration (your most recent settings that worked)

Start Windows Normally

Use the up and down arrow keys to move the highlight to your choice.
"

i tried ALL of the boot things listed up there
and no- my computer doesnt die or anything


Hi!

Couple of questions - What operating system are you using? Did you make any changes before you started seeing this?
Adrian
Barnes and Noble Book Club Moderator
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