PC booting problem

So, my girlfriend’s PC crashed, as sometimes happens. Now, though, when she attempts to re-boot, it gets as far as the ‘Windows was shut down inappropriately’ (or something) screen, which offers choices such as booting to safe mode, booting normally, restoring last working configuration and so on. Except that, when one of the options is chosen (any of 'em), it immediately re-boots again. And so on.
Now, my best guess as to what the problem is was ‘probably something with the hard drive’, so I took it out, connected it to my PC, and ran some tests (using SeaTools) which all came up clear.

Any guesses as to the likely cause? Is the Master Boot Record shot? (The system is WinXP, by the way, and the drive is NTFS formatted.) What do I have to worry about trying to rebuilt the MBR via the recovery console and fixmbr?

How immediately is ‘immediately’?

The MBR is not shot because you’re getting as far as you are.

Run CHKDSK /R against it. Then boot the drive with boot logging turned on - either via F8 or by editing BOOT.INI and checking the results if it crashes again. Turn auto-reboot off as well. Odds are there’s a registry problem, and you can resolve this by doing a manual system restore - the files to restore lie in a subdirectory of c:\System Volume Information and go in \windows\system32\config. Be sure to rename the existing files first!

Pretty much immediately. :wink: You press return on the boot selection, it reboots.

Chkdsk doesn’t find any defective sectors; I can’t really figure out what’s supposed to go where from System Volume Information, so I’m a bit wary of messing around there, any more information is appreciated.

Anyway, I’ve backed up the whole drive on my computer, so I can pretty much fiddle around without fearing to cause any loss.

Given what you’ve just said, I’d be more inclined to suspect a memory or other hardware problem. Try reseating all the DIMMs and check the motherboard for domed capacitors.

Thanks for your input – I just plugged in the HD again today, and everything worked as smoothly as could be. :dubious: So either the connection was shoddy, or some check I did corrected something without me noticing. Anyway, thanks again. :slight_smile: