"Windows did not start successfully" boot loop

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  #1  
Old 08-14-12, 08:04 AM
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"Windows did not start successfully" boot loop

I have an older Win XP computer that started giving beep tones on boot up. I *thought* the machine beeped to indicate system clock failure so I replaced the button battery. Replacing the battery must have caused BIOS settings to return to default settings because the machine would not boot and I started to adjust the BIOS.

First thing I noticed is the case is labeled Dell Dimension 4550 but the BIOS indicates Dimension 8400 series.

In attempting to reset the BIOS I changed the boot order to refer to the hard drive first and then to a CD ROM drive. Now the machine gives the "Windows did not start successfully" error and offers to restart the machine in safe mode, with networking, at DOS prompt, etc. I've tried all those options and still the machine returns to the "did not start successfully" screen.

In looking through BIOS setting options I saw and ran the hard drive diagnostic, which returned "Passed". I also notice the machine is using SATA drives, which I'm not familiar with.

I bought the machine second hand from a trade school, where I suspect the IT guys had souped up this machine, hence the 8400 series board in a 4550 box, SATA drive, 2 DVD drives, 2 mb memory, etc.

I'm about at the end of my techical rope- any ideas for a fix?

Thanks,
Dave O
 
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  #2  
Old 08-14-12, 01:18 PM
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Basically Windows is blue-screening somewhere during the boot process, which (by default) restarts the system, putting you into that loop. Most times this is caused by an error in the filesystem. You can usually fix this by booting the Recovery Console and running "CHKDSK /R /F" (without quotes). The only catch is you need an XP Install disc (NOT a Dell restore disc) to get into the recovery console.

If you dont have an install disc but have another computer running XP or better, you can also take the 'dirty' hard drive and connect it to the other computer.. Boot that one into Windows, then open My Computer to find out what letter the 'dirty' drive is assigned. Press <Windows Key> + R, and type "cmd" ( no quotes) to bring up a command prompt box. Type "chkdsk x: /r /f" (no quotes, substitute x for the actual drive letter) and let it run its course. You'll probably see all sorts of things about bad references and orphaned files.. That's normal. Once it's complete, shut the computer down and put the drive back into the other computer and give it a shot.. It should boot. If not you've got other issues..
 

Last edited by JerseyMatt; 08-14-12 at 01:36 PM.
  #3  
Old 08-14-12, 01:22 PM
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I think what you should do is first try changing the boot order back to the CD Rom drive being first and then having the hard drive being recognized. In theory boot order shouldn't matter and if you had built your own computer I would say it doesn't matter but this is a Dell computer and Dell may have specified the boot order that they would like to the motherboard manufacturer. Many computer companies have their components made by another company even if you if you see the computer manufacturers name on the motherboard. Try that first and then post back if that was successful or not as I have other ideas and I know others do too. If I don't see any other posts later I will give you some other things to look for that should help.
 
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Old 08-14-12, 01:39 PM
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It's booting properly from the hard drive - Windows is just failing to load completely. The boot order in the BIOS doesn't affect Windows' boot processes at all, it just tells the system which device to check first for a bootsector.

The logic behind having CD/Floppy/USB before Hard Drive is that they can always override the hard drive in case of emergency. If it checks the hard drive first, it will (almost) always find a bootsector and never even try the other drives, even if the hard drive boot fails.
 
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Old 08-14-12, 01:56 PM
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Oh one more thing, computers give you beep codes for many reasons. Normally it's because the POST (Power On Self Test) encountered an error before (or which interfered with) video initialization. But there are many of them.. Do you happen to remember what it was? Dell beeps out 3 digits (example 1-2-1)
 
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Old 08-14-12, 02:45 PM
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I didn't really think it would make a difference as to boot order but it was the first thing that came to mind once I saw cyclezen was working with his bios.
I do have though some more suggestions though based on my experience that I have had with Dell especially the earlier models. You said that you had changed the bios battery cyclezen. When you changed the battery did you happen to bump into any wires at the time? I am thinking maybe you bumped into the cpu power wire which also controls the hard drive. Dells are bad about having loose wires in that area or at least mine has that problem, of course mine is much older than yours is but the basic layout hasn't changed all that much from year to year. About the only thing that has changed is how the wiring is done so your computer may not have that same problem but it is worth checking.
I had the same problem when changing out memory on my old Dell and nothing wanted to post right and it turned out the wire was loose. Speaking of memory check that out too and make sure it is seated properly as that can cause hard drive problems too at post. Since you changed things around in bios I would go into that and load the default settings on the bios. Where it says save is where you find the default settings. It is possible that you changed something else you shouldn't have changed by accident. Also it could be the motherboard is going bad look for blown capacitors, that happened on my computer and caused hard drive errors too. Sometimes it is software related and sometimes hardware you just have to narrow it down. I seriously think though that it is hardware related. Good luck to you and please post back.
 
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Old 08-14-12, 04:06 PM
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It's not a POST/BIOS issue. If it was giving a beep code, that may have been related to an underlying POST problem - but it's unlikely since most of the beep codes indicate that it can't even initialize the display.. There is also in fact a beep code for loss of real-time clock (4-3-4, 15 beeps total), which is caused by the battery, so unless the OP can remember the code it's most likely not related. Besides, pulling the battery resets the CMOS to default anyway - that's one of the methods you use to clear it to default if you bork a setting and cause it to no-POST. In the OP's case, he's having no issues with POST (unless it's still beeping at him). It is getting to where it is loading Windows, at which point any BIOS/POST problems can be ruled out.

It's also incredibly unlikely to be a hardware issue given the circumstances. A loose CPU/hard drive power connector or hard drive data cable would cause no-POST or a "Disk Boot Failure" error message. Blown components on the motherboard would cause no-POST.

Hardware problems, especially related to memory, are notoriously random. Aside from no-POSTing, they cause shutdowns/lockups out of the blue, and are very hard to nail down. Software issues on the otherhand are very repeatable. The fact that it keeps looping back to the Windows "Safe Mode Chooser" shows that it is almost certainly software related. It's hitting the same exact bug in the same exact spot every time it tries to boot. While hardware can cause a blue screen, it's unlikely in this case due to its repeatability. A blue screen caused by faulty or loose memory would happen at random.

This issue is related to Windows. It is entirely possible - and well documented - that sometimes Windows updates don't play nice, and they cause issues upon reboot. It is also possible that the computer was not shut down cleanly - which could've been due to a blue screen during the update process (again, not unheard of at all).

To find out what it is actually hanging on, you need to read the memory dump file that Windows creates on the hard drive (C:\Windows\Minidump\Minidump.dmp) when it crashes. It contains all details of exactly what was going on when the crash occurred. But again, that's something that you need to be in Recovery Console or have the drive in another computer in order to get to it.

I still think running CHKDSK is the first thing to try, and it will most likely fix the issue.
 

Last edited by JerseyMatt; 08-14-12 at 04:24 PM.
  #8  
Old 08-14-12, 06:19 PM
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Thanks, HedgeclIppers and JerseyMatt

Lots of information to chew on here: thanks for your responses! I'll post back with (hopefully) progress.
 
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Old 08-14-12, 06:57 PM
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Assuming that it is software related and it is entirely possible I would make sure that the hard drive is in safe mode by pressing F8 before windows starts and then doing as JerseyMatt suggests. He is indeed right when he says that some Windows updates go bad and actually cause problems either because of a bad internet connection or some other reason. As a matter of fact I know of one member who doesn't do Windows updates. I am not advocating that and the choice is yours as to whether you update or not. Good luck!
 
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Old 08-14-12, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by hedgeclippers View Post
Assuming that it is software related and it is entirely possible I would make sure that the hard drive is in safe mode by pressing F8 before windows starts and then doing as JerseyMatt suggests.
He already tried that, as stated in the OP...

Originally Posted by CycleZen View Post
In attempting to reset the BIOS I changed the boot order to refer to the hard drive first and then to a CD ROM drive. Now the machine gives the "Windows did not start successfully" error and offers to restart the machine in safe mode, with networking, at DOS prompt, etc. I've tried all those options and still the machine returns to the "did not start successfully" screen.

He is indeed right when he says that some Windows updates go bad and actually cause problems either because of a bad internet connection or some other reason. As a matter of fact I know of one member who doesn't do Windows updates. I am not advocating that and the choice is yours as to whether you update or not. Good luck!
There are so many security holes and problems (literally thousands) that have been patched by updates, that it is incredibly foolish to not update your computer. There's no reason to disable the updates because it's not TOO common, but it's among the first things you should suspect when a computer starts bootlooping or showing other strange behavior.
 
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Old 08-15-12, 05:43 PM
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I opened up this computer tonight, and noticed a rattling sound. I reseated the memory modules and turned the case upside down... and a button battery (not the BIOS battery) fell out. I looked on all the cards for a slot that might hold this button battery but didn't see any... so I'm guessing this is a case of having curious kids in the house. (I also found 4 or 5 CDs jammed into the case near the DVD drive opening.)

I tried to reseat all the electrical connections I could find, didn't feel anything loose, and I visually inspected capacitors for bulges or leaks, and didn't see anything there either. Plugged it all back in and got no changes: the machine is still stuck in the "didn't start successfully" loop. (I was hoping that extraneous button battery was creating some kind of short and that removing it was the answer, but no go.) Next I'll try the CHKDSK operation with the drive in another machine.
 
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Old 08-15-12, 06:16 PM
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I think what you are doing now is probably the best thing. Probably a bad update but really hard to say. I think I would run tests on this drive as a secondary drive either in an external case if you have one or by opening the computer case and then using it as a secondary drive. I say that because you are already having problems with that hard drive and you should be able to better run commands from a hard drive you know is working to get tests started on the second drive.
I also agree that with so many vulnerabilities of Windows that you should still do updates on that hard drive if the drive is still good. It is very possible though that the hard drive has gone bad and will have to be replaced. If it is still good be sure to run disk defragmenter after the scan and that should help solve some of the issues with corrupted files. It just depends on how old the hard drive is after a while the platten gets worn and so does the read write head. It also depends a great deal upon usage patterns how many times it has been turned on and off and the number of hours of usage. With that having been used before it is hard to say.
 
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Old 08-15-12, 06:17 PM
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A few minutes later...

I took the drive out of the computer and noticed it does not have the typical grey ribbon cable and separate power cord. Instead it has two smaller jacks to accept plugs, presumably data and power. The problem is: the other two computers I have available use ribbon cables.

Is there a way to create a bootable CD ROM that will provide enough operating system-like capabilities to run the CHKDSK operation? At this point I feel like installing a floppy drive and booting up with DOS 4.2!
 
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Old 08-15-12, 06:39 PM
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Not to my knowledge no although I know there are diagnostic programs written into the Windows XP disk I have never used them separately from Windows being installed. So if anyone else sees this and has more knowledge on that please do so.
Other than that though I do have have another idea take the hard drive from the good computer and put it in the one you were having trouble with and that particular drive is an IDE drive. Now put the other one in and go into bios and see if you can make the IDE drive the primary hard drive and see if it will work. It might not as all motherboards are different and if it does it will re-write the drivers to work with that motherboard. Don't worry about that though as the re-write is just temporary and once you put that hard drive back in the other case everything should be o.k.. I have done that before myself and it has either worked fine or refused to work because the motherboards had too many differences.
So that is the quicker way the other way is to either buy a hard drive adapter or buy an external case as that would prevent any conflicts. Either way will work but I would seriously consider buying an external drive enclosure as that really is the better way in this case. Either that or find another computer that can handle SATA drives.
 
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Old 08-15-12, 07:11 PM
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Originally Posted by hedgeclippers View Post
Other than that though I do have have another idea take the hard drive from the good computer and put it in the one you were having trouble with and that particular drive is an IDE drive. Now put the other one in and go into bios and see if you can make the IDE drive the primary hard drive and see if it will work.
BAD BAD BAD IDEA!!!

When you take a Windows boot drive and stick it into a different machine and try to boot it, you will screw up the original configuration, and it will cause bigger issues when you put it back into the original computer. Not only that but it will most likely not have the drivers needed to initialize all of the hardware in the problem computer.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with putting a suspect drive into a working computer as a slave, but you NEVER put a working drive into a suspect computer as a master and boot from it (unless the hardware specs are IDENTICAL).
 
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Old 08-15-12, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CycleZen View Post
A few minutes later...

I took the drive out of the computer and noticed it does not have the typical grey ribbon cable and separate power cord. Instead it has two smaller jacks to accept plugs, presumably data and power. The problem is: the other two computers I have available use ribbon cables.

Is there a way to create a bootable CD ROM that will provide enough operating system-like capabilities to run the CHKDSK operation? At this point I feel like installing a floppy drive and booting up with DOS 4.2!
Yeah this computer uses SATA drives (the thin cables), and the other computer uses PATA (wide ribbons) drives. Now it is possible that the other computer does have SATA sockets on the motherboard, but is not using them.

Look for sockets like this (they are blue here but can be any color):


If you see any, you can plug in the problem drive. However there is also a SATA power connector that needs to be on your power supply..



There are adapters to connect SATA drives to the standard 4 pin connectors relatively cheap if you need one (about $5ish)




Now.. Barring that, you CAN use the recovery console built into an original XP install disc to run CHKDSK. There are other ways to build a repair/diagnostic disc, but they are 'version centric', meaning you can only build them on the version of Windows you will use to repair with it (an XP HOME repair disc needs to be built on an XP HOME computer, etc..), and the install disc for that version is needed for that as well.

Booting with a DOS floppy won't work for you either.. DOS uses FAT16/FAT32 file systems, while XP uses NTFS.. Unfortunately DOS can't read NTFS, therefore can't run CHKDSK (Or ScanDisk as it was called back then)..
 
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Old 08-15-12, 08:13 PM
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You can also use a PCI SATA card to run a SATA HD on a PATA only mother board but because of BIOS limitations you may need to boot from a PATA drive.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 12:24 AM
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I do agree putting a hard drive from another computer into a suspect computer is not a good idea and I guess I have been fortunate in not having any bad results. I did that to save on money over buying an enclosure or even buying a card which at the time I didn't need to do as both computers were PATA. I did have trouble though in transferring a PATA drive to one that mainly worked with SATA drives when I wanted to erase that hard drive and erasing it took much longer than it should have. At the time I did that I unhooked the SATA drive and then went to work in erasing the old hard drive. I had to do that on my newer computer because the old computers motherboard had gone bad.
If you don't want to go to too much expense though I really think you should use the Windows XP disk that came with your computer as long as it is not Dell branded and put that in the cd drive. If you don't have one borrow one from a friend as you will not need the license key for the test. The last time I posted I couldn't remember how to access chkdsk from the cd and now I do from help from an external source on another forum. Here is a link to that forum and the answer CHKDSK - How to run from the Recovery Console. The answer here simplifies things and will allow you to just use the disk and the original hard drive in the suspect computer. This really should work unless there is something seriously wrong with the computer. If it doesn't work then if you do have a good old hard drive that is not connected to anything laying around and big enough to install Windows XP then try that as that will not cause any problems. If it works but is a bit slower than you remembered it it might be the hard drive you are using. I say that because one brand of hard drive I will call brand X doesn't work as fast as brand Y when I put one into my laptop. The laptop in question is an old beat up one I use for testing used components for laptops and occasionally I use a test hard drive I keep handy that is slower.
I still use Windows XP but haven't ever had to use the cd for testing my hard drive so it was easy to forget. Keep us posted.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 02:47 AM
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I did a little more research into your problem and found a program called Spinrite being mentioned that is supposed to help badly damaged drives. I know nothing about it I just heard about it on another forum and just now looked up how to purchase it and found a video on the distributors website. Here is the link so you can read about it GRC | Gibson Research Corporation Home Page . Supposedly it works better than chkdsk in that it helps the drive to better recognize where problems are and works better at making sure that programs are properly moved. The program is expensive but might or might not be worth the money. I just know that some people have said they had lost the ability to access their drive and now they can after using Spinrite. Of course all kinds of claims about things are made every day and some are true and some are false. All I can say is that it sounds good and if I absolutely couldn't get my hard drive to work at all and needed something off of it I might try this. Of course too this is another reason too why backups are important. There is a video on the website from the person who invented Spinrite that you might want to look at as it explains how it works.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 05:11 AM
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$90 is a RIDICULOUS price for that program. Not only that, but it is a dead project. It hasnt been upgraded in 8 years, and it uses an antiquated addressing system which is incompatible with any drive larger than 134GB. It also doesn't 'work better than CHKDSK' - in fact it can't be used for ANY problem that CHKDSK would be used for, because it does NOT fix file system errors. Not to mention it also makes several claims that reek of pure snake oil.

No offense, but you keep throwing these random things out, and they are not helping. You are not understanding that the OP does not have a hardware problem, or any physical problem with the drive. It is simply a corrupted windows installation due to a filesystem problem which needs to be fixed with CHKDSK. If CHKDSK fails, he will need to do a repair installation.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 08:39 AM
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I recalled a problem I had with a different computer some time back- I found something called UBCD4Win (ultimate boot cd for Windows) and actually created the disk. It requires the Win XP install CD, which I have subsequently lost in a move, so it looks like I need to find a CD somewhere. Craigs List, here I come!
 
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Old 08-16-12, 07:15 PM
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If you actually have a UBCD4WIN CD already built, then you don't need the install CD to run it (but you would need it if you have to do a repair install of Windows). UBCD4WIN is one of the "other" diagnostic discs that I referred to earlier.
 
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Old 08-16-12, 10:44 PM
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You may actually find that buying a new copy of Windows XP may be more expensive than buying a hard drive controller card especially one off of e-bay where you can get the card cheaper. I personally prefer Tigerdirect myself. It is entirely up to you and hopefully you can borrow Windows XP but please do try Ultimate Boot CD first and see if you can access the drive. If you can't then doing a repair of Windows is next on your list.
Caution though if you repair windows make sure your version matches what is already on the drive in other words if you have Windows XP service pack 2 it must match or you will have difficulties and error messages. Good luck to you and please post back!
 
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Old 08-17-12, 03:04 AM
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Just to clarify things you will not need the hard drive controller unless you use Windows off of another machine and make that drive a slave or secondary drive. I thought I should also post for your information how to use the repair console from the official Microsoft website. Here is the link How to install and use the Recovery Console in Windows XP. There are various links outlined in blue that give further information and go into greater detail than I could ever go into on my own. I have only had to do a repair of Windows XP once and hopefully will not have to do it again it isn't hard to do but takes a bit of time.
 
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Old 08-17-12, 05:54 AM
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I use one of these when I have to do 'ex vivo' diagnostics on a hard drive. Costs about $20 and it allows you to connect any 2.5", 3.5" or 5.25" IDE/PATA or SATA drive to USB. It also comes with a power supply to power the drive.

 

Last edited by JerseyMatt; 08-17-12 at 07:32 AM.
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Old 08-17-12, 09:46 AM
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...Software issues on the otherhand are very repeatable....


You should make it clear that you mean just on boot-up, where the path that the software goes through is (kind of) close to the same each time, and is relatively simple (but only relatively) compared to a full-up running system with an infinite number of paths. The repeatable software problems are the easy ones. There are a high number of problems that may repeat, but are not repeatable. Most of software troubleshooting time is spent chasing problems that are extremely difficult to repeat, or sometimes impossible to repeat.


It's hitting the same exact bug in the same exact spot every time it tries to boot.


I think you mean it’s encountering the same exact corruption, which may be the result of a bug. The corruption may be the result of an intermittent bug in the update process itself.




 
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Old 08-17-12, 10:57 AM
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Software bugs are always repeatable. However they usually require an exact simultaneous occurrence of conditions in order to produce it. When you hit a true bug in your everyday course of work, you usually don't remember exactly what you did that caused the crash, which is why they are so hard to reproduce and seem to be random. Only hardware-related faults are truly random and impossible to repeat.

I've been doing alpha and beta testing for Microsoft and Sony for over 15 years, and more recently various Android developers, and even when you are LOOKING for bugs in programs and games, and consciously keeping track of things it's very difficult to get back to the same exact conditions to trigger the bug, but it can be done.
 
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Old 08-17-12, 11:41 AM
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Software bugs are always repeatable. However they usually require an exact simultaneous occurrence of conditions in order to produce it. When you hit a true bug in your everyday course of work, you usually don't remember exactly what you did that caused the crash, which is why they are so hard to reproduce and seem to be random. Only hardware-related faults are truly random and impossible to repeat.

I've been doing alpha and beta testing for Microsoft and Sony for over 15 years, and more recently various Android developers, and even when you are LOOKING for bugs in programs and games, and consciously keeping track of things it's very difficult to get back to the same exact conditions to trigger the bug, but it can be done.
Matt I think you are straying from you area of expertise. You should not be making the above statement, it could not be more wrong and will mislead the folks trying to learn on this forum:


You say “you usually don’t remember exactly what you did” – that's because maybe you did something 5 milliseconds sooner this time than last time! That is why you don’t remember. There is a random nature to all systems, and many times you can’t even recreate the timing even when you know what the problem is! Below is just one simple example from my 30+ years in software. Tell me how you would have recreated this problem?

Data transmission protocols are based upon transmitting frames enveloped with headers, trailers, etc as I’m sure you are aware of. Frame sizes can vary. A WAN we developed for NATO had a function where the receiver of a high-priority message would press an ACK button on his terminal and a receipt for the specific message would be sent back to the originators screen. These ACK messages were atypical in that they were very short: they only contained a short string indentifying the message received, i.e. the message being ACKed.

Once in a great while an ACK message was lost. This was totally unacceptable. I was not the designer or implementer for that particular area, but I chased and corrected the problem. It was impossible to reproduce. Turned out if, and only if, an ACK message was received at a node within milliseconds after the very last frame of some other unrelated message was received at the node, the ACK message was appended to the unrelated message, was invisible, was never seen on any screen, and thus was lost.

So you can see the window for this software bug was unbelievably small. Outside the window things worked properly.

Tell me how I should have gone about reproducing and catching this problem?

Turns out I found it from code analysis - the only thing I could turn to!
 
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Old 08-17-12, 12:12 PM
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As I said, the circumstances which trigger a true software bug may be hard to reproduce <I should've used the qualifier 'voluntarily'>, but they ARE repeatable 100% of the time. Given the exact set of circumstances (an ACK message was received at a node within milliseconds after the very last frame of some other unrelated message was received at the node), you would trigger this bug with 100% repeatability. Correct? It obviously had to have happened more than once or else it would've been dismissed as a hardware fault.

There are no 'random' bugs in this kind of software. You have an error in the code that is always in the same spot (whether it be a typo by the code poet or from a corruption). It doesn't 'migrate'. It takes a specific set of circumstances for that specific line of code to be called. Those circumstances are repeatable. Whether it is directly in the main flow of the program (as in the bootloop) or in an obscure dusty corner (as in your ACK scenario), it is always repeatable.
 
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Old 08-17-12, 01:25 PM
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JerseyMatt I have a question for you where do you get that external hard drive power supply made by Sabrent? I don't need one myself but might want one in the future for diagnostics. Thanks for your help!
 
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Old 08-17-12, 01:32 PM
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I got mine on Newegg, but it seems to have gone up in price since I bought it. Amazon has it for $20.

Amazon.com: Sabrent USB-DSC5 Serial ATA or IDE 2.5-/3.5-Inch to USB 2.0 Cable Converter Adapter with Power Supply: Electronics
 
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Old 08-17-12, 03:56 PM
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Thank you JerseyMatt I will look into it. I have some gift certificates for Amazon.com and might buy it there. Sure does look handy to have. I didn't think to ask does it come with cables or is that the only thing in the package. I have plenty of cables laying around but having extra doesn't hurt either. Have a nice day!
 
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Old 08-17-12, 06:38 PM
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I noticed after I had posted my original question that this does have a cable and it is on sale so if anyone needs one of these now is the time to buy it so my thanks again JerseyMatt.
 
  #34  
Old 08-17-12, 06:59 PM
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…but they ARE repeatable 100% of the time. Given the exact set of circumstances…
You don’t seem to understand, finding the exact set of circumstances is the crux of the problem. To say that when a software problems exists, it won’t disappear on its own and will be repeatable 100% of the time when you recreate “the exact set of circumstances” tells us nothing.

THEY ARE NOT repeatable 100% of the time. That is the very point! Repeatable means “able to be repeated”. Who is able here? Once you are able to repeat it, you can kill the bug and it is gone. There is no ability in many cases to repeat a software problem before you have the solution. Even then it may not be possible.

All you are saying is that 100% of the time if and when you go through that path, you will in fact see the same problem. That is, I think you are saying because the bug is in the software 100% of the time, it is 100% repeatable? That is a non sequitur. The trick is making it go through the path.


There are no 'random' bugs in this kind of software. You have an error in the code that is always in the same spot (whether it be a typo by the code poet or from a corruption).It doesn't 'migrate'. It takes a specific set of circumstances for that specific line of code to be called.
No you really don’t understand. The bug does not have to be and is rarely a “...specific line of code…” as you say. Unfortunately it is not that simple. Maybe you have written or seen a “hello world” program, but the real world is not like that. The fix could be as simple as a single line change if you are really really lucky, or it can be many many line changes all over the system. In some cases a redesign or concept change may be required. And by the way code poets are the software equivalent of rackers-stackers and rarely get to do anything really important.


You still did not tell me how you would have triggered the bug I was troubleshooting in the NATO system? That might really help folks to understand these things.
 
  #35  
Old 08-18-12, 05:03 PM
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I'm just going to call this one quits now before it gets ugly, since you don't listen to reason.
 
  #36  
Old 08-20-12, 11:30 AM
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Quote from earlier:
"I got mine on Newegg, but it seems to have gone up in price since I bought it. Amazon has it for $20.

Amazon.com: Sabrent USB-DSC5 Serial ATA or IDE 2.5-/3.5-Inch to USB 2.0 Cable Converter Adapter with Power Supply: Electronics"

The idea here is to attach the USB to a working PC and connect the SATA jacks to the drive in question, correct?

I've been looking into buying / borrowing a XP disk, haven't found one yet.
 
  #37  
Old 08-20-12, 02:12 PM
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Yes that is correct you would use the disk then just like any other external disk. The disk if left that way for a long length of time will get kind of hot so if you have a pole fan that you can use I suggest you use it to keep the drive cool especially if you use it beyond an hour that way. Look at my computer on the screen by clicking on it and note the drive letter assignments before plugging in the drive and then take notes of the drive letters and do what JerseyMatt said to do earlier for CHKDSK. After you run that program on the disk run defrag on the disk too and then hopefully the disk will work. If it doesn't then it is more than a Windows problem and if it does which I hope it does work then it definitely was something to do with Windows update. The last time I checked on that gadget JerseyMatt mentioned it was $14.95 At Amazon.com which wasn't too long ago. Try that first though and then post back after you have tried it. Even at $20.00 it is the more economical way to go.
 
  #38  
Old 08-25-12, 04:51 AM
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I looked around for the ubcd4win disk I'd made, but couldn't find it. I sent off for both a Windows XP disk and the SATA adapter cable, and the XP disk arrived first.

So what can I expect at this point? I'm guessing I put the disk in the drive and it will recognize the disk and the software on it... right? And at that point do I have a choice to install XP or run the CHKDSK utility?
 
  #39  
Old 08-25-12, 07:35 AM
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Make sure the BIOS is set to boot CD first. Boot the computer with the CD in the drive, and "Press Any Key To Boot From CD/DVD". Watch carefully, because you will see a few options flash by. You want the one that says "Press R to boot the recovery console". Select the Windows installation, and then type the Administrator password (just hit enter if you didn't set one).

Once you get the command prompt, simply type CHKDSK C: /F /R and let it do its thing. It'll probably take a while and you'll see lots of scary messages about orphaned files and damaged indexes.. Dont worry, it's normal. Once it completes, do two more things just for good measure.. Type FIXMBR C: and let it do its thing, then type FIXBOOT C: and let it do its thing. Then remove the XP disc, and type Exit. The console will shut down and the computer will reboot.

Good luck!
 

Last edited by JerseyMatt; 08-25-12 at 07:52 AM.
  #40  
Old 08-25-12, 12:49 PM
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Booted from the disk, and attempted to run the recovery but got this message:

"Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer. Make sure any hard disk drives are powered on and properly connected to your computer, and that any disk related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a Microsoft supplied diagnostic or setup program."

This is odd because after I got this message I opened the case to check connections, and ran the BIOS disk diagnostic which returned "Pass". Tried again to run the recovery utility but got the same message.

Is there something unique to this computer configuration or BIOS setup that allows the computer to recognize the disk, but not a Win XP disk?
 

Last edited by CycleZen; 08-25-12 at 01:08 PM.
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