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Sometimes it boots up successfully, but sometimes it doesn't. I suspect it may be a display driver (the screen is lagging as it scrolls), and I've already upgraded it to the most recent driver supplied by ATI, but it didn't work. Here's what I've tried so far:

  • Loading back to the most recent config that worked
  • Previous System Restore
  • Chkdsk /r

Any recommendations?

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Maybe you should try booting in "Safe Mode" to be (almost) sure it's not a driver problem. Or you can use the "Ultimate Boot CD" to check your material. I suggest you to test your RAM (like a comment suggest) with Memtest86+ and if there are some errors, do the same test again, but with one RAM memory slot, then the other to detect which one is responsible.

That's the most common problem (and most easy to solve) but this kind of behavior can can from anything. Hope it helps!

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Try booting into VGA mode and see if the problem persists, then you will have a better idea if it's a display driver or not. When booting:

  • Press F8 to enter the Windows Advanced Options Menu
  • use the arrow keys to navigate down the list to VGA mode
  • once highlighted, press enter

This will use VGA (circa 1987) video mode. If the problem persists check the hardware. This also sounds like a memory issue, I'd give memtest a run.

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I tried starting from VGA mode, didn't change the behavior. I'm running Memtest86 from my UBCD4WIN now... – AtomFury Nov 8 '09 at 2:28
Memtest checked out ok, don't really know what to do from here, I guess I'll just take a look at the RAM. Thanks anyways. – AtomFury Nov 8 '09 at 2:54
If memtest didnt show a problem why are you looking at the RAM – James Watt Dec 24 '09 at 17:00

Are you getting a blue screen error before it restarts? If so, you can disable it in the Advanced Options menu (press F8 after the BIOS screen but before the Windows XP logo appears). There should be an option in there that says something like "Disable automatic reboot on blue screen". If there is, select it and reboot. If you do end up getting a blue screen error, come back here with that information.

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No, I'm not getting any bluescreens. – AtomFury Nov 8 '09 at 2:22
the option you are referring to is not to be found in the windows boot options. it's in the advanced system properties under startup & recovery (and they call it system failure, not blue screen :) – Molly7244 Nov 8 '09 at 2:46
I wonder if it only appears when the system bluescreens during boot and automatically reboots. I had to disable it through the advanced boot menu a few weeks ago while fixing a WinXP machine. – Jared Harley Nov 8 '09 at 21:01
what is the result of booting into safe mode? does it load or not? – James Watt Dec 24 '09 at 17:02

I've been through hell with a similar problem. Still not entirely sure what the problem was but it was solved by pulling the PC to bits and replacing the CPU in the end, despite the old one working, it just seemed to be unstable.

Could be dodgy connections or motherboard or overheating on CPU or hard disk failure or corrupted OS install. Check all of these in order that requires the least amount of hassle and changing things to see if that helps

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Hm... I shall check those when I get the chance. Thanks though :D – AtomFury Nov 10 '09 at 1:55
I wouldn't start with the CPU. This could simply be a corrupt OS. – James Watt Dec 24 '09 at 17:01

You might want to try a livecd to try to rule out hardware issues, then try a 'repair install' to try to fix any system files that might have been damaged.

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I would recommend using a live CD of some type either Linux based or a windows based one so that you can determine if you're dealing with a hardware issue or a software issue. If you can successfully boot into a live CD's enviroment then I would say that you're working with a software error and that a repair or restore of the windows operating system might need to be done.

If you can not get into a running system off of a live CD then you might want to check out any new hardware that has been installed. Swapping out older hardware for newer installed hardware to see what works and what doesn't. Keep using the Live CD since you know that it's a working system and can't be changed. Remember to only change out one part at a time so that you know what you've worked with and what you haven't.

It sounds like you might have a fault memory module installed since you're dealing with an intermittent problem.

Good luck and the trouble shooting and hope this helps some.

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