Saturday, February 6, 2010

Computer again

Today has not been a good day. The plumber came back and solved the problem, the drain was blocked, but he has opened a hole which is rather smelly, but will sort it on Monday,he hopes. He is a good guy, with a wonderful sense of humour, adn at least we can shower without floading the garden now.

My computer is refusing to switch on as far as Windows, it asks as always for an F1 prompt, says 'no signal detected'and then reboots. REALLY irritating! Anyone with any ideas on what to try next? Our geek kids are not on line.

Still the view out of the window is beautiful, and Dave's abalone cakes were delicious on bread for lunch.

The wind dried the washing really fast, and the sun bleached the odd yellow colour out of the white tablecloth, that the container had added to spots of it. How does heat in a cardboard box, in a container add colour to patches of material? Just one of life little mysteries.


  1. I can try to help you with the computer. Is the F1 prompt you're referring to the one to get into the setup? If so, have you tried hitting F1 and if you have, what happens then? Do you see anything else after the prompt besides "no signal detected"? Do you hear any beeps before it reboots?

  2. Francis - it responds to F1, Del and to arrow keys - therefore is getting messages from Keyboard

  3. Oops -that was me - not B above. Didn't realise she was still signed in. kk1raven - when the machine starts up it goes to a screen which starts with 'Phoenix - AwardBIOS v6,An Energy Star Ally copyright etc.
    P4M890-m7 TE
    It then describes main processor, memmory testing
    cpu brand etc then
    IDE channels

    It then says 'floppy disk(s) fail (40)'

    Press F8 to enable system configuration
    Press F9 to select booting device after POST
    Press F1 to continue, Del to enter SETUP'

    F8 and F9 have no response. F1 takes you to a 'we apologise for the inconvenience windows did not start up normally. A recent hardware or software change might have caused this.'

    it then offers you choices of safe mode, safe mode with networking, safe mode with command prompt, last known good configuration, or start windows normally

    Start windows normally takes you to no signal detected and then loops you back
    last known good configuration loops you back
    Safemode loops you back without no signal detected
    None of above cause any beeps
    I have taken out the graphics card and tried it with the onboard graphics card. Same result.
    I have tested the hard-drive in the case we have for reading it out of the machine - I can look at files on it. All the fans are turning, and CPU temp is around 41.

  4. I could photograph the screens and post the photographs if that helps
    -the machine was left on and working - and was in this state the next day

  5. Apart from the floppy drive failure message, this sounds like Windows itself is messed up. Windows has a setting that tells it to reboot automatically if there's a system error. Microsoft thinks that option should be enabled by default, which results in people ending up in situations like this where they get stuck in rebooting loops without being able to see any error message to give them a clue as to what is wrong.

    If safe mode also reboots that way, that tells us that the message about their being no signal is probably not the cause of the problem. Safe mode is supposed to start Windows with the bare essentials and none of the usual background programs that load at startup. When safe mode doesn't work, that eliminates a bunch of possible causes for the problem. Repairing problems that prevent Windows from booting at all can be problematic. Sometimes it is almost impossible, but I find a way to do it more often than not.

    Which version of Windows does it run? Do you have a Windows install disk for it? Depending on the answers to those questions, there are some things that I can have you try to get it going again without having to totally re-install everything.

  6. Hi, it is windows xp home edition, and we do have the cd for it! Thank you!!!!

  7. I've thought of a couple more questions. Besides the power, mouse, keyboard, and monitor, is anything else connected to the computer? If so, have you tried disconnecting everything else before restarting? I have seen a few cases where having various other devices connected prevented Windows from starting, even in safe mode.

    When you tried safe mode, how far into the process of starting did you get before it restarted? Did it get to the point of asking you which user to login as? (Even if you only have one user ID setup, safe mode generally asks whether you want to login as administrator or your regular user ID.) If it gets that far, have you tried choosing "administrator"?

    If it gets that far, then the problem may be with your user registry settings. In most cases, it is possible to fix that type of problem by locating the copies of those files in the Windows restore files and manually replacing them. It is a bit complicated to do but not all that hard as long as you're not afraid of fooling with the guts of Windows. If it looks like that's the right thing to do, I'll see if I can relocate the instructions for doing it that I saw a couple weeks ago and point you at them.

    If it doesn't get that far, then something more basic is wrong with Windows and you can try doing a repair installation of Windows. To do that, boot the computer off the Windows install CD. You may need to go in to setup (hit the del key at the appropriate time when you first turn the computer on) to make the CD drive the preferred boot device.

    When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message is displayed on your screen, press a key to boot from the CD.

    Press ENTER when you see the message "To setup Windows XP now..." Do not choose the option to press R to use the Recovery Console.

    In the Windows XP Licensing Agreement, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.

    Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected in the box, and then press R to repair Windows XP.

    Follow the instructions on the screen to complete setup. If it asks you which partition to install Windows on and talks about erasing stuff, then you've made a mistake and Windows is trying to do a clean install rather than a repair.

    Reinstalling Windows this way will wipe out most windows updates that are later than what's on your install disk which will most likely render Internet Explorer non-functional until you reinstall whichever newer version you had installed. You'll need to either have another browser available or download the installation file for the desired version of IE on another computer so that you can reinstall it. Having to reinstall updates and IE is a lot better than having to reinstall everything though.

    Make sure you have anything important backed up before doing anything else.

    If you want to discuss this in a more direct manner feel free to contact me via e-mail or instant messaging. I'm kk1raven on AIM, google IM and livejournal IM or kk1raven at gmail dot com for e-mail. I'll be around for at least another couple of hours tonight and probably all day tomorrow. There's too much snow here to go anywhere right now.

  8. In particular I've seen Windows refuse to boot when an external USB drive (hard disk or flash drive) was plugged in at boot.

    Make sure the only things plugged in are your mouse and keyboard and see if it helps.