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All Points Bulletin!

Discussion in 'Software' started by tripwire45, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I have a problem with my Dell Inpiron 8200 laptop. I've been doing screen captures on it all day. Got done and was watching a bit of T.V. with the kids. I was going to check on something on the laptop but the usb mouse didn't move the cursor. Wouldn't responde to the touch pad. The system seemed frozen. I tried CNTL+ALT+DEL and nothing. Left with no alternative, I very ungracefully powered down my laptop. I waited a few seconds and hit the power button. The following nastygram appeared: The system cannot load windows because system32\drivers\isapnp.sys is either missing or corrupt.

    The message goes on to tell me to use the original Windows XP install disk and to hit "r" at the first screen. I dig up the disk...one produced by Dell since that's who I bought it from. I pop it in the CD player, it spins up...spins down. Nothing. I try a few buttons and get a memory error referencing a memory space in hex.

    I power down the system, power up and get a similar message but this time about system32\drivers\pci.sys. I'm stuck. I tried a different Windows XP disk but it spins up and spins down without any screens coming up at all. All my work (unbacked up of course) is on that machine and I need in. What can I do? Thanks.
     
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  2. Nelix
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    Nelix Gigabyte Poster

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    Trip, Try puting the disk in the drive then restarting the machine and it should go into the repair/install thing.

    If that does not work try booting into safe mode (pressing F8) while booting windows, if that does not work try the recovery console from the boot menu.
     
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  3. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator

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  4. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    You guys are not going to believe it. I posted this one on my usual three techie sites to see what sort of responses I got. A tech at SS noticed that I got those wierd memory error messages and suggested that I unplug all the power sources to the laptop to clear the memory completely. Apparently, memory errors can do really odd things. I've seen this happen when PCs freeze up and print jobs will neither print nor let themselves be deleted but nothing like this. Figuring I had nothing to lose and it being the easiest fix, I tried it first.

    It worked!!!. I unplugged the power cable and pulled out the battery pack for about five minutes. I buttoned everything back up, powered up the unit and it booted to Windows XP like a charm. Glad I didn't have to go through another "head scratching" experience. G-d is good, guys.

    Thanks Si and Derek for pitching in. I appreciate your efforts. Guess this is another one for the ol' Knowledge Base. Cheers.
     
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  5. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Trouble in paradise. I looked away from the laptop for awhile and when I looked back, the screen was black. I rebooted and for an instant, the screen starts with the splash page, then goes to back. The funny thing is that it doesn't seem to go through a boot process but goes right to attempting to load the OS. Now I don't get the "missing or corrupted" message but am getting this:

    Memory write/read failure at 0FFF0000, read FF10FF00 expecting FF10FF10
    Memory address line failure at 0FFF0000, read FF10FF10 expecting 00000000
    Memory write/read failure at 08000008, read 00EF00FF expecting 00EF00EF
    Decreasing available memory
    Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility

    There's no option to press F8 to enter boot options. The system seems to bypass that altogether. When I press F2, I get the BIOS settings and pressing F1 just gets me a blank screen. I put in the OS disk I got from Dell but like I said, the CD drive spins it up but absolutely nothing happens. The drive spins down again and is inert. I pop open the CD and close it again causing the disk to spin up again but with the same result. I can't get into boot options and I can't get the machine to boot from the CD. :oops: :(
     
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  6. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Shot in the dark, Trip - are the memory readings in BIOS as they should be for the spec of the machine ?

    Does sound like you could have a bad/failing memory chip (unlikely, I know, but does happen :cry: )
     
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  7. Phil
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    Phil Gigabyte Poster

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    :iagree I'd have to agree with Gav, faulty memory was my first thought when I read your last post Trip.
     
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  8. Nelix
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    Nelix Gigabyte Poster

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    If you can get into the BIOS check the boot sequence incase they have changed (unlikely again) but I have known it happen, Sometimes if I cant get into the boot option or BIOS (due to the alloted window of time), I just repeatedly press the F8 or F2 (depending on boot menu or BIOS attempt) from the moment I turn the machine on.

    Give it a go and keep us informed
     
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  9. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Abruptly after pressing F1, I got into the OS. I quickly put the reinstall disk in the cd and chose "upgrade" hoping to get to the repair utility. I found the product key on the bottom of the laptop and entered it. Said it was an invalid key. I went over it again carefully to make sure I didn't enter a character wrong but it's the same key. It just won't work. I tried a different disk that I do have the correct key for. It took me through the first round of the install and went to restart. Actually took forever to restart and when it did, offered me the option to boot to the os or setup. I chose set up and got an error message:File setupdd.sys could not be loaded. The error code is 4. After that, I tried to reboot into the OS, and got: Windows could not start...etc System32\Drivers\isapnp.sys is missing or corrupt. This is getting frustrating. I've currently got it unplugged and the battery pulled out. Will try again but doubt it will work. Help.
     
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  10. Nelix
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    Nelix Gigabyte Poster

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    Leave the XP cd in the drive when you turn it back on and keep an eye on the screnn for the "press anykey to boot from CD" option to appear.

    It it does not even look for a cd then I suggest that you check the BIOS settings again in the boot sequence.

    Also, when I worked for Compaq support, there machines had a strnge quirk relating to the CD key, when you turn it on if the Num Lock light comes on then you had to press the caps lock button and it would'nt ask for the key (strange I know, but I talked a few people through it and it worked). worth a try. :D
     
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  11. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Well, I've gone through this as much as I can. I wandered around the BIOS and don't see anything amiss. I even opened up the bay where the SODIMM is to see if it was seated properly (two beeps = memory error). Not only does it appear seated, but I doubt if I could unseat it. The two sticks are side by side and flat. I don't see how you could lift the sticks out. I have all the software in a box but can't find the manual.

    At this point, I'm throwing my hands up in the air and calling it quits. The thing has a three year limited warranty. I'm calling Dell and letting one of their people deal with it. It beats me messing around and making it worse. Of course it's Sunday so I won't get any action out of it until tomorrow, when I'm really, really busy. Grrrrrr! :x
     
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  12. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I managed to get the laptop up long enough to copy most of my writing files to my lab machine. It froze up in the middle of one backup. I mean, froze solid. Cursor wouldn't move...it was like a screen capture. Even cntl+alt+del was meaningless. I ungracefully powered down the laptop and powered it back up to get the usual error messages. I believe you could be right thinking that a stick of SODIMM could be going bad. I opened the thing up and it's got two sticks of 128 MB SODIMM. I still can't figure out how to get one out. If I could, it's possible I could test and see if one stick is bad. If that's the case, then all I'd have to do was replace it (and maybe upgrade the memory at the same time).

    I'll keep you posted. If anyone has a brilliant idea in the meantime, don't keep it to yourself.
     
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  13. Jakamoko
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    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    All I'd suggest would be to try "ctrl+alt+del" instead of "cntl+alt+del"

    Sorry, nobody likes a smart-@rse at times like these :oops:

    :D
     
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  14. Phil
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    Phil Gigabyte Poster

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  15. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I called Dell. I guess calling on a Sunday is no big deal for them. I must have frustrated the guy pretty good. We went through all kinds of things with the original reinstall OS CD. Finally, after putting me on hold for about 10 minutes to consult the documentation (and probably his supervisor), he concluded that the CD was bad and they'll send me a new one. It'll arrive in 2 to 3 business days. He said at that time to call tech support back and they'll walk me through the repair process. I asked if, since I'm getting 2 beeps, if memory could be an issue. He said we're not going to consider memory as a problem until after we try the solution with the new CD. Ok, fine.

    Thanks for the link, Phil. I've changed laptop memory before, but on a toshiba and their memory mounting system is a bit easier to get at. I'll take a look (couldn't hurt) and see if noodling around with the SODIMM will change the performance.
     
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  16. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I got a suggestion from another tech to try cleaning the contacts on the SODIMM sticks with alcohol. Following the instructions in Phil's link, it was a snap to get them out. I soaked a q-tip with alcohol and cleaned off the contacts on the SODIMM sticks...waited until they'd dried, then reinserted them. The system booted up into Windows but the screen resolution was incredible. Everything was giant. I got a message asking if I wanted windows to adjust the screen resolution since it was set at a very low level (no kidding). I clicked yes. The icons got to be a more manageable size but still larger than I had them originally set. I figured I'd go in and change it manually. I right clicked in the middle of the desktop and got a shock. The display properties box comes up all right but only themes are displayed. There are no option tabs for desktop, screen saver, appearance or settings. I can't get to the display controls to change the resolution. I went into control panel to see if I could access them from there but no way.

    Man, this is getting strange. I'm not going to try and play with removing individual sticks until/unless the OS starts to futz up again. As far as I can tell, all my files and applications are present. I put in the wireless nic and it can get on the local home network. It's been about 10 or 15 minutes and it hasn't locked up yet. If it does, I'll try removing first one stick of SODIMM then the other (chances are, if a stick is going bad, it's only one and not both). What's up with my display properties???

    Update...I checked Device Manager. Both the display adapter and my LAN adapter have the dreaded yellow exclamation points next to them. The display adapter says drivers haven't been installed and the LAN adapter just says it's not functioning.

    Uh oh...just got a blue screen of death telling me to shutdown to avoid serious problems. Just when I think I've got something solved, another problem crops up. :(
     
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  17. Nelix
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    Nelix Gigabyte Poster

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    You should have recieved a Driver disc when you got the laptop, try reinstalling the drivers.
     
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  18. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator

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    That's one unhealthy laptop Trip, you're getting memory errors, missing or corrupt boot files and now disappearing hardware drivers. Sounds like you've got your hands full.

    I once had a similar problem that ended up being the motherboard, but I didn't find this out until I'd swapped out the RAM, HDD, CPU and a re-install of Windows.

    I guess while you are waiting for a CD to arrive you could swap out the RAM to eliminate possible RAM failure. But if that's not the problem, and from what you have already said you have tried, it may be a case of some heavy troubleshooting. If you have all of your data backed up then I would suggest a Windows re-install next. The memory errors could be related to missing or corrupt boot files. :scratch
     
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  19. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    Robnhood at SS said he had a similar problem once and ended up replacing the RAM and motherboard. I've got a 2 1/2 day contract job downtown starting this morning so I won't have the time to deal with it untl maybe Wednesday. The disk from Dell should come around Wednesday or Thursday so we'll see then. The issue with the video and NIC drivers didn't occur until I cleaned the contacts on the SODIMM sticks. Coincidence?
     
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  20. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator

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    <Ouch>....fingers crossed for you Trip , is it still under warranty?
     
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