Chapter 27: Troubleshooting Startup continued
Review your system documentation Refer to your motherboard and device manuals before installing new peripherals for helpful information including safety precautions, firmware configuration, and expansion-slot or memory-slot locations. Some peripheral manufacturers recommend that you use a busmastering PCI slot and advise that installing their adapter in a secondary slot might cause it to function improperly. For more information about system resources, see "Managing Devices" in this book.
Confirm that the power cords for all devices are firmly plugged in and that the computer power supply meets hardware specifications Computer power supplies are available in different sizes and are typically rated at 200, 250, 300, and 400 watts or larger. Some computers are equipped with even smaller power supplies (less than 100 watts) and installing too many devices into a system with an inadequate amount of power can cause reliability problems or even damage the power supply. See the manufacturer's power specifications when installing new devices and verify that your system can handle the increased electrical load.
Verify that you correctly installed and firmly seated all internal adapters Typically, peripherals such as keyboards and video cards must be installed and functioning to complete the startup process without generating error messages. A faulty video card can cause the POST process to fail on some systems.
Verify that you correctly attached cables Check that you have firmly seated all cable connectors. Search for damaged or worn cables and replace them as required.
Verify that you correctly configured any jumpers or dual in-line package switches Jumpers and dual in-line package switches are used to close or open electric contacts on circuit boards. For hard disks, jumper settings are especially important because they can adversely affect the startup process if not correctly set. For example, configuring two master ATA disks that are installed on the same channel or assigning duplicate SCSI ID numbers to devices in the same SCSI chain might cause a Stop error or error messages about hard disk failure.
Verify that system firmware and peripheral firmware are up-to-date You can sometimes trace instability and compatibility problems to outdated ACPI firmware. If your computer has firmware that is known to cause problems and an update is not yet available, technical support might advise you to disable ACPI and reinstall the operating system for stable operation. Although the option to disable ACPI is an option found on some x86-based firmware, it is recommended that you leave this setting at the default value (typically enabled).
To correctly disable or re-enable ACPI, you must first change firmware settings and then re-install Windows XP Professional to avoid a Stop 0x000000A5 or ACPI_BIOS_ERROR message, or a Stop 0x00000079 or MISMATCHED HAL message. Because of the numerous registry and system file changes required, you must rerun Setup (an upgrade installation does not work). For more information about checking firmware versions, see "Troubleshooting Concepts and Strategies" in this book.
If Setup does not respond when you are installing the operating system, the cause might be the firmware for your CD-ROM drives. Try upgrading the CD-ROM firmware to the latest version.
Test your hardware by running diagnostic tools If the problem occurs after the POST routine finishes but before Windows XP Professional fully loads, run any diagnostic software that the manufacturer of the hardware adapter provides. This software typically includes self-test programs that allow you to quickly verify proper operation of a device and might enable you to obtain additional information about the device, such as model number, hardware, and device firmware version.
Determine if new hard disks were recently installed Adding new hard disks to the system can cause startup problems. For example, in a two-disk system with Windows XP Professional installed on the first partition of the second hard disk, the Boot.ini file might be referencing a path to the operating system. The path might use a multi( ) format similar to the following:
For the newly installed disk, you might need to update Boot.ini references so that they point to the correct location. For example, to restore the ability to start Windows XP Professional, you might need to change the multi path so it is similar to the following:
Adding new disks might also affect how logical drive letters are assigned to partitions. For more information about diagnosing and resolving issues due to changed logical drive letters, see Microsoft Knowledge Base articles Q234048, "How Windows 2000 Assigns, Reserves, and Stores Drive Letters," Q249321, "Unable to Log on if the Boot Partition Drive Letter Has Changed," and Q225025, "Setup Changes Drive Letters After a Partition Is Deleted and Reinstalled." To find these articles, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
Configure ISA devices in Plug and Play mode If ISA devices are present, always configure them in Plug and Play mode if possible. Plug and Play is the default mode for ISA devices that comply with Plug and Play. If necessary, you can switch from Plug and Play to manual mode by using jumpers or software provided by the manufacturer. Use care when configuring ISA devices in manual mode because the operating system depends on the user to select the correct hardware and Device Manager resources. Manually selecting resources is more likely to cause an error because Windows XP Professional cannot resolve resource conflicts for you.
Manually assign interrupt request (IRQ) line numbers for each hardware device Some x86-based motherboards force IRQ sharing across two or more expansion slots (or integrated devices) regardless of the adapters installed. In some cases, IRQ sharing can cause conflicts after you install new hardware. If you have a non-ACPI computer equipped with firmware that supports changing IRQ assignments, as a troubleshooting method, try manually changing the IRQ assigned to a problem device.
Because systems that use the ACPI HAL ignore IRQ assignments stored in firmware, you are only able to manually change IRQ settings for non-ACPI (Standard PC HAL) systems. Some x86-based systems enable you to toggle ACPI functionality. To disable or re-enable ACPI, you must first change firmware settings and then re-install Windows XP Professional to avoid a Stop 0xA5 message or a Stop 0x79 message. Because of the numerous registry and system file changes required, you must rerun Setup (an upgrade installation does not work).
For more information about system resources, see "Managing Devices" in this book. For more information about Stop messages, see "Common Stop Messages for Troubleshooting" in this book.
Verify SCSI configuration If your computer uses or starts from SCSI devices and if you suspect that these devices are causing startup problems, you need to check the items listed in Table 27-20.
Table 27-20 Checklist for Troubleshooting SCSI Devices
For more information about the SCSI standard, see the SCSI link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources. For more information about SCSI termination, see articles Q92765, "Terminating a SCSI Device," and Q154690, "How to Troubleshoot Event 9 and Event 11 Error Messages," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find these articles, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
When you are diagnosing startup problems related to hardware, it is recommended that you simplify your configuration. Avoid troubleshooting when you have several adapters and external peripherals installed. Starting with external and ISA devices, disable or remove hardware devices one at time until you are able to start your system. Reinstall devices by following the manufacturer's instructions, verifying that each is functioning properly before checking the next device. For example, installing a PCI network adapter and a SCSI adapter at the same time can complicate troubleshooting because either adapter might cause a problem. Simplifying your system configuration might enable you to start Windows XP Professional. You can then gradually increase hardware complexity until you reproduce the problem, which allows you to diagnose and resolve the problem.
ISA devices can cause problems because the PCI bus does not have a reliable method for determining ISA resource settings. Device conflicts might occur due to miscommunication between the two bus types. To avoid ISA and PCI conflicts, try temporarily removing ISA devices. After you install a new PCI device, you can use Device Manager to determine which system resources are available to ISA devices. Then reconfigure the ISA devices that do not support Plug and Play so that you eliminate any conflicts. If the problems continue after you reinstall ISA devices and you cannot resolve them with assistance from technical support, consider upgrading to newer hardware.
Simplifying your system configuration also helps when problems prevent you from installing Windows XP Professional. For more information about simplifying your hardware configuration to resolve setup problems, see article Q224826, "Troubleshooting Text-Mode Setup Problems on ACPI Computers," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources. Also, see "Troubleshooting Concepts and Strategies" in this book.
To use the System Information tool to view problem devices
To use the System Information tool to view shared and conflicting resources
To use Device Manager (Devmgmt.msc) to view system resource usage information
For more information about using Device Manager and resolving hardware conflicts, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center, and also see "Managing Devices" in this book.
Table 27-21 Diagnosing Disk-related Startup Problems
Infrequently, disk-related issues, such as corrupted files, file system problems, or insufficient free space might cause Stop messages to appear. For more information about maintaining disks and troubleshooting disk-related problems, see "Disk Management" and "Troubleshooting Disks and File Systems" in this book. Also, see "Common Stop Messages for Troubleshooting" in this book.
System shutdown is an orderly process and involves the following:
Shutdown problems can be caused by:
To resolve problems that prevent shutdown, use Task Manager to close the unresponsive application or service.
To end an unresponsive application or service
The Applications tab provides status information and displays each task as either Running or Not Responding.
To determine whether your system is using ACPI features
Figure 27-5 Using Device Manager to determine ACPI functionality
For information about using Device Manager, see "Managing Devices" in this book.
To determine if your computer supports hibernate and standby features
If the Standby and Hibernate options are not present, then your computer does not support these features.
Symptoms of Power Management Problems and Their Causes
When a computer is entering or leaving hibernation or standby, the following might occur:
Typical causes include:
System Standby Failed. The device driver for the 'XXXX CD-RW' device is preventing the computer from entering standby. Please close all applications and try again.
The preceding message might be misleading because the problem might not be caused by the CD rewriter driver. You query the Microsoft Knowledge Base or review messages on the msnews.microsoft.com newsgroups and find recommendations to update your CD authoring software. Following this advice, you install a Windows XP compatible update, which restores the ability to put the computer on standby and in hibernation.
Recovering from a Failed Standby
When a computer is on standby, the CPU enters a low-power state until an event, such as user or network activity, causes the computer to come out of standby. Using standby conserves power and is typically much faster than shutting down and restarting the computer.
If your computer cannot return to normal mode after being on standby, try the following:
Improper shutdowns might cause unsaved data to be lost. Windows XP Professional can detect whether an improper shutdown occurred and might start Autochk to correct file system problems during the startup process. For more information about Autochk and Chkdsk, see "Troubleshooting Disks and File Systems" in this book.
Recovering from a Failed Hibernation
When you put a computer in hibernation, Windows XP Professional writes all memory content to the systemdrive\Hiberfil.sys file before shutting down the system. When you turn the computer back on, Ntldr uses firmware calls to locate the startup disk. If Ntldr finds a Hiberfil.sys file on the systemdrive root, the information is read back into memory and the computer resumes exactly where it left off without going through a full startup sequence. If the Windows loader cannot locate the Hiberfil.sys file, it processes the Boot.ini file and proceeds with normal startup.
The Hiberfil.sys file can exist in one of the following forms:
In either case, Ntldr locates and reads the Hiberfil.sys memory image and continues without displaying the Boot.ini startup menu.
The modified ARC path specified in the Hiberfil.sys file conforms to one of the following formats:
Ntldr checks the integrity of the Hiberfil.sys file and if the file is damaged, displays a prompt similar to the following:
Delete restoration data and proceed to system boot menu
If you confirm the prompt by pressing ENTER, Windows XP Professional deletes the Hiberfil.sys file and proceeds with normal startup.
To minimize problems, avoid major changes to the computer's state after putting the computer in hibernation. For example, if you hibernate an undocked portable computer, avoid starting the computer in a docked state. Computers that are not ACPI-compliant might be more sensitive to this type of state change.
For more information about using the standby and hibernate features, see Windows XP Professional Help and Support Center. For more information about power management, see "Managing Devices" and "Supporting Mobile Users" in this book. For more information about troubleshooting standby or hibernation issues, see article Q266169, "Troubleshoot Problems with Standby Mode, Hibernate Mode, and Shutting Down Your Computer in Windows 2000," in the Microsoft Knowledge Base. To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.