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Old 06-12-2008, 07:29 PM   #1
filippa
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Question Windows XP and CentOS dual boot problem on a laptop computer


Hello everyone!

I have installed a dual boot of Windows XP and CentOS. I have managed to start both OS's several times so I must have done something right... or not. Earlier the computer has suddenly turned off when booting CentOS. That took place in few different phases of booting.

Once I was using the XP and the laptop started hibernating. When I tried to "wake it up" the computer seemed to be starting but after 5 secs or so the screen turned black and the startup began from the beginning - in order to fail again. This problem I overcame with Windows XP installation dvd using option -R (repair installation). I actually didn't know what to repair, so I exited without changing anything. Surprisingly, as I switched the computer on I got a normal boot with GRUB.

To my current problem: I was using CentOS when I managed to switch the computer off the mains without battery in it. Now that I try to switch the computer on, the abovementioned startup failure occurs: first two seconds everything seems normal. Then the screen goes black and the computer re-starts and after few attempts it turns off. I tried to boot with the Centos installation DVD in order to get into repair mode, but perhaps the computer just dies so quickly that reading the dvd isn't initialized. (The dvd is first in the boot order of bios.) I also tested with Windows installation dvd, but that isn't read eather.

So the situation is, that I can not get the computer started, not even in rescue mode. Any ideas? Reseting bios? Another rescue media?

After I somehow have over this problem, what is the root cause of this problem?
 
Old 06-13-2008, 06:02 AM   #2
filippa
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Talking Follow up: Booting ok - can you believe what the problem was?

Hello - good news!

After having read tons of articles in the Internet, laptop service manuals, centOS documentation, etc I was still "in darkness" with this. After having tried 10 different tricks of booting and inventing 50 new ones I was still completely lost. I also happened to read an article about order of the events that take place when booting....

...tick .. tack .. tick..... an idea came, which at that moment felt quite desperate.

I connected the power cable on and took the battery out: my sweethart runs as if there had never been anything wrong!

Why doesn't my laptop like the battery any longer? The battery is quite new and there weren't any problems before I installed the dual boot. Could somebody explain, how should I understand this?



Nevertheless, I am relieved - a moment ago things looked really bad! The lesson is, that it is aways worth the effort to post questions to this forum

((ADD: Referring to my original question there was no battery in, when I thought that using XP installation dvd had worked.))

Last edited by filippa; 06-13-2008 at 06:16 AM. Reason: Note about XP installation dvd
 
Old 06-13-2008, 06:35 AM   #3
storkus
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Reading your first article I immediately thought "power supply" but then
in your next message you said removing the battery fixed it, so now things are slightly more complicated.

I still say "power supply", but with possible caveats:

A. The battery is defective. Hey, it happens--remember the big recall?
Cheap Chinese battery pack + bad solder joints or insulation = short
circuit. Try a new battery. If it works, junk the old one safely (it
obviously still holds a charge, which makes it a sort of bomb).

B. ACPI and/or BIOS: Did you get a virus under XP or do anything else
that may have caused part of the BIOS or its non-volatile memory
(meaning both the BIOS code's flash and the battery-backed-up RAM
holding BIOS variables) to get over-written? If you can reach it,
removing the battery that keeps your BIOS options in memory to erase
it and so the BIOS writes it new from scratch may fix it, although
laptops are something of a different breed.

I can assure you, though, that unless you got a virus what's going on
has NOTHING to do your OS's.

Mike
 
Old 06-13-2008, 06:43 AM   #4
Larry Webb
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If it does the same thing with the battery removed I would say it is the power supply but if it only does it with the battery installed I would look at the battery first, but I see no way that the os's can be the problem.

Last edited by Larry Webb; 06-13-2008 at 06:44 AM.
 
Old 06-13-2008, 07:17 AM   #5
filippa
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Thank you for your advice!

Quote:
Originally Posted by storkus View Post

B. ACPI and/or BIOS: Did you get a virus under XP or do anything else
that may have caused part of the BIOS or its non-volatile memory
(meaning both the BIOS code's flash and the battery-backed-up RAM
holding BIOS variables) to get over-written? If you can reach it,
removing the battery that keeps your BIOS options in memory to erase
it and so the BIOS writes it new from scratch may fix it, although
laptops are something of a different breed.

Mike
The computer wasn't connected to internet. The only media I used were the centos & XP installation dvds. Therefore I don't think that viruses could had found their way in.

I shall be using the computer now and see, if any other peculiarities occur - right now everything works just fine! The cmos battery is in a very tricky place, therefore I didn't rush into removing it.

Thank you both for commenting. There is still guarantee period left with the battery, in our perfect world having it changed should be painless!
 
Old 06-13-2008, 07:49 AM   #6
pinniped
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This sounds like a power supply problem. It could be anything - the most common are:
1. bad battery (regardless of whether it is new)
2. cracked solder on the power connector on the MoBo
3. broken conductor in the power supply's lead
4. defective battery charger (can you measure the battery voltage and see if it has charged?)
5. defective power supply due to ageing components

Less common: short circuit inside the laptop because someone else had tampered with it.

The fact that this only happened soon after you set up for dual boot is probably nothing more than a coincidence. I've had some wonderful coincidences in my career, including components exploding soon after I replaced defective bits. Silly customers ... they never did come back to let me fix anything else. It was just other aged/defective components failing.
 
  


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