Triple booting - a HP Recovery mess !!

#1
Hi.

I got a brand new HP dv9700 CTO Notebook. It's a nice machine with decent config (4GB,2.4Ghz) 150GBx2 SATA Hard drives.

I wanted to toy around a bit so i got Windows XP to double boot with Vista. Everything was working fine..life was beautiful, until one day i decided to play around with the fairly new Gutsy (Ubuntu, Linux OS). So, i installed it as well. The only problem was GRUB - the boot manager that gets installed with Ubuntu. I got around a way to work out a way to make windows as my default OS as well.

My notebook couldn't quite adjust with GUTSY :??, so i decided to let it go. I uninstalled Ubuntu by formatting the "ext" and the "swap" partitions. This resulted in GRUB being removed.

My next step was restoring the manner in which the notebook booted earlier - that is , The Bootloader menu with choices for XP or Vista.

Everything was ALMOST back to normal.

What i did not anticipate was that all this would delete the restore points in the Vista partition. As a result of which, i wasn't able to burn recovery discs, reinstall my hardware drivers or create backups.

I would always get a error message saying that " The RECOVERY PARTITION COULD NOT BE FOUND" :tongueout:oint:

This was a BIT strange since I could "find" the recovery partition intact right where it should have been - with everything intact. Not even a single file was ever copied to or from the recovery partition.

*****
FOR THE RECORD - I left the hard disk on which the recovery partition and Vista was,totally intact. For storing data, installing XP and Ubuntu, i was using the other hard disk.

******


THE PROBLEM NOW :-

A lot of my networking adapters were faulty, there were lots of viruses,illegit registry modifications and so on.... tagged alongwith a million other problems. In the end i decided to reinstall Vista using the recovery partition. But i was extremely skeptical about it, so i decided to postpone it.

SOMEHOW,(this is the part which scares me because i don't know the reason !!) when i restarted my computer, it automatically booted right into the recoverymanager !!! I was/am not able to boot into XP !! :??

I have no clue how this happened.

I hit the emergency anger button :evil: and decided to re-install VISTA from the same recovery
manager but it keeps getting stuck at 40-50% !!

Bottom-line - I'm screwed .(Unless of course someone miraculously helps me out here) :brows:
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#2
Solution. Remove 2 sticks of RAM. Take your system down to 2GB. Bet it finishes then.
 
#3
Are you positive ? If yes, then how do i do it myself without voiding HP warranty :wtf: ? And how can i get HP to do it without citing any problem ? And even if i do cite the problem,i might be running a pirated version of XP >.<>.<

Is there ANY other alternative ?:x:x:x

Addendum:

one more thing... pardon my curiosity, but how does removing 2 sticks of RAM gonna help me in this situation ?
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#4
All 32 Bit Operating Systems do not like 4GB of RAM. They can not use and do not recognize 4GB of RAM. Having 4GB of RAM in your system at the time of a install usually causes corruption like you have explained.

Removing the RAM will result in a successful install. If you want you can google for things like it. There are other forums i am on that have this specific issue brought up many times. This has always been the answer.

As for getting around the HP thing. Sorry i cant help you there as there is no real answer. Same thing for the Pirated XP. I just know that in every case i have seen of this issue removing 2GB of RAM has always solved the problem.
 
#5
Some good news...some bad news...

There seems to have been new developments. I was desperately trying to boot into my XP. I used recovery and somehow got my comp to boot into XP. It was working fine for a few days...

The problem now... - -

I'm stuck at the login screen. Whenever I log in, it shows "Loading personal settings" and then immediately after that it says "Logging Out" and hence i'm forever stuck at the login screen.

At first i thought it was some Virus ..so i thought I'd boot into Safe Mode, scan with my AV and try to login normally.

But, the damned machine won't even log into safe mode !!!

Yet again, I've landed myself in a weird situation where I don't even know what the problem is...!! :scared::scared::x:x
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#6
Have you tried "Last Known Good Configuration?"
 
#7
Have you tried "Last Known Good Configuration?"
Yeah i did that. It boots up, but gets stuck at the wallpaper screen. Then after 5-10 minutes, it again logs out.. same problem as before. Only this time, it takes a a hell lot of time logging in again and then immediately logs out.

Is there any way i can fix it by using recovery ? I read somewhere that there might be something wrong with the USERINIT.exe file.

Thanks.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#8
You can try. That is all that we can say. Have you taken out the RAM yet or are you still trying to force it to work with the 4GB still in it?
 
#9
You can try. That is all that we can say. Have you taken out the RAM yet or are you still trying to force it to work with the 4GB still in it?
Well in order for me to do that without voiding my warranty, I'll have to go to the HP service center(Which i already did) and then wait till a technician is available to do it for me and give a receipt for the changes in my hardware.

This will take about a week. In the meantime, i'm trying to search for alternate solutions. It's driving me absolutely MAD :??.

BTW, I mentioned that I got it to boot somehow and everything WAS actually working fine...

Some good news...some bad news...

There seems to have been new developments. I was desperately trying to boot into my XP. I used recovery and somehow got my comp to boot into XP. It was working fine for a few days...

The problem now... - -

I'm stuck at the login screen. Whenever I log in, it shows "Loading personal settings" and then immediately after that it says "Logging Out" and hence i'm forever stuck at the login screen.

At first i thought it was some Virus ..so i thought I'd boot into Safe Mode, scan with my AV and try to login normally.

But, the damned machine won't even log into safe mode !!!

Yet again, I've landed myself in a weird situation where I don't even know what the problem is...!! :scared::scared::x:x

Are you sure it's a hardware issue and not something else ??
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#10
I have seen this issue at least 100 times in the last few months. Each time it is the same answer. So i do not know why it would be something else when each time removing the RAM solved the issue.

32 Bit OS's do not like 4GB of RAM. That is the end all of that. The kernel is limited and can not use nor recognize the 4GB of RAM. Even a google search will tell you this.

32 Bit and 4GB of RAM - Google Search

So i am sorry that you do not believe me. But i have seen it. As for voiding the warrenty well you took the option of Vista. You are changing the configuration of the machine since you recieved it. I am sure that you wouldnt get supprot from them for XP anyways since it came installed with Vista.

I read your post. I still stand by my first remark of removing 2GB of RAM. As i have seen it work before and i know it would work now. If you really want to try and experiment try to do a fresh install of XP. See how many errors it throws at you then.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#11
The guys on this site seem to think that though XP (32 bit) will never recognise more than 3.2Gb, that you might get past the boot hang with an overclock on the memory voltage in your BIOS.
http://forums.hexus.net/hexus-hardware/133184-question-ram-wont-boot-4gb.html
I take no responsibility for the consequences, but you might like to give it a whirl before breaking the seals and losing your warranty.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#12
It isnt that i think that Terry. I have seen it.

is phenom 9500 compatible with 32 bit windows? - Computer Forums

Right there is a great example of this. Eric knows his stuff and yet he could not overcome the limits of the 32 Bit Kernel and install XP. In the end he removed RAM to get it to work. This is just a limit of the 32 Bit Kernel. Not just XP but Vista is the same way. With SP1 you will see 4GB but not use it.
 
#13
I might be a bit skeptical... but WHY or more appropriately, HOW :brows:?? Does anyone have a link to any article which has more information on this. Now, i really want to read up on this.

**:??:??:??I was starting to think it's world-domination plan Microsoft has somehow got implemented :??:??:??!!
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#14
Mak,
I think you misunderstood my this. When I said this site, I didn't mean this site (NST), I meant the site I'd posted the link to.
Sidd,
I guess you just have to trawl around the options in your BIOS and see what's available. My previous system didn't have a lot to offer in the area of voltage / frequency customization, but the BIOS in this one is much more friendly to overclockers, though I don't have anything non-standard set myself.
Maybe your mobo/BIOS won't allow anything, you'll just have to have a poke around it and find out.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#15
I might be a bit skeptical... but WHY or more appropriately, HOW :brows:?? Does anyone have a link to any article which has more information on this. Now, i really want to read up on this.

**:??:??:??I was starting to think it's world-domination plan Microsoft has somehow got implemented :??:??:??!!
Sidd this is not just Microsoft. This is a limit in OS X 32 Bit (Which they do not use anymore. From 10.4.9 on they have been strictly 64 Bit from what i know) and Linux 32 Bit Kernels as well. It is a programming limit from the beginning.

Back when PC's were first started they never thought that they would be using more than 4GB of RAM. This is back when they were using 8 Bit as standard. Back then they could not even fathom 1GB let alone 4 GB. So the technology has been limited since the start with 32 Bit.

That is how it happened. Back when Windows 95 first came out and started this 32 Bit craze it was not known at the time that systems 13 years later woudl be limited by the stuff they were creating back then. Would you think that in 13 years we would go from using 16MB in a system as high end to running 4GB in a system as high end? No. IT jsut was not thought of.

At least this from what i understand of the technology as i have used it. Read up on Wikipedia:

x86 architecture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#16
I think that citation was aimed at my post Mak, ie "how do I boost the memory voltage, and why would it work ?"
My answer, if I'm correct in my interpretation of the question, is "I don't know - I'm just quoting guys on the other site I linked, who seem to have got through the boot hang using this tweak. Once booted of course, the 4Gb isn't addressable because of the arithmetical restriction of the 32 bit architecture. This is just supposed to be a way of getting past the boot hang into a 3.2Gb functioning OS."
I've never had occasion to try it, so cannot vouch for its efficacy, just passing on a link from people who claim to have at least got the system to boot this way.
Anything's worth a try if it's possible and costs nothing !
 
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mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#17
Memory is a block of registers (storage devices) in a very long row:
Code:
ADDRESS 1
ADDRESS 2
ADDRESS 3
ADDRESS 4
etc..
In order to access Address X, the CPU needs to store the value of X in a register in the CPU and tell the memory to read the contents of the address stored in that register.

Registers in x86 PCs are limited to 32 bits, which means the biggest number that can be stored in that register is 2^32, or 4,294,967,296; which means that the CPU can access up to "ADDRESS 4,294,967,296" which is the 4th GB of data.

The problem is that the CPU also access I/O devices (printer, USB, keyboard, mouse, monitor, etc.) by assigning them an address as well. So it reserves half a GB or so of the memory addresses to talk to the I/O devices... So you have 4GB - ~0.5GB -> 3.5 GB (on Windows it is 3.2GB).

This is the only reason x64 was invented.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#18
Thanks for that info Guru. I knew there was some more info that i forgot. :wink: