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View Full Version : Windows XP Home Forgot How To Boot!



Flick
04-01-2004, 04:41 PM
I first set up my current computer (HP Pavilion 9795c) way back in January, 2001. I used an APC Back-UPS Office (500) for surge protection and battery backup. I also loaded the PowerChute Plus (v. 5.0.2) to provide for a safe unattended shutdown. Everything worked fine for several years.

Last year I upgraded from Windows ME to XP Home and (of course) saw a huge improvement in the overall system as a result. However, PowerChute Plus was not compatible with XP so I had to uninstall PowerChute. It was a small price to pay and I never really missed it that much. I checked with APC but they didn't have a newer version of software that would work with my UPS and XP. So, I just used the built-in XP unattended shutdown feature.

Well last week, after 3 years, the replace battery light and audible tone on my UPS signaled me that it was time to replace the battery. After checking battery replacement prices, I determined it would be less expensive just to buy a new UPS! Also since the metal oxide varistors (MOVs) in surge protectors wear out over time, I decided that it would be in my best interest just to replace the entire unit.

I bought a new APC Back-UPS ES 500. I removed my old unit and hooked up the new device and loaded the software (PowerChute Personal Edition v1.3.1) and everything worked perfectly except for one little problem.

After I shutdown my computer, the next time I attempted to restart windows XP, it would not boot up! The hard disk just kept spinning away while the blue HP logo was displayed on the monitor and the normal boot order (floppy, CD and DVD drives) didn't take place. I turned off the power switch and let the memory clear for about a minute and then attempted to reboot, but the same thing happened. Windows XP would not boot up! Somehow Windows XP (or BIOS) forgot the boot order. Finally, after two more attempts the system booted normally.

I then ran CheckDisk (no errors found) and defragged the C: drive. I have rebooted the system about 4 times in a row now without a problem. So, perhaps the problem is gone now (I hope). However, why would the installation of PowerChute cause Windows XP to suddenly forget how to boot?

Sylvander
04-01-2004, 06:26 PM
I take it you didn't hear the single short beep that indicates successful completion of the POST [when startup halts that is]?

My first guess is that you have a power supply problem.
How about plugging the PC straight into the mains supply to see the result?

Download my diagnostic flowcharts from here
www.erniek.eclipse.co.uk/downloads/sylvanderdiags.zip
and print them to leaf through.
They should help clarify what is most likely going on.

Flick
04-01-2004, 07:43 PM
Hi Sylvander! No, I didn't hear any beep and it's not a power supply problem. It's definitely the PowerChute software. I again ran into the problem with windows refusing to boot, so next time I got it to boot, I uninstalled the PowerChute software. As a test, I rebooted the system 12 times in row without a single problem.

Apparently, PowerChute is causing some intermittent conflict with the boot process. So, until I (or APC or someone on this board) figure out what is wrong with this software, I am content to use the built in XP power UPS options. XP recognizes the UPS and I have set the alarms for unattended shutdown.

As I recall, the previous PowerChute Plus software was rather poorly written software as well.

jabarnutcase
04-01-2004, 09:44 PM
As I recall, the previous PowerChute Plus software was rather poorly written software as well.
Funny you should mention that Flick.

I have three Belkin UPS units that I really like. (I've also has APC units in the past that were fine)
Recently, I got a deal on an APC Back-UPS ES(350) that I couldn't refuse. 350va only gives it about a minute to shut down, but in this particular case, that's enough. (Sorry, that's beside the point)

ANYWAY...This unit also came with PowerChute Personal Edition v1.3.1 compatible as you know (supposedly anyway) with XP.

My software has been acting very strange! Sometimes, even though the program loads, the Icon will not appear in the system tray...Which is one of the FEW Icons I happen to WANT there for settings etc.
I have to actually, "log off" (even though I'm the only user) and log back on and then it shows up. Other times, it loads OK the first time.

This morning it said I had 45 minutes of backup time which is rediculous...A minute is about all it can handle. Until I rebooted the machine then it said the usual minute.

Sorry to ramble so much without a solution to your problem, but there is no question the Software..(Even this new version) is buggy!

I'm going to look around on their site for FAQ, or even write Tech support and see if I can find anything out, but I must say....Give me my Belkin Bulldog Plus Software any day over PowerShute if it's going to act like this.

After all my babbling, all I can say it that you're not alone. I really do think the Software is screwy and most likely is the root of your problems too.

Flick
04-03-2004, 04:44 PM
Well, I decided to junk the APC PowerChute software in favor of the Windows XP built-in UPS support. After a little research, I determined that the XP built-in UPS software was actually written by APC and really works better than the PowerChute software.

I configured the XP version and unplugged my UPS from the AC outlet to test the system and everything worked flawlessly. On battery, my system ran for over 10 minutes and then completed a graceful automatic shutdown of the computer.

Also, after I removed PowerChute Personal Edition from my computer (and manually removed several registry entries left over from PowerChute), the intermittent boot problem I was having was solved.

I also discovered that when the APC PowerChute software is loaded, it turns off the built-in XP power options program and this is why it sometimes causes boot problems. In addition, when PowerChute is uninstalled, it is designed to automatically turn the built-in XP power options back on again. Obviously, it doesn't always work properly.

I hope my experience might help others.

jabarnutcase
04-03-2004, 05:41 PM
This is truly amazing Flick....In fact, you may not even believe me, but not 5 minutes ago, I just finished doing the very same thing!!! (I went to this post to share my experience, and you beat me to it by mere minutes!) :p

I also got rid of the PowerChute, and configured XP's built in software.

I configured the XP version and unplugged my UPS from the AC outlet to test the system and everything worked flawlessly
Yes, mine did too....Except for the first time I tried it...I was under the desk in the dark and I had my Computer plugged into the Surge side rather than the UPS side! (Unbelievable....What a dope!) :(

Needless to say, everything shut down instantly. :mad:

After my heartbeat slowed down a bit, I plugged the stuff into the proper outlets, rebooted, set things up again and it's working great.

I also discovered that when the APC PowerChute software is loaded, it turns off the built-in XP power options program
As a matter of fact, I had always wondered how the two programs interacted with each other because, on mine at least, both XP's Power Management and the PowerChute were apparently working at the same time.
IE, I was able to set alarms, tweak etc. both in the XP power options and the powerChute too....Ddin't seem right to me.
Furthermore, if I disabled XP's UPS software, my Computer stopped communicating with the UPS even though I still had the PowerChute installed. :confused:

Anyway, to make a short story too long, I'm rid of the PowerChute too and it's working great.
(Not to mention it's one less program that has to load). ;)

As I'm sure you know, with XP's you can also show the power status and state of battery charge with a system tray icon if you choose. (Much like a Laptop)

Flick
04-03-2004, 07:41 PM
Your post jabarnutcase supports the conclusion that great minds think in tiny circles!;) Thanks for your input and updates. :cool: