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Kindly requesting your help! I am experiencing some frustration with my computer

#1 User is offline   elrulasmx 

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 05:05 PM

Greetings from Mexico to everyone! I hope you are well.

I found this forum and think you guys can help me to determine whether my pc can be saved or not.

I have a custom PC with an ABIT AAX8E 3rd EYE Mother Board, and it had been working just fine for the past 6 years or so.

I have it up and running with 2 SATA disk drives (one of them being the master disk) and 1 IDE disk drive for data, the processor is an Intel Pentium IV 3.8GHZ Threading Technology. The Power Supply Unit is a STAR 400 watts.
I use XP SP 3 with the latest security updates; I have 3GB RAM DDR2 512 (4 slots, 2 with 1GB and 2 with 512 MB memory DIMMs).

A couple weeks ago, I installed several Windows updates and in the process, suddenly my PC crashed and sent me the dreaded blue screen with a message indicating that the video adapter could not be initiated and then dumped to disk. This situation repeated itself so many times that at some point, it was impossible to even try to start the PC in safe mode (in any of its modes). I took it finally to a repair shop and the guy who checked it told me that the problem was the video card (it is a NVIDIA GEFORCE 6200TC SUPPORTING 256MB DDR TV PCI-EXPRESS).

I was able to get one of this cards (USED, NOT NEW since it is discontinued in Mexico) from another computer who was fine, but when replacing it, the problem persisted. So, i remembered that I should pay attention to the LED POST CODE indicator on the mother board and it displays the code "20" (I thought for a moment that it could also be 2D but no). Then I downloaded the PDF for the mother board manual and looked up for the meaning of the code but I was not able to find it anyhwhere. In addition to this "20" code, when the computer tries to start normally, it shows the POST SCREEN, the logo and then it begins to show the Windows XP Start Screen but suddenly it becomes all black and then it remains that way indefinitely and also showing the mysterious "20" code, so I have to shut it down every time.

I also have tried clearing the CMOS, removing the battery, replacing each memory module in every possible combination and nothing works.

The problem is also that the master disk has a lot of very important files to me, so that's why I would want to kindly request your help with this situation, since it seems that nobody knows what this "20" code means and I would like to make a decision regarding trying to fight an impossible fight or having to finally say goodbye to my beloved and trusted friend for good.

I know that maybe the easiest way would be to just buy a new PC and recovering the files on the disks, but I would like to make the last effort to convince myself that I did everything within my power.

I thank you in advance for the time, patience and help you guys can be able to provide me and hope to hear from you soon.

Your friend from Mexico

Raul Garcia
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#2 User is offline   dostov 

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 06:30 PM

Hola Raul, buenas noches! Welcome to TRP! :welcome:

Have you tried installing Windows to another of your hard drives? You can maybe pick the one that has the least important data on it and format/install Windows on it. It may be as simple as a dead disk. If you do this, you may also want to unplug the other disks first.

Cheers! :)
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#3 User is offline   caintry_boy 

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 07:50 PM

I'll go out on a limb here and say it's not your hardware that is at fault, it's Windows Update at fault. I'll also recommend a repair install of Windows > http://www.informati...truct/189400897
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#4 User is offline   dostov 

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 09:32 PM

Attempting repair first is wise.

But post code points to some hardware fault. I checked online for Abit post code 20 and found not much. Some people say it means everything is okay. As far as I'm concerned 00 is code for boot. :idontknow:
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#5 User is offline   terry1966 

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Posted 02 August 2013 - 11:51 PM

best way to test if you have a hardware or windows problem is to use a live linux cd of some type, and if it boots and runs correctly then you know there is nothing wrong with your hardware and it is a windows os/software problem.

here's a link to opensuse download page where you can download the live kde os to test with. http://software.opensuse.org/123/en

just click on live kde and click on the download button, when it's downloaded burn it to a cd and test with.


:crazy:
cpu:- core i7 920
motherboard:- gigabyte EX58-UD3R
memory:- Corsair 6GB DDR3 Dominator PC3-12800C8 1600MHz
gpu:- asus gtx275
hard drives:- ocz 60gb agility ssd, 2xWestern Digital Caviar Black 1TB SATA-II 32MB Cache
power supply:- PC Power & Cooling Silencer 750 Quad
case:- Coolermaster ATCS 840
watercooled cpu.
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#6 User is offline   jefn 

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 11:33 AM

Hola Raul -

Are you certain it's 20 and not 2D?

From http://www.manualsli...Abit-Aa8xe.html:


Quote

2D
1. Initialize double-byte language font (Optional)
2. Put information on screen display, including Award title, CPU type, CPU speed, full
screen logo.



Windows Update may have provided you with an update that either conflicted with a video driver file from nVidia (or could even have updated the driver, as many manufacturers provide reference drivers to Microsoft, which are loaded via Windows Update).

I would try starting the computer in Safe Mode (start tapping F8 as soon as you see the post screen display). If you get the Windows Start Up Menu, use your arrow keys to select Safe Mode. This will start Windows with a generic VGA driver, bypassing all of the nVidia driver files.

If you can get into Safe Mode, you might try either reinstalling your video driver or, failing that, uninstall it so that Windows, when restarted in the regular GUI, will use the generic VGA driver and allow you to reinstall your nVidia driver.


Personally I'd try this before resorting to a repair install, as you'll have to reapply all of your Windows Updates from the original XP edition you have on CD.


Good luck!


Jef
p.s. The rest of today's shenanigans may be found at the Barely Uninteresting Blog.


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#7 User is offline   elrulasmx 

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:07 PM

View Postdostov, on 02 August 2013 - 06:30 PM, said:

Hola Raul, buenas noches! Welcome to TRP! :welcome:/>

Have you tried installing Windows to another of your hard drives? You can maybe pick the one that has the least important data on it and format/install Windows on it. It may be as simple as a dead disk. If you do this, you may also want to unplug the other disks first.

Cheers! :)/>


First of all thank you for your kind reply. I think that this step you're suggesting would be one of the very last I'd consider, since (as sometimes occurs) I already had my computer tuned just the way I wanted!; nevertheless, it is a possibility to consider if every other ones fail.
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#8 User is offline   elrulasmx 

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:09 PM

View Postcaintry_boy, on 02 August 2013 - 07:50 PM, said:

I'll go out on a limb here and say it's not your hardware that is at fault, it's Windows Update at fault. I'll also recommend a repair install of Windows > http://www.informati...truct/189400897


Thanks for the very interesting link, which provided me with a lot of ideas and new angles I haven't considered. Hopefully this problem will have a happy ending with all our efforts combined!
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#9 User is offline   elrulasmx 

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:11 PM

View Postterry1966, on 02 August 2013 - 11:51 PM, said:

best way to test if you have a hardware or windows problem is to use a live linux cd of some type, and if it boots and runs correctly then you know there is nothing wrong with your hardware and it is a windows os/software problem.

here's a link to opensuse download page where you can download the live kde os to test with. http://software.opensuse.org/123/en

just click on live kde and click on the download button, when it's downloaded burn it to a cd and test with.


:crazy:/>


Thanks a lot for the idea! I must say that I did not consider it until you mentioned it, so I think it's a nice way to start trying to solve this situation and then making sure whether this is a hardware or software issue and then acting accordingly.
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#10 User is offline   elrulasmx 

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 03:20 PM

View Postjefn, on 03 August 2013 - 11:33 AM, said:

Hola Raul -

Are you certain it's 20 and not 2D?

From http://www.manualsli...Abit-Aa8xe.html:





Windows Update may have provided you with an update that either conflicted with a video driver file from nVidia (or could even have updated the driver, as many manufacturers provide reference drivers to Microsoft, which are loaded via Windows Update).

I would try starting the computer in Safe Mode (start tapping F8 as soon as you see the post screen display). If you get the Windows Start Up Menu, use your arrow keys to select Safe Mode. This will start Windows with a generic VGA driver, bypassing all of the nVidia driver files.

If you can get into Safe Mode, you might try either reinstalling your video driver or, failing that, uninstall it so that Windows, when restarted in the regular GUI, will use the generic VGA driver and allow you to reinstall your nVidia driver.


Personally I'd try this before resorting to a repair install, as you'll have to reapply all of your Windows Updates from the original XP edition you have on CD.


Good luck!


Jef


As a matter of fact, at first I thought that the reading on the display could be 2D but looking closely it is definitely 20. The same info you so kindly post is the very same I read on the manual. Also, when I even try to start the computer into safe mode, it allows me to select the mode I'd like to use, but when selecting it, I can see that it begins loading the proper files but then when it is suppossed to show the information screen (THE ONE THAT INFORMS YOU YOU'RE ENTERING SAFE MODE) it all goes black and then nothing else happens. So it's kind of frustrating trying to use this option when all you can see is a pitch black screen.

I agree that it could be a conflict between drivers but the fact is that I cannot even see a single character on the screen so that at least I can even try to determine where to go from that point!.
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#11 User is offline   dostov 

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Posted 03 August 2013 - 06:55 PM

Either way you want to approach this problem, begin with software and with the less destructive of all ideas posted above. It's probably software issues as the PC is able to start, display an image and try to start Windows.

Keep us posted if you need more help!

Cheers! :beerchug:
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