2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 19, 2011 6:55 PM by Wetmoref2



      This is something I just discovered this afternoon. During the cold start's network detection protocols, a file is being run in the DOS, the file is attempting to connect to the Internet using the wired modem AND THE WIRELESS {my wireless has been disabled; so, the file operation stalled}. When I physically removed the connection to the modem, the start-up stalled with a message declaring "No boot directory detected".


      During the new restart, with wired and wireless connections removed, the DOS stalled failing to detect the hard drive, displaying a system blue screen with a menu I've never seen outside the manufacturing installation.


      As I had used the computer yesterday, I knew the hard drive was operational, and a visual inspection confirmed it's physical presence and undamaged condition. I reset the DOS protocols to their default ... it still took two fresh restarts [without any network connections - including printer] before the computer would start correctly.




      I've also noticed an intermittent problem with McAfee's Home Network application. Though I've run the the application on all the computers, McAfee's application will 'forget' the computer names -- even my own! -- throughout the week! The application will correctly read the IP address and will remember the "trust" but it will routinely identify the known computers as "unknown". Often it will correctly identify my computer while declaring the three others as "unknown". But, most often it will fail to recognize any computer but trust them anyway. And, when the Home Network application is run on the other computers, my computer won't be listed as the "master" computer, instead the computer on which the application is being run is shown as "master"!


      This is the third time since 2006 McAfee's Network Applications have failed to correctly and securely maintain my home-office network.


      And, this is the most recent [of to damn many to recall accurately] occassion on which McAfee has failed to detect an obvious intruder!


      I'll be reporting this problem -- though I doubt I'll get any action.


      I have no doubt this networking and DOS problem are related to the "memory write" problem I reported {and for which I created a community thread}... which is still not corrected!




             I spoke with one of my tier 3 engineers about these issues you are reporting, and we've talked about what we think is happening and what our advice is:


          1) Your hard drive could be showing symptoms of a pending failure. Do a Backup ASAP. We can't urge this enough.


          2) When I physically removed the connection to the modem, the start-up stalled with a message declaring "No boot directory detected".


          From Tier 3:


          Removing either a telephone line from a modem or an Ethernet cable from a NIC can’t create this issue. Looking on the web I found references to this error message from the system BIOS and not the OS. As I feared the solution for this one was a HDD replacement. This can also be loose data and power connectors. If you had to move the system and the case flexed, the cable can come loose.


          Another possibility is that your CMOS battery is weak or dead. When the battery gets weak your real time clock will not keep good time, when the battery gets really low all the data for your CMOS settings can be lost. Simply entering your CMOS setup program, and then exiting will resolve this missing data issue. Most new systems use auto-detecting hardware that populates the data into the CMOS when the setup program is run. (Hard Drives are able to auto populate their data without running the CMOS setup program if the CMOS is set to detect on boot.


          Computer hardware is not as forgiving as one would think, hard drives are notorious for working today and not tomorrow. Since hard drives are electro-mechanical there are two possible failure types: mechanical or electronic. It has happened to me before, I was using my notebook entering data into Word, I saved the file went to a meeting to find my PC locked up. The hard drive was making a noise that it normally shouldn’t. The drive was performing full head sweeps of the drive platters attempting to either read or write data. Something in the drive had died such that it could complete what it was doing, for some reason the drive wouldn't give up, which it should have normally 3 or 4 strikes and then fail.


          You say that it took two restarts for the system to work again. That really makes me think the CMOS theory makes the most sense. The first boot fails as CMOS settings are bad, system recognises the failure and sets CMOS to defaults. Systems then need to restart to read the new CMOS settings, most manufactures defaults set the hard drives to auto detection. The second boot would auto detect the drives and likely PCI settings and update the PCI extended data and possibly APCI settings and then boot correctly.


          Is your system still covered under a manufacturer's warranty? A CMOS battery can be very cheap (if it's a 'coin  battery', and not soldered onto the systemboard).


          The easiest way to test the CMOS is to remove your connection to the internet and watch the time clock. If your CMOS battery is worn out, the computer should not be able to properly keep time without having an internet connection to SYNC with.


          Can you let us know your system specs? I'm happy to find as much info as I can about your computer.


            The problem here was McAfee not loading properly during start-up!

            Apparently, because the computer had been off for nearly five days, the computer's start-up was not "correct" [according to the McAfee log entry]!

            Once the battery was fully charged and the computer started again, everything was fine.

            There was no error in the hard drive.

            Although having less than 60% of it's memory space available does seem to be an issue for McAfee and Windows!