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Need help! Computer won't boot properly!

I built my computer a few months ago and last month I had went on a week long vacation, in which I shut down and unplugged the PC before leaving. When I came back, I started running into problems. I started seeing error messages when trying to turn it on saying that the boot drive failed.
I have three drives. One has the OS (Windows 7 and Linux mint), the other two just hold data.
Eventually after fiddling around with it, trying to get it to work, it started just displaying "?" after checking NVRAM. This made me confused. I went and replaced the CMOS battery and reset the BIOS all together and upon attempted boot, my 3rd drive sparked and started smoking. I immediately unplugged it from there.
Since then, I have removed that drive, and the only things I get when trying to boot is a black screen after "checking nvram" or it just won't go past that screen. The BIOS also seems to freeze up more often when trying to go into some settings (not even changing anything). I've tried resetting to defaults again, and nothing.
Today I made another attempt and the only different thing that have happened is I was actually given the OS boot option screen (displaying my choices of where to boot; W7, Linux, etc..... but after attempting to go into Windows 7, it just showed a black screen and the computer restarted). The other thing that happened was I now got a screen that says "error: symbol 'grub_memmote' not found."

What do I do at times like these??? Never had any problems before. The only thing out of the ordinary was that Windows 7 was that it said it wasn't genuine. That's the most that ever happened for the past few months.

Specs: P5K3 Deluxe...... E8600 @3.33GHz....... GTX 970..... 550W PSU... 80GB WD Caviar drive (has the OS' on it)
The motherboard I got from a friend, and the drive I took out of an old Alienware computer.

Please assist. Thank you all.
37 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. If you took the hdd out of the alienware computer did you do a clean install of windows?

    Or did you install it in your case? Because that can and will cause probs
  2. Paul NZ said:
    If you took the hdd out of the alienware computer did you do a clean install of windows?

    Or did you install it in your case? Because that can and will cause probs


    I don't remember. I think I just plugged it in and hoped for the best.

    And update: my PC is not displaying anything but a black screen now. No options for BIOS or anything.
  3. How much ram in on it?? Is it less than 8 GB?? Because thats all it supports

    Is this the wifi-AP mobo?
  4. Paul NZ said:
    How much ram in on it?? Is it less than 8 GB?? Because thats all it supports

    Is this the wifi-AP mobo?


    Yes it is. And I have 6GB installed. I haven't changed anything in the computer since a week or two before the vacation, except for the CMOS battery. It would be weird for it to just be acting up all of a sudden.
  5. Best answer
    Umm remove the ram try one at a time see if it posts. We'll see if one of them are faulty or dead
  6. Altho I think

    1. Putting an OS in your case from something else, is a bad idea. You'll have probs later like now. If it decides to go again, do a clean install of windows.

    2. Dual booting linux. Grub usually screws the bootloader up one way or another

    3. The not genuine message will be because you didnt activate it on this system
  7. Paul NZ said:
    Umm remove the ram try one at a time see if it posts. We'll see if one of them are faulty or dead


    I did what you said and you were right. One of the RAM sticks went bad I guess. Odd. But it would not be a good idea to attempt to plug the 3rd drive back in, right? Since it pretty much almost caused a fire. The drive was a Seagate 2TB. I don't know if it's worth it spend $50 to replace the PCB on it to hope for a fix. But I don't know what would be a better drive that doesn't cost any more than what I spent on the drive.
  8. Does the 2TB look ok?? The PCB isnt burnt is it??

    Unplug the other 2 hdds, connect the 2TB by itself. See if the BIOS detects it. If this is posting now

    I take it if it posted the PSU isnt damaged as well? What about the ram slots? Are all of them intact??
  9. Paul NZ said:
    Does the 2TB look ok?? The PCB isnt burnt is it??

    Unplug the other 2 hdds, connect the 2TB by itself. See if the BIOS detects it. If this is posting now

    I take it if it posted the PSU isnt damaged as well? What about the ram slots? Are all of them intact??


    It looks a little burned on and around the contacts that connect it to the actual drive.
    And my RAM slots are all intact.
    Also my PC will boot into Windows, but it keeps performing a disk check beforehand, and the computer restarts after being 15 seconds on the Windows home screen.
  10. Which hdd has windows on it? The 2TB or one of the other 2 hdds?

    If one of the other hdd's turn it off unplug the hdd without windows on it. Then see if it boots into windows

    Whats on the other hdd (not the 2 TB)?? Is it for storage?
  11. Paul NZ said:
    Which hdd has windows on it? The 2TB or one of the other 2 hdds?

    If one of the other hdd's turn it off unplug the hdd without windows on it. Then see if it boots into windows

    Whats on the other hdd (not the 2 TB)?? Is it for storage?



    I have three. 80GB, 500GB (from laptop), 2TB. The 80GB has the operating systems on it. The other two are only used for storage.
  12. Ok. Well if it's going now, I would do a clean install anyway. That'll (hopefully) fix the disk checking

    Altho I would use the 500 GB myself. In case you run out of space.

    If there's not a lot of files on the 500 GB, I would copy the files to something else (if there's only a few files on it), then reinstall windows on it. You can copy them back to the other partition once you reinstall windows

    Delete the partition/s on it (in the windows install setup screen), recreate the partition/s before you install windows again. You could make 1 150-200 GB partition, and use the remaining for storage.

    Actually this would save you from putting so many hdds in the case.

    And if you have to reformat the hdd again, you format/reinstall the partition windows was installed on. The other partition remains, so do the files that are on it

    Since it's a separate partition. And I would forget about Linux, it'll probably screw something up again
  13. Altho, putting a 500 hdd from a laptop into a desktop may not be a good idea.

    It would be better if you replaced it with either a 3.5 or 2.5 hdd/ssd. If the 2 TB is dead
  14. Paul NZ said:
    Ok. Well if it's going now, I would do a clean install anyway. That'll (hopefully) fix the disk checking

    Altho I would use the 500 GB myself. In case you run out of space.

    If there's not a lot of files on the 500 GB, I would copy the files to something else (if there's only a few files on it), then reinstall windows on it. You can copy them back to the other partition once you reinstall windows

    Delete the partition/s on it (in the windows install setup screen), recreate the partition/s before you install windows again. You could make 1 150-200 GB partition, and use the remaining for storage.

    Actually this would save you from putting so many hdds in the case.

    And if you have to reformat the hdd again, you format/reinstall the partition windows was installed on. The other partition remains, so do the files that are on it

    Since it's a separate partition. And I would forget about Linux, it'll probably screw something up again



    So wait, am I to reinstall on the current disk and then transfer over to the 500GB one? Or just reinstall to the 500GB one from the start. I'm sorry, I'm a little confused. And I don't think I have any place to transfer all the files over to from the 500GB one.
    Quick note: I never formatted the 500GB disk from the laptop so it still has remains of the OS on it I believe (not the actual OS, but maybe the partition)... will that conflict?

    And how do I reinstall if my computer restarts when trying to use Windows?
  15. Paul NZ said:
    Altho, putting a 500 hdd from a laptop into a desktop may not be a good idea.

    It would be better if you replaced it with either a 3.5 or 2.5 hdd/ssd. If the 2 TB is dead



    And do you want me to test to see if the computer boots with the 2TB?
  16. Well I would reinstall windows on one of them. Or something.

    As above its not a good idea having an OS on a hdd from another system. It can and will cause probs inc crashing

    The partition on the 500 maybe the restore partition. It cant be used on another system except the laptop .

    if the only thing on the 500 GB is that partition, there's no point in trying to copy it to anything. It wont work with another system.

    I would unplug the 80 GB. Connect the 500 GB (altho as above) having a laptop hdd in a desktop may or may not be a good idea

    When you get to the windows install setup screen delete the partitions on it / recreate a partition say 150 - 200 GB for windows.

    Then create another partition with the remaining GB's. So, you'll have 2 partitions. 1 for Windows the other for storage. You can use the other partition for storage.

    Once windows has been installed, if there are any files on the 80 GB that you want, reconnect it. (You'll have to go to disk management once windows is installed) to format the other partition of the 500 GB to use it.

    Make a few folders, copy the files from the 80 GB to it. Turn the system off, remove the 80 GB.

    Unless you've got millions of files you wont/dont need the 80 GB. You'll have 250 GB to spare on the other 1/2 of the 500 GB hdd

    The only thing is, you'll also need a windows dvd and key obviously to activate it. if you want to reinstall it

    Or if you like Linux install it by itself. I wouldn't dual boot it with Windows tho.

    At least it's free
  17. Paul NZ said:
    Well I would reinstall windows on one of them. Or something.

    As above its not a good idea having an OS on a hdd from another system. It can and will cause probs inc crashing

    The partition on the 500 maybe the restore partition. It cant be used on another system except the laptop .

    if the only thing on the 500 GB is that partition, there's no point in trying to copy it to anything. It wont work with another system.

    I would unplug the 80 GB. Connect the 500 GB (altho as above) having a laptop hdd in a desktop may or may not be a good idea

    When you get to the windows install setup screen delete the partitions on it / recreate a partition say 150 - 200 GB for windows.

    The rest you can use as storage.

    Once windows has been installed, if there are any files on the 80 GB that you want, reconnect it. (You'll have to go to disk management once windows is installed) to format the other partition of the 500 GB to use it.

    Make a few folders, copy the files from the 80 GB to it. Turn the system off, remove the 80 GB.

    Unless you've got millions of files you wont/dont need the 80 GB. You'll have 250 GB to spare on the other 1/2 of the 500 GB hdd

    The only thing is, you'll also need a windows dvd and key obviously to activate it. if you want to reinstall it




    Well I started using the laptop drive because I transferred everything to an SSD for my laptop. And how do I go about saving all my data but still repartitioning the drive? I don't have another drive to transfer my data to, except for the 2TB. And does this mean I have to go out and buy a new copy of Windows? Is there no way of keeping 7 on? It worked fine for months before.
  18. You cant / or shouldn't use a hdd with windows on it, from another system.

    You should either buy a new copy or use Linux

    Well like I said, if the only thing on the 500GB is a partition (if its the system restore partition) you cant use it on another system

    What data exactly? You can copy docs, txt files, pics etc, but you'll have to reinstall programs after you reinstall windows
  19. Paul NZ said:
    You cant / or shouldn't use a hdd with windows on it, from another system.

    You should either buy a new copy or use Linux

    Well like I said, if the only thing on the 500GB is a partition (if its the system restore partition) you cant use it on another system

    What data exactly? You can copy docs, txt files, pics etc, but you'll have to reinstall programs after you reinstall windows


    I have a lot of programs, pictures, and videos. I do video editing and 3D modeling, whether it be for myself or another person. I know at least half of the 500GB is probably used up. But as I said, everything was working fine not too long ago. I'll take your advice and will see what I end up doing. Thank you.
  20. Gamefreak924 said:
    Paul NZ said:
    Altho, putting a 500 hdd from a laptop into a desktop may not be a good idea.

    It would be better if you replaced it with either a 3.5 or 2.5 hdd/ssd. If the 2 TB is dead



    And do you want me to test to see if the computer boots with the 2TB?


    Connect it by itself. See if the BIOS detects it. If it does, it maybe OK to use

    Is it bootable tho?? Does it have windows on it? I thought the 80 GB had windows on it?

    Or does the 2TB have linux on it?

    We'll wait. Dont do anything with the 500 GB yet
  21. Paul NZ said:
    Gamefreak924 said:
    Paul NZ said:
    Altho, putting a 500 hdd from a laptop into a desktop may not be a good idea.

    It would be better if you replaced it with either a 3.5 or 2.5 hdd/ssd. If the 2 TB is dead



    And do you want me to test to see if the computer boots with the 2TB?


    Connect it by itself. See if the BIOS detects it. If it does, it maybe OK to use

    Is it bootable tho?? Does it have windows on it? I thought the 80 GB had windows on it?

    Or does the 2TB have linux on it?

    We'll wait. Dont do anything with the 500 GB yet



    80GB - Windows 7 and Linux
    500GB - Used to have Windows 8; has the recovery options still on it; contains data
    2TB - Only data
  22. ok. Did the BIOS detect the 2 TB? If the vids, pics and everything else are on the 500 GB what data is on the 2 TB??

    Is the 2 TB partitioned now? If it was you could reinstall windows on the other partition/s
  23. Paul NZ said:
    ok. Did the BIOS detect the 2 TB? If the vids, pics and everything else are on the 500 GB what data is on the 2 TB??

    Is the 2 TB partitioned now? If it was you could reinstall windows on the other partition/s


    I haven't tried it yet. I will now. And I have more videos and applications on there as well. I'm a heavy data user. Some of the games I have by themselves use quite a bit. I also have a few GBs of music on it too. The 2TB has been partitioned I believe already. Should I try to reinstall Windows on the 2TB disk, or the 500GB disk? Will it require product key?
  24. Paul NZ said:
    ok. Did the BIOS detect the 2 TB? If the vids, pics and everything else are on the 500 GB what data is on the 2 TB??

    Is the 2 TB partitioned now? If it was you could reinstall windows on the other partition/s


    The 2TB shows up
  25. Umm you will need a key (cant remember if it'll ask for a key or not during setup tho). I'm using Win10 .

    If an OS isnt on it now. Or if you've never installed windows on the 2 TB before.

    If the BIOS does detect the 2 TB you could try and install on it.

    Just make sure that the partition is empty. And you select the right partition to install on.

    Because setup will probably format it. (Well if there's anything on it it should be formatted anyway).

    Is the partition big enough tho?
  26. Paul NZ said:
    Umm you will need a key (cant remember if it'll ask for a key or not during setup tho). I'm using Win10 .

    If an OS isnt on it now. Or if you've never installed windows on the 2 TB before.

    If the BIOS does detect the 2 TB you could try and install on it.

    Just make sure that the partition is empty. And you select the right partition to install on.

    Because setup will probably format it. (Well if there's anything on it it should be formatted anyway).

    Is the partition big enough tho?



    So you recommend I format the 500GB or the 2TB to put the OS on?
  27. If the 2 TB has a spare empty partition and if it's big enough you may as well use it.

    It'd probably be better than a laptop hdd
  28. Paul NZ said:
    If the 2 TB has a spare empty partition and if it's big enough you may as well use it.

    It'd probably be better than a laptop hdd



    where do I information about its partitions?
  29. You may have to boot from the windows dvd and get to where it shows the partitions in setup. To see how big they are.

    If there's more than 1 partition (hopefully you know which one to install windows on)
  30. Paul NZ said:
    You may have to boot from the windows dvd and get to where it shows the partitions in setup. To see how big they are.

    If there's more than 1 partition (hopefully you know which one to install windows on)


    I don't have any boot DVD :/
  31. So you cant reinstall Windows anyway ?

    Hmm only other thing you can do to find out is if this BIOS detected it. Put it in another desktop. thats bootable.

    Have you ever had a key for any version of windows? Or a version of Windows?

    You could download Win10 (with the mediacreation tool, if it supported this mobo), the prob would be activating it tho

    Another thing: If this is posting, I would go into the BIOS and see what BIOS is on it now.
  32. Paul NZ said:
    So you cant reinstall Windows anyway ?

    Hmm only other thing you can do to find out is if this BIOS detected it. Put it in another desktop. thats bootable.

    Have you ever had a key for any version of windows? Or a version of Windows?

    You could download Win10 (with the mediacreation tool, if it supported this mobo), the prob would be activating it tho

    Another thing: If this is posting, I would go into the BIOS and see what BIOS is on it now.




    Ok so all drives work, and the only way I can check partitions and everything is using Linux, because Windows continues to crash after each attempt of opening it. So if I need to download anything, it will have to be through the Linux OS or through my laptop. All drives do work, and they all seem to be working fine. Nothing seems out of the ordinary.
    Here are the partitions for each drive:
    80GB HDD - 5 partitions [consists of System Reserved (P1; NTFS 105MB), Filesystem (P2; NTFS 30GB), Extended Partition (P3; 50GB), Filesystem (P4; Linux 48GB), Swap (Says partition 6; Linux swap 2.1GB)]

    500GB HDD - 5 partitions [System (P1; EFI 105MB), Recovery (P2; Recovery Environment 944MB), Microsoft Reserved (P3; 134MB), OS Basic Data (P4; 477GB), Restore (P5; 21GB)

    2TB HDD - 1 Partition [New Volume (P1; 2.0TB)
  33. Ok. Hmm the 2 TB is still 1 partition by the looks of it.

    Only other thing (if the data you want is on all of those hdds), is buy another hdd.

    1 TB should do if there's a lot of files on the other hdds that you want to keep. You would still have to reinstall programs tho.

    Connect it by itself. Partition it 3-4 times. 250 GB or so GB each. In Windows setup before you install Windows

    After Windows is on it, shut it down. Then connect the smaller hdds. Make sure the 1 TB is the bootdisk. Boot into Windows.

    Copy what you want off the other smaller hdd's expect programs (ie: videos, pics, txt files).

    To one of the other partitions on the 1 TB.

    Once thats done, shut down again and remove the smaller hdds, then reconnect the 2 TB. You can use that for storage?

    You'll have 1 TB to play with as the main hdd, and 2 TB for the storage. And what was on the small hdds will be on a partition on the 1 TB
  34. Paul NZ said:
    Ok. Hmm the 2 TB is still 1 partition by the looks of it.

    Only other thing (if the data you want is on all of those hdds), is buy another hdd.

    1 TB should do if there's a lot of files on the other hdds that you want to keep. You would still have to reinstall programs tho.

    Connect it by itself. Partition it 3-4 times. 250 GB or so GB each. In Windows setup before you install Windows

    After Windows is on it, shut it down. Then connect the smaller hdds. Make sure the 1 TB is the bootdisk. Boot into Windows.

    Copy what you want off the other smaller hdd's expect programs (ie: videos, pics, txt files).

    To one of the other partitions on the 1 TB.

    Once thats done, shut down again and remove the smaller hdds, then reconnect the 2 TB. You can use that for storage?

    You'll have 1 TB to play with as the main hdd, and 2 TB for the storage. And what was on the small hdds will be on a partition on the 1 TB



    I might have to look into a new drive then, as well as a new copy of Windows. I found something out. The 500GB drive lists 16 bad sectors. And the 80GB said something about a failed or bad attribute.
  35. They may stuff up soon if theyre pretty bad. May pay to get what you want off them. Before they do
  36. Paul NZ said:
    They may stuff up soon if theyre pretty bad. May pay to get what you want off them. Before they do


    I'm transferring what I can to the 2TB. I'm going to boot a Windows installation from a burned disc and buy a key online, Hopefully everything might be fine afterwards. I'm thinking of just buying a 128GB SSD for my operating system.
  37. 128 GB should be ok, but that depends on what you install. They can fill up pretty quickly even tho it's 128 GB

    I would say it'll be a lot better with another hdd, and a lot faster since it's an ssd.

    But yup don't forget you cant copy programs from the 80 or 500 GB to the 2TB, they wont work. You have to reinstall them

    When you do install Windows, dont forget to enable AHCI in the BIOS before you install windows.

    You cant use secureboot or UEFI, I dont think this mobo supports them
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