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PC won't boot

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April 18, 2009 11:02:45 PM

I recently picked up a PC at auction. It came with Vista, which I didn't want. So I took an old XP disk I had laying around from a dead HP laptop and tried to install that. It seemed to be installing okay until it got to the first point it wants to reboot. Now the computer won't boot. The last few lines I get are:

Auto-Detecting Pri Master...IDE Hard Disk
Auto-Detecting Pri Slave...ATAPI CDROM
Pri Master: HTS721060G9AT00 MC30A51A
Ultra DMA Mode-5, S.M.A.R.T. Capable and Status OK

I realize now that I shouldn't have used that HP CD, but is there any way to recover from this?

Thanks,
Bob

More about : boot

April 19, 2009 5:35:14 AM

Get a retail copy of windows and format/install windows again. The HP disc isn't a full copy of windows, it's a recovery disc tailored to the HP hardware.
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April 19, 2009 4:46:32 PM

Okay, I got a retail copy now. But I can't get the computer to boot from the CD, enter setup, or anything. Did I totally hose it?
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April 19, 2009 7:07:28 PM

Hello, if its getting as far as your first post.

Then who ever was in the computer case last, may have plugged the cables into the wrong devices.
You need to turn it all off and unplug it from the wall socket. open the cover and look carefully where the ide ribbon cables go.

Look at the motherboard, you should have 2 ide connectors which go to the harddrives and the cdrom. The 2 harddrives are surposed to be both on ide1, and the cdrom is surposed to be on ide 2, not mixed as you have them right now.

You also need to look at the 2 ide cables, as they are also plugged into the wrong devices. There should be 2 different types, one is an ata33, and the other is an ata100/133. The ata100/133 cable has twice as many wires in it. This should be plugged into the harddrives.

On the hard drive HTS721060G9AT00 MC30A51A, you will need to set the jumper near where the ide cable plugs in, to designate it as secondary device. The hard drive should have a lable on it telling you how to do this. This is because you can only have 2 devices on 1 ide cable, a primary and a secondary. At this time both harddrives are setup as primary which you have to change.

Do those changes to the cables first, then turn on and try again.
Post back here your findings or PM if you get stuck.


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April 19, 2009 7:41:42 PM

It had been working fine in Vista beforehand, so I don't think anything is connected incorrectly. Could the HP CD have messed up my BIOS settings? I can't even check them now.
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April 19, 2009 7:56:48 PM

No, the CD wouldnt of done anything to the bios.

If you are getting as far as your first post, then its defineately one of those devices.
But to be sure, you need to correct those cables properly first.

Im about 90% certain the cdrom has died, but i need you to sort the cable mess out first.
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April 20, 2009 5:42:08 AM

You simply need to change the boot order in the bios. It's doubtful that the opticals died on you. Upon boot, hit f8, that should get you into the bios.
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April 20, 2009 5:50:33 AM

It does not respond to F8. The screen says to hit F2 to enter setup. So I've tried that. Display changes and says "entering setup". But it sits that way for hours.
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April 20, 2009 6:02:14 AM

Try resetting the CMOS. The easiest way is to remove the battery on the mobo for ~15 seconds.

After that, boot with only 1 stick of RAM, video card, and HD.
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April 20, 2009 6:59:00 AM

Aford10, he isnt getting passed post, so pressing F8 isnt helping him as he isnt getting that far.

As for the CDROM, I have literally thrown away 100s of dead units.
Soon as you unplug them, the computer can perform the power on self test.
As for the ide cables, if the second hardrive is connected to an ata33 ide cable, then its missing an important conductor so it cant communicate with the motherboard correctly.
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April 20, 2009 7:12:57 AM

The fact that the drives are known working drives, and that they installed windows right before the problems means they are working drives. There is no problem with the drives. If you have thrown that many drives away, you've wasted a lot of money. It isn't always the hardware.

The bios may just need reset. It's an easy step to rule out a few possible problems.

Booting with only the minimum hardware an further rule out other hardware malfunctions.

The PC doesn't even check the optical drives when it performs the POST. You can boot a PC with no optical drives plugged in.
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April 20, 2009 7:46:27 AM

aford10 said:
The fact that the drives are known working drives, and that they installed windows right before the problems means they are working drives. There is no problem with the drives. If you have thrown that many drives away, you've wasted a lot of money. It isn't always the hardware.

The bios may just need reset. It's an easy step to rule out a few possible problems.

Booting with only the minimum hardware an further rule out other hardware malfunctions.

The PC doesn't even check the optical drives when it performs the POST. You can boot a PC with no optical drives plugged in.


No, there is no proof the cdrom drive is working, as it has failed to install Windows.
I've worked in IT for about 17 years, you will be surprised how many cdrom drives fail. 95% of the time, yes problems are normally software. When you work in a company which has over 1000 computers, then you get to see common faults.

If you look at bobs first post, you can see it isnt able to get passed checking the 3rd device on the ide cables when it powers up.
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April 20, 2009 12:25:33 PM

Bob Thomas said:
It had been working fine in Vista beforehand, so I don't think anything is connected incorrectly. Could the HP CD have messed up my BIOS settings? I can't even check them now.


Right here the OP says it was working fine in the previous windows installation. Bob, did you see the drive working, or take someone's word on it?

Also in the first post, the OP mentioned that he was installing windows. That means it's got power (tray obviously opened), and it picked up the disc inside.

I've seen my share of dead opticals. It does happen. They are cheaper parts and usually either work or don't. Unless the drive died in the time between the first attempt to install windows and the 2nd, it's not the optical drive.
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April 20, 2009 2:04:08 PM

I agree with the reset the bios option.
Having the chance to get into the bios and make changes occurs well before the bios starts looking for drives.
The fact that Bob cant get in to make changes would signify that the bios arent loading correctly and a reset certainly wont hurt anything and in all likelyhood will solve the problem.
The age of the battery can also sometime cause these types of problems..

Bob when pulling the battery to reset it be sure to unplug the box also as the MB stays powered when off in some instances.
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April 20, 2009 2:57:54 PM

aford10 said:
Right here the OP says it was working fine in the previous windows installation. Bob, did you see the drive working, or take someone's word on it?

Also in the first post, the OP mentioned that he was installing windows. That means it's got power (tray obviously opened), and it picked up the disc inside.

I've seen my share of dead opticals. It does happen. They are cheaper parts and usually either work or don't. Unless the drive died in the time between the first attempt to install windows and the 2nd, it's not the optical drive.


Bob could of taken the cdrom drive out and chucked it in the back garden, and vista would of still started up.
Because the cd draw opens, doesnt mean it isnt faulty. It may have copied the data from the cd, but it may all be corrupted.

Im not going to reply anymore until bob checks those ide cables, as i know they are around the wrong way.
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April 20, 2009 5:54:53 PM

mangoletsi said:
Bob could of taken the cdrom drive out and chucked it in the back garden, and vista would of still started up.
Because the cd draw opens, doesnt mean it isnt faulty. It may have copied the data from the cd, but it may all be corrupted.

Im not going to reply anymore until bob checks those ide cables, as i know they are around the wrong way.


If you read carefully, I asked the OP if he saw the drive working. That includes more than just seeing the tray open and close. It doesn't matter though, because it DID install off of a disc for him. Meaning, the drive isn't bad.

Even if the HD and optical were swapped on the cable, the OP should still be able to get into the bios and change the boot order. The order of the devices on the cable will not cause the bios to hang before the setup option. At that point in the POST, it doesn't even know what device to load off of, so it wouldn't know they were swapped.

You just gave incorrect advice, it's nothing to get upset and pout over. You should never assume you 'know' what's wrong with someone's computer. There are usually at least a few possibilities.
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April 20, 2009 7:50:29 PM

aford10 said:
If you read carefully, I asked the OP if he saw the drive working. That includes more than just seeing the tray open and close. It doesn't matter though, because it DID install off of a disc for him. Meaning, the drive isn't bad.

Even if the HD and optical were swapped on the cable, the OP should still be able to get into the bios and change the boot order. The order of the devices on the cable will not cause the bios to hang before the setup option. At that point in the POST, it doesn't even know what device to load off of, so it wouldn't know they were swapped.

You just gave incorrect advice, it's nothing to get upset and pout over. You should never assume you 'know' what's wrong with someone's computer. There are usually at least a few possibilities.


I havent given bad advice at all Aford10,
It is still un proven if my advice is right or wrong. I really dont think you know what the difference is between an ata33 ide cable and ata100/133 is.

The only person here who as given the wrong advice so far, is you telling him to go buy a copy of Windows XP retail version to repair a hardware problem.
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April 20, 2009 8:37:52 PM

He used an HP repair disc to install windows. Do you think that's going to work? It will take a retail copy of windows to run that pc. That is your lesson for the day, write it down.
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April 21, 2009 3:04:00 AM

Sorry, I think my poor choice of words caused some confusion. This is a laptop, not a desktop PC. So the HDD is not on an IDE cable, it plugs straight into the mobo. And I'm embarrassed to say, but I can't even find the battery on the mobo. It is an ASUSTek Z62F. I can't seem to find a repair manual for it.
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April 21, 2009 2:09:56 PM

Bob,
Below is 2 links to your manual. Sometime Asus links dont copy well but once you get to their site put Z62F in the search box and you will got to a description page and the manual is under downloads.
It doesnt say where the battery is but you turn the laptop over you will see several removable panels.
Im pretty sure that it will be the one in the very center.
The battery will be roughly the size of a quarter.

http://usa.asus.com/search.aspx?searchitem=1&searchkey=...

http://support.asus.com/download/download.aspx?SLanguag...
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April 21, 2009 2:48:12 PM

Thanks Pat. I'll have to take a look at the manual tonight. I'd found a user's manual last night, just not the repair manual. I'd also pulled off all those panels you mention. Removed the memory, hard drive, wireless networking card, and even the CD drive looking for the battery. Either it looks completely different than all the other batteries I've seen (round, metal and between the size of a nickel and quarter), or it is well hidden.
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April 21, 2009 6:05:20 PM

Bob Thomas said:
Sorry, I think my poor choice of words caused some confusion. This is a laptop, not a desktop PC. So the HDD is not on an IDE cable, it plugs straight into the mobo. And I'm embarrassed to say, but I can't even find the battery on the mobo. It is an ASUSTek Z62F. I can't seem to find a repair manual for it.


LOL...This can't be, because Mangoletsi is 100% certain you have the optical and HD on the wrong port of the IDE cable. Maybe you should dig around in there for an IDE cable. :lol: 
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April 21, 2009 7:13:22 PM

I hate to say it but it may be under the keyboard.
Not a great option. Can be done, it takes a steady hand.
Lotsa small screws ya know.

The other option and I didnt see it it the manual because I forgot to look
is the possibility of a jumper to reset the bios that you can get to.
I dont know of your abilities inside a computer so if you dont know what that is post back.

Of course while you have the panels off check the plugs of everything.
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April 21, 2009 7:28:31 PM

Pat,

I've looked for a jumper, or push button switch. Can't find either. I've even tried reading the silkscreen for anything related to CMOS or battery. No luck. When you say it may be under the keyboard, do you mean the side of the mobo closest to the keyboard? I've looked there too. Still nothing. This is starting to drive me nuts. It should not be that hard to find.

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April 21, 2009 7:54:18 PM

Below is a number that you can call asus and get a person.
I know, I know, an actual person.
They picked the phone up right away.
They will have the correct info on how to reset the bios.
Or at least direct you to a page that says how.
I just dealt with them not long ago and they were great.

812-282-2787 option 3 option 3
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April 21, 2009 9:06:36 PM

From what I read, the CMOS battery is located just next to the power battery - between the model information and the battery slot underneath.
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April 21, 2009 10:34:48 PM

Well, I tried that number Pat, and even their tech support was stumped. He said he'd have to call me back if he could find any info in their archives.

So I just went ahead and bit the bullet and took the mobo completely out. Finally found the battery. Terrible placement, you have to remove the entire bottom cover of the laptop to get to it.

Well, now I've got to put it all back together again and hope that fixed the problem.
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April 22, 2009 7:33:32 AM

aford10 said:
LOL...This can't be, because Mangoletsi is 100% certain you have the optical and HD on the wrong port of the IDE cable. Maybe you should dig around in there for an IDE cable. :lol: 


My advice was correct for a pc, not a laptop which bob later changed it to.
Your advice was clearly wrong from the start advising him to get software for a hardware problem.

Because I wasnt online yesterday, I would of like to of pointed out that if Bob had taken out the main battery, hard drive and the memory chip and turned on. The power on safe test would of forced him to go into the bios as the hardware configuration had changed.
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April 22, 2009 9:55:37 AM

It's not a hardware problem. The hardware issue involved is simply removing the battery to reset the CMOS. From there, it's re-installing a full version of windows.

POST = power on SELF test.
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April 23, 2009 11:40:06 AM

This topic has been closed by 4ryan6
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