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Emachine new hard drive; OS disk won't boot up

Last response: in Storage
December 6, 2009 7:49:03 PM

I have a eMachine W3503. My hard drive went bad, very bad, couldn't get it to even get wiped out so, I bought a new hard drive, completely empty but, my eMachine disc won't start up. It is the operating disc but every time it says install and bootable disc and click any key. Any advice on how I can get my computer to recognize this disc and boot back my win xp onto this computer? Thanks!
a b G Storage
December 7, 2009 12:03:25 AM

Just to be clear, you've set your new hard drive as the primary boot device? Have you also installed Windows XP on this new drive?
December 7, 2009 12:47:42 AM

My last drive ended up with a backdoor trojan and wouldn't boot back up past the beginning of windows (where it looks like it is loading, no further, no safe mode -restarts @ that point, so it was gone, for me) so i removed it and installed the new hard drive. Yes, it is the only one showing and the primary and no, there is no OS on this system at all. There is nothing on it, just put it into my tower, put my Operating disc in my CD rom drive, set my CD rom to be the first to boot up in my bios, restarted it and it comes up, buzzes, blinks (the light for my CD rom) and then a black screen will come up saying that there is no bootable CD to put one in and click any button. So, there is nothing at all on this new hard drive and I don't have a floppy drive, only the CD rom and the USB hook ups to be able to install any software. The disc I have is the original Operating systems disc and according to an emachine assistant (from online) it is the disc i need but it won't recognize it as a bootable disc. I just need to know how to get my hard drive to boot from my CD rom/disc, not sure how to do that. I can do all the install of the drives and the rest of the stuff for my computer after that (done it before when doing reformatting) but never did a format and install. Please help.
Thanks for all of your help! (I've been out of work for almost 2 weeks cause my computers been down & its starting to hurt lol!)
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a c 327 G Storage
December 7, 2009 6:54:30 PM

You'd better talk to eMachines again. They told you the CD you have is the coorect disk to re-Install Windows, and you say you have set it to boot from the CD-ROM unit but it claims the disk in it is not bootable. Make sure eMachines' Tech Support people understand you are not merely trying to repair your original drive - you are trying to do a complete fresh installation on a blank drive.

Oh, one more thing. In your BIOS Setup, are the SATA ports set to the IDE (or PATA) Emulation mode? Win XP cannot handle native SATA or AHCI devices without the installation of drivers from a floppy disk. The easy solution to that is to be sure your SATA ports are set to pretend their drives are IDE devices that XP does understand. This includes ANY device on a SATA port, be it HDD or optical drive.
December 8, 2009 4:38:06 PM

I think I will avoid help me anymore they told me it would run me 3.95 a minute because my computer is no longer under warranty. I have tried making a separate boot disc through this (my daughter in laws laptop) but so far no go. I also tried using a USB disc to boot but the one I have is only 256 MB and won't hold enough boot information to boot up my computer. I tried slaving my hard drive and making my CD rom the master and still no go. I looked in the BIOS setup and it is set to IDE. So any other advice on how to get it to boot? My daughter in law is letting me use her computer to try to make up some of the work I have missed but almost 2 weeks being out of work is hurting us for sure. I would really prefer getting help and knowledge from you all to get it fixed, instead of taking it somewhere else if at all possible. Thank you so much so far for all of your helpful information and assistance and I do hope i can get it back up and running soon. If I do I will be sure to let you all know!

Best solution

a c 327 G Storage
December 9, 2009 12:49:22 PM

OK, let's do some steps, although this won't get all the way to a solution.

1. You have both your new HDD and the optical drives as IDE devices; I presume they are sharing one cable and mobo port. The best way to do that is: set the jumpers on the HDD to be Master (or Master with Slave Present, if that's the choice), and the optical drive to Slave. Plug the END connector of the ribbon cable into the HDD (Master) and the middle connector into the optical (Slave).

2. While you're in there as a POSSIBLE move to clean off oxidized contacts, carefully disconnect and then re-connect the ribbon cable at each drive several times. Then do the same at the end that plugs into the mobo port connector. Then do the same with the power connectors at each drive.

3. Boot into BIOS Setup and check - both drives should be detected cleanly there. Go to the Boot Priority Sequence screen and set the first device to use as the optical drive, and the second device as the new HDD. NO other devices should be used.

4. Now let's look at the CD you call the Operating Disk. I call it the Windows Install Disk, because eMachines told you it is the right disk to install the OS. Yet your machine says it is not bootable! As a test, put it into the optical drive of any other machine - like your daughter-in-law's one you're using - and try to boot from it. IF it boots OK, do NOT proceed to do any operations on any disk. Just exit out completely and shut down. But if it fails to boot there, too, then there is a problem with that disk. Either it has a flaw, or it never was the Install Disk that eMachines told you it was. Do you have any other disk that came with your machine? I'm just wondering whether there were originally two CD's - one for installing Windows, and another with device drives and utilities used to be installed after Windows is installed and running. It is moe common, however, to have all of that stuff on one disk.
December 14, 2009 12:29:45 PM

Thanks so much to everyone's help. I took my computer to a computer shop and was told my CD/DVD drive was bad, even though it would read CD's it wouldn't boot up from it anymore and once the computer crashed I guess the drive crashed as well for good. It's been having a hard life for over the past year so I should have thought of it but that was the last thing on my mind that it could be. It is back up and running and I wanted to let you all know that I am soooo appreciative of any and all the help you gave to me here on trying to get my computer back up and running! Yall are the best and I would definitely recommend anyone to come here to get assistance for sure! Thanks again!!