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Desktop pc will not boot past bios

Last response: in Windows XP
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January 8, 2011 10:40:57 PM

Hello not sure if my problem is software but I will post the question

My system will not boot beyond the bios stage and gives me the following message.
Windows could not start. the following file is missing or corrupt \windows\system32\config\system
insert windows cd and press r to repair.

My System is as follows Windows xp home with sp3 . Asus a8v deluxe motherboard with AMD athlon64 3200+ processor
Ami bios 08-00-09
Fitted with two Maxtor 80gb hard drives sata serial ata

When I first got this problem(after a shutdown and start up) I did not have a windows xp disc as it was preloaded by the manufacturer when I bought it.
After trying all manner of ideas to solve the problem and been on other web forums, I have now purchased a Windows xp cd with sp3.
This has still not solved the problem. When I boot up using the xp cd it loads ok, but when I try and do a repair it says Hard drives not found.
I have checked that both hard drives are properly connected.
When I enter the bios they are set to auto and shown as ft tx ary1 and ft tx ary 2
Further in the bios it says Serial ch0 master no device and serial ch1 master no device and lists the following
ID Mode Size Track-mapping Status
1 1+0 stripe 81964m 9964/225/63 functional
2 1+0 stripe 81964m 9964/225/63 functional

How do I made the system see the hard drives ?
I hope that someone can help with this frustrating problem

Thanks in advance John

More about : desktop boot past bios

January 9, 2011 1:46:46 AM



You need to have the raid drivers when installing Windows.
There is point in setup, near the beginning that instructs you to press the F6 key to load 3rd party drivers. Here you need the drivers on a floppie disk.

Get the driver from Asus by starting in the upper left corner of the screen where it says in gray "Download" and enter your model number and keep answering their prompts until you get to the download page. The category you seek is Utilities at the Asus site when asked what you are looking for. There is no direct link, or I would have supplied it. To get started at Asus you can click
HERE.

There are two different sets of RAID drivers, get them both. Put both to floppie so you can enter them both at the famous F6 prompt.
January 9, 2011 7:46:29 AM

Thanks Tigsounds

Been to the Asus website and found the drivers but is says that they are 64 bit whilst my system appears to be 32 bit this puzzles me are they correct ?.
Related resources
January 9, 2011 2:17:07 PM

john- boy said:
Thanks Tigsounds

Been to the Asus website and found the drivers but is says that they are 64 bit whilst my system appears to be 32 bit this puzzles me are they correct ?.


You found an error at the Asus site. The Promise drivers showing are the same for 32 bit and 64 bit XP, and they are both listed as being for 64 bit. I downloaded them and they are indeed 64 bit.

I also found 32 bit drivers from Promise directly...
HERE
January 10, 2011 9:38:20 PM

Got the download as you suggested and put it on a floppy.
Booted the pc with xp cd in drive and pressed the f6 key with the floppy in drive a:
this then took me to the screen that gives me the option press r to repair.
It reads the disk,loads and eventually I arrive at C:/windows
I have tried chkdsk /r this goes through checkdisk saying repairing and arrives back at C:/windows. Where do I go from here ?
I tried rebooting and just got the same position as before. It is not seeing the hard drives.
This has got me further than I was previously but not yet solved the problem.
It appears to be loading C: via the floppy but not actually installing the drivers ?

Any further help would be appreciated.

John
January 11, 2011 1:01:37 AM

When you did the repair, did it look a lot like Windows was being installed for the first time?
That is to say did it copy a ton of files into your drive, complete with a blue progress bar at the bottom of the screen (maybe it's yellow?), and then take a considerable time to complete the repair?

If it did, then you may need 2 floppy disk, one with each RAID driver, one I found you and the other one from the Asus site. Your board has two different RAID controllers on it and when you pressed the F6 key, you may need to load the first, and then press "S" again, swapping the floppies to put the other in too.

If you didn't see the time-consuming repair process, then you missed something and it didn't actually do a repair.
January 11, 2011 4:51:26 PM

All I saw was a percentage indicator that went along gradually to 100%
This took somewhere about half an hour.
At the end it just gave me file sizes which I didn't make a note of.
January 11, 2011 8:16:20 PM

What I have also seen when I went back in and did a 'dir' at the C: prompt
it shows that I have 477 files on C: so I quess that the files are still there.
what it doesn't show is drive D: which still indicated it is not seeing the raid drives.
January 12, 2011 12:03:12 AM



Connected correctly and configured correctly are two different things.
I'm wondering about your RAID, if it is a RAID or not.

I have downloaded the manual to your machine and have read the manual. There are opportunities for error.

Your description of your drives was....
Quote:
I have checked that both hard drives are properly connected.
When I enter the bios they are set to auto and shown as ft tx ary1 and ft tx ary 2
Further in the bios it says Serial ch0 master no device and serial ch1 master no device and lists the following
ID Mode Size Track-mapping Status
1 1+0 stripe 81964m 9964/225/63 functional
2 1+0 stripe 81964m 9964/225/63 functional

This is confusing because if serial 0 and serial 1 are not there, how did it show stripe/mode information and size of the drives? except some controllers retain the RAID information after drives are removed until the RAID is cleared in the RAID controller. It appears there might be a mirrored RAID set sitting there, but then it is saying the drives are not connected.

Next time you restart, press Control F to go to the Promise controller setup and see what it says there. This must be done before Windows tries to load. Something is not right, and must be found.

January 13, 2011 8:23:26 PM

Hi Tigsounds

when I press ctrl +F it enters fast build
option 1 Auto set up says no disk drives
option 2 View drive assignment says
Channel 1 & channel 2 drive model 6y080m0 for both
Capacity 81964 for both
Assign array 1 & 2
Mode u6

option 3 define array it says
array 1 & 2 Raid mode stripe Capacity 81964 each Status functional

In none of the five options does it let me alter anything when you press enter nothing happens.

I am totally baffled by it !!! It appears to say no drives, but then tells you their status ?????
January 14, 2011 3:32:05 AM




No abbreviations, no compacting lines. line-for-line information here is important.

The part that needs clarification is the "Assign array 1 & 2" this can be misleading and
"array 1 & 2 Raid mode stripe Capacity 81964 each Status functional " Is this all in one line of text?
I don't think Promise uses such listings.

It appears you have 2 raids, and they both have one drive each, otherwise knows a JBOD raid (Just a Bunch Of Drives).

The situation is that if your operating system is not part of a RAID, you don't want to build on now, it will result in a loss of everything on the drives. If you did have a multi-drive RAID array, then it must be put back together.

You need to download the pdf on this controller and look through it to see what you actually have at this point in time.. Get it
HERE

Look at the last paragraph in the pdf, it tells that you can have multiple drives not in a RAID, maybe this is what you have. You need to find out, without making changes to the setup... for now.


January 15, 2011 10:33:40 PM

The drives and raid are as originally set up by the pc manufacturer and have not been altered
In the fast build screen it shows the drives like this
channel 1 sata maxtor 6y080m0 capacity 81964 assignment array 1 mode u6
channel 2 sata maxtor 6y080m0 capacity 81964 assignment array 2 mode u6

On the first option screen auto setup, it flashes up the message that no drives are present.

I have tested the drives using a maxtor test programme and they test ok.
I have also examined drive c using acronis and it sees all the files and programmes.

I have tried to read the pdf that you gave me the link to, but for some reason my adobe reader doesn't open it ?

My thoughts are that either the asus bios,via tech bios,or maxtor bios have become corrupted what do you think?

Thanks for your help so far.
John
January 16, 2011 2:47:52 AM

john- boy said:
The drives and raid are as originally set up by the pc manufacturer and have not been altered
In the fast build screen it shows the drives like this
channel 1 sata maxtor 6y080m0 capacity 81964 assignment array 1 mode u6
channel 2 sata maxtor 6y080m0 capacity 81964 assignment array 2 mode u6

I have tried to read the pdf that you gave me the link to, but for some reason my adobe reader doesn't open it ?

My thoughts are that either the asus bios,via tech bios,or maxtor bios have become corrupted what do you think?




I use Adobe reader 7.0, but I have the option to allow my browser to open Pdf files disabled. I download them then read them.

I think you have a JBOD setup. The drives are not part of a RAID array. One or the other is your boot device.
The one that boots should have an asterisk in front of it (*).

I agree with Dadiggle that you should download Hiron boot cd and look at the contents of each drive. One has Windows and that will be your boot drive. There is a command to choose to make one or the other of the drives the boot drive. I'll look that up while you are getting the boot CD downloaded and burned to CD.

Download the Hiron boot cd, it is
HERE


January 16, 2011 5:43:53 AM

Quote:
There's a program under disk tools which have a specific option to fix arrays. I think its called diskpatch. Not 100 percent certain if its the correct name just have a look



OP doesn't have an array. Controller says array, but it isn't really. 2 drives, independent of each other. Still needs to mark in controller which drive is set to boot, or, no booting will take place. It's a Promise thing. I used to use Promise stuff, but then they screwed a lot of people by refusing to supply 64 bit drivers for some cards cards they still sell.

Quote:
channel 1 sata maxtor 6y080m0 capacity 81964 assignment array 1 mode u6
channel 2 sata maxtor 6y080m0 capacity 81964 assignment array 2 mode u6
January 16, 2011 7:19:17 AM

I have Hirens boot cd already, don't remember seeing diskpatch but I will look again later.

The drives are set up as 1 being the main drive 'C' with windows on it and many files and programmes.
Drive 2 'D' as just a second drive to store some programmes and files.

January 16, 2011 7:52:06 AM

Please advise where on the hirens boot cd I will find diskpatch

I have looked through most of the programmes including dos ones
must have missed it

Thanks
January 17, 2011 7:58:02 PM

I have got both Hirens 12.0 and Hirens 13.0 and cannot find diskpatch on either nor on version 11.0 I have found diskpatch on their website at a price £68 GB which is more than I am willing to pay.

I have looked at the various mbr programmes on the Hirens disc but dont know how to use them I dont want to mess things up further by trying without knowing what I am doing. Help please. It talks about saving to sector or file ? but I don't know what to do.

Thanks again John.
January 17, 2011 8:25:13 PM



9 days and we haven't gotten you anywhere. I'm not feeling too good right now about that.

If you are willing to keep trying...

Something is getting lost in the typing here. If I was siting in front of that machine it would be working again, but since you can't start it , even remote assistance isn't possible. :( 

Let's see if any program can find your drives either as a unit, or as separate drives.

Download
THIS (2005) and burn to CD. It is an ISO image file so must be made back into a bootable CD with a program that can burn an ISO image back again. Nero will do it.

Boot with this CD and when it starts, have the Promise floppy in drive A and load the driver when prompted. Skip network configuration and see if it finds your Windows installation, if not, continue anyway.

Go to Explorer and see if you see your installed Windows there or anything at all.

January 17, 2011 10:38:33 PM

Tigsounds
Ok I will try that tomorrow evening, getting late here,after midnight in the uk.

One thing I have tried this evening was booting using the windows cd as far as the window that offers install or repair, and using fixboot it told me the boot was faulty and offered a fix which I used.
It said the fix was sucessful.
But a reboot then made no differance still not seeing the drives.
Then I download Via tech fast track sata bios onto a floppy loaded windows cd pressed F6 when asked and got to the repair screen.
Attempted a repair and the system still says no hard drives found.
Yet as I said previous I can read drive C with I think, acronis and it saw alot of programmes so the drive must be ok.

Thanks for your presistance in trying to help, believe me 9 days is nothing.
I started with this problem in early December and another forum closed my thread because one of their members recommend Hirens boot and they didn't like it.
This is how I arived a Tom's.

If you don't mind carrying on I will give it a bit longer.
When I said in one of my earlier postings that the first bios screen says it doesn't see the drives, I was slightly wrong.
That message was refering to primary and secondary ide drives.
I understand from reading on the net that Sata drives dont work as primary and secondary.

Thanks again
John
January 19, 2011 5:56:02 PM

I am concerned aboyt using MBR as I tried one and it said warning using this may destroy your partitions and loose data so I aborted. I dont want to loose some of the data I have on drive C.

TO Tigsounds
I downloaded 2005 iso from the link you gave. When I tried to open it it says open with internet explorer but nothing opens ?
When I search the net for 2005 iso,it is not very clear as to what this programme is, am I missing something.

John.
January 19, 2011 7:40:00 PM

Some more information

Just tried a reboot with xp cd in drive and at f6 promt used the floppy with v8237 raid on it.
This takes me to the screen offering install or repair.
When I selct repair it allows me to select drive C and then gives me this message.
'The system registry does not appear to have an active control set key. The sytsem registry may be damaged.

I know nothing about the registry but maybe this message will help you.

Cheers
January 20, 2011 6:49:05 PM

FIXMBR warns about the possabilty of destroying partitions or loosing data and that's what worries me.
I have files on there which I need to try and recover.
Am I safe using fixmbr or is it a chance I have to take.

One other option I have considered is to buy a new hard drive and install windows on it. Would I then be able to copy files from the drives I have and how easy is it to do.

john
January 23, 2011 4:30:46 PM

Good news I have managed to fix the problem.

Went and bought a 500gb Seagate hard drive £35.
Fitted it as drive c, installed windows on it, then recoupled my old C drive as my second drive.
I can access all my files on the old drive as well.

Everything seems fine again now.
I have installed Avast and Commado firewall and done several restore points during installation.
All I have to do now is to make sure that I have backups of my important files.

Thanks to all those who offered me advice.

Cheers John
April 24, 2012 11:39:28 AM

One of my clients had the same problem the other day. I just popped in my xp sp1 disc and booted from it. At the first screen i pressed R allowed it to load and pressed 1 to select the version of windows I wanted to repair. Entered the administrator password and just ran chkdsk /r after that completed in about an hour i restarted the computer and everything was working better than new.

(please note that during the chkdsk scan it will go up to 75% completed and drop back to 50% two or three times and then complete as normal)

I know this might have been said earlier but i was too lazy to read through all the posts. Hope it helps in hind sight.
!