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Weird Hard Drive Problem

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  • Hard Drives
  • Graphics Cards
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
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January 14, 2010 4:29:50 PM

Hey Everyone,

So I have the darndest issue, I'm helping a long distance friend install a new PSU into their PC so that they can use a new video card (old PSU was only a 350). So the install of the PSU and new video card goes fine, we go to boot up the PC and we get the following "DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER". Now the weird part is the bios sees the hard drive just fine, its set to boot to the hard drive 1st, there's no floppy drive in the system. I even had him remove the CD-ROM to make sure nothing was going on with that. It’s a single drive, detected but not booting to it, tried a bios reset. I just don’t understand, it was fine before, windows xp was up and running just fine. From what my friend tells me, the hard drive wasn’t smacked around or anything like that when he installed the PSU. Anyone ever see anything like this before? The drive is SATA, and the system is the following:
http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/ca/en/ho/WF06b/12132708-...

With this motherboard:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=c01...

Later today I'm going to have him boot to winPE and see if the drive is readable, but any and all input is much welcomed, I covered just about everybase I can think of with this thing, thank you.

More about : weird hard drive problem

January 14, 2010 9:51:30 PM

You mentioned that.....I even had him remove the CD-ROM to make sure nothing was going on with that.
is your CD-Rom SATA or PATA !!!!! if IDE then check the Jumper setting (Should Be CS cable select ) !!!!!!
also do you have Two Hard drive or One Hard drive !!!!!
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January 14, 2010 11:20:46 PM

I think the first thing to do, would be to check the cables, specifically, the SATA data cable. With the swapping of hardware, it would've been real easy to knock the cable loose.
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January 15, 2010 2:18:00 AM

thanks for your responses, CDROM is SATA, tried swapping cables. nothing :/ 
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January 15, 2010 11:01:53 AM

Try using a different SATA port on the motherboard for the hard drive. Try using a different power cable from the PSU.

Make the hard drive the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd boot device. Set the BIOS to allow booting from other devices.
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January 15, 2010 3:43:30 PM

You say you reset the BIOS, and that might have changed the SATA port mode for your HDD and optical drives. Any idea what they were before? Usually the choices are things like IDE (or PATA) Emulation, native SATA, AHCI, RAID. Win XP can ONLY deal with IDE drives unless it was installed with the driver for a different device, so many systems set the SATA ports to use IDE emulation and fool Win XP into believing that's what they have to work with. You may need to set your SATA ports that way.

You say your friend "removed the CD-ROM". If by that you mean he simply unplugged it, you need to make sure that the BIOS Boot Priority Sequence is NOT still trying to use it.

Now, the root of this (although the error message you got does not quite fit my idea) may be that you replaced the video card without replacing the video card DRIVER. The normal sequence would be to run the OLD system first and REMOVE the old video card from Device Manager, then shut down. (This forces Windows when it reboots later to use its own basic VGA driver that any video card can use for limited capability.) THEN you replace the video card and, after successfully booting this way you install the proper driver for the new video card and reboot. Without this sequence Windows is trying to use an old driver on a new different piece of hardware and it usually cannot work.

From where you are there may be two paths. The straightforward (but maybe longer) route is to back up to Square 2. Shut down and put the old video card back in, but leave the new PSU in place. Try booting that way. If you can (even if you have to boot into Safe Mode) clean up any problems. Then start with my sequence. Go into Device Manager and Remove the video card, exit out of there, and shut down. Now replace with the new vid card and reboot. Follow vid card manual instructions for installation of the new card's drivers.

The other path might be, IF your friend still has the original XP Install Disk, to do a Repair Install. For this you reconnect the optical drive and make it the first boot device in BIOS Setup. When you boot from it you do NOT do a normal Install. You choose a Repair Install from the menus. This process surveys the hardware devices found and the software drivers already installed on the C: drive and attempts to fix any mismatches. There's a reasonable chance it can find a driver that will let you boot using the new vid card. That probably will not be the optimal driver. So, after this works and you're back into Windows by booting from the HDD, you still will need to update / install the proper driver(s) for that new vid card.
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