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Multiple operating systems won't install - optical drive a likely fault?

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September 17, 2010 12:21:06 AM

[I wasn't entirely sure which category to put this in, apologies if it should be elsewhere]

Hello,

I recently acquired a second hand computer, and am currently trying to install an operating system on it. Memtest86+ says that the RAM is ok, and various programs have told me that the HDD is also fine (one of Ubuntu's programs suggested that there was one bad sector, but that was well under tolerance).

Now, my problem is that. Installing Windows XP seems to be fine, until it restarts to run it and gives me the well known "Trap 00000006 Error - Exception" message. I've run chkdsk and that worked fine, and I've tried the Recovery Console to modify the ntldr file, but it didn't help.

I tried installing Ubuntu 9.10 as well - that also seems to install ok, but upon running it, it gives me a GRUB error and won't run. I can still run Ubuntu directly off the disk, but if I take the disk out and try and run it off the hard drive, it won't run.

Now, logically I would blame the hard drive for these issues (even with the passed tests), but somebody else has suggested the optical drive might be suspect and causing the corrupted installations. I'll try and replace each of them in turn and see if it helps. The question I have is: which should I replace first, the optical drive or the hard drive?

Any help is appreciated.

Best solution

a b G Storage
September 17, 2010 12:23:38 AM
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While the ODD is cheaper, I would try a new HDD first.
a c 415 G Storage
September 17, 2010 1:42:57 AM

Yeah, if you can boot and run Ubuntu directly from the optical drive then it doesn't sound like you have any problems there.
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a b G Storage
September 18, 2010 6:41:12 PM

No cost solution - pull the optical and test it in another system.
September 18, 2010 8:39:53 PM

Thanks for all your suggestions guys. I'm ordering a 1TB SATA II hard drive tomorrow - I needed the extra space anyway, so it's not a big deal if it turns out the current hard drive isn't the problem.

The hard drive currently present is this:

http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=fa7f99f...

I'm running an Asus P5Q Pro motherboard with the latest BIOS. When running Ubuntu off the boot disk, I can access the hard drive and manipulate the folder contents. Also during startup, the hard drive is recognised as being there and PATA.

Is it possible that there's a driver issue at stake here? According to the Seagate website, their hard drives are designed to be run using drivers already present on Windows XP. I've been trying to figure this out using Google, but does anybody know if a PATA drive should be able to be run straight off a Windows XP install, without the need for additional drivers?

Finally, this is possibly a silly question but the website lists the interface as Ultra ATA/100, then goes on to mention that it can take SATA, SATA II or PATA. I have a spare SATA cable here - is it possible for me to just switch cables and make the hard drive SATA, or does this one HDD model come in three types of connection, and you have to buy the right unit for the connection you want?

==Edited to add==
Reading off the manual for the motherboard suggests that the "Marvel 88SE6111 PATA controller - 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices" is present on the motherboard. Does this mean that it's probably not a driver issue?
==============

Again, any offers of help would be great.
September 26, 2010 7:46:55 AM

Best answer selected by rk45.
a b G Storage
September 27, 2010 2:13:13 AM

You're welcome.
rk45 said:
Thanks for all your suggestions guys. I'm ordering a 1TB SATA II hard drive tomorrow - I needed the extra space anyway, so it's not a big deal if it turns out the current hard drive isn't the problem.

The hard drive currently present is this:

http://www.seagate.com/ww/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=fa7f99f...

I'm running an Asus P5Q Pro motherboard with the latest BIOS. When running Ubuntu off the boot disk, I can access the hard drive and manipulate the folder contents. Also during startup, the hard drive is recognised as being there and PATA.

Is it possible that there's a driver issue at stake here? According to the Seagate website, their hard drives are designed to be run using drivers already present on Windows XP. I've been trying to figure this out using Google, but does anybody know if a PATA drive should be able to be run straight off a Windows XP install, without the need for additional drivers? Yes, they have since XP was released. PATA is also known as IDE. Installing XP only requires driver install for RAID and ACHI (F6 key)

Finally, this is possibly a silly question but the website lists the interface as Ultra ATA/100, then goes on to mention that it can take SATA, SATA II or PATA. I have a spare SATA cable here - is it possible for me to just switch cables and make the hard drive SATA, or does this one HDD model come in three types of connection, and you have to buy the right unit for the connection you want? Your HDD is IDE/PATA, there are after-market conversion modules to change PATA to SATA. I would consider getting a newer SATA HDD and using the IDE/PATA HDD as storage or for backups.
==Edited to add==
Reading off the manual for the motherboard suggests that the "Marvel 88SE6111 PATA controller - 1 x UltraDMA 133/100/66 for up to 2 PATA devices" is present on the motherboard. Does this mean that it's probably not a driver issue? It is working, so the Marvel PATA is enabled in your BIOS.
==============

Again, any offers of help would be great.
see above
!