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P4M900-M4 won't boot

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January 2, 2010 7:52:03 PM

Pass POST ok, ID drives OK,but get either No Sys Disk or Win mode choice pages when trying initial XP load to HD. Have boot pgm on HD,and as a CD plus XP CD but no combination gets me to where I can start loading XP!
Tried 2nd CD drive. Tried hi & lo density IDE to CD cables. Bios sees my drives rightly,but won't locate boot or XP load. Missing NTLDR statement sometimes comes up.
Tried several BIOs discharge and reaccomp.

More about : p4m900 boot

January 2, 2010 11:02:18 PM

A little background info might help such as are you trying to do a reformat or did this just happen out of the blue?

I've had that missing NTLDR message when a hard drive gave out one me.

Is the hard drive OK to the best of your knowledge?
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January 2, 2010 11:30:12 PM

I had ( in proof of my novicity) tried a clone of my lap top's HD into this new 1TByte Toshiba SATA...then gave up on that and tied the SATA thru an adapter/USB converter and did a reformat of the 1Tb folowed by putting a XP boot on it (just in case). HD was brand new ,and read back as having taken the Boot program .
I have no reason to believe HD is bad...more like MoBo doesn't want to accept Boot CD or Boot from HD.
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January 3, 2010 12:59:05 AM

You mentioned trying various BIOS settings so since you are working with a SATA drive perhaps see if there's anything in there relating to AHCI and if so enable it.

I'm going from memory here but I do recall having issues with a PC where the only thing that fixed it so the drive would work was enabling AHCI.

You may also have to ensure that you have the boot order correct in the BIOS.

If as I understand it you are connected via USB to the drive you want to boot you may have to look at your boot options very carefully making certain the correct term is chosen.
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January 3, 2010 1:51:20 AM

I was only USB connected when I decided to reformat the HD and add a Boot Pgm to it. Right now the HD is SATA driven from the P4M900-M4 board.
I've tried telling BIOs to boot from either HD or CD with no help. There's a F9 available early after post which would seem to have been meant to be a quick way to set the boot sequence without having to search thru BIOs ....but no matter where I set the real BIOs boot sequence,the F9 screen is stuck at HD boot first AND won't allow me to change it. It's as though neither source for Boot is being accepted.
If set for CD boot, I get a clear statement that the CD was searched AND NO boo t was found. Likewise a missing system is stated as missing when HD is first to boot.
I'll check that AHCI. Will advise tomorrow. Thank you for the Gray matter you've singed on my behalf. DWF
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January 3, 2010 1:56:18 AM

The only other thing I can think of is since you are using SATA some of the motherboards I've had in the past required you to hit the F6 key during XP installation because at that point it would require SATA drivers to be installed.

If that was not done you would get symptoms similar to what you are describing.
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January 3, 2010 2:12:06 AM

A quick check for AHCI shows no place to vote for it or not.
It appears to be P&P. I have no statement in the MoBo manual or on screen to support that F6..but I'll try it, though I wonder at the BIOs being able to recognize it if it needed some special boot operation....well anyway THAT I'll try Tomorrow.
Again Thanks, DWF
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January 3, 2010 2:21:43 AM

dwfcomm said:
A quick check for AHCI shows no place to vote for it or not.
It appears to be P&P. I have no statement in the MoBo manual or on screen to support that F6..but I'll try it, though I wonder at the BIOs being able to recognize it if it needed some special boot operation....well anyway THAT I'll try Tomorrow.
Again Thanks, DWF


Quite welcome.

F6 is simply an option that comes up when you are installing XP and it is used when you know your board requires some extra drivers which are not on the operating system disk.

It's not necessary anymore on Win7 from what I can see and for XP I made myself a custom installation disk that has the SATA drivers slip streamed into it in order to not have to go through that F6 step.

Using my original XP disk I had to use F6 on several of my motherboards and then insert the floppy disk that shipped with the motherboard in order to have the drivers installed otherwise the disk was simply not recognized.

Sorry for the long explanation but I was just wondering if by chance something similar was happening here because you did reformat unless I'm not understanding properly.
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January 3, 2010 4:58:09 PM

Didn't get a floppy with this MoBo,just a CD of drivers. No mention of using F6 in the manual.. TRIED F6 just now on all three CD' s and neither did the screen change to indicate a "Fx" subroutine was evoked..nor did any subsequent screen change -I.E. same "Need a CD with system on it" type admonishments.
I'd noticed before that of the DEL and two possible "Fx" I could evoke at startup (F8 for system config-F9 for boot device sequence) only F9 would get me to any special screen . This is a used Keyboard...maybe F8 (and or F6) are duds! Staples is open and PS2 keyboards are cheap ,I'm gonna scamper to Staples quickly -before the Martian Chronicles comes on on our local "THIS" channel. Will advise. Thanks again , DWF
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January 3, 2010 6:23:19 PM

I think you misunderstood and if so I'll attempt to clarify. The F6 I refer to is something that you only see while first installing the operating system and on some older boards was the only time you could get a chance to install SATA drivers provided with the hardware as a floppy.

If you didn't get a floppy with the board it likely wouldn't apply to you.

That takes it back to being some sort of BIOS setting that is causing the board to not see the operating system drive or there's some sort of file corruption in play.

As I mentioned earlier in at least one instance I recall having had to enable AHCI.

Sometimes the settings are quite well hidden and it requires a bit of hunting around the BIOS to actually find.

In my case I think I found it under integrated devices listing which I had to enter to get to the actual setting.
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January 4, 2010 1:18:10 AM

I forgot how long Martian Chronicles ran, but I'm back now.
I got a whole new keyboard and IT does not allow an F6 to be hit, but the F8 STILL doesn't activate anything.
I'll look again for that AHCI around the integrated devices. (mine is Integrated Peripherals) BUT no AHCI voteable.
I looked up AHCI and found a ref on Tom's to setting up SATA in RAID mode.
Raid mode does give me a functional F8 NOW...but it just allows for RAID (which I haven't set up -and the MoBo knows it) or Linux...no sudden access to either HD's XP startup/boot OR CD's XP programming disk or Boot disk.
Now I'm getting a nagging NO NTLDR found.
I'm thinking I've got a screwed up BIOs here...but no check sum error is occurring.
I despise it when a pile of sand is smarted than I AM!!
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January 6, 2010 1:31:45 AM

All problems resolved by changing the CD Deck for something made in this Millenium,and getting another XP CD to work from. Original CD would work in my VAIO,
but not on the New Biostar MoBo even with a new CD Deck...but ran fine once I went with a newer OEM of XP.
Sorry to share the hassle. Thanks for answering the SOS.
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January 6, 2010 1:38:52 AM

Glad you got it sorted. :) 
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January 6, 2010 1:42:18 AM

Thanks again for the help.
DWF
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!