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Motherboard prob?

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September 30, 2010 8:37:07 PM

Hi,

A few days ago I put my WinXP Pro disc in my 775/AsusP5B computer, looked at the setup, then backed out without making any changes. My computer will now not:

* boot from the original drive
* format a brand-new drive

I've tried everything I can think of (which isn't a lot), and I'm now thinking something on the mobo is kaput. I ordered a new disc updated through SP2 from Microsoft, which came today, but that hasn't changed the problem. I changed nothing in the BIOS, did nothing to the machine or the drives, and can't understand what could be wrong if the mobo hasn't failed somehow.

Question1: can someone recommend a good replacement board for the legacy board I have? (I think it's an ATX board.)

Question2: any thoughts on why the machine won't format or recognize these drives? I'm mystified.

Thanks.

More about : motherboard prob

a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
September 30, 2010 9:11:41 PM

I am not into reinventing posts; here's a good one {see Formatting and Installing from the Windows XP CD} http://www.ehow.com/how_6026_format-hard-drive.html

"I'm mystified. " -> Now, if you MOBO requires{e.g. SATA/RAID} "pre-installer" drivers then you'll need to create an Installer CD.

Easy way:
1. D/L nLite - http://www.nliteos.com/
2. Windows XP SP3 ISO {yeah/I read} - http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?Fami...
3. Create "Working" Installer
4. Now Reformat as above.
5. There you go! :) 

Good Luck!
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September 30, 2010 9:21:44 PM

Hi Jaquith,

I'm glad for any help, but like you I don't want to busy myself with redundancies. So...I'm just checking here before I follow your 5-step process.

When I put my new XP/SP2 disk in my machine, it runs through the whole format routine as it should, but when I try to install to the new partition I get this message:

"the format is either too full, damaged, not formatted, or formatted with an incompatible file system"

That's the message I get with the original drive, with the new drive, with a new format of the new drive, with a wiped partition/new partition on the new drive, etc. I cannot get past the point at which the XP install routine tells me that the drive is bad, even if it just formatted a new partition.

Also -- whether this matters or not I don't know -- I can see Windows installing a ton of SATA and RAID drivers when it first runs the setup CD.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
September 30, 2010 9:57:32 PM

Nightmare9 said:
When I put my new XP/SP2 disk in my machine, it runs through the whole format routine as it should, but when I try to install to the new partition I get this message:

"the format is either too full, damaged, not formatted, or formatted with an incompatible file system"

That's the message I get with the original drive, with the new drive, with a new format of the new drive, with a wiped partition/new partition on the new drive, etc. I cannot get past the point at which the XP install routine tells me that the drive is bad, even if it just formatted a new partition.

Also -- whether this matters or not I don't know -- I can see Windows installing a ton of SATA and RAID drivers when it first runs the setup CD.


So, I don't tell you wrong - Q - You clearly mentioned a "NEW DRIVE" - is this going to be the PRIMARY DRIVE?

If it is then you MUST disconnect ALL OTHER HDDs before installing XP or ANY OS. Therefore, please post what goes where and what is the Primary HDD?

E.g.
OLD HDD -> Replacing {just connected now}
NEW HDD -> Primary HDD {boot drive}
etc.
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September 30, 2010 10:05:57 PM

jaquith said:
So, I don't tell you wrong - Q - You clearly mentioned a "NEW DRIVE" - is this going to be the PRIMARY DRIVE?

If it is then you MUST disconnect ALL OTHER HDDs before installing XP or ANY OS. Therefore, please post what goes where and what is the Primary HDD?

E.g.
OLD HDD -> Replacing {just connected now}
NEW HDD -> Primary HDD {boot drive}
etc.



Everything I've said applies to a machine with only one hard drive at any one time. For example, when I first received the error message on my original drive, there was only one drive. When I bought a replacement drive I removed the original drive and installed the replacement (to protect my data). All of the subsequent tests/checks/attempts have been done using a brand-new WD Green 500MB drive which my BIOS sees and accurately reports.

I have the boot sequence set up with DVD first, then to HDD. Neither HDD is recognized if I leave the DVD drive empty. The only way to get any response from the machine is to start the install from the XP/SP2 disk, but the attempt to install WinXP always fails as noted above.

I have ruled out SATA ports and cables.

I have also tried Recovery console, but get error messages even when looking at DIR or attempting to run CHKDSK, CHKDSK /r, and pretty much anything else. FIXMBR will write a new MBR, but that MBR cannot be read. Formatting from the Recovery console runs as per the install interface, and fails the same way.
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October 1, 2010 2:22:54 AM

jaquith said:
Use the "Advanced Format Software" before installing XP.
http://support.wdc.com/product/download.asp?groupid=608...


According to the chart you linked me to, my drives aren't actually 'Advanced Format' drives. (They're 500GB.)

I managed to load the ICH8 drivers for my motherboard via F6. The drive still failed after formatting.
I managed to load the JMicron drivers as well. They failed as well.

I'm completely, totally stumped. Everything seems to say that I need to load the right drivers, but nothing I load allows my computer to see/read either drive.
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October 1, 2010 4:57:11 AM

Spent a couple of hours with NLite and WinXPSP3 and couldn't even get the burned CD to boot. Obviously it's way beyond my technical skill to navigate all those screens, or even translate your helpful exhortation that I make a "working installer" -- a term I could find nowhere.

Given that I had a working computer, a working motherboard, two working hard drives, two MS CD's with working versions of WinXP Pro, and decent power to the house, I think I'm going to have to conclude that it's time for me to stop playing with tech and simply beat the m-fing holy hell out of all that hardware and software with a baseball bat.


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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 1, 2010 2:45:02 PM

No, what I exactly stated - "Working" Installer and not "Working Installer" AND prior to that I stated "if your MOBO requires{e.g. SATA/RAID} "pre-installer" drivers then you'll need to create an Installer CD."

I am clear what I said and the reasons I said them. Clearly, if your MOBO + HDD does not require ANY F6 drivers or if you have a working Floppy then you won't need to use nLite. I have posted dozens of successful posts where people had no problems using nLite, but they had problems with Windows installer.

However, your statements above {F6} "ICH8" and "JMicron" scream drivers which is the primary purpose of nLite. Guide - http://www.nliteos.com/guide/index.html

That said, "it seems" like a driver of some sort is interfering with the installation "somehow." In addition, there are 10 flavors of your MOBO "P5B" which makes it impossible for me or anyone to be more precise of which F6 divers should be added to nLite.

There's no reason to get angry and perhaps it is time to have Best Buy or similar PC repair company to help. More than likely they will install XP via a USB flash drive, but if your having trouble with a CD then creating a USB is even more complex to create and you'd need a 4GB drive.

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October 1, 2010 5:22:04 PM

jaquith said:
No, what I exactly stated - "Working" Installer and not "Working Installer" AND prior to that I stated "if your MOBO requires{e.g. SATA/RAID} "pre-installer" drivers then you'll need to create an Installer CD."

I am clear what I said and the reasons I said them. Clearly, if your MOBO + HDD does not require ANY F6 drivers or if you have a working Floppy then you won't need to use nLite. I have posted dozens of successful posts where people had no problems using nLite, but they had problems with Windows installer.

However, your statements above {F6} "ICH8" and "JMicron" scream drivers which is the primary purpose of nLite. Guide - http://www.nliteos.com/guide/index.html

That said, "it seems" like a driver of some sort is interfering with the installation "somehow." In addition, there are 10 flavors of your MOBO "P5B" which makes it impossible for me or anyone to be more precise of which F6 divers should be added to nLite.

There's no reason to get angry and perhaps it is time to have Best Buy or similar PC repair company to help. More than likely they will install XP via a USB flash drive, but if your having trouble with a CD then creating a USB is even more complex to create and you'd need a 4GB drive.


Just to be clear, I'm not angry at you. I'm thankful for your help.

I agree that this screams drives, but I've loaded every driver that came with my mobo and they don't help Windows see any hdd. I've gone to Asus, WD and Intel looking for new/better drivers, but I can't find anything except huge inf folders crammed with stuff, and that's not what Win will accept via an F6/floppy upload.

As to the mobo, I wasn't being imprecise. I know there are a ton of P5B variants. Mine just happens to be the P5B with no variant. No 'b' or 'e' or 'deluxe' -- just vanilla P5B.

Last night, at the end of my nightmare, I started getting various stop errors: 0x08E and a couple of others, and I've had a few of those over the past month or two. They keep pointing to hardware, so that's what makes me wonder if my mobo is shot.

I'll keep thinking about drivers, but I'm out of ideas on which drivers I need. Asus isn't clear about 'SATA controller' drivers, or about how to load them w/a balky Win install that insists on my using a floppy at F6. (I even tried a workaround going through the JMicron ACHI port, but that failed too.)
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October 1, 2010 6:14:36 PM

I'm also still interested in a rec for a mobo replacement for the P5B. I'd love to just get a new version of what I have, but it's obviously too old. Any thoughts? Anybody?

Update: apparently NewEgg doesn't even sell ATX/775 motherboards any more. Maybe it's time to just buy a new machine....

Later update: ah...my bad. They do sell them -- you just can't narrow your search by them. And if you look for them based on CPU...they don't show up. Sweet.

Still later update: ah...'Power Search'! Just kill me.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 1, 2010 7:44:18 PM

Nightmare9 said:
I've gone to Asus, WD and Intel looking for new/better drivers, but I can't find anything except huge inf folders crammed with stuff, and that's not what Win will accept via an F6/floppy upload.

As to the mobo, I wasn't being imprecise. I know there are a ton of P5B variants. Mine just happens to be the P5B with no variant. No 'b' or 'e' or 'deluxe' -- just vanilla P5B.

Asus isn't clear about 'SATA controller' drivers, or about how to load them w/a balky Win install that insists on my using a floppy at F6. (I even tried a workaround going through the JMicron ACHI port, but that failed too.)

I read the Manual (Ch 5); as useful as an enema; however, (pdf page 117 {F6} referred to the SATA/RAID drivers that I assumed it would. Those drivers are the ones that can be installed either by a Floppy or ADDED to the nLite for installation {either way is okay}.

REF: http://usa.asus.com/product.aspx?P_ID=YwIVDOTcvIMHZdTy

Therefore, you can add them to a {bootable} Floppy using the ASUS CD or download them. Possible confusion: upon D/L the files are in an executable format {.exe} and need to be run on some computer the {extract} them 1ST! Afterwards, either added to the Floppy <or> nLite. The only reason I prefer nLite is that I don't need a Floppy.

I think nLite might be worth another shot to try. Prior to installing the OS, again, boot in to the BIOS and Load Defaults, save and boot to the Installation CD.

//BTW - I ran into this same "stuff" years ago with a {ASUS P5-S800-VM..} MOBO. So I am prett sure where you're getting stuck.//


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October 1, 2010 9:17:35 PM

I really do appreciate the help.

This machine simply continues to disintegrate. I can now not get the BIOS even to recognize one of the drives. It refuses.

I did previously manage to get the Windows install routine to accept the Asus controller drivers (as specified on the original CD), but it never helped identify the drives. The machine absolutely refuses to acknowledge the drives even after it says they're there and it's just formatted them.

Currently the drive spins up in a kind of wheezy staccato pulse, the BIOS hangs, but when I check all the setting were as they were before. I don't even know what piece of mobo hardware would have to fail to cause these kinds of problems, but between the BIOS failure to recognize all the drives and the Windows BSOD's I not only can't imagine that it's still a driver issue, I can't test it because I can no longer even access a drive.

Fun stuff.
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a c 207 Ĉ ASUS
a c 717 V Motherboard
October 1, 2010 11:37:12 PM

^ If your BIOS "hangs" a/k/a Post Failure then you'll need to Clear CMOS {refer to your manual}. Also, if that fails and on an older MOBO it "could be" that your MOBO is toast.
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October 9, 2010 12:26:45 AM

1) To recap: after looking at (but not initiating) any repair or reinstall functions on my original 2002-era WinXP CD, my Western Digital 500GB Green drive was rendered unbootable. It had worked perfectly up until that point.

I still have no idea what happened to that drive, and I am now in the process of trying to recover data and/or repair lost partitions using a variety of tools. (So far, nothing seems to be able to locate and fix the partitions, but the data seems to be safe.) In any case, I do feel that the following needs to be said:

WARNING: DO NOT INSERT YOUR ORIGINAL WINXP CD IN A MACHINE THAT HAS BEEN RUNNING WINXP SP3. YOU MAY UNINTENTIONALLY CORRUPT YOUR BOOT DRIVE AND/OR ITS PARTITIONS.

2) After losing the drive I bought a replacement of the same make and model. When I put it in the machine it was recognized in BIOS and by WinXP, but all attempts to format the drive failed. Quick format, regular format -- nothing worked. And then BIOS refused to recognize the drive.

The assumption was -- and it's the right assumption -- that it was a SATA driver issue. I attempted to resolve that problem in every way possible, including having Microsoft send me a new XP Pro install disk updated to include SP2. Nothing worked.

Because I didn't want to risk losing data on my old drive, I continued working with the new drive, which refused to be recognized. Over the next week or so I replaced the motherboard, system RAM (twice), processor and power supply. Only after I had replaced literally every component of my machine was it blindingly obvious that the new WD Green drive I'd purchased was bad out of the box.

Putting my original WD Green drive back in the machine, BIOS recognized it immediately, but that's as far as I went. I bought a 1TB Seagate drive, used the new install disk, to install WinXP SP2, and everything went fine using all of my original hardware.

3) I don't know what the odds are of having a drive go bad due to some flukey install issue, and then having an identical replacement drive be bad out of the back, but that's what happened. I'm sure most of you would have caught the secondary-drive failure sooner, but the again maybe not.

In any case, I still have no idea what corrupted my original drive, but right now data recovery is my only concern. I'm not even sure I can reformat the drive once I've recovered my data, but I'll give that a shot and follow up with the results.
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October 9, 2010 8:32:30 PM

Final Update, w/recovery software rec:

My machine is back up and running. The original WD Green drive's partitions were hosed, but the drive functioned normally.

I tried a TON of free/demo tools to locate data on the drive and attempt to recover the hosed partitions. Many of them failed to even recognize the original partitions, let alone let me access the data on the drives -- or, if they did find the data, wanted to up-charge me to recover more than a certain amount.

I finally ran across two products from a company called MiniTool: Power Data Recover and Partition Recovery. The first app allowed me to find all my data on both hosed partitions, then allowed me to move all of the critical files with no transfer limit. (Both apps are free for personal use.)

When I was sure I had all the data I needed off the second (logical) partition on the corrupted drive, I used the second app to restore the main partition for that drive, recovering the bulk of my data in the process. The drive is not bootable, but I have all my stuff and can now spend the next 39 hours migrating settings, etc.

All in all, a happy ending.
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