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Computer won't boot from hdd, but recognizes it in BIOS

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September 26, 2010 4:47:21 AM

Hello,

My machine won't boot from either of my HDDs. I have Windows 7 installed on one drive and Ubuntu on another. Everything was working fine until today and now it won't boot from either drive. When I go to the BIOS, it recognizes both drives. I've played around with the boot order and drive priority, but nothing is working.

When I turn the computer on, the HDD led lights up as if it is trying to access the drives, then the CD drive cycles as if it is trying to find a bootable cd. Then the machine just restarts and repeats the process all over again. I even tried removing the cd drive from the boot order altogether, and it still cycles the drive as if it's trying to find a bootable cd.

I was able to successfully boot using an ubuntu live cd and was able to see all of the files on both drives. Nothing looks corrupted or damaged.

I'm out of ideas. Please help.
September 26, 2010 5:24:02 AM

How long had the system been working without a problem? What changes did you make recently, just before it stopped working?
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September 26, 2010 5:35:09 AM

I just finished building it two days ago. It was working fine up until earlier today. Right before the problem, I had installed CS5 on one of the hard drives. I would expect that to be the cause except for the fact that I can't boot from either the windows drive or the ubuntu drive. If it was just the windows drive then it would obviously be the CS5 install corrupting something, but both drives not working just doesn't make sense to me.

Also, to update, I tried unplugging each drive and booting with one drive plugged in at a time. Again, the BIOS recognizes the drive, but won't boot from it.
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 26, 2010 5:40:24 AM

Can you get into safe mode?

If you're not getting the message to 'insert system disk and press enter,' then it's a bigger issue than just the boot order.
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September 26, 2010 5:45:24 AM

No I can't get into safe mode and I'm not getting the 'insert system disk and press enter' message either.

Do you think its an issue with the mobo?
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 26, 2010 5:55:13 AM

Well, let's start by ruling some things out.

Disconnect any optical drives, and any hard drives, other than the drive with windows on it.

If you've got onboard video, use that instead of a video card.

What are your hardware specs?
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September 26, 2010 6:20:53 AM

ok, so this is what I did. First I unplugged all of the drives including the dvd drive, powered on, and got the 'insert media into selected boot device' message as I would expect.

Next I plugged in just the ubuntu drive and powered on. This time I got the same 'insert media...' message which I think means it doesn't recognize this drive as a bootable drive. When I checked the BIOS, the drive was recognized in the drive list though.

Next I plugged in just the Windows drive and powered on again. This time I got no message, it just kept trying to boot and then restarting. Again, the BIOS recognized the drive, but just won't boot from it.

Before these problems, I would get the normal dual-boot screen asking me which OS I wanted to boot and I could successfully boot into Windows and ubuntu.

My system specs are this:

CPU: Intel i5 Core with stock hsf
MOBO: Asus p7p55d-e pro
RAM: G.Skill Ripclaws, 2x2GB
HDD1 (windows drive): WD 64GB SSD SiliconEdge Blue
HDD2 (ubuntu drive): an old Samsung drive I pulled out of a busted Dell - 75GB
HDD3 (storage drive): WD 640GB Caviar Black
GPU: GeForce 9500 GT
PSU: Antec Earthwatts 650w

I don't have onboard video

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a b B Homebuilt system
September 26, 2010 6:26:22 AM

First, try a different SATA cable on the SSD, if you have one.

If not, try booting off your W7 disc, and do a windows repair.
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September 26, 2010 6:56:03 AM

ok, tried using different sata cables. no luck there. Tried plugging into each of the sata ports on the mobo too.

Booted from the windows 7 installation disk. The system repair found no issues. Ran chkdsk from the command prompt and found no bad sectors on the ssd. Tried a system restore to try to go back to before the CS5 install with no luck either. Also reset all of the BIOS settings to default just to make sure nothing was screwed up there.

Do you think I should try reinstalling windows? If the problem is with the drive, then I guess that wouldn't do anything.
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
September 26, 2010 7:27:55 AM

If there's nothing important on the SSD, yes, try reinstalling windows.
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September 26, 2010 2:02:19 PM

Best answer selected by rehenleyhu.
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September 26, 2010 2:04:59 PM

I reinstalled windows and now everything seems to be working. Will hold off on setting up the dual boot for a couple of weeks to see if maybe that was part of the problem.

Thanks for your help
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a b B Homebuilt system
September 26, 2010 9:24:03 PM

You're welcome. Thanks for the vote :) 
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