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Help. Computer wont boot past splash screen

Last response: in Systems
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December 29, 2010 11:18:08 PM

Hey so I'm hoping someone here can help me out.

A family member's computer (pc) will no longer boot. It's an HP pavilion that was purchased 2years and 4 months ago [4months over warranty :sweat:  ] Runs 32bit windows vista home premium.

Basically when it is turned on, it will not go past the blue HP splash screen. Hitting esc or f10 or any key does not do anything. Putting a disc in the tray and turning computer on also does nothing; it just hangs at the splash screen. I've reseated/reconnected everything and that hasn't done a thing. I've removed that battery from the motherboard and waited 10min to put it back...nothing. I've reset the 'cmos' also to result in nothing. Im guessing its a power supply issue??? Ive removed all sticks of ram and the computer turns on and beeps at me, so im guessing the motherboard cant be dead. Something ive read in another forum was to remove the memory card reader, and that also didnt do anything either.

Please help!

-Thanks in advance :) 
December 29, 2010 11:33:38 PM

First thing you want to do is go into BIOS and disable the splash screen so you can see the POST messages. That may give you an idea as to why it's not getting past POST.

-Wolf sends
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December 29, 2010 11:37:37 PM

hmmm... there is a thread that has general advice as well as steps to diagnose problems with computers. although it may seem generic, if you follow the steps to the letter and not just read over it, it can help you out. i think. go through that check list to find the problem. best of luck.
http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/forum2.php?config=tomshardwareuk.inc&cat=13&post=300656&page=1&p=1&sondage=0&owntopic=1&trash=0&trash_post=0&print=0&numreponse=0"e_only=0&new=0&nojs=0
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December 29, 2010 11:41:14 PM

Wolfshadw said:
First thing you want to do is go into BIOS and disable the splash screen so you can see the POST messages. That may give you an idea as to why it's not getting past POST.

-Wolf sends



cant go into bios cause it inaccessible. the computer hangs at the splash screen and its essentially frozen
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December 29, 2010 11:47:26 PM

corrupted bios maybe? or bad memory module? if you boot the computer without any drives connected that might help.
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December 30, 2010 12:07:15 AM

k so with everything connected except hard drive, it will boot to splash screen n the bios is functional. If i connect the last piece being the hard drive, it freezes up on splash screen. Does this mean the hard drive is dead?

Since its the hard drive thats causing the issue, is there some sort of diagnostic test that can be done on it to see if its fixable?
Thanks again
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December 30, 2010 12:20:24 AM

if you have any spare hard drives, now would be a good time to use them. now that you can access the bios, disable the splash screen and reboot to confirm the screen is disabled. now turn off the computer, pop the hard drive in and see what post message, if any, it hangs at and report back to us.
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December 30, 2010 12:52:26 AM

Not quite understand you.

I do have a spare SATA hard drive, but i use it as an external drive to hold all my movies on it. I could pop it into the computer but i dont see the purpose in doing that.

You said to disable the splash screen but how? -The splash screen i was talking about was the HP splash screen in the very beginning which quickly lets you choose to hit f8 or whatever to go into recovery, esc for boot options etc, which i thought cannot be skipped b/c that screen is essential if an error were to occur.
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December 30, 2010 1:05:23 AM

my apologies, im quite bad at explaining things :/  the splash screen is a screen meant to hide POST messages and make your boot up more pretty looking. you will NOT lose the ability to get into bios and boot menu by disabling this, you will just be able to see where and, more importantly how your system hangs up at because insted of seeing a pretty splash screen, you see POST messages, or power on self test messages if you didnt know. the reason why i wanted to see the results is because im curious if its an error on the hard drive side of things or on the motherboard side of things.. i.e the controller for the hard drive.
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December 30, 2010 1:06:14 AM

i put the problematic drive in a external enclosure and the enclosure doesnt even light up like it does normally when powered on with a drive inside. Im guessin there is something with it reading it that is wrong because the enclosure itself is vibrating a bit showing that the drive is spinning but thats all.
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December 30, 2010 1:17:02 AM

i also cant find online how to enable the POST messages to be displayed. Ive looked through the bios options and cant find it either. I may have overlooked it but i cant figure it out lol :( 
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December 30, 2010 1:30:32 AM

another update...

the hard drive now works for whatever reason in my enclosure. Windows did an update and installed drivers for the "base system device" and now i can access the drive's contents with no problem. but why would it not work in a pc??
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December 30, 2010 1:34:11 AM

base system device?? heh thats a neat name lol. well, congrats on the luck. my advice is to back up important stuff. its probably gonna fail again, or at least theres a good chance
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December 30, 2010 1:40:45 AM

but would you happen to know what would cause or why the hard drive does not work when plugged into the pc (causes pc to freeze at splash screen) but when removed pc is fine, and when the drive is in an external enclosure im able to access it fine?
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December 30, 2010 1:49:21 AM

im thinking its a controller issue on the motherboard, seeing as the enclosure you used has a built in controller, presumably. its why testing a different harddrive inside the pc would be of help: to see if the controller built in the motherboard detects and initializes the hardware correctly. so, in english, its one of 2 things: the bad controller on the motherboard, obviously, or the hard drive acting up. most likely the built in controller on the motherboard, but only tests will verify that.
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December 30, 2010 1:54:15 AM

we have an old pc with a SATA hard drive inside...like 40 gigs i think.
Should i take that old drive out, put it in the pc and then see if i can boot with a disc to install windows to that?
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December 30, 2010 2:06:03 AM

yes, stick it in there. make sure to remove the newly enclosed hard drive from the usb port, so that the 40 gig hard drive is the only hard drive attached to the system. if you can get passed the splash screen with the 40 gig, its safe to say that its the original hard drive that was the problem. DONT boot the install disc first, boot the hard drive first to see if it gets past the splash freeze up you encountered before hand.
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December 30, 2010 2:18:16 AM

its getting late here so ill do this tomorrow and report back

:bounce:  thanks for all your help!!!!!!!! :bounce: 
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December 30, 2010 2:21:04 AM

haha no problemo :)  glad to be of service. lol now back to that 70's show :) 
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December 30, 2010 4:25:40 PM

#@&% !.....the 40gig is ATA not SATA so there goes that idea : (
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December 30, 2010 5:54:14 PM

damn... that sucks. well im sorry. thankfully you can boot from the external case, so thats always a positive. not much of one, but its still something.
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December 30, 2010 6:09:50 PM

pyroflame,

Hit up a radio shack near you and get a ata to usb enclosure, than plug that sucker into you new computer. you should be able to run virus scan and system tools from the other computer on the drive like it's an external drive. It sounds like a bad boot sector or some other drive issue with your hdd. Some of them can be fixed by windows tools, some virus scan. If they cannot fix it you will need another hdd.

http://www.directron.com/hard-drives.html
they have some nice 1 tb sata ones for like 60 bucks
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December 30, 2010 11:30:05 PM

well i went out n got a new sata drive so i was able to boot with a windows disc and install to that so all seems to be well and working.
Thanks again for everyone's help especially christianncg
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December 30, 2010 11:47:06 PM

:)  no problemo. I'd say mark a best answer, but it was a collaboration more or less. Feel free to come back if you have any more troubles. :D 
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!