Re-Build with New Hard Drive


I wasn't quite sure where to post, so forgive me if I'm in the wrong forum...

I built a computer 5 or 6 years ago. I ran into some issues, I believe with my hard drive. Replaced the PC with a Dell Inspiron (what was I thinking???). My Dell has since puked (PSU for sure, probably other issues). I want to get either the Dell or the one I built running again (for the kids, doesn't need to be real powerful). As I try to get the one I built working, I get to the point where I've connected (almost) everything laid out on my bread board. Everything gets power, monitor displays the startup process...Until I get a "boot failure." Tells me to "reboot and select proper boot device or insert boot media in selected boot device."

I do NOT have a boot diskette or anything. I DO have my XP Pro CD. Should I be able to load it somehow? I've been into the BIOS setup and am a little unclear as to how to tell if it's going to try to use the DVD drive to boot (or is that even possible?).

I have an MSI board. I am not sure what model it is. I no longer have the documentation (wife tends to throw my important stuff away!).

Any suggestions on what I might attempt to do next?



PS: I no longer have the hard drive that had the OS on it.
20 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about build hard drive
  1. Best answer
    So if what your are doing is trying to re-install the OS, then first you have to make sure you can boot from CD/DVD. It should be in the BIOS under something like "Boot Order", "Boot Options". That MSI motherboard might even have a hotkey like F11 or F12 to get to the boot options without messing with the BIOS.

    Even if the CD/DVD is not set as the first boot option, when it searches to see if the Hard Drive is bootable and fails, it should eventually try to boot from the CD/DVD if you have your Windows XP CD inserted. If you've never installed XP before, it will ask you to press any key to boot from the CD. After the install copies the files to the hard drive, it will reboot. This time don't press anything and let it boot from the hard drive to finish the installation.

    You're going to need to get the drives from MSI's website. If you don't have another computer available to use, it might be a problem. If you at least get a NIC driver installed so that you have internet access, just go to the MSI website and do a "MSI Live Update" and it will download and install all the drivers and even update your BIOS for you if you choose to do so.
  2. Thanks for the reponse.

    I do have another machine that will allow me to get the drivers, so that's not an issue.

    I did start looking at the "boot order" type of logic, but got stymied by the way it was phrased. Don't remember exactly, but I'll look at it again when I get back home.

    It didn't seem to be attempting to spin the dvd drive, so maybe I've got an issue with either it not being hooked up properly or with it not being set up to TRY to boot from it...

    I could slap a floppy drive on, but I'm assuming that won't help me either since I can no longer find the floppy boot disk that I made for it years ago.

    I'll post back after trying it again tonight.
  3. Tried again last night and got a little farther. The dvd drive that I had been attempting to use was SATA. I unplugged it and plugged in an old SCSI connected drive (is that the right term?). When I did that, it spooled up with the XP cd in it and got me to the point of choosing to begin the install (or repair). The problem I ran into at that point was that my usb keyboard was no longer recognized for some reason. I was using it before I had the dvd drive hooked up and it worked fine, but once I started into the XP setup it no longer recognized it. Any idea why that would be? I tried to plug it into both the "front panel" usb ports as well as the ones on the back of the machine (directly connected to the board).


  4. Okay Bryce...that's good. I still keep an old IDE CD/DVD drive around just in case, but that sata one should have worked as well. You might have your sata ports configured as AHCI instead of IDE or your SATA DVD might be defective. To fix your keyboard problem try enabling USB Legacy support in the BIOS. Every BIOS calls it something different. I might be called USB Keyboard and Mice Support. That should allow you to use your USB Keyboard. If it doesn't work, you'll have to use an old fashion PS2 Keyboard which I also still keep around because I might run into a problem like what you're having.
  5. My SATA dvd was working as recently as a couple of weeks ago (in the Dell that I decided not to repair), so I don't think it's that. So, somewhere in the BIOS setup I can check to see how the SATA ports are configured? I'd like to get that to work, but can wait until later probably since I have the old IDE drive.

    I did notice where in the BIOS it allowed me to "enable usb legacy support," so I did that (I think my choices were "all devices" or "keyboard and mouse," and I chose "all"). Maybe I need to try just the "keyboard and mouse" option, or, like you said, see if I can find an old keyboard in my storage room!

    Thanks again, and I'll update after the next stab at it.

  6. All right...I'm a bit stuck now.

    I changed the "enable legacy USB" setting to "keyboard and mouse" but that didn't help. So I have the ability to use the keyboard to make changes to the BIOS, but once I get into the XP setup I lose it! Don't understand that at all, and I think my wife finally got sick of my "old part" storage and threw away my old style keyboard(s)!

    Anyone have any other ideas on what I need to do to be able to use my USB keyboard during the XP setup process? I can probably ask around and get an older keyboard...

    Thanks again!
  7. Sorry, I couldn't help you there. Have you tried different USB ports?
    I'm using a usb keyboard right now to reinstall Windows XP on an old Dell Optiplex GX620 and its working fine. These Opitplex don't even have PS2 ports which was a bad idea by Dell because you still need a PS2 keyboard to do some BIOS command because one of the pin on the CPU is controlled directly by the PS2 port. That's probably changed with today's CPU and Motherboards, hopefully.

    Also, when you're in the Windows XP setup, do the CAPS key and Num lock work?
    Is the scroll lock on?
  8. Would a USB -> PS2 adapter like this help:

    I've got one sitting in front of me. If you PM me your snail mail address, I'll mail it to you. (One of my sons used to collect them and I suspect there's a pile of the laying around here somewhere.)
  9. I love this forum!

    First of all, in reply to Master A... don't apologize, you've given me some good suggestions! I'll check the num lock, etc. tonight.


    Picture me slapping myself on the head right now... My wife tossed the bigger things I had stockpiled (ie. my old keyboards), but I was able to hold on to some of the smaller stuff. I think I may have one of those!

    I'll post back after checking tonight.


  10. Ok...a small amount of progress...

    I got my hands on a PS2 keyboard, and got into the Windows setup.

    As soon as I did, it told me that it couldn't find a hard drive. I have a known working sata drive (with a cable proven to be good as well) plugged in, but it does not recognize it. I shouldn't be surprised, because when I had my sata dvd drive plugged in, it didn't recognize it, either.

    Would there normally be some setting in the BIOS that enables the sata "ports" on the motherboard?

    Any other thoughts, short of going back to an old school hard drive?

  11. brr_ice_b1 said:

    Any other thoughts, short of going back to an old school hard drive?

    You are performing a new installation of XP on a SATA drive? Doesn't the install process give you an opportunity to insert a driver diskette early in the process? You may need to find the drivers for your mobo and hope it's supported for XP.

    If not supported, you can install Linux and choose some sort of virtual machine on which you can install and run XP. Not a good solution, but better than a sharp stick in the eye. It will motivate you to upgrade!
  12. Yes, installing XP on a "clean" hard drive...

    Figured out what to change in the BIOS, so now both the sata dvd drive and the sata hard drive are recognized. Should have been obvious to me, but wasn't!

    Are you talking about when it says "press F6 for Raid config" or something like that? Is that where I might have to "define" more about the sata setup or something?

    Anyway, my new problem is that "bootmgr is not found," so I don't even make it INTO the setup process!

    I've googled that, and found some suggestions, so I'll try that this weekend. Oh, and it's also freezing when the "MSI - Core...All you'll ever need" splash comes up now!

    I think I need to disconnect the drives, validate the BIOS settings, then try it all again...

    And, Hank, thanks again for the offer to mail the adapter to me!

  13. brr_ice_b1 said:
    "press F6 for Raid config"
    "MSI - Core...All you'll ever need"

    Those both sound like BIOS messages, before you even get to the XP boot process. It's the XP boot process that should say something like "insert floppy with drivers now" Here's a description from MS:

    Also look at "slipstreaming" newer drivers onto an install CD:

    But you have to figure out how to get past the BIOS that's locking up on you before either of those is of any use.

    I've installed S/W on several PCs with RAID support and never bothered with those screens.

  14. Ok, got it to setup XP, and I'm back in business. The only bad news is that, due to my impatient nature, I made a couple of bios changes at the same time, so I'm not exactly sure which (or multiple?) was responsible! The 2 things I can remember changing: "sata only" instead of "pata and sata," and "native" instead of "legacy." Oh, and I also told it to boot only from the dvd drive, which probably had nothing to do with it...

    Anyway, I'm back in business and now just need to update drivers and then turn the kids loose on this machine so they can stay off my more powerful one upstairs!

    Thanks again for the help, guys!

  15. Back to being frustrated...I have no audio, and the kids refuse to play their games without sound for some reason!

    I am positive I have the driver installed, and it says it's working...What am I forgetting? I have rear panel jacks only, because I trashed the front panel, so it should be coming right from the board (no connections to worry about).


    (Where is the "head scratching" emoticon, btw?!)
  16. brr_ice_b1 said:
    I am positive I have the driver installed, and it says it's working...

    Where does it say it's working? Is that Device Manager?

    Did you check to see that it is enabled in the BIOS?

    Is there some setting somewhere that directs output to the front panel or SPDIF or something like that vs. the outputs you are connected to?

    Is there a user space program that comes with the drivers to configure and test the audio?

  17. Yes, I'm basing the "it's working" on what I see in the device manager. Before I installed the driver, it gave me the "no device found" message.

    I have not checked the BIOS. I'll try to do that.

    There is an MSI program (sound effect) that directs the output, and I have tried the various combinations as well as their test.

    I'll post back after checking in the BIOS.


  18. Ok, did some more playing around...still not successful.

    Here's what I found:

    BIOS: Only thing I see related to audio is "AC'97 Audio," and the the choices are "Auto" and "Disabled." This was set to Auto, which I'd assume to be what I'd want, but I did try both ways.

    Program to config and test: Sound Effect (Realtek, I assume?): AC97 Audio Configuration

    There is a place where I am supposed to ID my board's configuration, and then the number of speakers I have. Speaker choices are Headphone, 2 channel, 4 channel and 6 channel. "Select config identical to jack" choices are 6ch +s/pdif (optical and coax), 6ch + s/pdif and just plain "6ch." The 6ch + s/pdif (opt and coax) looks to match what I have on my board, so that's what I go with. I have also tried the other settings, as well as mixing and matching those config choices with the different "number of speakers" sound.

    I'm about ready to give up and make a cable to go from the "front audio" pins on the board to a simple "line in" type connector...hmm, I wonder if I need to jump the front pins on the board since I have nothing hooked to them. Does that make any sense?

    Also, if it makes any difference, I have no sounds of any kind: no beep on startup, no system sounds, nothing from CD, etc.

    Still scratching my head!


    EDIT: Missed the instruction on needing to jump a couple pairs of the front audio pins, as I suspected above...

    Will jump and go from there! ****************************************
  19. I'm all set, everything looks good now. Thanks again for your help!

    How do I mark this as "resolved?"
  20. Best answer selected by brr_ice_b1.
Ask a new question

Read More

Homebuilt Hard Drives Systems Product