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PC won't boot, please help!

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June 10, 2005 1:06:50 AM

My grandpa just called and told me that his PC won't boot. He get's an error saying "Non system disk error, please insert system disk and try again." He has no CD in his drive and no floppy disk in either. I had him go into bios and turn off the boot other device option and then reset. The computer started into windows and then froze so he had to do a hard boot and then the disk error message came up again.

I first had him unplug both his CD-ROM and DVD-/+RW drive and see if it would boot this way(thinking that one of them was causing the error), this still didn't fix it so I told him to power down and plug the drives back in.

Then I told him to get back into bios and turn on boot other device and turn on the CD-ROM as first boot device then HDD-1 as second. Then I had him pop in his WinXP CD and it tried to get into setup menu and then gave him the error "Setup failed initalizing phase 3 please reset and try again".

I'm not too sure what to try next. I'm thinking that possibly the IDE controller on the mobo went bad or maybe the HD. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can try, or does it sound like one of the components failed?
Thanks in advance.

His system:
Athlon XP 2500 with slk-800 cooler with TT Smart Fan II
Abit NF7-S v2.0
BBA Radeon 9600 pro
1GB Corsair 3200c2pt memory(1x512MB and 2x256MB sticks)
Lite-On 52x CD-ROM
Pioneer DVR-109 BK
Thermaltake 420W Purepower PSU

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June 10, 2005 1:46:59 AM

Even if Windows is screwed, why would it keep the installation from happening when he boots off the CD? It wouldn't even let him get to the main install screen for the options of what he wants to do.
June 10, 2005 1:49:02 AM

forgot to ask something. If he has to reinstall windows is there any way for him to save any of the data on his HD like maybe by hooking it up to another computer as a slave and copying it? Or is he pretty much screwed for trying to save any data?
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June 10, 2005 2:06:44 AM

I just did a windows xp install on a system, to change licences. It left everything else in tact, even stuff in program files. I had to shortcut a lot of exe files to desktop, but everything works fine.
In his case, you may be better off doing a repair install.
He may have some sort of memory resident virus.
Get him to unplug, and use a vacuum to blow out the hsf first.
June 10, 2005 2:43:52 AM

I'll have him look at the caps and see if any of them are bulging or leaking caps. I'm thinking that the IDE controller is what might be going out, but I won't be able to call the Abit support until tomorrow to confirm or deny it.

Endyen, I would do an install on the PC but it errors out before it even gets to the main menu in the setup screen.
June 10, 2005 4:09:08 AM

I know about that part, but you did say
Quote:
forgot to ask something. If he has to reinstall windows is there any way for him to save any of the data on his HD like maybe by hooking it up to another computer as a slave and copying it? Or is he pretty much screwed for trying to save any data?

You dont see ide interfaces going south too often. Check for cooling first (clean the hsf and try booting with the case open, maybe a fan blowing on it.), then see if he can swap his ram with someone, or get someone to run memtest86 on it.
June 10, 2005 7:54:36 AM

system is most likely not seein the HD anymore. Does it show up in the BIOS al all? If it does, boot from windows CD and try a repair. If it doesn't, either his HD or IDE controller went south.. or the IDE or power cable of the HD isn't plugged in correctly.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
June 10, 2005 1:33:32 PM

I've got to agree with most that it sounds like a hard drive in the process of kicking the bucket. Maybe try putting the HD into another PC and see if you can even access it?

Of course you could also try the standard dust removal from the mobo, HS, and especially PSU. In <i>really</i> old systems I've seen dust short out stuff (usually RAM) or cause the PSU to run badly. Most of the time just removing the dust fixes that kind of stuff. So if the PC hasn't been cleaned in a while you could try that.

<pre><font color=purple>The silence is golden, even if the PC is olden. Fanless P4C2.6 rocks.</font color=purple></pre><p>@ 190K -> 200,000 miles or bust!
June 10, 2005 7:40:19 PM

Thanks for all the help guys. I am going to have him order a new HD today and hopefully this will fix the problem. He's been wanting a bigger HD and now it looks like he has a good reason to get one. Thanks again for the help everyone.
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