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#259308 - 05/04/09 04:00 PM Computer not working....need help!
richeydog Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Fresno, CA
Hey everyone. I need a bit of help with my computer. It is an HP 864n, loaded with windows xp media center. Whenever I try to start it up I get a message that says "Disk Boot Failure, insert system disk and press enter." The computer was given to me from a friend of my sister and there wasn't any type of startup or recovery disks that came with it. It is basically a hand me down that was working great until a few days ago.

1) I've opened up the computer and checked all connections (unplugged and plugged from the hard drive and motherboard)

2) I've checked the bios. The computer recognizes the cd burner, dvd burner, and floppy drive but won't detect the hard drive.

3) I tried to reinstall a fresh copy of windows xp. When I press enter to load the new copy the computer says "setup did not find any hard disk drives installed in your computer".

Anyone know what's going on here? Is my hard drive toast?


Also, If it's not too much to ask, anyone have a spare, older, dusty hard drive (ide connection) that you no longer use that you could donate to a worthy cause? I would like to try a working hd before I head to best buy and spend $80 bucks on a new one, not knowing if that is the problem or not.

Thanks...

Michael
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#259311 - 05/04/09 04:14 PM Re: Computer not working....need help! [Re: richeydog]
Ya_basta Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 06/23/07
Posts: 4294
Loc: Sitting down somewhere
Michael, I believe this is a fairly common problem, but I found this thread where people have resolved a similar issue to yours, and maybe something mentioned will work.
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#259315 - 05/04/09 04:40 PM Re: Computer not working....need help! [Re: Ya_basta]
richeydog Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks Cam. I'll give it a read and report back later. \:\)
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*Michael*
AV123 Refugee - X-LS Encore, X-Voce, X-Omnis, Elt-Dpa's
Denon AVR-591
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#259316 - 05/04/09 04:47 PM Re: Computer not working....need help! [Re: richeydog]
PeterChenoweth Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 10/23/03
Posts: 1349
Loc: Jacksonville, IL
Ahhh, one of my favorite errors. ;\) Your hard drive is toast.It happens to every hard drive eventually. You need a new drive.

Can you tell if it's spinning at all? When you power your system up, hold on to the drive - is it vibrating? Making a rhythmic clicking/clunking noise? Nothing at all? If it's doing nothing, it might be truly dead. Double check the power connections though. If it's vibrating, that's a good sign - the platters are spinning. It might just be a corrupt MBR (you'll still need a new drive, but the data might be salvageable). If it's clicking in a rhythmic manner, tick.....tick.....tick.....tick.... that's usually a bad sign as well.

I'd recommend NewEgg.com for replacement drives. NewEgg is usually very cheap and they're a pretty reliable company (IMHO). I know that when I've had drives fail, I buy my replacements from them. And my personal recommendation would be to buy a Western Digital drive, as in my 15 years of IT experience, I have experienced the least number of failures with WD drives, both in my personal life and on the job. Of course, if it's *not* the drive, if you buy it locally it'll be a lot easier to return...

The data on that old drive may or may not be salvageable. I've seen hard drives where just the Master Boot Record (MBR) conks out. In which case, you can't boot from the drive (you'll get exactly the message you're receiving) but it will spin up and work in a system, so long as some other drive does the booting. You could test this with a Live Eval CD of your favorite Linux distro; boot off the CD then see if the HD shows up.

Or, after you've got XP installed and running with the new drive, you could try putting the old drive in the system along with the new drive. Make sure you've got antivirus software running on the new system before you do this. Sometimes virii can play around with MBR's and cause the problem you've experienced. That old drive could possibly be infected with something.

Your PC likely has 4 IDE channels (Primary Master/Slave, Secondary Master/Slave), you'll need to make sure that the good-new drive is configured as the Primary Master and then set up the bad-old one as a Primary or Secondary Slave. Sometimes you select this in BIOS, but sometimes it involves jumpers on the drives themselves. The master drive attaches to the end of the IDE cable, and the secondary drive attaches in the middle. Hook 'em both up to power, and away you go. Your PC should still boot off the new drive. If you've led a clean and righteous life, that old drive may just show up in windows as another drive, probably E (if you've got a CD Rom drive for D). Then you can copy your data from the old drive to the new one. I wouldn't trust the old one any longer, though it might be just fine for years to come. Impossible to say. Personally, I wouldn't trust it.

I'll poke around in my computer parts drawer at home and see if I have an old IDE drives lying around. I don't think I do, but I'll check.....

Good luck!
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#259320 - 05/04/09 05:06 PM Re: Computer not working....need help! [Re: PeterChenoweth]
fredk Offline
axiomite

Registered: 12/06/07
Posts: 7786
Loc: Canada
maybe you can find a local shop that can run an HD test utility on your computer to verify its a dead drive?
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#259321 - 05/04/09 05:14 PM Re: Computer not working....need help! [Re: PeterChenoweth]
MarkSJohnson Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 11437
Loc: Central NH
 Originally Posted By: PeterChenoweth
If it's clicking in a rhythmic manner, tick.....tick.....tick.....tick.... that's usually a bad sign as well.


BOMB!
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#259332 - 05/04/09 07:20 PM Re: Computer not working....need help! [Re: richeydog]
grunt Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 12/04/06
Posts: 3569
Loc: Nirvana
I agree with Peter that your hard drive is bad but there is one thing to check just to make sure. Since your computer recognizes the other drives try plugging the hard drive into one of those slots and see if it recognizes it. It’s not likely to work but I have a motherboard with a bad IDE slot so it can happen.
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#259417 - 05/05/09 03:56 PM Re: Computer not working....need help! [Re: PeterChenoweth]
richeydog Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Fresno, CA
Thanks for the advice, Peter. The hard drive doesn't make a peep. No vibrations, clicks, etc.

I've heard of Newegg and will probably order a Western Digital drive in the next few days.
_________________________
*Michael*
AV123 Refugee - X-LS Encore, X-Voce, X-Omnis, Elt-Dpa's
Denon AVR-591
Magnavox NB500MGX BDP


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#259418 - 05/05/09 03:57 PM Re: Computer not working....need help! [Re: grunt]
richeydog Offline
connoisseur

Registered: 05/24/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Fresno, CA
 Quote:
I agree with Peter that your hard drive is bad but there is one thing to check just to make sure. Since your computer recognizes the other drives try plugging the hard drive into one of those slots and see if it recognizes it. It’s not likely to work but I have a motherboard with a bad IDE slot so it can happen.

That is a good idea. I don't think I've tried that yet. When I get home I will give it a whirl. Thanks.
_________________________
*Michael*
AV123 Refugee - X-LS Encore, X-Voce, X-Omnis, Elt-Dpa's
Denon AVR-591
Magnavox NB500MGX BDP


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#259422 - 05/05/09 04:32 PM Re: Computer not working....need help! [Re: richeydog]
Ken.C Offline
shareholder in the making

Registered: 05/03/03
Posts: 18044
Loc: NoVA
It doesn't make any sound at all? I'd check the power cable to the drive. Perhaps it's worked itself loose (unlikely, but...) You could also swap that connector for a different one.
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