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Tech Helproom


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Win XP PC Won't Boot


Inside Edge

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Hi, .....can anyone offer advice with this one ....

My Mesh PC running Win XP SP2 wont boot up at all. It powers on, the fans all run and the DDD is spinning but there is nothing on the screen at all. There are no beep at all either. The power light on the case is on, and the orange HDD light is on and steady. The light on one of the DVD drives is on and staedy but I can't open either drawer, so I can't put a recovery disk in. The screen gives a message that it can't see a signal, so that seems to be ok.

The only clue I have is this: When I installed SP2 several years ago, it was a nightmare but with help from this forum and Mesh, I got it running. I never went near SP3. Since then, the PC has always been a bit picky about what Win updates it'll install and which it won't. For a couple of yeras, I've always shut it down by choosing "shutdown without installing updates". Last night, my daughter shut it down in the more normal way and it began installing 26 updates ! Not wishing to crash it, I let it do it's thing and went to bed while it worked away. It shut down but today it won't boot up. This could be a red herring of course, but .....

There is no info reaching the screen at all, so no opportunity to diagnose of hit F8 or whatever. Nor to put a recovery disk in. SInce there's not even any evidence of a bios check, arguably it isn't even reaching the point of trying to start XP so it could be nothing to do with the attempted updates.

Any ideas will be gratefully received.

Thanks, ...Bernie

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KRONOS the First

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Checked the DVD drive (with pin) and it's empty Not sure that I understand that statement as if your motherboard etc was powering up correctly then you should not need a pin to access the DVD drive. If the DVD drive is not getting power which meant that you had to use a pin to open it then that would suggest a faulty PSU.

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Taff™

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Spot on Chronus which is why Fruit Bat suggested disconnecting them just in case it was causing the problem with the graphics. We haven't ruled the PSU out altogether. It could be that just one rail has gone and that powers the graphic card and DVD.

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Inside Edge

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Hi All, thanks again for all the brain power going in to solving my problem.

A clarification on the DVD drive - I know it's getting power because it's light is on. However the light stays on permanently, even though there's nothing in there to read and it won't respond if I try to use the button to open the drawer.

Unfortunately this issue arose yesterday and I'm away on business for a week from tomorrow morning (Sunday). I'll work through the next steps you've suggested when I get back and post a report to bump the thread up the list.

I was also thinking of manually opening the DVD tray and trying to boot from a recovery disk.

Thanks again, .......Bernie

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buteman

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I think what they suggested was that although the light comes on there may not be enough power from the PSU to start it.

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Fruit Bat /\0/\

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Agree, next step is to substitute the PSU

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Inside Edge

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....hi all, ...back again and on with the business of solving this issue.

There's been an interesting development - on my return from my trip, I tried to boot the thing up and ......nothing. Zip. Not a flicker, light or sound. I tried changing the mains lead fuse in case there'd been a surge while I was away but still nothing. I also changed the CMOS battery to no effect.

I think that means step one is now replace the power supply and work from there.

Incidentally, as I've now changed the battery, is there a possibility of issues with boot up as a result, even when I get power back on to the motherboard?

Thanks for your input, ......Bernie

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Fruit Bat /\0/\

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Issues with boot

BIOS will probably be reset to defaults but should still boot ok

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Inside Edge

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Right, ......new power supply installed and Bingo, boot commences. So the good news is that the problem was correctly diagnosed by the team - thanks for that.

The less convenient news is that the PC won't complete the boot sequence. Sadly this was probably self inflicted as I changed the CMOS battery....

First boot attempt stopped at a message which stated that the BIOS settings were incorrect and offered the choice to continue to boot with the default settings or go into setup and review/amend. I opted to see if it would boot with the defaults and it got as far as the list of windows boot options (Safe Mode, last known good config/successful boot, normal etc).

First I chose the "last known successful boot settings" option. It continued the boot up but went right back to the start and stopped again at the same options. Next I tried "boot normally" ...with the same result.

After a few goes at this, it stopped at a message stating that it couldn't find any IDE devices.

At this point I should point out that The PC is a MESH, and has an Asus AK8v MoBo, an Athelon FX-51 processor, and is running Win XP SP2. A couple of years ago, I replaced the HDD with a Seagate 1TB SATA drive. I had major problems getting the system to see the drive when connected to the IDE slots but eventually got it up and running in the RAID 1 slot. It's been fine ever since. I only run one HDD, so not a true RAID array.

So, in screwing up the BIOS settings, I wasn't really surprised that the default values didn't pick up the way the HDD is installed. The system does see the HDD and correctly shows it's capacity but doesn't see it as a bootable drive.

I rebooted and went into the BIOS setup but I can't work out how to tell it to use the drive on the RAID 1 slot for booting.

I forgot to bring my notes to work from last night's efforts to work with me but from memory, the Primary and secondary IDE Masters showed up as "not detected" and under the "Advanced" menu "RAID" as opposed to "IDE" was selected (surprisingly, I didn't have to change this - ie it was already set to RAID).

So, your thoughts/help in getting my BIOS sorted will be very much appreciated.

Many thanks

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Taff™

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Thanks for coming back to us! Here's the basic guide from Seagate Seagate SATA installer

Next there's the interactive troubleshooter Troubleshooting a SATA Installation

Never had to do this myself so wait and see if Fruit Bat /\0/\ has any comments.

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Fruit Bat /\0/\

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I had major problems getting the system to see the drive when connected to the IDE slots

  1. is it running the sata drive off an ide to sata convertor? try set BIOS to IDE and reboot.

2.Installing XP on SATA drive

Once you have the drive(s) connected you are ready to start installing XP. Master and Slave Remember since it's serial you can only have one device per SATA port/cable so SATA drives don't have jumpers. On the Motherboard SATA1 Port is for the primary device, SATA2 port is for the secondary device etc.

SATA controller driver Your Motherboard or SATA controller card requires a driver to work properly. Drivers may be written into BIOS, Try and see if windows CD can see the drive, if not then the SATA drivers can be located on the installation CD that came with your Motherboard or preferably, download the latest SATA controller drivers from the manufacturers site. Once you have located the drivers copy them to a formatted floppy disk. Make sure they are in the root directory i.e. not contained within any folders. If you did not get a Floppy Disk with the SATA driver included with your Motherboard you may have to make one.

BIOS settings When you turn on the PC hit the Delete key when prompted and you will enter the BIOS (Basic Input Output System). Here you set the first boot device to be the CDROM drive, the option is usually found under the Advanced Options section but this depends on your BIOS and you may have to look around for it. Once you have done this save and exit.

Installing the SATA controller driver Once you have set the PC to boot from the CD make sure the XP CD is in the CD drive and start the installation as per usual. Within the first minute or so of the installation Windows will prompt you to press F6 to install RAID or SCSI drivers, do this. Windows will continue to install then ask you to locate the driver. now with the floppy disk created earlier in drive A: select the driver and hit Enter. With the SATA drivers installed you can now continue the Windows installation as usual.

BIOS settings revisited Once Windows has finished installing you will need to make sure the PC is set to boot from the SATA drive. To do this make the first boot device SATA if the option is available. If not you have two options: HD0 - If there are no IDE HDs present, or SCSI if you do plan on running an IDE HD as a secondary device.

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