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HD controller failure. F1 to resume : F2 to enter setup

Posted on 2001-06-06
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Last Modified: 2008-03-06
I am getting this message when I start my 486 DX2-66 MHz computer. I can get into the Bios okay and have tried to set it up to boot from both floppy drive and hard drive but neither seem to work. When I hit F1 I get the message that no boot device can be found. I have tried other hard disks which work on other computers but for some reason do not work on this board. I suppose something is wrong with the system board, but I can't figure it out. Help please.
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Question by:kpower
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22 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 6160299
My first guesss is that your CMOS backup battery has died.

Since this is a 486 system, it's certainly several years old.  Generally the battery only lasts 3 years or so.

I'd suggest you locate and replace the battery (usually a small silver disk in a socket on the motherboard) and you will probably have to reconfigure your BIOS settings for the hard disk.
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Expert Comment

by:rhody94
ID: 6160552
If your BIOS retains settings after the PC has been powered off, then your battery is OK.  If the battery is soldered on, you may have to take your motherboard to an electronics store for repair.  Another possibility is that your hard drive controller (actually a host adapter) is bad.  See about getting a cheap ISA hard drive controller & that may do the trick.
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by:jhance
ID: 6160593
>>If your BIOS retains settings after the PC has been powered off, then your battery is OK.  

Incorrect!!!  The PC may need to be off for an extended period to test this.  I've worked with many CMOS RAM devices that will retain their memory after hours of NO POWER AT ALL!

Regardless, trying a new battery is MUCH less expensive than getting another disk controller.
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Expert Comment

by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6160748
Try reseating your I/O card.
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Expert Comment

by:rayt333
ID: 6162000
Did you add or remove anything before this started?

Have you changed the HD in the past and use some kind of Disk Management software (like EZ-BIOS or EZ-Drive)
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Expert Comment

by:pleasenospam
ID: 6162139
Your system sounds identical to my Digital Starion 200.

I am having similar problems.  A complication is that there is no Secondary IDE port on the Motherboard.

If you have messed with the cables, be sure you have the pin orientation correct.
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Expert Comment

by:JJ2
ID: 6162472
Considering that you have a 486 system, most 486 machines uses an I/O controller(ISA)or(VLBus) to interface with the hard drives,floppy drives, parallel and serial ports. Try going back to your CMOS setup and choose "Load Power On Defaults" then recheck the floppy drive and hard disk settings, "Save and Exit" then observe the changes if any.
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Expert Comment

by:rhody94
ID: 6163978
My apologies to jhance. I like to keep comments breif when trying to "guess the question" (kpower still hasn't given us anything to really sink our collective teeth into [PC model, type, etc.]). So in response to jhance's comment that starts, "Incorrect!!! The PC may need to be off for an extended period to test this...," I somewhat agree with jhance (yes a CMOS battery isn't expensive AND it should be replaced anyway). I should have been a little more precise. Kpower mentioned that other good hard drives do not work on this PC. I still think the main culprit is the controller card. Keep in mind that a good trick to use in pin orientation is that pin 1 is usually marked red on the ribbon cable & it is usually closest to the power connector on the hard drive. Some 486 motherboards (though this is rare) have an integrated conroller/host adapter.
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by:rid
ID: 6164747
It sure seems like a CMOS settings problem. Probably battery-related as earlier comments suggest. A computer of this class will probably need detailed hard drive parameters set - heads, cylinders and sectors/track. Ascertain that you have exact values for the connected drive and enter them manually. If CMOS has been reset, it may default to 5,25" floppy drive. You may not have such a drive as the A: drive. Be sure to check this. If the drive type is wrong, you can't boot from A:, even if the system tries to boot from floppy. A good source for drive parameters is www.pc-disk.de . Make and model data are needed. Good Luck
/RID
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by:rid
ID: 6164754
Oh, furthermore: If battery indeed is bad, reboot without power-down after changing settings, so you'll get a chance to see if they work.
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:chandran_71
ID: 6166960
Go To setup and auto detect the hard disk then save and reboot. also change ur cmos battery

Ravi
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Expert Comment

by:chandran_71
ID: 6166962
Still u find problem then change the booting sequence to C,A.

Thanks

Ravi
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by:rid
ID: 6166976
Well, chandran, the questioner has alredy tried changing boot order to no avail. All 486-class computers didn't have autodetect facilities. Your proposed answer locks the Q without adding anything substantial to facilitate the troubleshooting process. Can it be converted to a comment, please?
Regards
/RID
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by:rayt333
ID: 6168835
Member Name                chandran_71
Date Account Created    06/04/01

I see you are new here and may not know the proper protocol we follow
when posting Answers and Comments.
We ONLY post as an answer when we are 200% sure that is the answer and
there is no other possible answer.
Your proposed answer certainly lacks this, you listed something that may
work but more likely will not help. In the future please refrain from
posting "Proposed Answer" instead post as comments and if your comment
is found to be the correct solution then the questioner can accept that
as the answer. By "locking" the question you may cause other experts to
overlook the question and a correct solution will be delayed or missed
completely.
Most of us have found that posting as comments is the best way for
everyone concerned.
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 6168844
Not only that but nothing in his "answer" is new to this question thread.
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by:joe_h
ID: 6178007
Supposing that the system was working OK and suddenly this happened, I am inclined to RoadWarrior's solution - it does not look like a CMOS problem; rather I think there's something wrong with the disk controller, or cables. Try the following:
- make sure the hard drives are properly jumpered as Master/Slave
- if the controller is on a separate board: take it out, rub the contacts with a rubber pencil eraser (to remove possible built-up oxides), and firmly plug it back in.
- disconnect the ribbon cable an re-connect it again; pay special attention to the markings of pin 1. If you can, try a different ribbon cable.
- make sure the power connector is firmly plugged into the disk drive.

For sure, what we need the most right now is some feedback from kpower.
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by:Computer101
ID: 6179447
chandran,
Please read
Comments
Comments are intended to be used as a collaboration tool. Many Experts choose to post their solutions as comments only.

Answers
An answer is a specific solution to a question and should be submitted if it will solve the questioner's problem and doesn't duplicate a previous comment.

Comment Vs. Answer
If you are unsure of your solution, post it as a comment. Members can accept comments as solutions and award you Expert Points for them.

For more tips on comments and answers, click here.

For that reason, I am going to reject the proposed answer and allow the questioner to decide.

Welcome to E-E, it is a great place.

Thank you
Computer101
Community Support Modertator
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Expert Comment

by:ComTech
ID: 6283780
Hi all,

This question has been open for awhile. I am going to allow feedback from the questioner and experts. If it is not resolved, I will delete or accept an answer based on the info I have been given. Experts, feel free to offer input. I will monitor this question for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate the situation.

If an Expert has helped, please accept with the answer button.

If returned to I will leave open for discussion.

Please do NOT accept this notice as answer.

Thank you,
ComTech
Community Support Moderator
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Accepted Solution

by:
ComTech earned 0 total points
ID: 6313234
In keeping with EE policy:  No one has returned to this question after the notification. There is also no way to determine which, if any comment was used.

The points will be deducted from your account.

I shall accept my own comment as to preserve the information at 0 points.

Thank you
ComTech
Community Support Moderator
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 6313249
OK, so this is now a viable technique to get answers without paying points for them.

You ask your question, get comments, and then just ignore it until the moderator comes along and deletes it.

Pretty cool.  It won't be long until everyone is doing this.
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Expert Comment

by:ComTech
ID: 6313430
The points were deducted from the users account, it wasn't free.

I'll tell you something else, I have been through 32,000 questions, this is not unusual.

Under the Moderator guidelines, I am not suppose to afford answers when the question author does not show up, as I have said before I do give a lot of a lttitude.

ComTech
Community Support Moderator

Ian will back this up.
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Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 6313472
I just think it's a crappy way for users to bahave and I think there should be a more severe penalty than just having their question points debited.

Experts (myself included) spend time and effort trying to give good and useful answers.  And I'm frustrated when a questions like these go into the PAQ with nobody really benefitting.

The user doesn't (most likely) benefit since he never even read the possible solutions.

The experts involved get no compensation for their efforts.

Future uses of the PAQ lose out since this is NOT a validated solution.  There are possible answers but none have been confirmed as being the real solution.

I'll just propose again that users who leave questions hanging have their account locked out, their existing question points confiscated, their earning of new question points stopped, and a record of their poor track record noted in their user profile.  

Just a thought.....
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