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Old Laptop 'fixed disk failure'

Posted on 2001-07-31
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Last Modified: 2010-07-27
Had 'volunteered' to help as best I could with neice's Fujitsu LifeBook 530D 120mz 800mb laptop (they still exist!)

She'd had a FDD failure (no operating system found etc etc)

For first 3 days, all ok.  Upgraded BIOS, put in 32mb RAM, new 1gb HDD and eventually installed Win98.

Then began to get consistent Fixed Disk Failures at bootups. BIOS can't see FDD - tried manual settings for master, auto, you name it - nothing.

To get into a deeper fug (English word - ignore it!) replaced HDD three times with Fujistsu 800mb (2) and today an IBM 1GB.

Could at first get the HDDs to work in my Gateway laptop and even tried my 6GB drive in the Fujitsu, but no luck.

Most success has been about 12-14 hours on one of the HDDs before that went down.

With bay exposed, am able to confirm that the HDD 'fires up' at boot up but totally not seen thereafter.  Tried coming in from boot 3.5 but again no master drive seen.

BIOS is Fujitsu 1.18a under a Phoenix NoteBios 4.05 (dated 1996). (updated from Fujitsu site this week)

Have just tried reboot and HDD isn't even firing.  

Help

Alan

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Question by:ab9758
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6337310
If this were a desktop I would say disable the onboard controller and put one in the add-in slot.  The controller is probably failing.  Does it have a second controller (as desktop mobos now have)?  If so, all you would need to do is swap to the second controller.  I don't believe laptops have that luxury.  Without that ability, a dead controller would mean you need a new mobo.  That will be an adventure to replace the motherboard in a laptop.
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Expert Comment

by:RoadWarrior
ID: 6337613
I'd suggest replacing the CMOS settings battery for a try before you do anything drastic. It may have been losing the HDD due to that, and I know it seems strange that it would not then let you reset it, but at that point other CMOS values may have been corrupt preventing boot, and only when it further drained enough to allow the CMOS to do a complete reset, did it let you put another drive in, or manage to recognise the old one. After a few days of use, does the same thing again..... So that's worth a try.
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Author Comment

by:ab9758
ID: 6338829
thanks both. RoadWarrior's suggestion will take a few days to work though, so patience please. Could I also add that as a UK member, the time difference means what seems to be much delayed answers so apologies in advance.

Alan

 
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Author Comment

by:ab9758
ID: 6340899
Just taken laptop apart.  CMOS battery is soldered on to MB and due to vagaries of case design, is stuck beneath the only part of the case that won't seperate.  If I try to get at it, it will probably snap off.

Plan B?
Alan
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Author Comment

by:ab9758
ID: 6356914
no progress made and wonder if anything inspired comes to mind?
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6356945
Can you take the hard drive out and try it in another system?  Try another hd in this sytem?  If another hd works in this system then the problem is your hard disk.  Can you try another cable just in case it has gone bad?
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Author Comment

by:ab9758
ID: 6356970
tried in my gateway solo and they can eventually work - i think the old laptop is doing the new HDDs some damage, but not sure.

am on 4th new HDD so far and none are being identified by BIOS
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Author Comment

by:ab9758
ID: 6356978
tried in my gateway solo and they can eventually work - i think the old laptop is doing the new HDDs some damage, but not sure.

am on 4th new HDD so far and none are being identified by BIOS
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6356994
Does the old hard drive work in the Gateway?
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Author Comment

by:ab9758
ID: 6357016
tried in my gateway solo and they can eventually work - i think the old laptop is doing the new HDDs some damage, but not sure.

am on 4th new HDD so far and none are being identified by BIOS
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6357034
Don't use your Refresh button after posting a comment ... it reposts the comment every time you do.
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Expert Comment

by:CyberPup
ID: 6416405
The IDE controller on the laptop is bad.  Condsidering the age of the laptop, you are better off just tossing it in the dustbin.  
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Expert Comment

by:slink9
ID: 6416960
ab, any solution yet?
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Author Comment

by:ab9758
ID: 6432104
thanks for keeping eye on question for me. is an IDE controller a replaceable bit of hardware?
Alan
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Accepted Solution

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slink9 earned 200 total points
ID: 6432197
Not on a laptop.  You would have to swap the mobo.  It does sound as if the controller or some component is bad on the laptop.
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Expert Comment

by:ComTech
ID: 6703819
Hi all,

This question has been open for quite 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, or even suggest who you  think is correct. I will monitor this question for a period of 5-7 days and come back and evaluate this question.

Questioner, if you were helped, chooses whom you would like to award the question to, and Accept Comment.

Thank you,
ComTech
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PLEASE DO NOT ACCET THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER
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by:Moondancer
ID: 6939177
Finalized today by Moondancer - EE Moderator
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