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Destroyed Harddrive? Unable to boot

Posted on 2003-02-28
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hi,
I've installed Linux on my Notebook, but something has gone wrong in the partition procedure. It seems like accessing the harddrive is no longer possible, since neither Windows nor Linux can boot. I've tried to format the whole harddrive, but I can't even boot with a bootfloppy. Is there a way to get access to the harddrive again?
Thanks...  
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Question by:marb
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15 Comments
 
LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 8041117
Please explain: "I can't even boot with a bootfloppy"

That makes it sound like there is some other problem.
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Author Comment

by:marb
ID: 8041407
There's the following situation: When I start my notebook, it is unable to boot. Since I havn't a bootable CD-ROM, I have to boot from floppy if booting from harddisk is not possible. So I've tried with two different floppy-disks. First, I've tried to boot with the Windows start floppy-disk and the DOS-install floppy-disk. But none of them could boot. I think there's a problem with the harddisk...
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LVL 32

Expert Comment

by:jhance
ID: 8041431
Please explain: "unable to boot"

Generic descriptions are virtually useless here!  You are asking for SPECFIC TECHNICAL ADVICE.  But you are giving generic symptoms.

This is like calling your doctor on the phone and telling him you don't feel good and expecting him to diagnose you based on that.

Get specific and detailed or GET LOST!
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Expert Comment

by:WJStroup
ID: 8041746
Marb, if you're unable to boot from either the HDD or a floppy diskette, the issue may not be the HDD. Please advise what, specifically, happens when you try to boot? Does the system POST? Are there audio codes ("BEEPS")? Do you get video? Are there any error codes or messages displayed?
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:galloglass
ID: 8042337
Marb,

If you cannot boot from both the floppy and hard drives, there could be some loose connections in the cables to the drives or to the mainboard.

If not, the culprit could be the host adapter on the motherboard.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:galloglass
ID: 8042471
Check the power connections to both drives. I have a gut feeling that power is the culprit here. =)
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Author Comment

by:marb
ID: 8042651
Ok, I'll try to explain why I'm thinking the HDD must be the problem: Before the troubles started, I was running Windows 2000 on my notebook. Then I created new space for linux with Partition Magic. Then I restarted the PC and everything still worked perfectly. After the linux installation, there was still no problem (I've installed the bootloader on floppy-disk). The problem started after an update of linux. Here are the error messages, first in linux:  "Kernel panic: No init found. Try passing init= option to kernel" and Windows2000 stopped in the load-screen(first screen in color) and hang. Usually when I'm having boot problems, I'm using the Windows Me start-floppydisk which offers me several boot options (ex. boot with CD-ROM support or boot without CD-ROM support...) But now, when I insert this floppydisk and start the notebook, there is no output(the floppydrive is reading a short while and then the system hangs, no output). I tried another floppydisk, the MS-DOS install disk #1, the only output is "starting MS-DOS...) and than the system hangs too. I hope this information is detailed enough.
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 8042759
OK.

1) Get a bootable floppy from www.bootdisk.com

2) Reset the BIOS to Load Defaults.

3) Try booting from the WIn ME of other boot disk - without CD ROM.

4) Have you been able to boot from one of these in the past ?

please provide more error messages if any appear.

I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:marb
ID: 8043346
SysExpert, I did how you suggested, but I had no success. But there was something that may be interesting:
First, I created a bootdisk from bootdisk from bootdisk.com and loaded the defaults in the BIOS. The bootdisk wasn't better than that I already had. But when I set the primary master to "NONE", both the new one and my old bootdisk work, that means that the boot menu appears on screen. So it must be a problem with the HDD?
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:galloglass
ID: 8043920
Could be an IRQ or DMA conflict.
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LVL 5

Expert Comment

by:rrhunt28
ID: 8045113
Make sure in your bios that the floppy drive is set to boot first in the boot order.  If the hard drive is first it will keep locking you up even if you do have a good floppy in the drive.  Once you have the floppy first in your bios then try to reboot with the floppy.
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Author Comment

by:marb
ID: 8046966
The boot order was already 1. floppy 2. hard-disk.
There must be another fault...
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
JMansford earned 800 total points
ID: 8047311
This may be due to the suspend-to-disk that some notebooks have.  This is a partition at the end of the disk in which the machine dumps it's RAM and settings when you do a suspend.

It may be looking for this partition and hanging.

If you can get the kit, I'd recommend getting hold of a 2.5" to 3.5" IDE harddrive adapter, taking the laptop harddrive out of it's tray and putting it in a desktop computer.  Do a full format, fdisk /mbr the works and then try again.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 8048900
"..., that means that the boot menu appears on screen"

The boot menu being the opportunity to boot with CD support or what?

If you can create a simple boot disk (not a typical win98 boot floppy with RAM drive creation and a fancy boot menu), that is made to boot into win95 or DOS 6 or something, do you still get hung after "Starting MS-DOS"?

If you let BIOS autodetect your HD, will it be correctly detected?

Regards
/RID
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Author Comment

by:marb
ID: 8065547
Ok, I bought an adapter to connect the notebook harddisk to my desktop PC and formated the disk. Now, it's ok.
Thank you for the help...
M.Bader
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