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System won't boot past hdd, cd rom,

Posted on 2004-08-09
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hello, I'm trying to build this pc from scratch.  I installed a mothbrd w an AMD-k6 processor, 12gb hard drive, cd rom, floppy, 164mb ram.  now the hard drive came from another computer w windows me installed on it.  I know I must re-formatt the drive, but I can't get this thing to boot to a floppy, it won;t even acknowledge that there is a floppy unless I switch the data cable around, then it gives me an error about floppy not installed, but when corrected, in reads & acknowleges memory, hdd, cd rom, then just sits there with a blinking cursor
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Question by:grgenter
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Expert Comment

by:MarkDozier
ID: 11760301
I always say start at the begining.
Fist do you have a CPU fan attached to the CPU
Second with only the memory, CPU RAM and video card installed does it boot.
If ti does then
Attache the hard drive and see if it boots.
Attache the CD ROM. see if it boots

A pain in the tush, yes. but a good way to build a pesky system.
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 11761352
Check BIOS settings for the floppy drive; it should probably be 1.44M 3.5" drive and nothing else.

Make sure all connectors for FDD data and power are seated correctly and that the FDD is at end connector on cable (beyond twist).

Check boot order setup in BIOS ("A; C; CD-rom" or similar ).
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11762130
Of course, make sure the floppy drive actually works on another system.
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11762989
okay mark, no i don't have a fan attached to the cpu, but a passive heat sink instead, & yest callandor, the floppy does work on my other system, rid, i've changed those settings in bios every different way I can.............

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rid earned 500 total points
ID: 11763096
Do the BIOS setup changes "stick" properly? The machine sounds like it has a few years on it and the CMOS battery may need to be checked. Does it keep time OK?

Have you tried a CMOS reset (look for jumpers on MB)?

Does the floppy do a "head seek" (move the R/W head assembly back and forth) during POST and does its LED light up and go out?

Did you try with HD and CD unit removed from system (disconnected, that is)?
/RID
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11763136
okay rid, I'll try all the above right now & see what happens
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11764316
removed hdd, floppy, received an (A: Drive Error) & (Pri Master HDD Error)
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11764379
reconnected the hdd & another floppy, system checked RAM (OK), checked HDD (OK), Sec Master (CD Rom), left with a blinking cursor
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 11764570
Really odd...

Are there more than one power connector for  FDD's? Try the other one....
No damage to FDD data cable?
All extra cards removed, no printers etc hooked up?
Try setting Primary master to "None", and disconnect it.
Try the "Load factory defaults" or similar BIOS setup option.

Does the "Save and Exit" work at all in BIOS setup?
/RID
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11764810
I removed the cmos battery & put it back in, now I'm getting (cmos battery is low, setting is wrong, cmos display is incorrect), press F1 for setup......did this, now the date has went back to Jan 1996
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11765356
now my floppy head is spinning just fine, but the light stays on even when the disk is removed........still getting the same results, blinking cursor after checking the memory, hdd, & cd rom.......only difference is when I switch around the floppy cable, it then gives me an A: Drive Error.......I'm really stumped guys
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11765459
The cable is in the wrong way if the LED stays on.  "A: Drive Error" could mean the floppy itself, the cable isn't plugged in correctly, or the drive is bad.  Have you tried booting from a CD?
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11765651
yes, i've tried booting from the cd, it spins also, then nothing......i know that the cable is in the wrong way if the light stays on, but when I switch it to another position, I get the a: drive error.......so you're saying the dri ve error dosen't actually mean the drive, but the floppy (that may explain things)
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11769531
have you guys given up on me?
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 11769768
No. I think a sleep cycle occured.

There are still a few questions that I would like to see answered:
Have you tried with no drives attached except for the floppy?
Did you try setting HD to "None" in BIOS?
Have you examined closely the connectors in FDD end and in MB end for being correctly attached, no pins bent etc?
Did you try another cable?
Did you check power connector(s)?
Did you verify that BIOS setup lists the FDD as a 1.44M 3.5" drive (some default to 1.2M 5.25")?
Have you checked for some kind of floppy boot disable entry in BIOS setup?
/RID
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11769816
okay rid, here's the deal....I accepted the comment from you earlier about looking for jumpers.......i pulled the manual to the m/b and found that the jumpers were set for pentium instead of amd processor, I also reset the bios/cmos jumpers, and went a little further & reset the ep1 & ep2 jumpers......

I am now at this very moment attempting to load windows 98 (I know its old) via the cdrom.....once I get this o/s loaded, I will do some additional troubleshooting to find out what went wrong, but for right now rid, thumbs up to you!
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 11770321
There's nothing much wrong with 98. Good luck!
/RID
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Expert Comment

by:gazaa
ID: 11923936
I'd say a copy of windoes 2000 is better. Add 256 megs ram, and you'll have an ok system.
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Author Comment

by:grgenter
ID: 11924242
fine gazaa, do you know where I can get a copy of win 2K for less than retail?
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