Solved

XP Home: after OS reinstall, HD not bootable, and original OS reinstall CD also not bootable

Posted on 2006-11-17
7
333 Views
Last Modified: 2010-04-12
Gentlemen,

I am working on a Dell Dimension 4350 that will not only not boot off the hard drive after a fresh install of XP Home SP1 onto a new disk, but will now not boot off the original XP install disk used to perform the installation (it booted before).

A new disk was ordered (Seagate 320GB) and installed.  I booted (successfully) from the original OS reinstall disk, partitioned the disk into one big C: drive, formatted using the slow (not quick) format (which took about 2H to complete!), and the OS files were copied in.  

When the install procedure completed, it prompted to reboot the computer and I did.  When the machine rebooted, the CD was booted from (the boot sequence identified the CD drive as the first boot device, then the floppy, then the HD) and the OS install procedure prompted to press any key to boot from the CD, which I didn't, so that the freshly installed HD would be booted from.  

Booting from the newly installed disk produces the error message:
"A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"
I *can* restart the machine by pressing control-alt-delete.  Pressing the numlock key does toggle the numlock light on and off.

Since then, booting from the XP OS reinstall disk, the message "Press any key to boot from CD" is displayed, I'll press the spacebar, then a message is quickly (less than 1 second) displayed "Setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration...", then the screen goes black. I can hear the CD drive start to spin fast, then alternates it's speed from medium to fast several times, then the CD spinning sound stops.
I *cannot* restart the machine by pressing control-alt-delete.  Pressing the numlock button does not toggle the numlock light on and off.  The computer appears to be halted.
The only resolution is to power cycle the machine.  

I have changed the boot sequence so that the HD will be the first boot device, and this produces the above error:
"A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"

Booting into the onboard diagnostics, I have performed an IDE disk test, which completed after about 10 minutes and without reporting an error.

I've tried to boot off an XP Home SP1 disk that I have, and that produced the same hung result.  So the problem isn't with the install CD media.

I can boot off a diagnostic disk successfully, and run the complete suite of different diagnostics.  Errors were not found.

For purely diagnostic purposes, I've tried to boot off an XP Professional restore disk, and that also produces the same boot failure.

For purely diagnostic purposes, I've tried to boot off a Windows 2000 Professional disk, and *that* would boot successfully.  I can see the Windows 2000 Setup in the upper left corner of the blue screen, and "Setup is loading files (...)" at the bottom.  So booting the Windows 2000 Pro disk does work.

I'm suspecting that the install procedure is detecting something on the HD.  So I've inserted a CD that will wipe the HD.  This is booting successfully and is wiping the HD.


If this doesn't allow me to boot from the XP OS Restore disk I'm not sure how to proceed, because I'll still be unable to rerun the installation because neither OS install disk is bootable.  I'm also at a loss for why an otherwise silently successfull install would produce an unbootable result.

Any thoughts or guidance on how to proceed?


Thank you in advance for your help!

0
Comment
Question by:ChrisEddy
  • 3
  • 3
7 Comments
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:ChrisEddy
ID: 17968420
Gentlemen,

I interrupted the disk wipe before it finished because I wanted to retry the OS install.  So I ejected the disk wipe cd, inserted the OS Reinstall disk, and pressed the power button to turn it off.

After turning on the machine, it powered on, but there was no response.  I turned off the machine, removed the power plug, pressed the power button to fully deenergize the mobo, reinserted the power plug, turned on the machine, and the XP OS Reinstall procedure began.  

This time, I selected the quick format instead of the slow format that was done before (and took about 2H to complete!).  I'm already at the "setup is copying files ..." stage.  

While doing the previous troubleshooting, I felt the temperature of the hard drive, on the outside chance that there was a temperature problem with the new hard drive.  The temperature was a cool-warm, not hot.

Also, I checked the jumpering on the HD and found that it was set for cable select, and the end-most IDE connector was connected to it.

I'm still concerned and wondering why the original OS install failed.

The OS reinstall completed, and needed to reboot.  It dies, and produces the same error message:

"A disk read error occurred
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart"


Help!!!


0
 
LVL 31

Accepted Solution

by:
rid earned 250 total points
ID: 17968664
Is the HD properly recognised by the BIOS of this computer? What was the size of the old drive?
/RID
0
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:ChrisEddy
ID: 17969687
I'm not at the customer site right now, but my recollection is that when I looked through the Bios, the primary IDE master, I think it said "Hard drive", and I don't think it said the specific model of the disk (eg: ST...).

On the thinking-path that the disk is not being properly recognized by the Bios, what are some things to look at and do to either learn more about the problem or to correct it?


 
0
Why You Should Analyze Threat Actor TTPs

After years of analyzing threat actor behavior, it’s become clear that at any given time there are specific tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that are particularly prevalent. By analyzing and understanding these TTPs, you can dramatically enhance your security program.

 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 17970708
The drive you mention is quite large, a modern drive. Some BIOS's of a slightly older date don't properly recognise such large drives, in which case a windows install may be difficult. So, get into BIOS setup, see if you can find a way force a new autodetect of the drive (it may still think it's the old drive!) and see if it is recognised at its correct size (mark/model isn't important).

If you can't get the BIOS to accept the drive, you can try a BIOS update, if you can find an update that specifically cures this problem. Updates are potentially dangerous, so I never recommend them unless you're sure they fix your problem. Sometimes they do, actually...

If no useful update is available, you may have to get a dedicated IDE controller card that can handle the drive.

/RID
0
 
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:phototropic
phototropic earned 250 total points
ID: 17971054
You should look at this:

http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/drivers/discwiz.html

Your BIOS sounds like it is having trouble recognizing a 320Gb. HDD
0
 
LVL 3

Author Comment

by:ChrisEddy
ID: 17997277
Gentlemen,

After arrival at the customer site,  found that the current Bios for this Dell Dimension 4550 is version A03.  The Dell website has version A08 available.  Downloaded and applied.  Completed successfully.

Checking within the Bios, it sees a the new drive as the "Primary Drive".  The model seen is ST3320620A, deive type = AUTO, Capacity is 320GB (printed in blue).  This looks OK to me.  Changed the boot sequence, saved the changes, and rebooted.

Booting off the XP OS restore disk.  Setup does begin, and is loading files.  Deleted previous partitioning and created new.  Size: 305235 MB.  Using a quick format (on the first install, doing a "slow" format took about 2H.  For the sake of problem isolation, I'd rather not wait 2H to see whether this succeeds or not).  Format completes unremarkably.  Setup is copying files.   Copy completes unremarkably, rebooting.  

--> Seeing XP OS splash screen.  

OS installation is proceeding.  OS installation has completed successfully.


Thank you!


0
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 17997313
Sounds good to me... :)
/RID
0

Featured Post

How to run any project with ease

Manage projects of all sizes how you want. Great for personal to-do lists, project milestones, team priorities and launch plans.
- Combine task lists, docs, spreadsheets, and chat in one
- View and edit from mobile/offline
- Cut down on emails

Join & Write a Comment

Many people don't really know what the difference is between memory and storage. And most regular users don't understand the relationship between any of those fancy words printed on the front of their new computer. Of course, it's perfectly fine -- …
Skype is a P2P (Peer to Peer) instant messaging and VOIP (Voice over IP) service – as well as a whole lot more.
It is a freely distributed piece of software for such tasks as photo retouching, image composition and image authoring. It works on many operating systems, in many languages.
Sending a Secure fax is easy with eFax Corporate (http://www.enterprise.efax.com). First, Just open a new email message.  In the To field, type your recipient's fax number @efaxsend.com. You can even send a secure international fax — just include t…

762 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

22 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now