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Desktop can't find OS - blank screen staring at me

I have an IBM NetVista, it's about 3 years old. About 2 years ago, it couldn't locate the OS (Windows XP Pro), and as I recall, there were messages on a black screen telling me it lost its mind.

I replaced the hard drive but was able keep the original master, it's now just slave drive and that's ok.

But, every so often in the last six months, the computer won't turn on. It doesn't even try to load.

What happens is that there is an IBM screen, indicating the computer, then the cursor goes to the top left of the screen and just blinks. No messages, nothing.

Each time I have been able to "fix it", but all I do is open up the case, vacuum, then push on everything to seat it.  Again today it happened. After vacuuming and re-seating everything (although everything was already seated), it started on the third try - and is now working fine.

I had downloaded three updates from MS and re-booted, but that doesn't seem like the issue, imho.

What do you think? Anything I can do to diagnose this? And to prevent a total failure? I do have most data backed up.

Thanks.

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Alaska Cowboy
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Alaska Cowboy
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3 Solutions
 
BamBamHRCommented:
Unhook your OLD DRIVE and leave just the NEW DRIVE. The bios is freezing up because it is
unable to determine which device to boot from, and it is very likely that your old hard drive
is bad. If you are having the same issue still, unhook all your bootable devices (Floppy, USB drives,
CD-ROMs), and boot it up only with the new master hard drive. If it boots, then start re-attaching
the devices one by one to see which one is causing the problem..
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Alaska CowboyAuthor Commented:
Ok, that sounds great, thanks a lot.

I will try and get rid of the old drive from the machine. Then I can set it up as an external drive via a case / USB. Does that sound right.

it sounds like my new Master is ok but the machine itself gets confused about where to boot from - meaning I don't need to worry so much that my new Master is bad (???)

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BamBamHRCommented:
If you had these problems before you tried to replace the hard drive, than it is probably the older drive.
For the most part, when a hard drive fails, it just goes dead. It is easy to diagnose. Sometimes however, they just start acting funny, and working sporadically. If remove the old drive from your PC fixes your problem, get your data off of it as soon as possible. You can most definetly do that with an External Case or IDE to USB converter.
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nobusCommented:
>>  Each time I have been able to "fix it", but all I do is open up the case, vacuum, then push on everything to seat it   <<   this indicates no disk problem, but a bad contact on the mobo.
If it happens again, i would proceed carefully, and reseat 1 thing only - then test, and so go on to locate the bad one.
Also, not only reseat devices, but inspect the connectors, and clean them. for the pci cards, you can use a soft pencil eraser
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lauchangkwangCommented:
In this case, I would suspect either a bad IDE cable (making the connection to the Hard Disk got problems) OR a bad Hard disk that the PC is trying to boot as Master during startup .....

>> then the cursor goes to the top left of the screen and just blinks. No messages, nothing.
Does it totally in Black or you still able to see the cursor blinks (just like "hang" on it) ...???
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Alaska CowboyAuthor Commented:
BamBam - thanks again, I will get the old drive out of there ASAP.

nobus - thank you too, I will do the housecleaning you recommend.

lauchangkwang - ok, I'm going to remove the old HD and hopefully that will do the trick. >>Does it totally in Black or you still able to see the cursor blinks (just like "hang" on it) ...???<<
 - all black except the cursor blinking white on top left
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lauchangkwangCommented:
>>  - all black except the cursor blinking white on top left
Do you able to move the cursor ??
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Alaska CowboyAuthor Commented:
>>Do you able to move the cursor ??
No - - - it looked dead so I didn't even touch it. If it happens again, what should I try to do?

It's working now so I can't really replicate it. My next step is to remove the old original HD and just case it. From what everyone is saying, that should do the trick.
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Alaska CowboyAuthor Commented:
thanks for the tips, just the kind of advice I was hoping to get.
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