PC won't boot from CD or HDD

Setup is set to boot from CD, then C.  Machine startup stops after displaying that it has found the CDROM drive and the DVD drive.  Have reset CMOS to defaults.  The HDD (new Maxtor 40 GB) that is connected is without an OS.  The CD in one of the drives is the Maxtor HDD setup CD. I've tried it in both drives.  Also tried to boot from Windows 2000 CD - wouldn't.  The machine is a P-III with 393 MB (no change in that for months)  BIOS is Award Modular v4.51PG.  (The line below that is W6119 MJ V2.4 021199, if that means anything.)

The only thing I see that I think I've not seen before is the following line:
By SPD Data, Suggested SDRAM CAS Latency Time is " 2 "

This occurs just before the line "Found CDDOM etc"

Any suggestions of things to try will be much appreciated.

Ron Hicks
Ronald HicksConsultantAsked:
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gambit_642Commented:
Stops as in freezes, resets are powers off?
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PUNKYCommented:
Attach CD and hard drive but they should not in same cable, try and see if it helps.
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ridCommented:
As suggested, put the optical unit and the HD on different channels or at least verífy jumper settings (HD master, optical unit slave). On a P III you may have a CS-capable setup, so you can also try setting the drives to CS, putting the HD at the end of the cable and the optical unit in the middle. Verify that BIOS options are in accord with this, if there's a choice.
/RID
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
Freezes; doesn't reset or power off.

Already had tried all that has been mentioned except checking BIOS options again, although I thought restoring to defaults would fix it - didn't.   CD and DVD are on the same cable connected to the MB.  The HDD is on the end of another.  HDD jumper is set on Master.  Have tried CS too.

Additional observation.  In Setup, IDE HDD Auto Detection freezes too on "Auto-Detecting Primary Master."  Have to power off to start over; cannot Exc back to prior Setup screen.  The Standard CMOS Setup screen does display info on a Primary Master, with Size (18043), Cyls (34690), Head (16) Precomp (65535, Landz (34959, Sector (63) in Mode-Auto.   I've tried setting Mode to Normal but no difference.  Have not tried Mode-Large or Mode=LBA.  It seems that none of this would matter anyway in trying to boot from a CD.

Any more thoughts?

--Ron Hicks
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ridCommented:
Try with no IDE devices attached and see if you get the unit to POST properly. The process should end with a complaint about "no bootable drives" or something. If you can't get to the end of the POST process, you have a mobo, BIOS or add-on (PCI) card problem. Then try with just one optical drive, no HD. Add devices until the freeze reoccurs.

Also, the LBA mode may be best. This matters because if the POST halts before it tries to boot, you must eliminate the freeze. If it cant detect the HD properly, it may freeze.
/RID
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
The plot seems to be thickening.  It did seem to POST to completion.  Then I started having trouble with the CD and DVD drives not opening during startup even though powered.  Will be back to this machine monday.  Will follow up on these tips and test with other HDDs then.  --ron
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
I'm going to close this out, even though this PC is still dead in the water.  It might have some other issues, included power supply.  Don't know why though because it was fine when I mothballed it about 3 to 6 months ago.
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Ronald HicksConsultantAuthor Commented:
Can't tell if anything suggested would work; giving up for the time being.  The machine might have other issues.
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