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Toshiba Laptop, Unable to reinstall OS

Posted on 2008-10-09
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
I have problem with my old laptop.

This computer was purchased in 2003.  I have Windows XP operating system there, 2GB hard drive.  Pentium 4 processor.  Other information is not available.

2 weesks After Upgrading OS to Windows XP SP3  I was not able to boot up computer (have black screen).  Unable to Load Operating System.  Error Message is "Replace Hard Drive.  Error can become emminent".  Something like that.  I was trying to reinstall operating system.  However CD-Rom became not readable.  
F10, F12 function still accessable.--Set-up functions.
Scanning via MSDOS  I was able to do it once did not found any bad sectors

Is there anything can be done to restore and Load OS
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Question by:maximyshka
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 22683493
A "2GB" hard drive?
I guess this may be a typo because if you really had such a small drive then you would simply have run out of space by now - which might even explain why you are being requested to "replace the hard drive".

By the way: it is most important to record the error messages you receive _literally_, even if they abound in numbers and abbreviations that seem to make absolutely no sense. But those messages refer exactly to the underlying problem, whereas your "something like that" makes it pretty impossible for experts to narrow in on the issue.
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Accepted Solution

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SysExpert earned 200 total points
ID: 22684262
Replace Hard Drive.  Error can become emminent". Sounds like a SMART error, and your hard drive probably is dead or dying.

I would clean the CDROM drive with a CD cleaner, and then use the Vendor diagnostics to see if the hard drive is OK. But I would certainly not trust my data to a 5 yrear old Laptop ahrd drive.

Replace it. you can get one for $50 that is 10x bigger at least.

 
I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22688812
SysExpet: You are right.  This is a SMART error.   I saw this message.  How can I use Vendor diagnostics to see if the hard drive is OK.  (It is probably one of F10 or F12 keys).  I have only recovery disks.  People who have this computer use them only for Microsoft Office and Internet Browsing so I don't much care about data.

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Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 22689851
Unfortunately, the vendor diagnostic applications will not be accessible via F10/F12. They are separate programmes that you best run from a bootable floppy or CD (that's why you need to get the CD drive going again).

A good selection of "Hard Disc Diagnostic Tools" comes with the Ultimate Boot CD (http://www.ultimatebootcd.com). If you don't know which vendor and type your hard drive is, use Pc-Config or another one of the system info tools on the same CD.
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22691876
So, how can I get CD Rom going again
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 22693001
Is the CD unit recognised in BIOS?
Can you boot from a bootable CD (you may need to try more than one)?
/RID
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22695124
RID: How can I check if CD Unit recognized in BIOS?
As I said I'm not able to boot from a bootable CD
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 22695170
You should enter BIOS setup (by pressing F2 or something at the right time after power up). Once in there, you may find a part about connected drives or IDE devices or something. The CD unit should be mentioned, if it is operational physically.

Perhaps I misunderstood you; "CD-Rom became not readable" I took as a problem with the disk, not the drive.
/RID
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22697626
Here's an error message that I got:
Smart Failure Predicted on Hard Drive 0: Toshiba MK4021GAS (PM)
Warning: Immediately back-up data and replace hard drive.  A Failure can be imminent.
Right now all function F2, F10, F12 not working.

Question: should I purchase exactly the same hard drive?  This hard drive has 40GB.  Any one has idea what happened with old hard drive.  40GB, should be enough, even for Windows XP SPIII
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Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 22697795
It's not the size in GB that matters (you can easily get 80GB - 120 GB hard drives for 40-50 ¬ these days), but whether it is PATA or SATA mode. I'm pretty certain the MK4021GAS is a PATA drive, but you should make sure or take the drive along when you buy a new one.

However, a new hard drive will not be of much good to you as long as you can't use the CDROM drive in order to install the OS and drivers. Have you tried to clean the CD drive as Sysexpert suggested above?
For in case you have to buy a new CD drive, too, you might as well consider buying a new laptop. It seems to me that this step will ultimately give you more value for your money's worth.
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by:torimar
ID: 22697799
/edit:

read "40-50 Euro" above. The Euro sign did not turn out correctly.
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Expert Comment

by:rid
ID: 22698331
You are not giving any info about ths situation in BIOS setup and the optical drive. The easy way out (and, as suggested, perhaps a more economic solution) is to get a new laptop, but if you want assistance in this situation, you need to clarify the situation. What do you mean with F2, F10, F12 not working? Can you get into BIOS setup? How else to verify if the CD unit is working or not. Getting a new hard drive is not a big deal, but if you need to get a new CD drive as well, it'll be a bit more money involved. Have you tried a bootable CD at all? What happens?
/RID
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22699356
RID.  I did try bootable CD. it's not working-- computer freezing (black screen), nothing working.
I tried BIOS, it is probably when I pressed F2 on my laptop.  Every time I did have a message that windows was not properly shutting down.   And I have options to :

Boot up Windows in Safe Mode
Boot up Windows in Command Prompt
Boot Previously worked version.  

Something like that.

When I choose any options computer started working not more that 2 min and freezing
   Previous time I was able to Run F2 and go into Bios Setup.  Yesterday I tried and I was not able to do even that.

That's why I'm not able to check if CD unit recognized by BIOS

What is the point to clean CD-Rom with CD Cleaner.  I don't have scratches,  CD Cleaner is used mostly to fix these problems, am I right?

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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22699367
I think of purchasing new hard drive.  Since original problem was caused by hard drive.  It will cost me $50.
Then if CD unit will work after replacing hard drive I will go with the old computer.  If not I will purchase new computer.   What do you think?

Please give me your thought on both comments.  Everything is helpful
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 22700298
Well, I can't believe that a corrupt hard drive will in any way be responsible for a malfunctioning CDROM and an inaccessible BIOS.

So chances are that more went broke in the laptop than only this hard drive, in which case you might as well save those 50 bucks or invest them into additional gooddies for the new replacement laptop.

My two cents ....
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Assisted Solution

by:rid
rid earned 100 total points
ID: 22700509
You must realize that BIOS setup and windows are two different things. If you get into BIOS setup and get a "windows not shutting down properly" notice, you're not in BIOS setup...

A bad HD shouldn't kill an optical unit, but certain problems may spill over between the drives, so you should remove the HD and see if you can boot from CD. If you CAN, the HD is totally shot and you can probably use the machine if you get a new HD. If you still can't boot off a KNOWN GOOD bootable CD, the CD is either bad or needs to be cleaned inside; not the same as cleaning the disc. There may be dirt on the laser lens.

Not being able to get into BIOS setup is a bad sign but I think you should try again, but DO remove the hard drive first as it seems to mess up your system.

/RID
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22749912
Sorry, could not reply earlier

I did not use Laptop for a while and therefore was able to enter to BIOS setup (PHoenix BIOS set-up utility)

When I entered into utility I saw

-Hard Drive (was able to expand  -- got Toshiba MK4021GAS-PM)
-Removable Device (was able to expand --got Legacy Floppy Drive)
CD-ROM drive (was not able to expand)--maybe it was correct
-Built-in LAN

Then I went to Diagnostics Tools

Diagnostics Tools shows that CD-ROM was OK.  

Below I describe what I saw and did  into diagnostics

IDE Primary Master: 37.3 GB
IDE Secondary Master: CD-ROM, QSI CD

I run various tests.  Did not found any errors on CD-ROM:
1) I used Data CD( first time used Photo CD, second time used 1st of Recovery CD)
2) For Audio testing used one of Audio CD

During the test of Hard Drive--found corrupted sectors

Fixed 4 corrupted sectors first time, after run second time also found corrupted sectors so fixed them as well.

After run got following warning: Corrupted Data detected, Hard Drive Good (Pri Mst)

However, after exit from diagnostics I was not able to run recovery CD.  Same error.

Main thing: I was not able to remove cover in order to go to Motherboard and replace Hard Drive
Computer was purchased into 2003.  
So, what's your suggestions?  Is there any way to remove cover.  If I give my comp to the tech I will pay more than computer costs now
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Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 22749993
Here's a page that instructs you how to replace a drive on several - if not all - Toshiba notebooks:
http://www.bixnet.com/toshiba2.html

As to the CDs not booting:
Have you tried to boot from a Win XP Install CD yet? That's what you will need to do once the new hard drive is installed. The Recovery CD may be broken, who knows, but you NEED to be able to boot from the Install CD, otherwise a new HD will not do you any good.
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 22750345
If the internal CD does not work, you might try an external CD ROM drive to see if you get better results


I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22803261
Thanks guys. (Torimar thank you very much for the link). I removed Hard Drive, then
Put bootable CD(1st of 6CD) and tried to boot up computer.

I have following messages:
1) PXE Boot Version 1.00.0003 2002 Argon Technology
2) PXE Base Code, Version 2.00.0082
3) PXE-E61 Media Test failure, check cable.  Operating System not found

According to Google and Experts-Exchange answers, PXE means

<<Im almost positive that you have a bad hard drive. PXE means Pre-Boot Execution Environment. You see this message when the laptop trying to boot from a remote server using the network card. If you didnt see the PXE-E61 message before, it means that the network card was listed after the hard drive in the boot order (you can set the order in BIOS) and the laptop booted directly from the hard drive. Now, when the hard drive has failed, the laptop cannot detect it and tries to boot from the next available device  the network card. Your laptop is not configured to boot from a remote server
using the network card, thats why you are getting PXE-E61 Media test failure error. You have to replace the hard drive and reinstall the operating system>>

I removed Hard Drive, network card probably listed after Hard Drive that's why I have PXE message appear.

How can I check whether CD-ROM is working or not.  That's a major step before purchasing hard drive replacement.  SysExpert, external CD Rom will cost money, I'm trying to work with parts that I have now

Is it worth to boot up using Brand new Windows XP operating System CD.  I borrowed from somebody.
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Assisted Solution

by:torimar
torimar earned 200 total points
ID: 22804077
Reading through a) your error messages and b) the info you got about them on EE/Google I think there is no doubt that your system did NOT boot from the bootable CD, but still tried to boot from HD.
You must make sure that in the BIOS you put the boot sequence to CD-ROM first, then HD. (For the sake of testing, you may even set it to boot from CD only). When done, try to boot from the Windows OS CD. As I said before, this must succeed - otherwise your new drive will be useless.
If you do so, and it still doesn't work, then a damaged CDROM is the most likely explanation.
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22805537
Thanks torimar.
I did it and CD-Rom working.  After I changed the order, I went to bootable software screen.  This means that CD-ROM is working

Now Questions to all experts: Torimar, Sysexpert and Rid:

1.Should I replace Hard Drive or reinstalling OS will fix the problem.
2. Should I purchase same HD as was before (Toshiba MK4021GAS) or another HD will work as well--as Torimar mentioned if HD is SATA mode.
3. Should I Boot-up using recovery software as I used to have before or another OS will work as well
4.  When I reboot using recovery software I will probably have to install brand new OS, repair option will not work if I will purchase new HD

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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 22805927
1) Try using the repair option if possible first, if not reinstall the OS. Most data should be preserved, but programs may need to be reinstalled.

2) I would try to test your hard drive first if at all possible, but it may not be worth it since you already got a SMART error.

You can buy any drive that is the same type ( SATA/ IDE ) as the original. Size shoul not matter.


I hope this helps !
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LVL 35

Expert Comment

by:torimar
ID: 22806022
You got me wrong there, maximyshka:
I did NOT say your present drive was SATA, I said it was most likely PATA (= IDE) from what I could see on the Toshiba website. But check for yourself before you purchase anything.

In addition to what Sysexpert said above, here's another aspect that just struck me:
You may try to reinstall Windows on your old drive and see if it works, or install it to a new drive of any size, but as long as you don't have your own copy of Windows XP (preferably the one that originally shipped with the notebook), you will not be able to activate the OS with Microsoft. A borrowed copy of the Windows Install CD may be used to repair a corrupt system, but it can not be used to install and activate a legitimate Windows XP.

If no such CD came with your laptop, or you don't have it anymore, and if you don't care about data or preferred applications, then consider installing Linux instead of Windows - this will safe you a lot of money unnecessarily spent on something you already paid for.
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22970777
Dear Experts, I received and replaced HD.  Reinstalled OS as well.

Right Now, during boot up

I have following messages:
1) PXE Boot Version 1.00.0003 2002 Argon Technology
2) PXE Base Code, Version 2.00.0082
some dos code running don't know what it is

3) PXE E53 No Boot File Name Received

After that OS loading normal way

Do you advise to change back booting order from CD on top HD on top the way it was before?
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Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 22973092
1) In the BIOS you may be able to disable the NIC PXE booting if it bothers you.

The messages are standard and can be ignored.
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Author Comment

by:maximyshka
ID: 22973255
How can I disable it?  I understand that messages can be ignored
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