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GATEWAY SOLO 5300 WON'T RECOGNIZE EXTERNAL DRIVE

Posted on 2008-10-24
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Last Modified: 2008-12-04
This has been a very complicated laptop that I've been working on for someone. It is a used Gateway Solo 5300 which had some bugs in it (viruses AND little critters in the casing--dead of course, well except for 1). Ok, the computer was initially just starting and then it would restart at the Windows XP splash screen. I disabled the auto start and saw the BSOD--FATAL ERROR. I tried booting from a Cd to format and reinstall but to no avail, it kept rebooting. I went into BIOS, changed the order and still nothing. In reviewing the BIOS, I noticed that it only had options for Win98/200/ME, Win95 and other. I researched the Gateway website and downloaded the updated BIOS file, copied them to a disk (and as indicated on Gateways website I used a pre-formated IBM disk), attached an external floppy drive to the USB and...NOTHING..it still would go straight to the hard drive to start up and hit the blue screen again. The order of the start up is as follows: 1. External media, 2. CD, 3. IDE, 4. Intel Startup (which I don't know what it is).  I next swapped the harddrive which has Windows 2000 installed--PRESTO it starts into Windows. However, it will still not boot from the floppy disk to flash the BIOS.  I know the external floppy works because I used it on my other computer to transfer the files; I know the Solo 5300 recognizes it because it does appear under Windows 2000 and I do see the command line when it boots up to recognize it.  Of course, the file won't run under Windows, but I can see the files.  I also tried putting the flash files on a CD and see if it will run it from there...NO DICE either.  Why can't I get the BIOS to flash? Is there another way to flash the bios?  I would assume that if I update the bios, then the original hard drive should load fine---I'm assuming that the current BIOS doesn't support WINDOWS XP PRO which is why it gives the FATAL ERROR BSOD. Any help here would be appreciated. Has anyone else had problems flashing their Solo 5300 BIOS?
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Question by:achetwood
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by:nobus
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>>   attached an external floppy drive to the USB and...NOTHING    <<    flashing is doen from an internal floppy; UNLESS the mobo allows booting from USB - did you try if it boots from usb?
you may have to change the boot order, of disk drive priority
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by:achetwood
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OK, I finally got the BIOS FLASHED, but still running into the BSOD. Just in case anyone else has this similar problem: Apparently this model won't boot from external media unless the battery is fully charged. There is an option in the BIOS that allows for a RECALIBRATION of the battery. You have to unplug the AC adapter and then start the recalibration.  Then you need restart the computer.  I also used a bootable disk that I created in Win XP by just choosing Format/Bootable Disk (no, this didn't work before I recalibrated the battery--nothing was being read from the disk although it would recognize the external disk and load it). Now that I have that problems fixed, I need help with the BSOD; I believe it's 0c00000012a (or something like that).
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by:nobus
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post the exact error please; easier to help
if possible, post a couple of minidumps too
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by:achetwood
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Ok, well what I did was just make a copy of the hard drive using Acronis software and then reinstalled the OS then moved the necessary files back---problem fixed.  Now I have another problem but I'll start another thread.  The new problem is that the laptop turns on then off again very quick (sometimes).
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