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Laptop starts XP boot, fast blue screen, restarts... hard drive not seen with XP SP3 CD

Posted on 2011-10-22
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
The laptop is a Presario C500 using a SATA drive.  The problem started when laptop was dropped when running.  It now starts to boot, very short blue screen, then reboots.  Done so far... booted with XP SP3 CD, recovery console and Windows install don't detect a hard drive.  I bought a new drive and used bootable CD cloning software to clone the old drive to the new.  The CD saw both drives and cloned sucessfully.  The new drive now acts the same as the old one.  There must be a sector used by WIndows to tell what kind of drive or something that is corrupted and makes Windows think there is no drive.  I hope to have a smaller working drive that was leftover from an upgrade from this machine to test to verify it is the hard drive, but in the meantime, what is different about XP that keeps it from seeing the drive?  The original OS was XP.

Thanks!
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Question by:MRingCNE
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rindi earned 1000 total points
ID: 37012112
Check the BIOS for an option where you can turn off SATA mode to IDE mode (sometimes called compatibility mode). If there is such an option the install CD should see the drive. If there is no such or similar option in the BIOS you must use a floppy with the controller's driver and use F6 to load the driver when the CD loads. If you don't have a floppy drive you need to slipstream the driver into the CD. For that you can use nliteos:

http://nliteos.com/

I would test the dropped HD using the manufacturer's diagnostic utility. Such drops usually break disks. You can find those tools on the UBCD:

http://ultimatebootcd.com

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by:tsaico
ID: 37012296
Your cd doesn't have your Sata drivers.  Right before your restore session starts, there is an option to press f6 to load drivers.  You will need those drivers and push f6 to load them up.  You can also slip stream a XP cd to put them in there for you and boot off of that.

Wait a minute, nm, what the above posted...  sorry didn't read everything, but the advice above is good.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 1000 total points
ID: 37013664
i would test the drive first - as Rindi said
then run a chkdsk on it from recovery  :   http://forums.whatthetech.com/index.php?showtopic=95574
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Author Comment

by:MRingCNE
ID: 37014038
I have some new information...  the small capacity "known good and worked in the laptop" old drive I mentioned above in the question was tried in the computer and the same problem occurs.  I didn't see any options in the bios the first time through.  I'll try the default settings and see what happens.
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by:nobus
ID: 37014113
then it looks like a bad disk connection on the mobo, or a bad mobo itself
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by:eXpeLLeD_4RM_heLL
ID: 37017164
Download HDAT2 from http://www.hdat2.com/download.html

use it to run a scan on the original Hard drive for Bad Sectors.
See if it is able to repair the sectors. Once all sectors have been repaired, then try and boot the HArd Drive
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by:rindi
ID: 37017197
That tool is already there on the UBCD I mentioned earlier. But first you should always use the manufacturer's diag tool. Also, usually a bad disk should be replaced and not "fixed", as fixes, if they are even possible, are usually a temporary thing. Fixes are normally only necessary if un-backed up data needs to be recovered from unreadable disks.
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by:MRingCNE
ID: 37018171
It seems a bad HD is ruled out since a known good one with OS for that machine gives the same problem.  The puzzle is why HD utilities work on the machine while Windows XP won't.  Does anyone know if bottable CD utilities may talk directly to the controller and not use the bios information on the HD?  I'm wondering if the bios is giving Windows bad information.  
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by:rindi
ID: 37018389
No, that doesn't rule out a bad HD. Cloning a bad HD to a known good one will naturally give you the same issue you had with the bad disk, as you cloned the bad info too. To get the new disk working you must install the OS to it, and not clone a bad disk to it.

The manufacturer's tools on the UBCD can test the disk easily without requiring drivers.
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by:nobus
ID: 37018395
you mean the cloned disk? it should give the same problem - because the fault was cloned also...
test with a fresh install - include sata driver from floppy, or slipstream them into install cd
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by:MRingCNE
ID: 37019224
To clarify... I have THREE disks... the original 80- gig that was cloned to a larger disk a year ago and stored, the 250 GB newer one that I suspected was damaged, and a new 250 GB that is a clone of the forst 250 GB.  The ORIGINAL UNDAMAGED 80 GB exhibits the same trouble.  It worked fine when removed a year ago... removal was because of lack of free space.  This is why I am assuming it is not the hard disk.  Thanks for all you help... this is a strange one.
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by:rindi
ID: 37019293
Then the drop has caused further damage. Test the disk on another PC using the CD I posted, and open the dropped laptop and look for any visible damage.
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by:nobus
ID: 37019307
>>  The ORIGINAL UNDAMAGED 80 GB exhibits the same trouble  << this points to a motherboard problem - disk controller, bios, or such...
i presume it's the same from every sata connection?
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by:nobus
ID: 37019316
inspect also the sata plugs and connectors closely !
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by:MRingCNE
ID: 37025833
Will do... my daughter has it with her out of town now  (grrr) so it may be a couple of weeks before I get my hands on it again.  WIll post back as I get more information...  thanks!
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by:Qlemo
ID: 37210910
I've requested that this question be deleted for the following reason:

This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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Assisted Solution

by:MRingCNE
MRingCNE earned 0 total points
ID: 37210175
The problem was with a BIOS setting...  it had two settings for SATA... standard or custom.  Standard was selected.  I changed it to custom (no extra settings showed).  All drives then worked.  Why a drop changed this, I have no idea.  I'm giving points to rendi and nobus for the helpful suggestions.

Thanks everyone!
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by:Qlemo
ID: 37210911
Objection to allow for different disposition.

Qlemo
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