Hard drive will not boot on original desktop but will boot on second desktop?

Posted on 2011-11-01
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I was called in to work on a desktop at an eye doctor office.  The pc would display nothing on the screen. The PC is a no name brand, probably a pc kit.  I discovered the motherboard had blown capacitors.  This PC runs a program that helps them manage hardware they use to make the lenses, so they needed a solution fast.

I took the hard drive out and installed it in a Dell tower. After installing some drivers I setup the desktop and after some com port id changes they were able to use it.

I orderd a motherboard and installed it in the original desktop. I took the hard drive out of the Dell and installed it on the original desktop.  The video works but the system continues to reboot.  

This is what I have done:
I have checked and replaced the memory.
I have replaced the power supply.
I ran chkdsk /r using the recovery console with a windows xp cd. It completed all stages.
I disconnected all other peripherals so only the hard drive, monitor and ram cards are installed.

So I figured the motherboard was bad.  Well I took the original hard drive from the dell I used to get their shop running and that one does boot.  

The hard drive with their software still works on the Dell tower.

I stumped.
Question by:rrincones
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment

    First remove all the DELL drivers. You could use the Free Paragon Adaptive Restore CD for this. If the HD controller of the new mainboard needs a driver you can also use that tool to inject it:

    Also check the BIOS of the new board, test it using different settings for the HD controller (like Compatibility mode etc).
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    try to make a repaire Windows from the XP CD after you  install motherboard it in the original desktop.
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    I have done this plenty of times by repairing the OS after installing a different motherboard, see here:

    Author Comment

    Yes that's right. After installing the drive on the dell box, I had to run a windows repair install.  It was rebooting too.  I thought windows had been corrupted.

    I returned the drive this morning installed on the dell box.  I will pick it up at the end of the day and run the repair install on the original box this evening.  I will let you know how it turns out.
    LVL 70

    Expert Comment

    "... I orderd a motherboard and installed it in the original desktop ..."  ==>  Was this the exact same make/model as the original board?      [Seems unlikely, since a board old enough to have capacitors fail is probably not available anymore]      If this system is running dedicated hardware that can't simply be moved to a new system, then a better solution than replacing the motherboard would have been to have it re-capped.    This will fix 90+% of capacitor-related problems, and actually results in a better-then-new motherboard, since the replacement caps are almost certainly higher quality than the originals.    You can have this done for ~ $65 here:

    One other note:   I would have NEVER done a repair install, etc. on the original hard drive without FIRST making an image of the drive -- so when you got the original system repaired you could simply restore the image.    Better yet would have been to not touch it -- just clone it to another hard drive and use THAT in the temporary replacement system.     Too late for this time ... but advice worth remembering.

    As for your current issue => if it's not the exact same make/model motherboard, it's not at all surprising that you've having this issue.   It is much easier to provide specific guidance that may help if you provide the more specific details on the system:  make/model of the original motherboard;  make/model of the replacement;  what CPU is installed on each (I presume it's the same one simply moved to the new board);  what hardware is attached related to the lens-making equipment (and how it's interfaced);  etc.

    Author Closing Comment

    Ran the windows repair install and it worked after that.

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