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PC Having Problems With Startup


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#1
Samantha Kara

Samantha Kara

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I just bought a PC from Best Buy just yesterday. It's the Gateway 4010, here are the specs:

Athlon 64 3500+
1 Gig of RAM
200 Gig hard drive

Anything else you need to know about it to answer my questions, I'll try to help find the answer, I don't know too much about the specs because I bought it less than 24 hours ago.

Anyway, so my dad and I opened up the computer to add a plain CD drive and also my 120 Gig Maxtor drive. The drive worked fine externally, but the enclosure was old and I really wanted to have it inside of my pc. But Gateway has it set up that anything you want to install internally you have to buy all kinds of [bleep] for.. The cables were set up in such a way that it's impossible to add another drive. Although, CD drive, didn't seem to be much of a problem.

So we started it up with the 120gig drive as Slave and also the CD drive as slave. The computer started up, went to DOS and then said "Boot from CD:" and just stopped. I didn't have anything in the CD drive, so I have no idea what happened. We ended up taking out both the 120 drive and the extra CD slave drive, putting EVERYTHING back to the way it was when we first got it, and STILL, we have that problem.

I tried checking out the bios, and it's set up as CD first, then Hard drive, then removeable, then the graphic card (starts with an N, I seriously cannot remember the name of the card) called like, Nvidad Boot Age. So I made sure everything seemed normal, didn't edit anything, and just reset the BIOS to 'optimized default'. Still had the same problem.

There's also one other option that I can try, which is changing the boot sequence temporarily. I tried booting from CD first, which resulted in the original problem. Then I tried hard drive first, and it froze as well. There are no removables, and the Nvidad thing froze up too.

I also tried to put in the recovery disk to try to reinstall Windows, and it read the CD, but it won't allow me to reinstall. It seems that when the program is dealing with the partition that Gateway sets up, it says that there's a problem with some corrupted file.

I really don't know what to do other than what I've tried. I could really use some help--I just spent $600+ dollars on a PC YESTERDAY and taking it to the shop would be utterly annoying and also very hefty to my wallet. So if there's anything that you guys can help me with, I'd really appreciate it.

Thanks :tazz:
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#2
gerryf

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model number would be useful...my first guess...drives were set to cable select and you you messed up something when installing.

I would check to ensure the original drive is set to master (forget cable select). I would then drop into bios and redect the hardware (the drive)...set it to manual, then set it back to auto if that is your only choice.

Possible you broke a pin off in the cable? Is it a sata or pata drive?
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#3
Samantha Kara

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I gave the model number, it said Gateway 4010. If you go onto the Best Buy site and search for Gateway 3500+, that's the PC. My PC isn't on the Gateway website for whatever reason.

The original drive and the CD drive were not touched at all. No pins were touched, nothing was removed, nothing was even plugged in and then unplugged or visa versa. Everything is exactly as it was in the first place when we first bought the PC.

In the BIOS, the original hard drive is set to master. Same with the original DVD/CD drive.

Uh, what do you mean by "redect the hardware (the drive) set it to manual, then set it back to auto if that is your only choice"? I don't understand the word redect at all.

No pins have been broken off, nothing is different physically inside of the PC, it just seems like something is wrong with the hard drive.

I also tried using a copy of XP Pro I have, just to see how it was partitioned and whether it could actually read the C: drive. It said the following:

C: Partition2 (Recovery) [FAT32]: 383 MB (2439 MB free)
H: Paritition1 [Unknown]: 186293 MB (186292 MB free)

It seems as if nothing is actually on the original hard drive now. The PC doesn't come with a XP disc, and the recovery disc seems to be saying that everything is missing from the C: drive.

But.. Isn't H: supposed to be C:, and visa versa? C: had everything that I had installed yesterday along with like 100+ or so gigs left. But now C is H? I really don't get what happened.
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#4
gerryf

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you're right, you did...read too quickly

this yours?

http://support.gatew...91/5891nv.shtml
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#5
Samantha Kara

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Yes, that is my PC.
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#6
gerryf

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well, that is without a doubt, the most useless manual I have ever seen (downloaded it).

I think you are right--it looks like the system is wiped and the drive is empty. Any chance your dad got a shock while working in here....like he rubbed his feet on the carpet?

I can't really see the drive setup in the crappy pics I can see....looks like some drive bays in the lower left corner...the one picture I can find that might be that motherboard only shows one IDE controller. (??)

How exactly did you connect the other stuff?

The cd-rom you have--does it enable you to run a recovery program that accesses the recovery partition? Given the newness of the system, I would try and run that just to get back to factory fresh condition at this point
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#7
Samantha Kara

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Basically, the computer, like I said, is back to it's original condition. Nothing is different physically. We tried to mount the second hard drive, but the way gateway has it nowadays, it's impossible. Same with teh CD drive, it wasn't even flush to the front of the case. So it's best that I stick with one hard drive, and one DVD/CD drive. If I can ever get this computer fixed, I'll keep my second hard drive as external. Everything is the SAME though. Nothing's been altered. Possibly we did shock it, but we always make a point to ground ourselves before we touch anything. I guess it didn't work.

Well, when I try to do the recovery disk, the only option is from the recovery drive (which somehow is now C?), but it doesn't even seem to work. It won't allow me to do a full system restore at all because for some reason, the disc that comes with it isn't capable of it (which is the option located http://support.gatew...LXPH2su11.shtml ).

The screen looks like this: http://supcontent.ga...tive_CDs/02.jpg
Minus the F option. So, how the heck am I supposed to reinstall Windows straight out if it doesn't even give me that option?
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#8
gerryf

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what's wrong with R choice?
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#9
Samantha Kara

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It doesn't work. It says there are files missing from C.
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#10
gerryf

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baffling...almost sounds like they gave you wrong cd...

I'm afraid I just do not know enough about their system restore process...have you tried this

http://support.gatew...tact/chat.shtml

I would leave out the part about installing the new drives...its a red-herring that will just distract them...just tell them you turned on the PC and it gave you the boot from CD message...

let them walk you through from there.

This is why I hate mass market PCs--their proprietary systems make it very difficult to help people. I would like to hear what they have to say, but it seems pretty clear something is wrong with the drive.
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#11
Samantha Kara

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I actually pressed F and got the option anyway. Really weird, but media center is reinstalled.

However, they don't even have an install to restore all of the drivers. Ugh. :/ So now I have that problem... And Gateway doesn't even have the drivers up on their site! So what is someone to do?

Thank you though. I kinda figured it out eventually though :/
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#12
gerryf

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http://support.gatew...rs/dlcenter.asp

yes they do
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