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Laptop is stuck at boot logo


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#1
Novaprospekt

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Hi everyone

I'm a pretty tech savvy guy but I've hit a wall with this one. I downloaded Win7 RC and burned the .iso. I popped it into my laptop, booted from CD.

I deleted all the current partitions (data was backed up) and began installing. The install failed at expanding files and said all changes and progress were lost and I pressed the power button to reboot.

Now the laptop just sits at the boot logo and doesn't do anything. I have the option to go into setup (F2), go to boot selection (F11) and network boot (F12). F11 and F12 don't do anything, and when I press F2 for setup, the options change to "please wait" and it just hangs there. If I do nothing, it just hangs anyway and at any time I can press the F2 to get it to "please wait" (it doesn't freeze after any amount of time technically, it's just stuck.

I can't boot from any CD because under no circumstances I've tried thus far can I get past the logo to even try and boot from a repair disk. I suspect something with the Master Boot Record but I can't get anywhere to even diagnose the problem and it's outside of my scope of knowledge at this point.

The laptop is an alienware m9750 (so if anyone's familiar, it hangs at the alien head logo)
intel core 2 2.0ghz
2GB ram
160GB HD
nvidia m7950 gtx

If anyone has any ideas I would really appreciate it. I have no idea what to do with a stuck bios.
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#2
rshaffer61

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I had the exact same thing happen to me when i first downloaded RC the first time. I found out it was a corrupted download.

Edited by rshaffer61, 25 May 2009 - 08:23 PM.

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#3
edge2022

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I have no idea what to do with a stuck bios

I don't know what else to do, other than request another BIOS chip from Alienware. Try opening up your case and taking out the CMOS battery. When working with an opened computer, make sure that all wires are unplugged, and that you are static safe. Since this is a laptop, and not a desktop, getting to the motherboard will be hard, or impossible without having to take it to a shop. Call Alienware, and see what they say.
If you have a manual, read to see if you can get to the mobo and pull the CMOS battery. If you can, then take it out for about 5 minutes, and place it back in. At this point, you can't even try to flash the BIOS, since you con't boot from a CD (or floppy, I assume).
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#4
Novaprospekt

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I had the exact same thing happen to me when i first downloaded RC the first time. I found out it was a corrupted download.


I assume you mean the installer failing at expanding files-- yeah that was my first instinct I went and began downloading another copy and then realized the bigger issue when the laptop didn't boot.

I have no idea what to do with a stuck bios

I don't know what else to do, other than request another BIOS chip from Alienware. Try opening up your case and taking out the CMOS battery. When working with an opened computer, make sure that all wires are unplugged, and that you are static safe. Since this is a laptop, and not a desktop, getting to the motherboard will be hard, or impossible without having to take it to a shop. Call Alienware, and see what they say.
If you have a manual, read to see if you can get to the mobo and pull the CMOS battery. If you can, then take it out for about 5 minutes, and place it back in. At this point, you can't even try to flash the BIOS, since you con't boot from a CD (or floppy, I assume).


Yeah, the only other time I had a problem like this was when I tried flashing my main desktops bios and apparently it didn't work or something and I almost bricked it -- was stuck at the same logo display step-- and somehow it corrected itself when I was screwing with the batteries.
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#5
edge2022

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See if you can get to the CMOS battery yourself. I don't think you have bricked your BIOS, but that might be the case, if resetting the CMOS by pulling the battery doesn't work. The only way you can fix a damaged BIOS would be to get a new BIOS chip and pull the old one out and put the new one in.
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#6
Novaprospekt

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Ok so I just got home from work, pulled the hard drive out, pulled the battery out and just booted with the bare minimum using wall power. My first boot since all attempts failed last night.

POST runs okay, get past the BIOS and it begins booting from the windows CD (didn't even get mad at me for not having a HD in there, but CD was first to boot so maybe it didn't notice). I'm in the process of downloading another copy of the .iso from microsoft and am gonna burn it to another brand DVD using my 2nd DVD burner to eliminate anything that could've gone wrong in that step and will hopefully be successful in installing this time.

I'm afraid to mess around too much, I'm even hesitant to put the HD back in but I will need to obviously when I go to reinstall.

Will update on how things turn out, very weird behavior to say the least.

edit: this was all before I had a chance to open up the chassis to pull the CMOS battery out -- I just wanted to see if it would boot w/o the HD

edit#2: (**UPDATE**): ok it won't boot with the HD in, that's definitely the issue. when I popped the HD back in to go reinstall I got the problem again--taking it out fixed it.

So I guess now my question is how to go about this, I'm sure it isn't a good idea to hot swap a hard drive (or any hardware) into the motherboard when the power is on, but that seems the only way I can get past the POST/boot logo.

Edited by Novaprospekt, 26 May 2009 - 05:12 PM.

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#7
edge2022

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Try booting with another hard drive.
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#8
Novaprospekt

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Try booting with another hard drive.


I wish I could. I just cracked open an older laptop I had laying around but unfortunately it's HD is ultra ATA while my hard drive is SATA.

To complicate things even more, the SATA drive uses SATA power and not 4-pin molex connectors. I'm gonna try and see if I have any spare SATA power on my main computers power lines but I also don't wanna [bleep] up this computer either if the HD is "contagious".



EDIT****: Ok, so the laptop HD is plugged into this box and I see it in "My Computer" as blank 148GB (160GB formatted) and there is a single, hidden folder called "$WINDOWS.~BT" that has what looks like some backup files and other setup related things in subdirectories.

What's the best course of action to take at this point? I assume using some type of partition repair/disk diagnostic right?

Edited by Novaprospekt, 26 May 2009 - 06:33 PM.

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#9
edge2022

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Yes, we are going to try to recover some files off that hard drive.
http://www.pcinspect....htm?language=1
Download and try to look in depth for files in the bad hard drive.

We probably have to reformat the bad hd, and reinstall Windows.
If you have no important data on that drive, then format it.
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#10
edge2022

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Another thing...
Can you give me a list of the partitions on the bad hd.
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#11
Novaprospekt

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Ok downloading it now. I backed up anything I needed before I started messing around initially (glad I did), so I have no problems just formatting completely which I will do once the program is ready.

will update once I get going on that
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#12
edge2022

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If you don't need any data from the bad drive, just go ahead and format it. The hidden folder your mentioned must be from the Windows 7 installation.
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#13
Novaprospekt

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Alright. I'm happy to say the problem has been solved! And thank you so much for your help, edge.

I backed up any data with that program you pointed me to, and then I ran Seagate DiscWizard (it was a Seagate drive) and just used that program to delete all the partitions and format it within Vista. I plopped the HD back into the laptop and it booted perfectly and I'm now running Windows 7 setup again with a new image file hopefully this one isn't corrupt.

It had to be something quirky with the partitions because I wasn't even aware there were still files on that hard drive until I saw it in windows, but definitely weird that it would halt the POST for a corrupt drive partition and not even tell me anything is wrong. Lesson learned I suppose.

Thanks again
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#14
edge2022

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would halt the POST for a corrupt drive partition and not even tell me anything is wrong.

That is weird. :)
Good to see that this is resolved. Thank you for coming to Geeks to Go. If you have any more questions or problems, please feel free to post them here. :)
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