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PC not booting up


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#16
john545

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Thanks for the great suggestions. I especially like the idea of the USB enclosure, so I'll look into that. I have a couple of laptops that I can use to slave the Maxtor drive in my Dell. If I understand you, the power cable is disconnected from the new PC and connected to my slave HD, and the data cable from my slave is moved and connected to the new PC. Correct ?

One more development. Going throgh the BIOS again, I noticed a floppy drive that was labeled "internal" and set to "On". "On" is the default setting which seems odd since th boot sequence shows the floppy as "not present". In any case, I changed it to "Off", and have eliminated the floppy seek failure (Yippee.. progress I hope !!).

So now I have a new screen which says that "Windows did not start successfully, and then gives me the option to boot in safe mode, normally, to c prompt, and with 'last known good configuration'. I cannot boot 'normally' or in safe mode, but trying to other 2 options tells me that windows cannot start because thsi file is missing windows\system32\ntoskrnl.exe

A quick search of likely causes shows: keyboard malfunction, bad boot.ini file, or simply a bad ntoskrnl.exe file. I can borrow a keyboard to eliminate that option. I have the Win Reinstall disk, although Im pretty uneasy about using that. And I do not have the Recovery Console installed, so not sure how successful I would be.

Is there something more I can do ? Or should I still go for the USB enclosure ? I have a couple of laptops, but no desktop, so unless I can find another PC, the slave option isnt feasible right now.

Edited by john545, 23 September 2010 - 05:02 PM.

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#17
happyrock

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As I read somewhere, I will leave the PC running for 24 hours to recharge a possible dying battery


FYI this will not work...the only fix for a old battery is to replace it....they are cheap...about 6 bucks
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#18
john545

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HI Makai,

Any thoughts on my next steps ? Everything I read on the ntoskrnl.exe messsage indicates that it is likely an corrupt ntoskrnl or boot.ini file.

JOhn
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#19
happyrock

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back in post number 5 you said...

The drive is a Maxtor SATA. There are a couple of yellow lights on the cabinet, and according to the Dell manual, I shold reseat the power and data cables on the drive. I did this, but no change.


first things first...unplug the computer from the wall

replace the mobo battery because that system was built back in 04...that's 6 + years on the battery...they only cost about 6 bucks...
also replace the sata data cable with a new one...again under 10 bucks...
buy a power splitter a molex Y cable...about 3 bucks...

now after you get the splitter disconnect the power cable from the drive ...plug the splitter into the power connector that used to go to the drive and connect 1 of the 2 ends to the hard drive...plug back into the wall and try starting...
if you boot up your done...if not

reboot and get into the bios and find the setting that say default or safe settings ...sometimes its F5 but read the screen to be sure...then save the settings...usually F10...but read the screen to be sure... and reboot
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#20
john545

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As requested, I replaced the battery and SATA cable. I could not find a Molex splitter, but did find a Y power cable. But I cant see a way to change it. The existing one is intertwined with several other wires before connecting into the power supply.

On first attempt I was able to get to Bios, but accidently exited. Now I am again getting the "floopy disk seek failure" message. Sometimes it just hangs at the Dell screen. This the same as before, and sometimes I would get to the Setup screen. I will continue to work on those F2 and F12 keys over the naxt couple days. I know that my screen looks nothing like your thumbnail. But I do recall many options for default settings. Should I just return everything to default ?

Thanks,
John
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#21
happyrock

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yep ...try setting the bios to default setting ...
does it look like this screenshot...if after setting the bios to default you continue getting the floppy error
go back into the bios and check the boot order and disable the floppy
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#22
john545

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OK, I managed to get into Setup (F2), but it doesnt look anything like your screenshots. But it must be the BIOS screen because I have menu items like Boot Sequence, options to enable/disable drives. power management, enabling/disabling ports and controllers, etc. While I see no reference to CMOS, I do see a reference to Bios version A04 (1/10/2005) for the Dell 8400.

Anyway, I reset everything that I could to factory dafault, and disabled the floppy drive. There is also a "USB Floppy Drive", that is enabled, and Im not sure what that is. I'll wait for your guidance before trying to reboot. It's hard to get into this setup screen so I"ll just let the system run here until I hear from you. Then I can easily make changes if needed.

I was at this point once before, and after diabling the floppy drive (somehow it got enabled again), I got the screen telling me I had a corrupt or missing ntoskrnl.exe file.

I'll wait for your word on the USB floppy, then will try to reboot. I anticipate the ntoskrnl file message.

John

Edited by john545, 18 October 2010 - 11:44 PM.

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#23
happyrock

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disable the USB floppy and reboot...if you get a error message grab your camera and take a picture and attach it in your reply
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#24
john545

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floppy.jpg bootseq.jpg sata.jpg view2.jpg

All settings are back to factory default, and floppy drives disabled. But....

The floppy.jpg shows the floppy and usb floppy drives disabled (see "Off" at top of screen)

The bootseq pic shows boot sequence

The sata pic shows that the hard drive(sata-0) is enabled (see "on" at top of screen

But view2 file shows the screen I got when trying to boot up. Presing F1 and F2 does nothing - no response.

Edited by john545, 20 October 2010 - 11:30 PM.

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#25
happyrock

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since you put in a new data cable and it didn't help...its either the HD controller on the mobo is bad/dead or not working or its one or more of the traces on the mobo...
go here and get ubcd...its a live cd...you boot from it and try testing the hard drive using the tools on the cd...if it tests the drive out and its ok we can try TESTDISK after that
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#26
john545

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So you do not believe the earlier screen I got referencing a bad ntoskrnl.exe file or boot ini file is relevant ? If this is a hardware issue, I wouldn't trust my skill level to replace whatever is found to be the cause. So should I simply head for the repair shop at this point ?

John
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#27
happyrock

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if you don't want to try what I asked you to do then by all means take it to a shop
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