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Computer won't boot after a fall...


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#1
cassiekohler

cassiekohler

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Hello All,

My boss' young son knocked my computer (Dell Optiplex 360) off a low shelf (maybe 10" off ground) last night and now the computer won't boot.
Upon startup I am getting two short beeps. The power light and 1, 2 & 3 are all lit up solid green.

Once past the Dell splash screen I get the following message:

"Error auto-sensing secondary master hard disk drive
strike F1 to continue, F2 for Setup utility
Press F5 to run onboard diagnostics"

Pressing F1 just brings me back to the error message. ("No boot device available")
Pressing F5 and running diagnostics shows no errors.
Pressing F2 and going into setup/Boot sequence shows that the computer thinks that all devices in boot menu except the CD-ROM Drive are Not Present.

I opened the back cover, and: reseated the memory, checked all cable connections, disconnected the power supply for the HD, visually inspected HD, reseated and replugged it back in and am back at the error message.

I have no problem running to Staples and purchasing a new caviar blue HD but wanted to know if there was a way to be sure the fall off the shelf broke the HD and not something else. Of course, fixing the problem without purchasing new hardware would be ideal :D

Thanks so much in advance for your help!
Cassie
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#2
Macboatmaster

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I would put my money on a mechanical failure of the HDD.
http://electronics.h...e.htm/printable

There is nothing to use on this site, it is just to show you what has more than likely happened.
If that is the case, you will not recover your data using a Puppy Linux boot or similar, as the HDD even if the disc spins cannot be read as the read/write head will have been dislodged so that it cannot read the data.

Unless you have something there that is irreplacable and of extreme sentimental value, the cost of recovery, if that is what has occurred makes any attempt unworthy of consideration. It can only be done by a specialist .


Is the HDD in the computer at this time also a Western Digital.The best test now is to run a Western Digitial HDD analysis.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 11 February 2011 - 11:27 AM.

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#3
cassiekohler

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Hi, thanks for responding.

That's what I was thinking too but Dell on the phone says they "think" it is the DVD+/-RW but can't really help me because I am 15 days past my 1yr service contract expiration date. :D

There is a WD Caviar Blue in there now, yes. For $65 I think I'll just replace it and if it doesn't work I'll return the new hdd.
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#4
Macboatmaster

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This Dell Optiplex is the desktop model - is that correct.

If it is, having disconnected all, including and most important the power lead.
Open the case.

Standing on a non static generating surface - ie: not a carpet and having grounded yourself by touching the metal case with both hands, disconnect the power supply to the DVD/CD drive. BOTH if you have two of them.
If this is a SATA device then both the power supply lead and the drive to motherboard lead will more than likely be red coloured and will have a small black coloured connector to the drive, simply ease that away from the drive., there is no locking tab, usually and it should NOT be hard to pull off. You will note for replacement purposes that the connection on the lead includes a right angled turn at one end, as does the drive connection. It can therefore ONLY be connected one way.

Do the same with the other connection to the drive, which if it is SATA will again be the same sort of connection.

If these are NOT sata devices the principal is the same, but the power lead will be what is known as a molex connector it will have four pins, and the wires will include a red, black and yellow. The other connection will very likely be a ribbon type cable.

Ensure the leads you have disconnected CANNOT foul with one of the fans., tuck them out of the way.

Put the case back together.
Start the computer, enter the BIOS setup, normally F2.
check what devices are shown.
On boot priority - set HDD as boot device.
Save and exit normally F10.

See what now occurs.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 11 February 2011 - 11:55 AM.

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#5
cassiekohler

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Ok, disconnected the DVD drive and now at Boot Sequence all devices are shown as "(not present)", in this order (which I did not change):
Onboard SATA Hard Drive
Onboard or USB Floppy Drive
USB Device
Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive
Onboard Network Controller

Previously, the CD-ROM drive said nothing. When I exit I am back to the same error message. (Btw, the connected to the drive are an orange ribbon cable and a connector with two black, one red, one orange and one yellow wires) .

Thanks again,
Cassie
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#6
Macboatmaster

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http://support.wdc.c...6&sid=2&lang=en

Go here download the data lifeguiard for dos.

Check the connections to the drive.

Reboot see if it will find it,
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#7
cassiekohler

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Hmmm... ok. Download it? And then what?

There is no disk drive only the CD, should I reconnect that?

All my work is done remotely, I'm not worried about losing data (though I will be annoyed if I have to reinstall the OS/Software).
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#8
Macboatmaster

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Is there a floppy drive
  • Extract the DLGDiagv519.exe file and copy to a DOS bootable diskette.
  • Boot from this diskette. Make sure that your boot order in your Bios is set to boot from the floppy drive first.
I will help as far as is possible, but after such a knock to the computer you must realise that you could have all sorts of faults and damage waiting to become apparent if and when you ever get it to the stage of booting.

You have quite a few ways to go, but of course like always in this situation it depends on what you have available. and what you can borrow.
1. Put another hard drive in the computer. NOT of course one on which there is data you need.
2. Reconnect the DVD/CD
3. Insert the XP CD
4. BIOS to CD boot.
Will it boot, is the CD recognised, is the HDD then recognised, will Windows install. DO NOT activate on this test run.

If that works and the existing original hard drive is not recognised, when then THAT is in this computer THEN you may safely presume it is the hard drive.

Then you are back to what I said at first about recovery costs.
NEW HARD DRIVE start again on the installation in the computer.

OR
Make a Puppy Linux CD - that is bootable - it will work without the hard drive, boot from the CD
That will install Puppy in ram and will effectively test the hardware.

Edited by Macboatmaster, 11 February 2011 - 03:44 PM.

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#9
cassiekohler

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Hmm. Ok. Thanks!
I will get started on some of that and let you know how it goes :D
Thanks again!

Edited by cassiekohler, 11 February 2011 - 03:46 PM.

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#10
Macboatmaster

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I wish you good luck.
Please post back with ANY queries
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