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System Build Hurdle


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#1
Mighty Boosh

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Hi all,

Have just assembled my new PC. The mainboard is a Biostar N68S3 motherboard with AMD Quad Core 645 3.1Ghz CPU and 8GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM. I have a couple of Sony DVD RW drives attached as well as a Floppy.

Anyway, I powered it up first time and no bangs and no smoke, seems promising I thought. Trouble is, I cant seem to get it to ask for an OS. It runs through the POST no problem with a boot up beep at the end but then nothing. Normally you would expect it to say that no OS has been found, do you want to install etc etc etc .

I am not getting this, it just goes from POST to what is called on screen "Hardware Monitor" where it displays the systems hardware status, CPU temp, fan speed, voltages etc. Anyway, thats as far as it gets, it just hangs there. For a physical drive I have used a dedicated 160GB Maxtor IDE drive I had. Its brand new and ready to go. I have not put any jumpers on the drive so it should be set to master (shouldnt it?)

Anyway, thats the general gist of it, if you need more info obviously I'm happy to provide as much as you need!

Cheers, Chris

PS: Is there any way to slow down POST? Theres a lot being shown and its so [bleep] quick its impossible to read and there may well be some usefull info in there somewhere.

Forgot to mention, I have set one of the optical drives as first boot disc. Even with my XP disc in the drive its not detected even though the drive fires up after POST.

Edited by Mighty Boosh, 18 June 2011 - 02:37 PM.

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#2
phillpower2

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Hi Mighty Boosh

I have used a dedicated 160GB Maxtor IDE drive


Forgot to mention, I have set one of the optical drives as first boot disc.

Possible clues to the cause of the issue!
Have you got the HDD in the IDE slot 1 on the MB, it may be blue as opposed to black.
I suggest that you temporarily disconnect one of the optical drives, plug the end connector
in your HDD (as Master) and the middle connection into your optical drive (as Slave) then
format and partition your new HDD, BTW as you are using the older IDE format HDD the chances are
that your optical drives may require drivers.
Also there should be a diagram on the HDD showing where the jumpers should be set for Master and
Slave, if you have the correct type of HDD ribbon you should also selecf the Cable Select option
in the BIOS set-up.
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#3
Mighty Boosh

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Hi Phil,

Thanks for your reply.

First off, dont know if this is relevant but although the HDD is IDE the two opticals are both SATA. The other thing, there is only one IDE input on the mainboard and it is red in colour.

Off to check the things you mentioned and will repost later.

Cheers, Chris
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#4
phillpower2

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Hi Chris,
Couple of questions for you, is the optical drive you have set as the first boot device connected to SATA port 1 on the MB and was your new HDD detected in the BIOS when you set up the boot sequence.
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#5
Mighty Boosh

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For the record Phil, Ive not even had a chance to look at your suggestions earlier, this is a flying post as such as I managed to avoid the Mrs for five mins!

Anyway, as far as which SATA port my optical drive is connected to, haven't got a clue is my honest answer. It does show up in the BIOS though, as does my IDE HDD, I can select it and see all of its properties so its there alright.

Don't know if this helps but here is the Mainboard bundle that I bought for the PC

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item45f95cbe49

Here is the info on the mainboard itself

http://www.biostar.c...nt.php?S_ID=497

Here's the optical drive that installed (two of these are actually installed)

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item33679982d6

Here's the floppy drive

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item35b2c43fe3

Also have one of these installed, couple of 120mm fans connected to it.

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item3a5ebb3517

And lastly I have a SATA hot swap HDD bay

http://cgi.ebay.co.u...=item3cb883bcf0

That's about it......................

Would it help if I upload a couple of screenshots of the POST and hardware monitor?

Chris

Edited by Mighty Boosh, 19 June 2011 - 06:43 AM.

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#6
phillpower2

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Would it help if I upload a couple of screenshots of the POST and hardware monitor?

Can you post a picture of the BIOS settings, as in the .jpeg below;
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#7
Mighty Boosh

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Hi Phil (and anyone else for that matter)

Right, still no joy. I have tried the HDD on both MasterOn/Slave Off and also Cable Select without success. The HDD is shown in BIOS quite clearly but it also says that it is disabled and there is no option to enable it?

I have taken some photo's with my mobile, they are anything but great but you can see what it reads clear enough. They are as follows...........

This is the screenshot for Hardware Monitor. This is what follows POST.

Posted Image

This is the same again but taken slightly further back to catch the entire screen.


Posted Image

Boot settings config.

Posted Image

This is IDE Config.

Posted Image

This is Primary Master IDE screen.

Posted Image

Disc Priority Screen.


Posted Image

And lastly, Disc Disabled Screen.


Posted Image


I can do more pics if needed so just shout if you need any!

Cheers, Chris
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#8
phillpower2

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Hi Chris,
I notice in picture 6 that you have the boot sequence to the HDD 1st, floppy 2nd and the CD drive 3rd!
It should be CD drive 1st, HDD 2nd and floppy drive 3rd, what is happening is the system is trying to
boot from a HDD with no data on it so by setting the CD drive 1st the system boots from the installation
disk, below is a little guide to help you;
To change Boot Sequence in your BIOS
Reboot the system and at the first post screen (where it is counting up memory) start tapping the DEL button
This will enter you into the BIOS/CMOS area.
Find the Advanced area and click Enter
Look for Boot Sequence or Boot Options and highlight that click Enter
Now highlight the first drive and follow the directions on the bottom of the screen on how to modify it and change it to the CD drive.
Change the second drive to the C or Main Drive
Once that is done then click F10 to Save and Exit
You will be prompted to enter Y to verify Save and Exit. Click Y and the system will now reboot with the new settings, be sure to put
the XP disk in the disk tray before you reboot, if successful do a full NTFS format of the HDD and then partition the HDD for your OS to go on, between 8-10GB should do for the partition but please google it to check.
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#9
Mighty Boosh

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Hi Phil, I am pretty sure that I have tried with different boot sequences including CD ROM as 1st boot and HDD as 2nd.

Chris
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#10
phillpower2

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It was just an observation Chris as you did say in your OP "Forgot to mention, I have set one of the optical drives as first boot disc. Even with my XP disc in the drive its not detected even though the drive fires up after POST".
Can you set the boot sequence as described for us and let us know the outcome this time.
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#11
Mighty Boosh

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Just tried this again Phii (or anyone else for that matter)

Set the 1st drive as CD again and nothing. Just goes through POST then hangs at hardware monitor screen.

One new development though. I have now noticed that all three drives are disabled in BIOS. The HDD, the CD and also the Floppy drive. Trouble is I cant seem to find a way to enable them in BIOS. Am I missing something really obvious here???
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#12
phillpower2

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Try removing the silver CR2032 battery on the MB for a few moments and then replace it, this will restore the MB back to the factory defaults, you should then be able to start afresh, before you tried installing the OS did you install all of the MB drivers from the disc that was supplied by the seller?
You can also check for driver and BIOS updates @ http://www.biostar.c...er.php?S_ID=497 only update the BIOS as a last resort.
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#13
Mighty Boosh

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First things first!

Ignore the discs disabled comments. There is no option to enable them because you dont need to. You just move up or down to either select or disable the disc show. What a plonker!

On the subject of popping the button cell. The thought was beginning to enter my mind so to speak. As for the MB drivers. I have tried to install them but they are also not recognized at boot up. Also, the MB install guide states to install these after you have installed your OS Phil.
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#14
Mighty Boosh

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Its official, I am now at my wits end!

Tried resetting everything. Disabled all drives apart from the DVD drive. Set said drive to boot disc one and disabled all others. There is now only one place the BIOS can go look for an OS and it still isn't. I have now even taken a known healthy DVD drive from another machine, connected that to the new system and still nothing. It just runs through post then hangs at the hardware monitor page.

Anyone, anything???????????????????????????????????????

Failing that, someone please pass me a lump hammer...................

Edited by Mighty Boosh, 24 June 2011 - 11:59 AM.

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#15
phillpower2

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This has got to be frustrating for you I know :)
Was the known good DVD drive detected in the BIOS?
Four things present throughout your troubleshooting that could be the cause are 1: The MB (BIOS chip) 2: The data transfer cable 3: The XP disk and 4: The HDD.
1: If the BIOS chip is bad the board will need to be returned.
2: Have you tried alternative data cables with the various drives?
3: Where did the XP disk come from, is it the original full version or the partial OEM version, is the disk read by other computers and finally above all is it a legitimate disk and not pirated or downloaded from somewhere.
4: It is less likely to be the HDD down to the fact that the HDD is detected in the BIOS, the true capacity of the HDD is shown and the you do not even get the XP install screen.
Suggestions include if you can set the boot sequence to USB device first and another computer reads the XP disk ok then copy XP to a thumb drive and try the install that way, a guide to how @ http://www.modaco.co...ia-a-usb-stick/ you will also need this http://www.prime-expert.com/flashboot/ as the link at the thread doesn`t work, if you are using a wireless keyboard try the wired PS2 type and finally remove the MB from the case and do a bare-bones set-up, canned text on how to do this is below;

Remove the MB and do a bare-bones set-up on a piece of cardboard (make sure it is larger than the MB) only connect the PSU, the GFX card, 1 stick of Ram and the keyboard.
You will then need to short out the 2 power on pins on the MB header to get the PSU to activate, you can use a small flat bladed screwdriver or a paper clip bent into a U shape, this is perfectly safe if you do not touch anything else, the idea is to see if we can get a BIOS screen if you do you can then add one component at a time until you find the problem component, you must power down and remove the power cord from the wall before adding a component.
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