Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

old laptop Asus A6J: hard disk make me crazy!

hard disk

  • Please log in to reply

#1
_maxim_

_maxim_

    New Member

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Hi folks,
I'm going to be crazy with my laptop. Yeah, is quite old but rock solid and quite fast running XP when it boots.
Yes, the problem is *when* it boots.
If the system is cold, after the BIOS messages it stops regularly with the error 'Impossible to find a disk. Insert one and press CTRL+ALT+CANC to rebot'
The BIOS detects the hard disk, and I also tried to replace it with another one but nothing changes, so I guess the issue doesn't depends from the disk.

If an external sw accesses to the disk prior the boot, it works perfectly, as if I boot from Hiren's Boot CD firts, then I choose one of the Hard Disk Tools i.e. the S.M.A.R.T. detection: after a reboot the system loads and XP is stable until its shutdown.

No way to start XP if simply start Hiren's Boot CD then reboot the laptop without accessing to the disk.

I have inspected the mother board for defective CAPS or cold solders, but everything looks fine to me, in fact when XP has been successfully loaded, is perfect for weeks if no powerdown occurs.

What can I check more?

Thanks for your help here
max
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 21,385 posts

:welcome:   _maxim_

 

Couple of questions if I may;

 

The BIOS detects the hard disk, 

 

 

The BIOS detecting the HDD is good but is it always set as the first boot device when you check the BIOS after the computer will not boot.

 

I also tried to replace it with another one but nothing changes, 

 

 

Did the replacement HDD have a clean install of XP on it that had been installed on the Asus A6J, this because you cannot use a HDD out of a different computer that already has an OS and MB drivers installed on it.

 

when XP has been successfully loaded, is perfect for weeks if no powerdown occurs.

 

 

When you do power down and leave the computer and it will then not boot are the time and date correct in the BIOS, the computer is circa 10 years old and so there is a high chance that the CMOS battery that powers the BIOS chip which in turn stores the boot sequence could be dead.

 


  • 1

#3
_maxim_

_maxim_

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

:welcome:   _maxim_
 
Couple of questions if I may;

 

Thank you for your reply!

The BIOS detecting the HDD is good but is it always set as the first boot device when you check the BIOS after the computer will not boot.

 

I just wanted figure out that the BIOS detects correctly the presence of any hard disk all the time, without errors or failures.

Did the replacement HDD have a clean install of XP on it that had been installed on the Asus A6J, this because you cannot use a HDD out of a different computer that already has an OS and MB drivers installed on it.

Yes sure, three different hard disks have been tested by installing a fresh version of the same XP release from an unique ISO CDROM.

When you do power down and leave the computer and it will then not boot are the time and date correct in the BIOS, the computer is circa 10 years old and so there is a high chance that the CMOS battery that powers the BIOS chip which in turn stores the boot sequence could be dead.


Surprisingly the CMOS does not loose data and time infos even after a week of power down. Also the BIOS version is the latest released from Asus, reloaded few days ago just to be sure with Load Default settings from the main BIOS page.

I can check the voltage of the battery but... it is strange that the system refuses to boot until a disk access has operated by an external tool as Hiren'S Boot CD... as if the hard disk was not ready at the very beginning but fully operative afterwards.
This I cannot explain...
  • 0

#4
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 21,385 posts
I just wanted figure out that the BIOS detects correctly the presence of any hard disk all the time, without errors or failures.

 

 

Sorry but do not understand what you mean by the above, is the HDD always set as the first boot device when you check the BIOS after the computer will not boot.

 

 

three different hard disks have been tested by installing a fresh version of the same XP release from an unique ISO CDROM.

 

 

Full XP ISOs were never released by any legitimate source and the only way to do a clean install of XP is with a genuine MS or OEM disk for the computer supplied by ASUS or purchased by yourself or by using a back up disk that you made yourself when the computer was out of the box new, can I ask where you got this ISO from.

 

Can you go into the BIOS and make sure that  AHCI mode is not enabled and that IDE mode is.

 

The time and date being correct suggests that the CMOS battery is fine so wouldn`t worry about checking it`s voltage.

 

You are welcome btw  :)


  • 1

#5
_maxim_

_maxim_

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Hi phillpower2,

first of all I wanted to thank you personally for your patience 😊

Yes sure: the HDD is set as primary / bootable device in the BIOS; I can add more that the same happens by installing either a genuine XP MS Windows or any Linux distribution, on any of three hard disk tested up to now. I've just created a new ISO with XP SP3 light release for my old friends as the A6J is, and it is working on many PC.
That's why I guess it is a hardware issue ...

The interface is IDE PATA nor SATA so that there is no AHCI setting to be used there, since the laptop is late 2003 production.

Still incredible for me that also the recovering from hibernation or suspend states works perfectly and the system gets ready in few seconds after the resume request... just the very first boot seems tricky

Thank you again for your help

Max

Edited by _maxim_, 16 November 2016 - 12:21 AM.

  • 0

#6
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 21,385 posts

Hello  _maxim_

 

the HDD is set as primary / bootable device in the BIOS; I can add more that the same happens by installing either a genuine XP MS Windows or any Linux distribution, 

 

 

Acknowledged  :thumbsup:

 

The interface is IDE PATA nor SATA so that there is no AHCI setting to be used there

 

 

:oops:  sorry that should have been the other way around as in making sure that it was set to IDE as opposed to AHCI, the reason why I suggested it was in case Windows was looking for SATA drivers when the HDD is the IDE type that all original versions of XP had drivers for as standard.

 

You are now left with two possible causes, a dirty electrical contact between the HDD/s and the port on the MB and a BIOS issue, if you have not done so already, pull the CMOS battery, leave it out for a while, press the power on button to clear any charge in the system, remove the HDD, clean the electrical contacts on the HDD and MB port with an electrical cleaner like the example here it only needs a light spray so be careful not to overdo it, give it time to evaporate, replace the HDD and CMOS battery, attach the AC adapter only, power up the notebook to access the BIOS, set the time, date and boot configuration and then test.

 

You are welcome btw  :)


  • 0

#7
_maxim_

_maxim_

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Just successfully reinstalled Linux Mint 18 XFCE in another hard disk.
 
Left the laptop running with Linux for two days, warm reboots worked all the times.
Then it has been powered off for few hours and after powered up the following message appeared on the screen:
 

Reboot and Select proper Boot device

or Insert Boot Media in selected Boot device and press a key

 
Sadly any attempt to reboot with Ctrl+Alt+Canc (reset) did not work.
 
Of course, the BIOS Setup Utility detects the hard disk as usual (Hitachi 100 GB).
 
And again, after a single boot from Hiren's Boot CD, Hard Disk Tools, SMART utility for checking the HDD then reboot it worked!
How it is possible ??

I think I need to reflow the motherboard 😕

Edited by _maxim_, 17 November 2016 - 11:58 PM.

  • 0

#8
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 21,385 posts
I think I need to reflow the motherboard  

 

 

Not sure how you think that doing the above will resolve the issue, much safer to do what was suggested in my reply #6;

 

You are now left with two possible causes, a dirty electrical contact between the HDD/s and the port on the MB and a BIOS issue, if you have not done so already, pull the CMOS battery, leave it out for a while, press the power on button to clear any charge in the system, remove the HDD, clean the electrical contacts on the HDD and MB port with an electrical cleaner like the example here it only needs a light spray so be careful not to overdo it, give it time to evaporate, replace the HDD and CMOS battery, attach the AC adapter only, power up the notebook to access the BIOS, set the time, date and boot configuration and then test.

 

 

If the above does not help I suspect you are looking at a replacement MB, not normally a financially viable option and it may be worth considering leaving the notebook in stand by mode rather than shutting it down, not ideal I know but the only alternative that I can think of I`m afraid  :(


  • 0

#9
_maxim_

_maxim_

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

Yes friend, you're right: first of all I will try to clean electrical contacts next week (possibly Monday) then I will think to other way to go on...

Today I had not to much time to play with my laptop but the issue is reproducible now: whenever the system is still warm, it boots always regularly, even different OS from different hard disk if the replacement is done until the system is warm. Once the system is cold, it is a mess.

 

About the motherboard, I will check on  Aliexpress... but at least after one attempt of re-flowing.
 


  • 0

#10
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 21,385 posts
the issue is reproducible now: whenever the system is still warm, it boots always regularly, even different OS from different hard disk if the replacement is done until the system is warm. Once the system is cold, it is a mess.

 

 

Just thinking aloud here, when the system gets warm things expand including electrical contacts, perhaps when cold you are not getting a good contact between the HDD and the HDDs contacts on the MB port - if not done already, try removing and reseating the RAM a couple of times to make sure that has a good contact as well.


  • 0

Advertisements


#11
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 21,385 posts

Not heard back from you _maxim_, do you still require assistance or is the issue now resolved, an update would be appreciated.


  • 0

#12
_maxim_

_maxim_

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts
Hi,
I need to clean electric contacts and probably to reflow the motherboard as soon as I've received the hot gun and some tools ordered.
Please, leave the issue as it is for a while, I certainly be back for an update in the next weeks.
Max

Edited by _maxim_, 23 November 2016 - 12:28 AM.

  • 0

#13
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 21,385 posts

:thumbsup:


  • 0

#14
_maxim_

_maxim_

    New Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • Pip
  • 9 posts

I did not forget to send my feedback; I've been extremely busy with my work... and I hope to have some free time during this weekend :geek:


  • 0

#15
phillpower2

phillpower2

    Tech Staff

  • Technician
  • 21,385 posts

No problem and thanks for the update  _maxim_  :thumbsup:


  • 0






Similar Topics


Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: hard disk

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP