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Dell PC software problems

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Best Answer BerDov , 08 June 2021 - 09:51 AM

Once again, thank you very much, Phillipower2 and peterm! Before I click on [Mark Solved], would like to share that, after returning the computer to B&H, I bought another version of the sa... Go to the full post »


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#76
phillpower2

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No worries and the other steps that you did were correct.

 

Two options, seeing if you are able to delete the partition as opposed to using the format option that does not work for you or alternatively wiping the drive with DBan which you can download for free from here and a "how to" guide here which I suggest that you read first.


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#77
BerDov

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I downloaded DBAN, burned disk image as per the instructions, with Verification; read the instructions on using DBAN and booted the machine from the CD (on start, went into Boot Options (F12), selected booting from CD;).

 

 

Selected [dodshort] option;

 

read msg "Loading dban.bzi.......

 

after about a minute,the following message appeared:

 

"

cat: can't open '/proc/cmdline': No such file or directory

_

"

Well?

 

Sorry, man.


Edited by BerDov, 02 May 2021 - 01:28 PM.

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#78
phillpower2

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Googled that error and apparently it is caused by the BIOS being set to UEFI boot.

 

Colleague peterm suggests that you should check the BIOS to see if you have an option to change the BIOS to ACHI.

 

UEFI is at the root of all your troubles here I`m afraid  :(


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#79
BerDov

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In other words, the problem is in a chip on the mother board.

 

Googling ACHI I found that ACHI and AHCI are used interchangeably. Probably a typing error.  Reading "Advanced Host Controller Interface" I recalled seeing the word "Controller" before. Indeed, it was in Msg #37: "Windows cannot be installed to this disk. This Computer's h/w may not support booting to this disk. Ensure that the disk's controller is enabled in the BIOS menu."

Anyway, I rebooted the machine, went into BIOS, found this:

 

20210503_095202.jpg

 

Just to confirm, is this the place to make the change to AHCI?

 

If Yes, then I will

 

- Save-Exit (F10);

- go to the Boot tab, make sure that [CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive] is highlighted;

- insert DBAN disk;

- press Enter on the CD/DVD.. Drive option;

- pray.

 

P.S.

 

My mistake: [CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive] is not in the BIOS Boot tab; it's in the boot menu (F12).

 

 I also noticed references to UEFI in the Security tab of BIOS:

 

UEFI Firmware Capsule Updates                  [Enabled]

UEFI Boot Path Security                                [Always, Except Internal HDD]

 

Should they be disabled also, before booting from the DBAN disk?


Edited by BerDov, 03 May 2021 - 08:31 AM.

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#80
phillpower2

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That is correct, because the setting is for RAID when you were trying to clean install Windows the BIOS was looking for RAID drivers.

 

Anything UEFI should be disabled and if me once you have made and saved the changes I would give clean installing Windows another go first, fingers crossed you will be able to format the drive to NTFS this time.


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#81
BerDov

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Well, the bloody computer is not giving up.

 

Here is what I did, exactly:

 

- BIOS > Advanced > SATA Operation changed to [AHCI];

- confirmed;

- BIOS > Security > UEFI Firmware Capsule Updates  [Enabled] changed to [Disabled]

- BIOS > Security > UEFI Boot Path Security                          [Always, Except Internal HDD]

                                changed to [Never];

- pressed F10;

- confirmed;

 

- on Restart, pressed Boot Options (F12);

- selected [CD/DVD/CD-RW Drive];

- Win 10 DVD > IN;

- Enter!

...

- "Where do you want to install?" screen;

- selected "Drive 1 Partition 3: OS";

- clicked on Format;  > error msg:

 

20210504_155021.jpg

 

as per https://www.easeus.c...n-gpt-disk.html

 

"...GPT is a standard layout of partition tables of a physical computer storage device, such as a hard disk drive or solid-state drive. Forming a part of the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) standard, it is also used for some BIOS systems because of the limitations of master boot record (MBR) partition tables..." 

 

I assume that, by disabling UEFI, a new conflict was created.

 

I was ready to erase the HDD Using DBAN when it occurred to me that switching from UEFI to AHCI in BIOS, may prevent me from formatting the drive and/or creating partitions properly when I try to install the OS.

 

Your guidance re next steps is appreciated.


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#82
phillpower2

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Sorry, should have said the whole drive needs to be formatted to NTFS when you install Windows and not just the present OS partition, this because of the Dell UEFI Windows installation and tools on the drive.

 

Time for DBan by the looks of it.


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#83
BerDov

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Thank you!

 

Booted from DBAN dsk.

 

Still no go: "cat: can't open '/proc/cmdline': No such file or directory"


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#84
phillpower2

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Sorry but I can`t see what you see so will have to ask, when you boot DBan do you see an option called Autonuke, if yes use that.

 

I haven't needed to use DBan for while so had to google that error, it can apparently be caused by either a badly burned ISO or there still being UEFI BIOS settings or secure boot enabled.


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#85
peterm

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Hi Phillpower2

I hope you and BerDov don't mind me jumping in.

I know Phillpower2 has been helping you from the start so you might want to check with him first before doing anything I have suggested. 

So we don't interrupt his plan and set things back.

If Dban will not work.

What I would try

Step 1) As Phillpower2 says double check your BIOS for UFEI settings - maybe secure boot.

Step 2) Disconnect the second drive as windows has a bad habit or putting the boot sector on other drives 

Step 3) Follow this guide https://docs.microso...rt to MBR disk.

Go to the step using the command line to convert.

Step 4) boot with cd/dvd 

 

BerDov you are over thinking the partition situation.

From what I can see you have a small hdd - drive 1. Which is where you are installing windows. Windows will automatically create the 2 partitions it needs for running windows.

In my own opinion I would not add anymore partitions to that drive.

May I ask why you want more partitions?

 

Cheers

Peterm

 

 

 

 

 

 


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#86
phillpower2

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Appreciate the extra pair of eyes, thanks Peter  :thumbsup:


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#87
BerDov

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Firstly, Peter: thank you for your interests and help.

 

I reviewed BIOS settings again. UEFI is only referenced in the Security tab. It was disabled a few days ago.

 

20210507_103939.jpg

20210507_104030.jpg

 

I burned DBAN onto a new CDR, turned the computer ON, went into Boot Options, highlighted the CD/DVD option

 

20210507_110859.jpg

 

and pressed Enter

 

When the DBAN screen appeared, I typed the "autonuke" command.

 

20210507_111231.jpg

 

The result was still the same: " cat: can't open '/proc/cmdline': No such file or directory"

 

Now replying to Peter.

 

" Step 2) Disconnect the second drive as windows has a bad habit or putting the boot sector on other drives"

 

I do not understand this comment, as I think there is only one drive. If I am mistaken, where do I see the second drive and how should it be disconnected?

 

" Step 3) Follow this guide https://docs.microso...rt to MBR disk. "

 

I will abstain from doing this for now. Phillip, please confirm it is necessary.

 

" In my own opinion I would not add anymore partitions to that drive.

May I ask why you want more partitions?"

 

It is my understanding that partitions were created when I bought the computer and turned it ON for the first time. That is all I know. I don't know much about computers on this level.

 

Hence the question from the last century:

 

Since nothing  seems to be working so far, can we wipe out the disk by [> format c:\]? If the answer is Yes, I am assuming that booting from the Win 10 disk I have will bring up the setup screen from the Msg #81 where I can select [Format] and then the OS will be installed. Am I right?

 

Thank you, gentlemen!


Edited by BerDov, 07 May 2021 - 10:23 AM.

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#88
peterm

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Hi BerDov

1) In Bios Image 3/4 No.110859.jpg under UEFI Options If you highlight Windows Boot manager and press enter do you get any options?

 

2) In Reply Number 53 The screen shot is showing Drive 0 & Drive 1 so I assumed 2 drives. Either way not really important for the install -

just different ways but similar results in the end a working computer

 

3) The choice is yours either follow the guide to convert to MBR or You can most certainly try Format C: No reason not to.

as long as when you boot you can see C: drive and the usb has the format command. 

 


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#89
BerDov

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Thank you, Peter,

 

In reference to your question 1), 110859.jpg, I just highlighted the Windows Boot Manager. The message on screen was: "Selected boot device failed. Press any key to reboot the system".

 

In ref. to 2) - understood. I don't know why it shows Drive 0 and Drive 1.

 

In ref. to 3) - I thought [format c:] would be simpler.  However, I do not know if I can now open windows and then the DOS window. I would need to retrace my steps and restore the Boot Manager and the BIOS to the original settings.

 

What "usb has the format command" did you mean?  I do have a Recovery USB but could not restore the system from it. I also have a Microsoft Win 10 Pro on a DVD. That's what I thought to use after formatting C:.


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#90
peterm

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Sorry I thought you had the win10 usb  as well as the dvd - dvd would be great

Insert and see if you can get command prompt to format C


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