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Cannot boot (two different computers!)


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#1
luanna

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I think I must have done lots of things wrong to get where I am now. It started Friday, I left my P3 for a few minutes and when I returned it was rebooting, something I'd never seen it do before for no reason. It got to the Windows XP splash screen, hesitated a few seconds as it always does - and then started the boot over again from the top. It did this continuously, so I stopped it and tried the various options (safe modes, last good configuration, debugging, etc). The only one that changed the behaviour at all was Don't Reboot on Fatal Error which displayed the blue screen of death with a code that turned out to be a very generic fatal error code. The version of XP it was running was upgraded with Service Pack 2 and every upgrade that came through automatically.

I was able to pick up another P3 from someone who had switched to laptop and didn't need it anymore. It was running Windows 98, so I popped in the Windows XP Upgrade (the same one I had used on my computer) and upgraded it. No problem. This is where it starts to get weird. I wanted to recover my files from my hard drive. The new P3 had a 10GB drive and a 2GB drive. I removed the 2GB drive and replaced it with mine (15GB, these are all old computers). The system wouldn't boot. At all. It gave one long beep and three short ones. That turns out to mean DRAM problems. Huh? Never touched it. I put the 2GB drive back in so everything was just the way it was before I started, but it still wouldn' work. I experimented further, but got nowhere, so I decided to take out the 10GB drive and try booting it on my old computer.

When I powered up, I immediately got a screen saying that Windows was unable to start and, after a lot of text, offering me five options, three safe mode starts, a last good config start, and a normal start which was the default. And a 30-second countdown for some reason. When the start failed again, I went into the BIOS screen and told it to auto-detect the hard drive and tried again. Same thing. I tried all five modes, but it just came back to the same screen. I wanted to try booting from the Upgrade CD, but it is an old BIOS and you can't put it before the HD.

Is any of this ringing any alarm bells with anyone? I am completely confused. The only other thing I can even think of to try is hooking in the 2GB drive (with no OS), letting it fall through to the CD, quickly swapping in the 10GB drive and trying to do, I don't know, SOMETHING. But that sounds a little crazy. Any ideas? Thanks for listening.
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#2
makai

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Let me get this straight...

Your computer seemed to be hosed, so you took your hard drive over to another computer and installed it there to retrieve your files... right?

There are important issues while doing this.

1) Did you connect your 15gb drive to the same IDE connector as the 10gb drive? Yes, or no?

2) If yes, did you make sure the jumpers on each drive were set correctly so the computer would know what drive to boot from??


makai
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#3
luanna

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Let me get this straight...

Your computer seemed to be hosed, so you took your hard drive over to another computer and installed it there to retrieve your files... right?

There are important issues while doing this.

1)  Did you connect your 15gb drive to the same IDE connector as the 10gb drive?  Yes, or no?

2)  If yes, did you make sure the jumpers on each drive were set correctly so the computer would know what drive to boot from??
makai

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I put the 15GB drive in place of an existing 2GB drive. I don't really know the answer to your specific question, but the computer did know not to boot off the 2GB drive. And then I removed the 15GB drive and put the 2GB drive back where it was when it didn't work. Does that help?

Thanks for your fast reply. I'm not very sophisticated about all this, I am flying by the seat of my pants.
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#4
gerryf

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You cannot remove the harddrive from one computer and put it another because they have mismatched hardware--this is VERY true in windows xp. In windows 98, windows would try to start, try to reinstall hardware, and sometimes come up.

In Windows XP, it simply rolls over on it's back and dies...and to make matters worse, corrupts the HAL so you cannot put it back in the original drive.

So, that is what happened with the second PC.

When you tried to put the drive from the first PC into the win98/upgradetoXP pc, did you alter the jumper configuration (they were on the same cable?). It sounds like you did not, which means the harddrives were in conflict and BIOS could not move any further...

You needed to switch the drive from your pc from master to slave, or set it up on the second IDE controller by itself
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#5
makai

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When more than one hard drive is installed on the same IDE cable, the computer must be "told" which hard drive is to be used to boot from.

This is accomplished by setting the jumpers on each drive to either Master, Slave, or Cable select.

If you install two drives on the same IDE cable and BOTH are set to Master, then the computer gets confused and won't boot up.

I suspect that when you moved your 15gb drive from your computer to the other computer, you didn't change the drive jumper to "SLAVE", thereby confusing the computer.

Look on the back of the 15gb drive for a small plastic jumper going across two pins. Look on the drive for a diagram telling you how to set this jumper. Move the jumper to the SLAVE postion.

Once you move the jumper, reinstall the harddrive back into the computer and try to boot.

It is possible that the Bios is confused right now, but lets try this first before checking on the bios.

makai
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#6
luanna

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You cannot remove the harddrive from one computer and put it another because they have mismatched hardware--this is VERY true in windows xp. In windows 98, windows would try to start, try to reinstall hardware, and sometimes come up.

In Windows XP, it simply rolls over on it's back and dies...and to make matters worse, corrupts the HAL so you cannot put it back in the original drive.

So, that is what happened  with the second PC.

When you tried to put the drive from the first PC into the win98/upgradetoXP pc, did you alter the jumper configuration (they were on the same cable?). It sounds like you did not, which means the harddrives were in conflict and BIOS could not move any further...

You needed to switch the drive from your pc from master to slave, or set it up on the second IDE controller by itself

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Thanks for your reply. No, I didn't change any jumpers although I did replace an existing drive, so maybe they were set right to begin with? At any rate, is there any way to rescue the situation or am I now the proud owner of two doorstops? If I did it right, would there be any way to recover the data from my original drive? Thanks for your help.
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#7
luanna

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When more than one hard drive is installed on the same IDE cable, the computer must be "told" which hard drive is to be used to boot from.

This is accomplished by setting the jumpers on each drive to either Master, Slave, or Cable select.

If you install two drives on the same IDE cable and BOTH are set to Master, then the computer gets confused and won't boot up.

I suspect that when you moved your 15gb drive from your computer to the other computer, you didn't change the drive jumper to "SLAVE", thereby confusing the computer.

Look on the back of the 15gb drive for a small plastic jumper going across two pins.  Look on the drive for a diagram telling you how to set this jumper.  Move the jumper to the SLAVE postion.

Once you move the jumper, reinstall the harddrive back into the computer and try to boot. 

It is possible that the Bios is confused right now, but lets try this first before checking on the bios.

makai

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Thanks! I will try this.
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#8
makai

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Strike this... you must have posted just as I was posting and I must have read your pevious response. Go ahead and try the jumper change.

makai

Edited by makai, 10 July 2005 - 09:18 PM.

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#9
gerryf

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You are not going to be able to install the original PCs harddrive into the borrowed PC until you get a functioning PC.

That means you will likely need to reinstall windows xp on the borrowed computer...you need not install windows 98 first...just wipe the drive, then install windows 98 with the upgrade disk and when it asks, insert a windows 98 cd.

After that PC is up and running, you can install the orginal PC drive in the borrowed PC, making sure to install it as a slave as outlined above.

You will need to take possession of the c:\document and settings\{profile} folder to retrieve those files...is this XP home or pro?
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#10
luanna

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Everything is back to the way it was when I got the computer. But now it will not turn on at all. It is all hooked up, pushed the power button...nothing happens. Any suggestions? Many thanks!
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#11
makai

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lol! More fun!

I'm assuming this is the second P3 computer.

Any lights, any indication at all? Can you hear the fans spinning?

makai
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#12
luanna

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No lights, no fan, nothing...no hang on, lots of frustration.
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#13
makai

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The thing about fixing computers is that frustration always sets in. However, once you succeed, the elation is 10 times higher! So, don't give up!

Ok, please forgive, but I have to state the obvious.

Is the AC plug connected nice and securely. Did you happen to notice if the Power supply switch on the back of the power supply is in the "1" (on position)... if it has a switch.

makai
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#14
luanna

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:tazz: Ok, so now we have a whirring noise, which goes away right away and then nothing else happens. Do we count that as progress?
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#15
makai

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Ok, where are you located? Send me the computers! :tazz:

Lets digress a bit...

You have two computers. Both inoperable for different reasons.

The first computer had constant restarts, but only after you were able to get into windows. (Hopefully this is not hardware related)

The second computer, took a complete XP installation and was fine until you installed the hard drive from the first computer because you wanted to retrieve your data.

Is that right so far??

Then, when the second computer wouldn't boot, you took out the hard drive you had put in from the first computer and returned the second computer to original configuration, at which time, you got some bios beeping.

We're going to skip everything else since we started and actually start all over again and possibly approach this differently.

The important thing is to get your data. But.. we need a running computer to do it.

The first thing you have to do is clarify which computer would not do anything at all and has just given you some whirring sounds and then shut down. Is it the first compurter or the second?

The reason we need to know this is so we can work on getting just one of these working but we may need to use assets from the other.

What would be a good next step is if you could take the 2gig drive from the second computer, set it's jumper to Master. Remove the current hard drive from the first computer and install the 2gig drive there. Once you do that, install XP onto the 2gig drive. (The reason for using the 2 gig is so installation/XP formatting will go by quicker.)

If you do not want to use the 2gig drive, you can use the 10gig but formatting will take longer. Whatever is best for you.

Do you think you're willing to go through all of this?

makai
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