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O/T Computer question.

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Shooting Jack, May 7, 2009.

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  1. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    I was brought a fairly new computer(HP) for free but when I try to boot it up it get to a point and say no hard drive found although there is one there. It had xp pro software. It appears to start booting up normally. Any suggestions? I do not have the original back up disk if it ever had one. Jackie B.
     
  2. hoggy

    hoggy TS Member

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    Make sure the bios isn't set to raid. If it is than set it back to ATA or IDE. If it is set to that already than the Hard drive is probably toast. Others may be able to explain this better than I can. One more question? How do you BUY something for FREE?
     
  3. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    The drive might not be formatted or configured to be bootable. If you can download a "Live" Linux disk like DSL, Puppy, Ubuntu, System Rescue CD, or Knoppix V 5X (NOT 6) and burn the distro to a disk, you can run the system off of the CD/DVD and explore the hard drive. Odds are it (the hard drive) was wiped before you got it. If there is a "COA" sticker on the case for Windows, you can find the appropriate disk and install the operating system from scratch. I would say that HP might have the disks available, but their Tech Support is terrible. They did not have drivers or disks for the last twenty or so systems I inquired about.

    There could also be a separate partition on the drive with the installation files. If that is still intact, you may be able to reinstall the Operating system from there. HP was notorious for shipping systems without disks. The hard drive was partitioned with the recovery files on a separate partition that usually goes away when the drive goes belly up. The purchaser should create the backup disks BEFORE the failure occurs, but usually does not know that it was needed until after the fact.

    If the files look intact, there may be an issue with the Boot Sector. Some Vista machines were notorious for destroyng the boot files. The good part is that they are usually recoverable with the repair console feature on a Vista Disk. If it's an XP installation, it may be more involved, but not impossible.
     
  4. mkstephen

    mkstephen Active Member

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    Sometimes when a user switches a hard drive back and forth the BIOS looses the boot sequence. This usually happens when a user takes the original C: drive out, configures it as a slave drive, and copies files into another computer. Then when the user configures it back to the main drive and places it back in the original PC the boot sequence gets lost. It sounds like it is trying to boot to a drive that is not the boot drive.

    Start the computer and enter BIOS by holding down F8, ESC, or whatever it uses to enter BIOS and make sure that Drive C: is in the boot sequence. The sequence may go like;

    Boot 1st: from floppy
    Boot 2nd: from CD drive
    Boot 3rd: primary hard drive (C:)
     
  5. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    Hi Hoggy, I hope you fix computers better than you read. LOL As I typed the word brought, which is totally different from the word bought. It was given to me, again the word free should be a clue. Thanks for your help though. I have to fight being a smart axx and sometimes I don't do very well. Jackie B.
     
  6. fritzi93

    fritzi93 TS Member

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    First thing is to power off and reseat all connections inside the computer and try again.

    Second thing is to power up and tap the F8 key repeatedly. You will see Boot Options, choose last known good configuration. Might work, might not, depending.

    If you know someone with an XPpro install disc, you could borrow it and try a repair install. Immediately after powering up, start tapping the delete and F1 and F2 buttons. One of them will get you into the BIOS. If I recall correctly, it's probably the delete key for HP computers. Under Boot Options, set the optical drive (CD or DVD) to boot ahead of the hard drive. While you're at it, load optimal defaults. Open the optical drive and insert the install disc. Exit saving changes. The option for repair is after the prompt to install XPpro, be careful not to miss it.

    The above doesn't always work with proprietary systems.

    Have a look at the link above, it covers most of the usual suspects when Windows won't boot. Good luck.
     
  7. Rollin Oswald

    Rollin Oswald Active Member

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    Jackie,

    I have a set of HP Recovery discs for a Pavilion notebook with Vista Home Premium. If they would help you, I would be happy to lend them to you.

    Rollin
     
  8. bocephus

    bocephus Member

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    Check the cables, have fixed more than a few just by removing and reattaching the hard drive cable
     
  9. Shooting Jack

    Shooting Jack Active Member

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    Will give those a try. Thanks Rollin but I have another HP desktop and did not realize that the recovery discs from it would work. The computer does not see a hard drive out there as it has auto listed under primary. I will unplug all the drive cables and see what happens. Fritzi I will give that a try in the morning. Thanks all, I do appreciate the help. Jackie B.
     
  10. Quack Shot

    Quack Shot Active Member

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    One last thought. If it's an ATA or SATA drive, make sure the corresponding controller is enabled in the Bios. Most HP or Dell machines don't give too many options, but I have seen SATA controllers disabled in the bios and cause the same issue.
     
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