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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby HouseCrowd » Fri Feb 29, 2008 8:13 am

I've come across systems that won't boot from an optical drive (no matter what you try) several times myself. As far as I remember, in every case it turned out to be just an issue/fault with the drive itself (or possibly just a media compatibility issue). I always carry a spare known good drive for that reason.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby SlyckTom » Fri Feb 29, 2008 11:43 am

I'll try that, but I'm concerned about the overwhelming coincidence of both optical drives failing simultaneously...
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby Wham » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:06 pm

Hey All, Ran into this problem at least 5 times in the last 2 months. What I found was the bios on the computers in question had been changed (low level) by a CD/DVD with a virus on them. In some cases I was able to repair the bios but in two cases the bios was shot. Had to replace the mother board. Good luck.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby SlyckTom » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:08 pm

How did you repair the BOIS? If I can't boot from any device, I'm a bit concerned that option won't be possible...

Edit: There is a 3.5" floppy drive that MIGHT be accessible...
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby shevaberg » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:09 pm

When all else fails... 20 lb sledge hammer...may or may not fix it ...but you will feel good.

Used it before, stupid compaq POS. :)
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby anonomously2 » Fri Feb 29, 2008 12:15 pm

You can flash the bios with the flash utility and the bios update file for your motherboards bios that is available at your motherboard vender's web-site.

You will then need a boot floppy disc to put them on and boot from floppy to use the bios update tool.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby HouseCrowd » Fri Feb 29, 2008 1:11 pm

SlyckTom wrote:I'll try that, but I'm concerned about the overwhelming coincidence of both optical drives failing simultaneously...


It's not really a failure as such .... more an inability to read the boot area of the disc, seemingly because of drive wear and/or media compatibility issues. Or at least that seemed to be the case with the ones I came across. Assuming that is the problem, you will probably find that the drive reads the majority of discs, and may even be able to boot from some of them. Wear and tear and dust on the laser head lens makes some drives get a little 'fussy' with age. Sometimes just burning a copy of the disc (even if the disc is an original 'pressed' disc) helps. I remember burning 3 or 4 copies, all on different makes of media, to get one drive to recognise a boot disc one time.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby shevaberg » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:33 pm

If all else fails...20lb sledge hammer... It may not work but it will feel good
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby MrFredPFL » Fri Feb 29, 2008 3:40 pm

shevaberg wrote:When all else fails... 20 lb sledge hammer...may or may not fix it ...but you will feel good.

Used it before, stupid compaq POS. :)

shevaberg wrote:If all else fails...20lb sledge hammer... It may not work but it will feel good


:shock:

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to another episode of Short Attention Span Theatre.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby Fartingbob » Fri Feb 29, 2008 5:31 pm

Tom, have you considered using a 15lb sledgehammer? 20lb ones are just primitive when it comes to computer maintenance.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby Paladwyn » Fri Feb 29, 2008 7:26 pm

I've seen somebody go out, buy a pickaxe, and slam it through a computer. Then displayed it in the front of his store for a while.

One thing I forgot to ask was, are the drives showing up, and it's not booting...or are the CD drives not even showing up in BIOS at all?

Could also be a power issue, sometimes those blasted little molex connectors like to come loose, a pair of needlenose pliers can tighten them up.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby Wham » Sat Mar 01, 2008 12:47 am

In answere to your earlier question Tom, I booted up the computers with a floppy disk and updated the bios with floppy disks. I used another good computer to go to the internet and get the latest and greatest flash bios for the paticular computers that had the problem. The two computers that had the bios I couldn't flash, because I couldn't even boot up with a floppy were fried, It would have cost almost as much to buy a new bios as it would to get a new motherboard. Sooo
what do you do- Ya replace the motherboard with one that you can use the old cpu with and memory and etc.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby Psycho Ced » Sat Mar 01, 2008 1:48 am

SlyckTom wrote:How did you repair the BOIS? If I can't boot from any device, I'm a bit concerned that option won't be possible...

Edit: There is a 3.5" floppy drive that MIGHT be accessible...

Some Bios updates can be initiated through windows.
Intel calls them express, asus might call them something else - but the description is pretty clear. (odd I would know the intel but not the asus considering I run the later more often >.>)

You download the file, run it, it will restart your computer and make the flash/update without the use of an external drive.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby tiny4eva » Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:19 am

Here's how i would begin.

I would first go into bios, most boards have a setting's page which show voltages, Check that the voltages are looking normal, ie the 3volts is running around the 3volts mark, usually a little less but that doesnt matter, and the 12volt is the same. If you have a faulty PSU this can majorly cause the computer not to boot corretly and funily enough causes a bad shut down when its about to have a hissy fit. If you suspect the psu at any point though i advice trying a dumy. Ive seen them fail on testing infront of my eye's and the damage they can cause can not be pretty.

If the psu appears to be working correctly i would move onto stripping the computer down its bare essential's.
ie one HD, one CD drive, remove all pcicards. (doing this can help bring out the psu as a issue, as you add stuff, the load increases and you get boot issues, so you replace psu :D )
Once you have the computer as bare boan's load up into the bios again. Load fail safe options, choose cd room as main boot options and then try again. No boot, mix and match the CD room's and HD. im sure you said their was two of everything.

If after all of this you still dont get any joy their are a few good linux test softwares about, i myself have a very old seagate 2 gig harddrive wich just has that OS test in it and it will usually boot with pretty much nothing working other than the board & CPU. I know then if that doesnt boot that all is lost with the cpu and board. You could try any os really to see if it will boot.

And a quick clean can do wonders also, remove ram and reinsert it, swop them about in other slots. i know that sounds daft but hay, if your in the postion you are in, and i hae been their myslef, you will try anything, and sometimes its the daft things that sort it. Good luck anyway, im glad its the weekendand my usualy days of doing what your doing are gone till monday :toast:
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby Psycho Ced » Sat Mar 01, 2008 3:23 am

You know what? Just bust out the feathers and do the ancient Aztec "Boot from CD" dance!
Works every time! 8)
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby Kitlope » Sat Mar 01, 2008 4:14 am

ima bookmark this thread for when my pc shits the bed
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby anonomously2 » Sat Mar 01, 2008 5:45 am

I think Tom stopped paying attention when all the silliness started...... :?
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby Paladwyn » Sat Mar 01, 2008 9:18 am

I have a computer downstairs that doesn't have the primary IDE working for some reason. I've gotta take the board out and see if I can notice a bad connection or something. For a couple years it's been flaky, but now seems to have finally given up the ghost.

I gotta get it to boot off the secondary IDE, not a real big deal...but annoying nonetheless.
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby anonomously2 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 9:13 am

Well Tom, are you going to fill us in at some point. :P
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby HalOfBorg » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:53 am

"Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnticipaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaationnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn................is making me wait."
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby SlyckTom » Sun Mar 02, 2008 1:31 pm

Hehe...I was going to work on it yesterday, but a nasty hangover got the better of me...not really sick, but one of those nagging headaches that prevent you from concentrating and all you want to do is sleep. So this evening or tomorrow I'll get crackin' on it.

From what I've gathered so far from this thread....

1) Bring an optical drive and IDE cable that I know works...
2) If that fails try to flash the BIOS (providing I can get the thing to boot from the 3.5 inch floppy).
3) If that fails, sprinkle fairy dust around the MOBO
4) If that fails, try all sorts of random tests that are doomed to fail, but at least can say at the end "hey, we tried".

I have a feeling one of two things are going to happen. It's gonna boot with the reformated drive, or, the MOBO is totally fried. I can probably get a new MOBO from eBay for a lot less trouble than driving myself crazy over this...it's an old MOBO, so I can probably find one for 30 bucks...

I'll keep you all updated!
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby anonomously2 » Sun Mar 02, 2008 10:40 pm

Hey, thanks for the update Tom. We're waiting for the verdict. :wink: :popcorn:
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby HalOfBorg » Sun Mar 02, 2008 11:10 pm

I'll have my popcorn with ketchup. :popcorn:
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby SlyckTom » Mon Mar 03, 2008 6:56 pm

Here's an update....

Well lo and behold, I installed a known working optical drive and ribbon - and whalla! It's booting..

Oh the joy I felt when I saw the glorious "press any key to boot from CD..."

Now...about halfway after writing this, I received the blue screen of death during the inital windows setup, but I think that might have had something to do with my friend's cat deciding the keyboard was a nice place to hang out on...we'll see.

So I'm now reinstalling windows, and all is going OK - we'll see if it goes good.

Thank you to everyone who has been helpful, I'll give you an update as things progress!
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Re: Computer failure: Windows could not start because...

Postby SlyckTom » Mon Mar 03, 2008 7:04 pm

Seems my joy may have been a tad premature...about 10% into the installation, I received an error message saying, "Setup cannot copy driver.cab, do you want to retry, skip this file or quit..."

Now, driver.cab isn't exactly something I want to skip...so now I'm wondering if the hard drive is toast or perhaps the Windows CD is bad. But I don't think the CD is bad...

uggg
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