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BIOS hangs when hard drive is connected


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#1 Niteshifter

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 11:13 PM

I'm going to try and put as much information in as possible since I'm basically clueless at this point.

Previously, I had Ubuntu 9.04 installed on my laptop and so I tried updating to Ubuntu 9.10 (this was before 10.04 came out). Unfortunately, it wouldn't install at all for some reason. I had tried various ways to install whether it be redoing the Live CD, trying a USB Key, formatting to different file systems, etc. I then got a different type of error that read that it couldn't format the hard drive to ext4, which was surprising since before, it could easily do it. I decided to try and see if the XFS file system would work and it didn't, so I restarted again and this time it wouldn't restart properly.

The logo appeared and just stayed there and when I tried to go to the setup, it would output a single beep and do nothing. I restarted thinking it may have been a fluke, but it happened again. I can't remember how I figured it out, but I found out that the hard drive was causing the hang. I inserted a boot disk that runs DBaN (Darik's Boot and Nuke), so I could do a low-level formatting so that everything was wiped (I was doing quite a lot of these when trying to get the OS to upgrade). After inserting, the BIOS was fine; It loaded itself up perfectly, so I inserted the hard drive after the BIOS had finished starting up and zero-wiped the hard drive.

I then restarted, keeping the drive in and lo and behold, the BIOS had hung once again. I went and did some research to see if anyone else had the same problem, but there was nothing, so I gave up and after a couple months, I decided to come here to see if I could get some help on fixing this BIOS hang up with the hard drive.

Laptop: Acer Aspire 3680
Hard drive: Samsung HM160HC SpinPoint (160GB/5400RPM/8M/PATA)

So, there's my story :thumbsup:. I can provide more information if needed as well.

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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 12:49 AM

HI I'll see if I can help you.

Do you have an idea how old this hard drive is?

From what you are discribing here your laptop hangs at the BIOS screen.

Is there anything being displayed on the screen before it freezes? If so can you share that info with us?

Edited by MrBruce1959, 13 May 2010 - 12:50 AM.

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#3 Niteshifter

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 01:52 PM

I got the hard drive Christmas 2009 and the release date for this type of hard drive is in 2008, so it's some time between 2008 and summer of 2009.

What is displayed when the laptop normally starts up is the ACER logo, then it should go to a blank screen and boot up the OS. Currently, it starts up and displays the logo, but doesn't do anything after that.

#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 13 May 2010 - 02:38 PM

OK I take it this harddrive is a replacement harddrive and not the origional hardrive that came with the laptop is this correct?

If I am correct with my question above, what happened to the original hardrive?

Another question is was this drive you're attempting to use now bought brand new or is it a used drive?
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#5 Niteshifter

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 05:31 PM

Yes, it was a replacement.
The original ended up getting a head crash.
I actually don't know if it was new or used at all.

#6 MrBruce1959

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:07 PM

Well it depends where you bought the drive from. With sites like E-Bay for example it is commen that the hardware is sold as used.

You would be able to tell if the drive was new, because it would be in a factory sealed anti-static air-tight bag.

I am just curious, does this drive have any jumper settings on it?
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#7 Niteshifter

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:16 PM

It was probably used. The drive is able to use jumpers, it's set as master at the moment.

#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:32 PM

Well besides trying it in another computer, I tend to think this drive may have reached the point of failure, which is commen on laptop harddrives, which are prone to platter slams if the origional laptop was dropped at any point. The read/write heads do fail after a few good slams. :thumbsup:
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#9 Niteshifter

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 06:39 PM

Not really surprised. I'm going to be getting a new netbook soon anyways. Thanks for helping though :thumbsup:.

#10 MrBruce1959

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Posted 14 May 2010 - 07:03 PM

My pleasure! :flowers: Anytime you have a problem come see us, we'll leave the lights on for ya! :thumbsup:
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#11 666philb

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Posted 15 May 2010 - 02:50 AM

Can you get into the BIOS options before the computer hangs? If you can, then try detecting the harddrive whilst in the BIOS. Your BIOS is probably slightly different to mine but as an example...... I go into 'standard CMOS setup' scroll down to where the drives are, then Tap 'RETURN' on each one to auto detect them, save and exit.

Worth a try as this has worked for me before when the BIOS has hanged.




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