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cannot boot computer normally


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#1 jlazz

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 09:57 PM

I have an HP desktop with XP SP3, it is the household computer and it has recently stopped booting up unless I explicitly go into HP boot options and select the only hard drive on my machine. If i do not go into boot options, the computer simply hangs at a black screen and never loads windows.

The interesting thing to note is that the hard drive appears in the list of drives that I can be stopped to "safely remove", I'm not sure what you call it but it appears in the taskbar when you have a flash drive or memory stick attached. My hard drive can be selected to stop just as you would a memory stick!?? I haven't tried stopping it.....not feeling that brave at the moment.

Does anyone out there have any ideas what might be going on with my system?

thanks in advance,

Jon

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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 16 September 2010 - 10:23 PM

Do you have a flash or memory stick attached to the computer when the computer is off? If so remove them.

#3 hamluis

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 07:39 AM

The hard drive should also be set as the first boot option in the BIOS...I don't understand what you are doing when you say that you "explicitly go into HP boot options and select the only hard drive on my machine.'

That should already be done via the boot options settings in the BIOS.

As Crytodan stated...having USB drives of any type connected when booting...can cause the system to hang if Windows detects them but they are not among the known bootable devices.

Louis

#4 jlazz

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:07 PM

thanks for the replies....unfortunately no, I do not have any usb drives hooked up to the system when booting.... so that's not it.

I apologize for the confusion with my original post. The bios boot sequence is set properly, i.e. cd rom first, then hard disk. When I try to boot, the computer doesn't seem to recognize the hard disk because it just sits at a black screen.....I reversed the order and made the hard disk first, then the cd, thinking that perhaps the cd was causing the issue but that made no difference. Still get a black screen.

HP, as do most computers, provides options when booting, hit Esc to enter boot optinos, F10 for Setup etc.... on every boot, I must enter boot options which then loads a boot menu whereby I can choose to boot from available bootable devices.....in my case there are only two options, boot from CD or boot from hard disk. Each time I restart the computer I have to go into this menu and explicitly select my hard disk from the "HD Group list" (my hard disk is the only item in the list btw). Once I do this, the computer boots up properly....

I'm trying to get my system back to the good old days when I can simply restart the computer and it boots up but I am completely confused as to why the hard disk seems to be ignored during the normal boot up process.....the only odd thing I can find is that the hard disk shows up in the system tray under the "safely remove hardware" icon where devices can stopped and "safely removed". It's as if my system recognizes the hard disk as a usb mas storage device instead of an internal hard disk??.....I hope this is a clearer description of what I'm experiencing.

thanks in advance.

Jon

#5 hamluis

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:13 PM

Thanks :thumbsup:.

Take a look in both Device Manager and Disk Management...to see how your hard drive is reflected.

Device Manager: Start/Run...type devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

Disk Management: Start/Run...type diskmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

Does the system boot into safe mode without pause?

Louis

#6 Eyesee

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 12:33 PM

Try reseating the cables on the back of the drive and on the motherboard
You might also consider replacing the battery, especially if the system is more than about 5 years old
It takes CR2032 available at any Radio Shack
In the beginning there was the command line.

#7 jlazz

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:09 PM

Device manager showed the hard drive as internal and nothing out of the ordinary.....however it did show a yellow icon on the Mass Storage Device to indicate an issue.... I tried updating the driver....I had the latest so this didn't do anything.... then I disabled it, I thought better of it afterward so I enabled it immediately... the machine shut down of its own accord which sent me into a minor panic.

I couldn't boot the machine after this...it would hang at the windows splash screen....I tried booting into safe mode, nothing doing, it hung while loading drivers....I then tried "last known good configuration"....hung again....finally booted into "safe mode with command prompt"..... I did nothing else except to shut it down.

When I started it back up, it booted right into windows!!! I have no idea what the heck happened but it now appears to be working.....I don't have the stomach to reboot it just yet though....any ideas on what to do from here?

thanks!

Jon

#8 hamluis

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Posted 21 September 2010 - 04:14 PM

I'd do several things.

a. Back up the entire system.

b. Replace the CMOS battery.

c. Run a diagnostic on the hard drive...after I have finished a above.

d. Satisfy myself that it's not a PSU issue.

Louis




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