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Vista won't boot after changing BIOS settings


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#1 spogn

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:36 PM

My computer is a (Canadian) HP G60 laptop with a Phoenix BIOS, and after I changed the BIOS boot order in the settings menu (to, unsuccessfully, boor Clonezilla from a flash drive), the BIOS starts, but Vista doesn't load. I only see a blank (black) screen after the BIOS menu.

I forgot what I specifically did, but could anyone tell me what I did wrong and how to recover the computer?

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#2 Allan

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 01:41 PM

Put the hd back at the top of the boot device order.

#3 AustrAlien

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Posted 01 July 2012 - 09:04 PM

.. the BIOS starts, but Vista doesn't load. I only see a blank (black) screen after the BIOS menu.

Interesting!

On this blank, black, screen is there a flashing white underscore (cursor) in the top left corner of the screen?

Is it possible that something you did when creating that bootable Clonezilla flashdrive on this computer has rendered the hard drive un-bootable?
  • I have seen that happen before.
The problem may have nothing to do with you altering BIOS settings at all?

Edited by AustrAlien, 01 July 2012 - 09:06 PM.

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#4 spogn

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:07 PM

Is it possible that something you did when creating that bootable Clonezilla flashdrive on this computer has rendered the hard drive un-bootable?

No, I don't think so. I just mounted the iso (with 3rd party software) and copied the stuff onto the flash drive. (Maybe that's why it didn't work!)

But I did format it before copying the files. Maybe that did something?

#5 AustrAlien

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 09:17 PM

I just mounted the iso (with 3rd party software) and copied the stuff onto the flash drive. (Maybe that's why it didn't work!)

Yes, that is "why it didn't work"!

On this blank, black, screen is there a flashing white underscore (cursor) in the top left corner of the screen?
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#6 spogn

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 07:13 PM

On this blank, black, screen is there a flashing white underscore (cursor) in the top left corner of the screen?


Yes, there is.

#7 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 07:24 PM

Thank you: Let's have a look and try to find out what might be going on.

Firstly:

Put the hd back at the top of the boot device order.

I'd like to you confirm what Allan mentioned, namely that you returned BIOS settings to as they were before, or that you now have the hard drive with the bootable Windows system on (and not some other?) set as the first boot device.

Secondly, I'd like you to disconnect any external devices (including all USB connected devices with the possible exception of a mouse/keyboard) that may be connected to the system, and then check that there is no media in any of the drives, such as the CD/DVD-ROM drive, floppy drive, card reader etc.

Having done that, try booting the system.
  • If the same situation/problem remains, then please continue.
Please try the following: You will need a USB drive/flashdrive and a new blank writable CD.

:step1: Please do the following on a working computer:
  • Download GETxPUD.exe to the Desktop.
  • Run GETxPUD.exe
    A new folder will appear on the desktop.
  • Open the GETxPUD folder and click on get&burn.bat
  • The program will download xpud_0.9.2.iso, and when finished will open BurnCDCC ready to burn the image.
    Please be patient: This could take awhile - download file size 63MB.
  • Click on Start and follow the prompts to burn the image to a CD.
You will use this CD to boot the ailing computer from.


:step2: Boot the ailing computer with the xPUD CD.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD/DVD drive.)
    A Welcome to xPUD screen will appear.
  • Click on File.
  • Expand the mnt icon on the left (click on the little arrow beside the icon).
    • sda1, sda2 etc. ...usually correspond to your HDD partitions
    • sdb1, sdc1 is likely to correspond to a USB flashdrive, external USB hard drive etc.
  • Click on the folder that represents your USB drive (sdb1 ?).
  • Click Tool on the top menu, and choose Open Terminal.
  • Type the following at the hash prompt:

    dd if=/dev/sda of=mbr.bin bs=512 count=1

    • Note: Leave a space between the following:
      • dd ... the executable application used to create the backup
      • if=/dev/sda ... the device the backup is created from (the hard drive when only one HDD exists)
      • of=mbr.bin ... the backup file to create - note the lack of a path - it will be created in the directory currently open in the Terminal
      • bs=512 ... the number of bytes in the backup
      • count=1 ... says to backup just 1 sector
        It is extremely important that the if and of statements are correctly entered.
  • Press the <ENTER> key.
    After it has finished a file will be located on your USB drive named mbr.bin.
  • Go to Home > Power Off > Turn Off and remove the flashdrive as the system shuts down.

:step3: On the working computer:
  • Insert the USB drive, and navigate to the file mbr.bin
  • Zip-up the mbr.bin file:
    • Right-click on the file and choose Send to .. > Compressed (zipped) Folder.
      A zipped folder will appear in the same location as the mbr.bin file.
  • Please attach the zipped file to your next reply.
    This will allow the MasterBootRecord of your hard drive to be checked to see whether or not it is infected &/or damaged.

Edited by AustrAlien, 08 July 2012 - 07:41 PM.

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#8 spogn

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 07:46 PM

Wait, sorry. There isn't a cursor.

Edited by spogn, 08 July 2012 - 07:46 PM.


#9 AustrAlien

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 07:52 PM

In that case, I would like you to describe as fully as possible, exactly what happens/what you see on-screen when you attempt to start the computer normally.
  • Please try to give me an idea of the time frame also; in other words give me an estimate of how many seconds it takes to move from one screen to the next/how long it might remain displaying a particular screen.

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#10 spogn

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:31 PM

Sorry for the slow reply.

When I press the power button, there is about a second of a blank screen, and then it goes to the BIOS screen for around 2 seconds, and then the screen just goes blank again. After that, if I push the power button, the computer just turns off after a small moment.

EDIT: By "BIOS", I actually meant "Bootloader"

Edited by spogn, 11 July 2012 - 11:18 PM.


#11 AustrAlien

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:36 PM

No problem with a delay.

... and then it goes to the BIOS screen for around 2 seconds ...

Would you please describe as fully as you can what you see on "the BIOS screen".

Edit to add:

then the screen just goes blank again. After that, if I push the power button,

How long have you waited at this stage (before pushing the power button) to see if something might happen after a lengthy delay?

Edited by AustrAlien, 11 July 2012 - 10:39 PM.

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#12 spogn

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 10:59 PM

Would you please describe as fully as you can what you see on "the BIOS screen".

In the center of the BIOS screen, there is the HP logo, then on the bottom left it shows keys that can be used to setup the BIOS and do other stuff, and on the bottom right is the Phoenix Technologies logo.

How long have you waited at this stage (before pushing the power button) to see if something might happen after a lengthy delay?

Yes, I have waited for 3 to 5 minutes one time.

Edited by spogn, 11 July 2012 - 11:01 PM.


#13 AustrAlien

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:09 PM

Ah ... that is more properly called "the HP splash screen". Now I know what you are seeing.

Firstly:


Put the hd back at the top of the boot device order.

I'd like to you confirm what Allan mentioned, namely that you returned BIOS settings to as they were before, or that you now have the hard drive with the bootable Windows system on (and not some other?) set as the first boot device.

Please confirm what I have previously asked of you.
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#14 spogn

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:12 PM

Ah ... that is more properly called "the HP splash screen". Now I know what you are seeing.

Oh, OK.

Yes, the hard drive is at the top of the boot order.

#15 AustrAlien

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:23 PM

Are you able to start Windows in:
  • Safe Mode?
  • Safe Mode with networking?
  • Safe Mode with Command Prompt?
How to ...
After pressing the ON button to start the computer, start tapping the <F8> key, and continue tapping until presented with the Windows Advanced Options Menu.
  • Arrow-UP/DOWN to make your choice and press the <ENTER> key.
What happens exactly?
==============================

Yes, I have waited for 3 to 5 minutes one time.

That may not be enough ...

Please attempt to be patient ... and allow to attempt to start for 2 hours ... before abandoning the attempted startup and powering off.
=============================

If neither of the above is successful, please try the following:
  • Start tapping the F8 key after you press the ON button, and continue tapping until you are presented with the "Advanced Boot Options" menu screen.
  • Use the UP/DOWN arrow keys to select "Last known good configuration ...", and press the <ENTER> key.
  • The computer will attempt to load Windows.
  • If Windows does not start, try the same thing again .... and continue trying for at least 10 times, before you rule that option out as a means of getting your OS up and running again, normally.
Why 10 times? Based on past experience, a successful result is sometimes achieved after several consecutive failed attempts.

Edited by AustrAlien, 11 July 2012 - 11:30 PM.

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