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Can't install any OS at all!?


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#1 msdstc

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 11:14 AM

So the computer at my work burned out.  Unfortunately my boss gave it to the tech guy next door, who really ended up just making things alot worse, which ultimately ended with a blank HDD.

 

I figured if I took it home and just did a reformat and a quick install of either XP or ubuntu I could have this thing up and running in no time.  The problem is I can't get the damn thing to install anything.  With both issues it was the same, as soon as reformatting or copying files came up the program would hang or give me errors.

 

- with xp the furthest I got was copying files and eventually all files would fail to copy.  I tried a new format, and it hangs at 20% everytime ultimately telling me it failed.

 

-WIth ubuntu I never even got that far, it gives me some sort of input output error.

 

- I got ubuntu up live on a flash drive, but it's rather slow, and I can't install anything since it tells me there's no Java VM.  When I went to install the VM it ultimately never finished.  I don't know if this is due to the small USB drive (2 gb), or you just can't run live that way.

 

I used all the same equipment in a seperate computer and it's all working.  I tried installing ubuntu in my main computer and switching it over to the work computer, hoping linux would re-recognize the new hardware, but it didn't work (oviously... it was a last ditch effort)

 

I ran MEM test and there were no errors, so I have a feeling it might be the sata ports.  My other thought is that since it's a speciallized POSx computer for small businesses is that it works differently as far as how it gets installed and whatnot... maybe I missed something in the bios?

 

If anybody has any answers for me it would be greatly appreciated.



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#2 jkostar

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:19 PM

Hello,

I would first try running a disk check when you have ubuntu running on the disk. If the disk drive is clean, a reinstall should be very strait forward. It could also be the cd\dvd drive not reading the disk correctally, you could also try a bootable OS disk (knoppix or something similar) to see if this will run to remove the dvd drive as a culprit. I have seen this exact issue a few times before, and every time is was a faulty disk, but that is my thoughts on this.


 

 

 


#3 msdstc

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 12:29 PM

Hello,

I would first try running a disk check when you have ubuntu running on the disk. If the disk drive is clean, a reinstall should be very strait forward. It could also be the cd\dvd drive not reading the disk correctally, you could also try a bootable OS disk (knoppix or something similar) to see if this will run to remove the dvd drive as a culprit. I have seen this exact issue a few times before, and every time is was a faulty disk, but that is my thoughts on this.

 

I get the live discs working fine, but here's the kicker, I can't install from those discs...  Like I said I've tried the discs and drives on a seperate computer and they're all working fine.

 

Forget to mention I already ran mem test and all is a ok.



#4 JHMcG

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 08:05 PM

You say you ran Memtest, but you didn't say how long you ran it. Ideally you should let it run at least overnight to check the RAM thoroughly. Apart from that you could run TestHDD on your Hard Drive to see if there are problems there. TestHDD will also allow you to do a "Low Level Format", which is to say it will write zeros to the entire drive, including the "Boot Track" if you want that done, so as to cleanup any bad data that is currantly installed. I should point out however, that Windows installs a flag on the "Boot Track" the first time it is installed, and any time you go to "Reinstall Windows" it checks to see if that flag is there, and if not, then it installs the flag, and increments a counter by "1". When the counter hits "5" (for Win XP) they cut off your activation priviledges. I don't know how many installs they allow for Win 7.



#5 s1lents0ul

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 09:04 PM

I think you should remove the HDD from the computer and check it by attaching it as a secondary drive in a working machine - to see if you can access the drive or if it shows up under disk management. To access disk management, open the RUN box and type MMC  - then click OK. You can add the Disk Management snap in to the MMC and view all attached drives.

 

You can either use the SATA connections on the working computer or use an external shell to put that internal HDD into and attach it via USB or ESATA.

 

If you can not get the hard drive onto another computer, you can try booting your Ubuntu and running a checkdisk command to find any faulty sectors.


==]--s1lents0ul-->

#6 msdstc

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:13 PM

I've already slaved the drive and was able to format and install os's on that just fine.  

 

As for memtest I'll leave it on overnight see what we can find, I'm starting to genuinely believe that's the problem now.  The thing is how do I find ram that's compatible with this particular computer?  it's a weird all in one touch screen setup used in restaurants.



#7 s1lents0ul

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:36 PM

You should try remove one of the RAM sticks, and finding which one is causing the problem.

 

Do not install the O/s onto a slave drive if its connected to a different computer.

 

you mus install the O/s onto the drive wen its the master, and on the machine it will be running on - windows wont let you register the operating system if the drive was imaged on one machine then moved to another - something about a hardware profile issue


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#8 msdstc

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Posted 07 June 2013 - 10:45 PM

You should try remove one of the RAM sticks, and finding which one is causing the problem.

 

Do not install the O/s onto a slave drive if its connected to a different computer.

 

you mus install the O/s onto the drive wen its the master, and on the machine it will be running on - windows wont let you register the operating system if the drive was imaged on one machine then moved to another - something about a hardware profile issue

 

There's only one stick unfortunately.  I'm gonna run the memtest all night I suppose.



#9 msdstc

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 01:24 AM

Been running memtest for 2 hours and 4 passes 0 errors so far.   Any other diagnostics?



#10 JHMcG

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Posted 08 June 2013 - 02:17 AM

Like I said, let "Memtest" run overnight, - I usually let it run for 19 hours to get a thorough check. Apart from that, if you can PM me an email address to send it to, I can send you a copy of "TestHDD" though it runs from a "Floppy Drive", so you have to have a "Floppy Disk Drive" to run it from.

 

It is a pretty good HDD checking program, fair bit better than anything Microsoft has to offer. Its test is something like the old MS "Scandisk" program, in that while the disk surface test is running you see a map of the drive wherein bad sectors are boxes marked "B"; and it gives a constant readout of the readspeed of the part of the drive being checked. It is normal for the readspeed to fluctuate slightly, and to slowly drift downards as you get towards the back of the drive, but any wild fluctuations are indicative of damaged, but still readable sectors.

 

When the test is finished, if you select "View Defect List" even if there are no defects listed, (i.e. No unreadable sectors), then type "M" it will show you a graph of the read times of all the sectors on the drive, wherein undamaged sectors showup as a flat line, and damaged but still readable sectors showup as spikes upwards from said line, and the worse the damage is, the higher the spike.

 

It also allows you to check the "FAT" (File Allocation Table) and to clear the "MBR" (Master Boot Record) and to remap the drive so as to exclude any unreadable sectors so that Microsofts programs won't even see them. 



#11 msdstc

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 08:46 PM

Like I said, let "Memtest" run overnight, - I usually let it run for 19 hours to get a thorough check. Apart from that, if you can PM me an email address to send it to, I can send you a copy of "TestHDD" though it runs from a "Floppy Drive", so you have to have a "Floppy Disk Drive" to run it from.

 

It is a pretty good HDD checking program, fair bit better than anything Microsoft has to offer. Its test is something like the old MS "Scandisk" program, in that while the disk surface test is running you see a map of the drive wherein bad sectors are boxes marked "B"; and it gives a constant readout of the readspeed of the part of the drive being checked. It is normal for the readspeed to fluctuate slightly, and to slowly drift downards as you get towards the back of the drive, but any wild fluctuations are indicative of damaged, but still readable sectors.

 

When the test is finished, if you select "View Defect List" even if there are no defects listed, (i.e. No unreadable sectors), then type "M" it will show you a graph of the read times of all the sectors on the drive, wherein undamaged sectors showup as a flat line, and damaged but still readable sectors showup as spikes upwards from said line, and the worse the damage is, the higher the spike.

 

It also allows you to check the "FAT" (File Allocation Table) and to clear the "MBR" (Master Boot Record) and to remap the drive so as to exclude any unreadable sectors so that Microsofts programs won't even see them. 

 

The problem with all of this though is the drive already works fine in another computer :(.  I'm really at a loss at this point and have all but given up on that computer.



#12 JHMcG

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:01 PM

"The drive works fine in another computer"  Does that mean it works fine as a boot drive, or just that you can access it as a secondary drive ? Is this an IDE drive, or a SATA drive ? If it is an IDE drive try replacing the IDE cable. Sometimes they get damaged to the point where one or more of the wires inside the insulated cable is broken and not making contact. 


Edited by JHMcG, 09 June 2013 - 09:02 PM.


#13 msdstc

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:05 PM

It's a sata drive and I believe the issue is there.  I'm using a biostar bios and I can't find any options to emulate it as IDE as a lot have said it's necassary to install xp.  The cables are fine, it reads fine in other comps and it works fine as a boot disk.  I know I could go over it with a fine tooth comb and there MIGHT be something minor wrong with the drive, but ultimately that's not the issue here.  I've tried 3 different HDDs that are working perfectly fine in other setups I have.



#14 JHMcG

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:15 PM

Not familiar with Biostar boards, or their bios. It would seem that your only remaining option is to find an XP SATA driver. WinXP does not have a SATA driver within it so you ether have to either use "SATA AHCI MODE -- DISABLED" and  "SATA PORT 0-1 NATIVE MODE -- ENABLED" in the bios, or you are going to have to find a SATA Driver to install.



#15 msdstc

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Posted 09 June 2013 - 09:16 PM

Not familiar with Biostar boards, or their bios. It would seem that your only remaining option is to find an XP SATA driver. WinXP does not have a SATA driver within it so you ether have to either use "SATA AHCI MODE -- DISABLED" and  "SATA PORT 0-1 NATIVE MODE -- ENABLED" in the bios, or you are going to have to find a SATA Driver to install.

 

How can I go about doing this?






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