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Computer won't boot


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#1 gadolinium

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:40 PM

I'm trying to fix my Lenovo thinkpad e460.  Whenever I start the computer up, I get a black screen for a few minutes and then a message asking to insert windows installation disks, as "a required device is inaccessible".  Since this computer has no optical drive, I've been trying to boot it with a flash drive.  I've tried launching windows with a data stick using both ntsf and fat32 formats, and both by copying all the windows 7 recovery files over manually or by using the universal usb installer program, after disabling legacy bios and setting the bios so that the usb drive will have first boot priority.  Each time I'm brought to a menu that lets me choose to launch windows from the USB drive, PCI LAN, or ATA HDD0, but selecting the USB HDD option only returns me to this menu.  Selecting the other two causes the computer to return to the screen saying that "a required device is inaccessable".

 

My computer is under manufacturer's warranty, so I want to find out for sure if this is a hardware or software problem, but I'm not sure why it won't boot from the recovery disk.  Do I need to change something else in the bios's, or is there anything else I can try to confirm what the problem is?  Thanks in advance for any help provided.


Edited by gadolinium, 19 July 2017 - 05:45 PM.


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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 05:51 PM

What program have you used to create the bootable USB flash drive? Use Rufus and the iso file of your Windows 7. 

 

https://rufus.akeo.ie/

 

Your error sounds like a possible hard drive error. You can use Parted Magic, part of UBCD to test your hard drive. Use Rufus with the iso and at the Menu screen select Parted Magic. At the Parted Magic desktop select Disk Health and do the short/long generic tests.

 

Download UBCD by clicking the hard drive icon, not the mirror link.

 

If you need data off the drive you can copy to a USB external drive using Parted Magic and this guide.

 

Lenovos should have a boot menu key you tap at boot to select the boot device. Make sure SecureBoot is disabled if this is in your UEFI settings. Also if you have a setting called Quickboot/Fastboot disable it also.

 

Edit: I believe tapping F12 at boot will let you access the boot menu.


Edited by JohnC_21, 19 July 2017 - 05:55 PM.


#3 gadolinium

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:25 PM

Unfortunately I cannot use Rufus because I do not know my windows product key, and cannot launch windows to find it (I'd remove the hard drive and access it from another device, but I'm worried that this will void the warranty).  The Parted magic disk I created with UBCD seems to run into the same problem that my recovery USB drive did, in that once I click on the parted magic usb drive from the boot menu I'm just returned to the boot menu.  I've checked and secureboot is disabled within the bioses.

 

If this is a hard drive error, is that usually covered by a manufacturer's warranty?  


Edited by gadolinium, 19 July 2017 - 07:29 PM.


#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 19 July 2017 - 07:36 PM

Are you trying to do a complete reinstall? The Windows 7 recovery disks, if they were created by the lenovo computer should install without a key and autoactivate. Is there a COA sticker on your computer with a legible key. On the laptop it may be in the battery compartment or on the bottom of the computer. 

 

If you do need the key then use Parted Magic to copy the Software hive in Windows\System32\config to a USB flash drive.

 

Download Produkey on another Windows computer. With Produkey and the Software hive file you can recovery your key using this guide.

 

In Produkey select "Load the product keys from external Software registy hive.

 

https://www.howtogeek.com/64600/how-to-recover-windows-and-software-keys-from-a-broken-computer/



#5 gadolinium

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 01:26 PM

Although I have a Windows 7 sticker on my laptop the product key isn't labeled on it, and Microsoft, Lenovo, and Newegg are all unwilling to give it to me.  Lenovo will only send out recovery disks that would require an external optical drive, which I don't possess.

 

My main problem is that even though I can get the boot drive to come up, the computer won't launch anything, including Parted Magic and the USB installer program.  Is there anything else I can try to at least determine if the problem is software or hardware-based?  Will I void my warranty by removing the hard drive?


Edited by gadolinium, 20 July 2017 - 01:26 PM.


#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 01:47 PM

If removing the hard drive only requires the removal of an access panel then I don't think that would void your warranty but because this unit is under warranty I would RMA it. If you need to remove the full back panel of the computer I would not do it.

 

If you wish to pull info off the drive  then use Rufus with Linux Mint. Hopefully you can get the USB flash drive to boot. See if using a different flash drive helps.

 

http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=3289



#7 gadolinium

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Posted 20 July 2017 - 09:48 PM

Thank you for the help.  I talked with Lenovo customer service and changed my bioses to allow legacy, which let me boot from flash drives.  When trying to load from my recovery drive I now get a message about Windows not being able to find drivers, and I'm not sure how to fix this (or where on my computer to load the drives from).  Unetbootin can boot as well, but partedmagic freezes while reserving devices so I still cannot access my windows product key.  Is this a problem with partedmagic on windows 7 or is there something else I can try?


Edited by gadolinium, 20 July 2017 - 10:01 PM.


#8 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 06:39 AM

Was this computer originally installed with Windows 7? The reason I ask is because of Windows 7 asking for drivers.

 

Can you post the exact message? Does it ask for a device driver to detect your hard drive?

 

Parted Magic may be freezing because it's an older version. 



#9 gadolinium

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:04 PM

My computer was originally installed with windows 7.  The exact message is "To install the device driver needed to access your hard drive, insert the installation media containing the driver files, then press ok."  I'm still trying to get the windows product key, but linux recovery devices are having trouble reading the system32 files in the partition where it appears to be located.  Is the key stored anywhere else outside of the registry?



#10 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 July 2017 - 01:09 PM

It appears you are going to need a Mass Storage driver for the Hard disk controller in order to detect your hard drive. I will need to do some investigating on which driver to use if I can find it.

 

Edit: https://downloadcenter.intel.com/download/26865/Intel-Rapid-Storage-Technology-Intel-RST-?product=55005

 

Download

Windows 8.1, 64-bit*

Windows 7, 64-bit*

Language: English

Size: 1.63 MB

MD5: 8f5974f53e17f5f7249008cb8d6c92c8

 

This is a zip file. f6flpy-x64.zip

 

Unzip the file to the root of a USB flash drive. There should be nine files on the USB and only nine. Attach the flash drive and boot the Windows install DVD. The install should pick up the files in the USB flash drive and detect your hard drive.


Edited by JohnC_21, 21 July 2017 - 01:23 PM.


#11 gadolinium

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Posted 23 July 2017 - 02:08 AM

Thank you for the driver link.  I'm currently getting the computer looked at, but since not every file seems to show up after the linux boot, he may not be able to figure out what's wrong. I'll make another topic here in a few days if I'm still having problems after using the driver.


Edited by gadolinium, 23 July 2017 - 02:14 AM.





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