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Master Boot Record Error And Case Fan Problems


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#1 David2282

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 08:32 PM

okay, I have two problems, the first of which is much more important to me. I will first explain the two problems, then I will explain the circumstances under which the problems arose, then I will list as much details about my system as possible in case they are relavant.


Problem 1: When I boot up my computer, it goes to the initial compaq screen where you can enter setup or just let windows boot, then it goes to another black screen that says:

Master Boot Record Error
Press a key

When I press a key, it takes a few seconds and then loads Windows properly. The first few times this happened, my computer was being ungodly slow and in the control panel> system window it couldn't tell me what proccessor I had or how much memory I had. It was late and I went to bed. Today, it does the same boot record thing, only once windows loads, it appears to operate just fine. It works quickly, and system window displays my system stats just fine. Nothing appears to be wrong with my computer. So my question is, one, is there really something wrong with my computer, and if not, how do I get rid of that error message at startup. This is my first problem and the one I would most like to get helped.

Problem 2:

This happened before problem 1. In fact Problem 1 only began to occur when I fixed problem 2. When I boot up, I got this message:

A system fan is damaged
Service PC to avoid further damage to system

That message is probably paraphrased, I don't remember the exact wording, but that is about what it said, nothing more specific. Well, I was starting up with the panel removed from my case so I could observe that every fan was working. I had just switched my system to a new case with new fans that plugged in to the system differently, so it didn't take me long to realize that my computer was recognizing that the connector on my motherboard for the old fan was not occupied. So to fix the problem for the time being, I simply took the fan off my old case and plugged it into my motherboard, setting it aside while I booted my computer up with the panel still removed. After that the message went away of course, but that's the precise moment Problem 1 appeared. Anyhow, my question regarding Problem 2 is this: How do I tell my computer to disable that fan connector so I can take the fan out, close my computer, and boot it up without the system insisting that the nonexstant fan is damaged? It seems like that should be an easy fix, but I looked all around windows and windows help, and even went through my BIOS to see if there was an option, but didn't find anything that seemed to help.

Okay, so between the computer working fine and the emergence of Problems 1 and 2, here is what changed:

I took my system out of it's stock case and into a new case. Obviously that means my front panel connectors changed, as did my power supply, but that's it. I also installed Hauppage's WinTV-150 PVR Tuner card. It appeared to install flawlessly, although I haven't checked it out since I'm dealing with these other issues. Now, for the specifics of my system:

Computer: Compaq Presario SR2163WM
Operating System: Windows Vista Ultimate
CPU: Pentium 4 631 3.0 Ghz
Motherboard: manufacturer: ECS
name: RC415ST-HM (I cannot find this product on ECS's website)
HP/Compaq motherboard name: Alhena5-GL6
You can find all the support information about this computer at: Compaq Presario SR2163WM Support Page

The upgrades I have made:
New Case: Antec NSK2400 (Media Center Style Case)
Installed 1GB Ram in addition to the stock 512MB
Installed Haupagge's WinTV-150 PVR Tuner card
Installed a 200GB hardrive that I had laying around from a previous computer
Installed a new LG DVD burner
The stock DVD burner is also installed into the case, but I don't currently have it connected to the PSU or the motherboard because with this case my stock ribbon cable isn't long enough (I need the one cable to connect both the stock DVD writer and the spare harddrive, and the new case puts the two drives too far away from each other.)

So that should be all the relevant specs, and probably some irrelevant ones. Please, if anyone could help with either of these problems, especially Problem 1, I would greatly appreciate it.

Oh, and if it matters (probably not), I'll be using my Macbook to get on this forum and try to find other help. I'm not using my problem computer except to work on a fix.

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#2 JohnWho

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 08:39 PM

One possibility, based on the descriptions you've provided is that your power supply is failing.

I recently had a PS go bad, and had somewhat similar problems, among others.


You might give us some information on your power supply in that system.


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#3 David2282

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Posted 14 May 2007 - 09:12 PM

Thanks for the prompt response.

Though anyone willing to help me with this most likely knows a lot more about computers than I do, I don't think the power supply is the issue. Although, the only reason I think this is because I just paid 100 dollars for this brand new case complete with brand new power supply. This case has only been out of its retail box for 3 days. So unless, I got a near DOA power supply with my new case, I think it has to be something else.

But, as I am not the expert, here is what the case's manual says about the power supply:

NSK 2400 comes with a 380 Watt universal input, active PFC, single 80mm fan cooled power supply compatible with the ATX 12V version 2.01 specification and above. This includes dual 12V output rails that deliver safer and more reliable [blah blah, marketing blah blah...] In addition we've included a variety of industrial-grade protective circuitry: OPP(over power protection), OVP(over voltage protection), UVP (under voltage protection), and SCP(short circuit protection).

would it be possible for me to hook up the old cases power supply to my system without taking the system out of the new case and back into the old case? That way if the problem persists I know it is not an issue with the power supply.

Thanks again for the suggestion and prompt reply. And anyone else with other ideas, please feel free to share.

#4 usasma

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 05:51 AM

When you switched the plug for the fan on the motherboard - was the system plugged in and running? If so, a stray static charge may have damaged your hard drive.

I'd first suggest running chkdsk /f /r to see if that fixes it. If it doesn't, then I'd suggest getting a bootable diagnostic from the manufacturer of your hard drive (usually free) and testing the drive for errors.
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#5 David2282

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 11:34 AM

I have not so much as touched anything on the inside of the computer while it was running. I always shut it down and unplug it before touching any components.

I will run chkdsk and see what happens. thanks.

#6 David2282

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Posted 15 May 2007 - 10:46 PM

So I've run chkdsk and a couple diagnostics programs and no help.. A friend of mine told me just to reinstall Windows. 1) Do you think that might help? and 2) I can reinstall Windows without losing my personal files, right?


off topic:
oh, and in case anybody notices, I just posted my system fan problem in the hardware forum. I wanted to edit my first post in this topic to remove Problem 2 so that I would be following good forum etiquette, but for some reason I can't edit that post but I can edit this one. Why is that?

Edited by David2282, 16 May 2007 - 12:13 AM.


#7 David2282

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Posted 16 May 2007 - 04:28 AM

Update:


So I just reinstalled windows and I no longer get the boot record error.
As for the system fan issue... I spent many a frustrated hour scouring the internet for help. The manufacturer of my motherboard doesn't seem to support their own product as I can't find it anywhere on their website.
I spent about 2 hours on HP/Compaq's live tech support chat while the two technicians I talked to struggled to undersand the exact situation. I think I finally explained it right and we all came to the conclusion that until HP/Compaq releases a BIOS update, there is no way to disable the chipset fan.

So my solution? I had to find a place inside the case to put the fan so that it wouldnt damage anything. If you are familiar with the Antec NSK2400 case, then you know that the removable box where the optical drives go has an inch or so underneath it. Well, there rests my old, useless fan, spinning for no good reason at all, blowing air onto a piece of metal that houses my dvd burners. It will serve as a constant reminder of how stupid it is to buy a readymade computer from a manufacturer that overcharges you for a box full of cheap components that you can't properly control. Go Compaq!

One last question... So this old fan that is sitting loosely in my case (in a very ghetto fashion)... would there be any harm in using super glue to secure it to the bottom of the case? It is not anywhere near the motherboard or any other components except my dvd burners, and I'm sure they are fine. I can't imagine the superglue will cause any problems. But then again, I can't imagine a self respecting manufacturer of motherboards would make a board that didn't give you the option of disabling the connector for a fan that would very likely get tossed aside when upgrading. Oh well, at least my boot up is now void of error messages...

Thanks for all the help guys, I really do appreciate it.




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