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PC won't start

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Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2008 8:29 pm    Post subject: PC won't start Reply with quote

I have an HP pavilion S5100NX that has Windows XP Home installed. I'm an IT Dummy and only know enough to use a computer and occasionally foul something up. Most of the terms used such as BIOS etc. I don't know what they mean or how they work within a computer.

Having said that, there were a few times when I called HPs support with a serious problem and the person on the line said, something like, "uh oh, you need to do a complete system recovery. I know enough only that I'd have to go through a lot to back up all my files, email addys, desktop shortcuts and icons etc.

So I'd decline their generous suggestion that I go do that first and then they'd help me do a system recovery. So I'd start poking around, do a bit of online searching for help and VERY luckily, solve the problem myself.

But this time, I'm really stuck.

My hard drive eventually started to squeal and I new it was time to get another. So I saved all the important stuff to my slave drive. From there, I was given a completely new driver with XP loaded and ready to go. It was a relatively new drive that had a system recovery done to it. I saw it run on the donors computer and all looked just fine.

So I take out the old drive and plug in the new. I'm aware that the jumpers, master and slave have to be set correctly.

So when I do that, turn it on and I get the Compaq screen with a line at the bottom that says, "F1 Setup and F10 System recovery". But what happens is that this screen simply disappears and comes on again, round and round in a loop.

I've found that some problems can be solved by unplugging the strip connectors and plugging them back in to reset the contacts. No luck there but when I left the floppy unconnected, I got a screen with the title, "Award BIOS" , after the aforementioned screen lights up for a bit. On this screen, which is black with white text, is listed all the drives I have installed. the hard drive, secondary drive, DVD drive and floppy but there it says, "Floppy disks fail" Which figures, I have it disconnected.

At the bottom of that screen, it says,

Press F1 for setup, Press F2 to continue.

When I press F2, I get the Compaq screen again which simply comes back to the black screen.

When I press F1, I get A screen with graphics that says, at the top,

AwardBIOS Setup Utility with the drives listed along with some other data.

I can't go any further because it's asking me for a password. I don't recall initiating any passwords here, or anywhere to get my machine going. I did a search for "BIOS passwords" and after trying some 50 or more, still no luck, stuck in this screen.

I brought the drive back to the donor and all works fine on his machine. When I plug in my old drive, I get the same results as my new drive. The donor, unfortunately, is as computer unsavy as me.

????? Need help please !!!!!!!!
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Joined: 12 Dec 2008
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 12:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have made progress. On some local advice, I unplugged the machine and took out the CMOS battery and left it out for 24 hours.

Now I'm at the BIOS setup screen and can work with it, the password thing is gone.

But what now?

I still can't get windows to run.
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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
Posts: 2049
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Different PCs sometimes detect hard drives slightly differently and may have difficulty reading from one configured on another PC. The first thing to do is to ensure that the hard drive has it's jumpers set to make it Master. Instructions on how to do this are normally on the drive itself, and it's a case of using a jumper to connect pins for the master setting.

Once done, connect this to where the old hard drive came from, taking care to connect the ribbon cable the right way round. Sometimes it is possible to connect either way, so make sure the side with the stripe on it is nearest the power connector.

Once connected, most PCs will automatically detect the drive, however it may be necessary to go in to the BIOS setup and set the Primary Master to Auto - exactly how to do this varies from PC to PC. You have already managed to get in to the BIOS setup, so you should be able to work this out.

Now try booting the PC and see what happens.

You should note that Windows is configured for a different PC, it may not work on this PC, and will most likely need to be activated if it does. It will see there is a major change in hardware and require all the drivers to be installed for this PC, and activation will be required.

This method of putting Windows on a computer is not really recommended - I would recommend you put the new hard drive it, boot from the Windows CD, run Setup and delete any partitions on the hard drive and let Setup create a new one and install Windows on that - this will wipe everything off the hard drive, but you are much more likely to get a trouble free installation.
"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
-- Bill Gates, on code stability, from Focus Magazine
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