Non starting PC

  peterleemaxwell 10:20 19 Sep 2006

My friend has brought his PC to fix. He is stuck and I'm at a loss on how to fix it. On pressing
to start the first screen comes on and the next but this screen halts with only the details and a non responsive flashing cursor at the bottom.
I think it should then the test boot options? The only intervention that can be made is 'F1' all the others have no function. In F1 the bios has the boot options enabled. Sounds terminal RIP. Has anyone got some advise?

  DrScott 11:52 19 Sep 2006

is the computer passing it's POST? If not you may get some beep codes pointing to the error.

I would do one of two things or both. First go into the BIOS and set boot priority so CDROM is first. Then reboot computer with Windows XP (assuming OS is XP) is in CD and see if it will load. Alternatively, use a linux boot CD like Knoppix, and do the same thing. This will help identify whether the HDD is corrupt or not.

  peterleemaxwell 12:35 19 Sep 2006

Hi DrScott,
Thanks for your help. The screen is loading but stops when it is supposed to then makes checks for booting from a CD rom/floppy. There is just the normal and after the PCI devise listing-nothing just a flashing cursor. Will not boot from a CD or floppy. If I remember it's the next stage that is missing that 'see's' the floppy and CD rom. The flashing cursor cannot be altered with nothing changing regardless on any buttons being pressed. All this happened in two or three seconds, the only thing I can gain access to is as soon as a start up button is pressed and to keep my finger on the 'F1' button this gains entry to the bios.

  peterleemaxwell 15:58 19 Sep 2006

If the hard drive was corrupt would this be a cause?

  DrScott 17:49 19 Sep 2006

wouldn't stop the computer from reading the CDROM as that is a BIOS function. Have you checked your Boot order in your BIOS? Have you definitely made CDROM your first boot device? Have you got the bootable CD (i.e XP) in the drive? Sorry, but obvious things are the easiest to overlook.

Otherwise if you really can't get anywhere, you could consider wiping your CMOS using jumpers - details should be given in the motherboard manual. From that point you could then try booting from the CDROM again. The fact that you are getting a POST is a good sign!

  peterleemaxwell 18:04 19 Sep 2006

Thanks DrScott for your continued advise and help. Something is amiss as I have been in the bios and set various settings only to find the second start-up screen does not fully load. At the point where it should 'see' the device and boot from it it doesn't not appear and sticks just before. Perhaps if like you say wipe the bios chip-a procedure I have never done-does this then reset the bios to a fresh bios?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:05 19 Sep 2006

Check HDD drives are set to auto detect in the BIOS and see if they are detected in the BIOS?

A faulty IDE cable can cause this problem check the cables are fully inserted at all drives and at the motherboard.

  peterleemaxwell 18:39 19 Sep 2006

Hi Fruit Bat /\0/\,
The bios is set to auto detect and hard drive and Cd-rom appear in the list on the first and second start-up screens. I will change the IDE cable and let you know. Thanks.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:59 19 Sep 2006

If hard drives are detected then IDE cable will be ok.

Its looking like a corrupt HDD, what operatin system?

  DrScott 19:01 19 Sep 2006

taking out the HDD, attaching it to another PC as a slave (you'll have to change the jumpers on the HDD) and see if you can access it from either windows or a command line. If you can't, then the HDD is probably dead. RIP!

  peterleemaxwell 19:11 19 Sep 2006

Thanks Fruit Bat /\0/\, I think -as it is a friends- The O.S. is XP. Looks a newish M/C.
Thanks DrScott, Still with me! will do exactly as suggested. I'll get back to you.
I appreciate you both of your time and expertise.

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