weird disk boot failures

  Phrixos 08:57 08 Sep 2006


I thought I'd seen it all--but the weirdest thing is happening to my computer.

I have (two different*) hard disks-on SATA 1 & 2. (RAID is disabled.*) I also have an Iomega Zip250 on Primary IDE.

It's odd enough, my computer will not boot up from either hard disk. (Perhaps someone could help me with that.) That however is not what is really irritating.

If, for whatever reason and during the day, I have to hard-start my system, it does that just fine. Each MORNING when I start up however, I get a disk boot failure. I have to go into the boot menu/hard disks section where I inevitably find that the BIOS has reconfigured ITSELF--changing the hard disk priority and putting both unbootable hard disks before the Zip drive--which, for some reason, is the only disk my system will boot from (even when there is no zip disk in the drive. (If I remove or disable the Zip drive, the system will not boot at all.)

The only variable here is the date. It seems that as the clock goes past midnight, the BIOS sees the new date as an instruction to change the hard disk priority.


1) Why won't my computer boot from either of the fixed hard drives-and how do I fix that?

2) why does the BIOS keep reconfiguring itself?


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 09:43 08 Sep 2006

BIOS usually only resets if battery voltage is low and then goes to complete default (loses time etc.),

I can only suggest that you try a new CMOS battery and see if it makes any difference. theses batteries are cheap and esy to change.

  Gongoozler 09:45 08 Sep 2006

Is it the date, or is it the CMOS battery. If you switch off at the mains overnight, the CMOS settings are maintained by the battery. If the battery volts are low, the CMOS settings will revert to default.

  Phrixos 10:45 08 Sep 2006

Thanks guys, but if the battery was faulty, wouldn't ALL the BIOS settings revert to default? Unbelieveably, is just the hard drive priority that changes.

What's that about the date? My date is correct.


  terryf 10:48 08 Sep 2006

I would try to replace battery to remove one source of doubt

  UncleP 12:04 08 Sep 2006

Please give some information about this comment in your initial post ie was the RAID system ever implemented, which configuration was used, was the OS re-installed after disabling onto one or both of the hard disks etc?

  Phrixos 13:36 08 Sep 2006

Have never used raid. Don't know enough about it to do that, so I have never set it up. What I do know about it, it needs the hard disks to be identical, which mine are not. I've no need for it anyway.

The system setup is as it has been since I built this rig--but the problem only surfaced much later. As the RAID situation has not changed, I don't think it could be that.


  Phrixos 13:40 08 Sep 2006

Come to think of it, I did do a WinXPpro reinstall some four or five months back. At that time I disengaged the second hard disk (as I usually do for that operation) so as to simplify matters and eliminate the possibility of reformatting any wrong partitions--but I can't see how that might have caused this problem.

  UncleP 22:31 08 Sep 2006

Ok - my thinking was that some of the effects you were finding could be explained if you had set up a RAID0 system and then disabled it. Clearly if this was not the case then it's irrelevant.

Incidentally, if the HDs are of different capacities, RAID controllers will automatically adjust the size of the larger to match that of the smaller so that they appear identical.

  Phrixos 00:30 09 Sep 2006


  Phrixos 13:46 09 Sep 2006

Having slept on this (once again) it now strikes me that the problem could be corrected by simply making my main hard drive bootable (as it should be). That done, I expect that when the BIOS shifts the Zip drive (the only drive I have that's bootable) to the number three position in the boot priority, it will be satisfied with having found another bootable hard drive at No. 1 and so leave the sequence alone.

So, how do I make my hard drive bootable? Obviously some files are missing--but which ones?


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