Computer won't start - help please

  Never again 20:09 25 Jun 2009

Hi everyone

Sorry for the urgency, but I'm at the sister in laws for an overnight break and her pc is "dead".

Its a fujitsu siemens runing windows xp pro and on start up it doesn't detect any master or slave device. It says that no SATA devices are detected?

It boots to the windows problem screen and then no option works - safe mode, last known configuration, etc.

She has no cd's as it was fixed some time ago by a friend?

I've managed to acces the bios and it detects a WDC hard drive as IDE channel 0 master with a dvd rom and cdrw as the secondary (channel 1) master and slave.

Your urgent attention would be much appreciated.


  Technotiger 20:19 25 Jun 2009

Have you tried Booting into Safe mode - tapping F8 on start-up.

  Technotiger 20:27 25 Jun 2009

Also you could try disconnecting any/all USB devices (as long as you have a PS2 Mouse attached) and try booting again.

  Never again 20:34 25 Jun 2009

I tried booting into safe mode but it didn't work.

It boots into the loop where it goes to the screen which says that windows did not start sucessfully and chose an option - but none of the options work.

I know this sounds a bit premature, but is it worth booting into ubuntu to see if the drive can be read?

  mocha 20:54 25 Jun 2009

Hi Never again,

Windows XP does not support SATA drives, it needs drivers. Go back into your BIOS and see if you have any options like 'Emulated IDE Mode' or similar.

  norman47 20:58 25 Jun 2009

It says that no SATA devices are detected?
it detects a WDC hard drive as IDE channel 0

Check the boot order is for an IDE hard drive before a SATA one.

If you had a SATA drive it would show up in the bios, you just need drivers for it to be used and show up in windows.

  Never again 21:10 25 Jun 2009

Ok. - boot order is cd/ floppy/ hard drive.

I have just changed the SATA mode from RAID to IDE and have disbled the SATA controller.

I have saved and rebooted.

This has resulted in the same windows option screen and now keeps reboting into the above loop again?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:14 25 Jun 2009

"It boots into the loop where it goes to the screen which says that windows did not start sucessfully and chose an option - but none of the options work."

OK its found the drive with windows on and is trying to boot but it looks as if there are corrupt windows files.

The usual method would be to do a repair install with an XP CD if you can borrow one. See below.

You could try booting into LInux and run a disk check and fix and see if that will cure the windows boot problem.

Repair XP by install over the top of existing system

1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

3. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.

DO NOT choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery Console).

4. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

5. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair.

6. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot.

Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears.

Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.

Repair XP
click here

  phono 21:30 25 Jun 2009

Assuming that you cannot load recovery console and so can't run checkdisk, download and run the WDC drive diagnostic software to check for problems with the HD.

  Never again 21:31 25 Jun 2009

I'm out at my in laws tonight in Bourenmouth and have no access to any os cd's or I would have atempted a repair, and I'm off back home tomorrow.

The pc has not been working for a few weeks now so I thought I'd try to fix it for them whilst I am here.

its now stuck in the windows start up loop and rebooting over and over again.

I have managed to burn an ubuntu cd though, although I'm not sure how to run disk checking from it?

Suggestions other than using an os cd would be much appreciated.

Thanks for all your help so far.

  Seadog 21:34 25 Jun 2009

I had EXACTLY the same problem with my laptop. (OK, very similar!) I thought at first it was the hard drive that had failed but the Dell diagnostics test showed the drive as ok so I tried a re-install of windows, over the top of the old version and everything came good again.

As Fruit Bat says it must have been corrupt Windows files!

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