Accidental, Self-Imposed A+ Final Exam

Discussion in 'A+ Certification' started by jab3, Sep 23, 2003.

  1. jab3

    jab3 Guest

    Hello -

    I've got a question for you A+ers out there. (I'm studying for it, should
    be taking it in a couple of weeks) So I've got this computer that I
    thought I would install FreeBSD on to see how I like it. (I'm dual booting
    XP/SuSE on desktop and Me/Red Hat on laptop. I've installed many other
    distros of GNU/Linux on the laptop before settling with Red Hat, and I did
    all the partitioning and everything with each distros utility without
    destroying anything) I wanted to compare FreeBSD to GNU/Linux, and my
    wife's Win98 computer was just itching to be the testing ground, since
    there was a nice 30gig drive barely being used. :)

    So I get FreeBSD Unleashed and use it as my guide (CD comes w/ book) I
    follow all the instructions about partitioning/slicing, etc. and everything
    seems to be fine. However, when it tried to install the OS - it said there
    was insufficient space on the disk. (I split it in two - 15gig
    partitions/slices)

    OK, so I'm wondering now if something went wrong. I mean, it never has
    before. ;) And boy did it. I hit reboot, and nothing happened. This is
    a Compaq Presario 5440 - all it did was show the red COMPAQ logo. So I
    thought, oh well, I'll just boot to a Win98 floppy and try fixing the MBR
    with FDISK /MBR and see if that works, though it probably wouldn't have,
    but who knows. Worst case, I would repartition/reformat the drive and
    reinstall Win98 - the data is backed up. Well, there is a worster case. :)
    The computer won't boot from the floppy. It'll check the drive, but it
    refuses to boot from it, or the CD-ROM. All it does is sit there with the
    COMPAQ logo.

    So I go into the CMOS to make sure it set to boot from the floppy. It is.
    However, I noticed that there is no entry for any hard drive in the CMOS.
    It's not there anywhere. Not even one that says Empty or Unused or
    anything. It's as though the BIOS is before hard drives ever existed.
    Another interested thing, if I disable the 'Enable Quick POST' option - the
    computer freezes before checking the floppy or anything. And I have to hit
    F10 three times to get to the CMOS menu; otherwise, when the logo appears
    and it sits there (with the Quick POST enabled), I can hit F10 and it
    immediately goes to the CMOS.

    Any ideas from anyone? I've yet to take the computer and place it on the
    counter for inspection - like detaching the IDE cable from the controller
    and seeing if it will boot to the floppy that way, or just putting the
    drive in another computer and trying to find it that way. I'm just
    confused as to how a screwed up hard drive could prevent the computer from
    booting to anything.



    Just wondering,
    jab3
     
    jab3, Sep 23, 2003
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. jab3

    Graham Guest

    I'm sorry I don't have any really good advice, for you on this, but your
    story highlights why I hate compaq's so much....I've heard no end of stories
    about weird sh*t happening with them.

    I have to say that your problem is particularly nasty though..... I'd have a
    heart attack if I looked in my CMOS and didn't see any hardrive info of any
    kind!! I've never heard of such a thing happening except in the case of a
    very rare hardware virus.

    The only thing I can think of is to actually switch off the power supply on
    the back of the PC (if yours has one) or unplug it from the wall for a few
    seconds..... maybe something in the CMOS will reset and the drive info is
    still in CMOS.

    Good luck, and I hope someone can offer you more advice than I have.

    Graham
    "jab3" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Hello -
    >
    > I've got a question for you A+ers out there. (I'm studying for it, should
    > be taking it in a couple of weeks) So I've got this computer that I
    > thought I would install FreeBSD on to see how I like it. (I'm dual

    booting
    > XP/SuSE on desktop and Me/Red Hat on laptop. I've installed many other
    > distros of GNU/Linux on the laptop before settling with Red Hat, and I did
    > all the partitioning and everything with each distros utility without
    > destroying anything) I wanted to compare FreeBSD to GNU/Linux, and my
    > wife's Win98 computer was just itching to be the testing ground, since
    > there was a nice 30gig drive barely being used. :)
    >
    > So I get FreeBSD Unleashed and use it as my guide (CD comes w/ book) I
    > follow all the instructions about partitioning/slicing, etc. and

    everything
    > seems to be fine. However, when it tried to install the OS - it said

    there
    > was insufficient space on the disk. (I split it in two - 15gig
    > partitions/slices)
    >
    > OK, so I'm wondering now if something went wrong. I mean, it never has
    > before. ;) And boy did it. I hit reboot, and nothing happened. This is
    > a Compaq Presario 5440 - all it did was show the red COMPAQ logo. So I
    > thought, oh well, I'll just boot to a Win98 floppy and try fixing the MBR
    > with FDISK /MBR and see if that works, though it probably wouldn't have,
    > but who knows. Worst case, I would repartition/reformat the drive and
    > reinstall Win98 - the data is backed up. Well, there is a worster case. :)
    > The computer won't boot from the floppy. It'll check the drive, but it
    > refuses to boot from it, or the CD-ROM. All it does is sit there with the
    > COMPAQ logo.
    >
    > So I go into the CMOS to make sure it set to boot from the floppy. It is.
    > However, I noticed that there is no entry for any hard drive in the CMOS.
    > It's not there anywhere. Not even one that says Empty or Unused or
    > anything. It's as though the BIOS is before hard drives ever existed.
    > Another interested thing, if I disable the 'Enable Quick POST' option -

    the
    > computer freezes before checking the floppy or anything. And I have to

    hit
    > F10 three times to get to the CMOS menu; otherwise, when the logo appears
    > and it sits there (with the Quick POST enabled), I can hit F10 and it
    > immediately goes to the CMOS.
    >
    > Any ideas from anyone? I've yet to take the computer and place it on the
    > counter for inspection - like detaching the IDE cable from the controller
    > and seeing if it will boot to the floppy that way, or just putting the
    > drive in another computer and trying to find it that way. I'm just
    > confused as to how a screwed up hard drive could prevent the computer from
    > booting to anything.
    >
    >
    >
    > Just wondering,
    > jab3
    >
     
    Graham, Sep 30, 2003
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. jab3

    jab3 Guest

    Graham wrote:

    > I'm sorry I don't have any really good advice, for you on this, but your
    > story highlights why I hate compaq's so much....I've heard no end of
    > stories about weird sh*t happening with them.
    >
    > I have to say that your problem is particularly nasty though..... I'd have
    > a heart attack if I looked in my CMOS and didn't see any hardrive info of
    > any kind!! I've never heard of such a thing happening except in the case
    > of a very rare hardware virus.
    >
    > The only thing I can think of is to actually switch off the power supply
    > on the back of the PC (if yours has one) or unplug it from the wall for a
    > few seconds..... maybe something in the CMOS will reset and the drive info
    > is still in CMOS.
    >
    > Good luck, and I hope someone can offer you more advice than I have.
    >
    > Graham



    Thanks for the reply. I actually got if working again without having to
    erase the drive or anything. It was amusing actually. But I think the
    problem had to do with the 1024 cylinder limit for OS kernel. For some
    reason apparently some BIOS crap out if a boot kernel is actually placed
    beyond the 1024 limit. I've never had a problem before and I know I've
    booted off kernels past that limit, but this particular machine didn't like
    it. At least, I'm assuming that's what happened. It's the only thing I
    can think of considering there was nothing else wrong with the drive -
    well, for the most part :).

    I took the box apart, and was going to take the drive out. Except Compaq
    felt it necessary to screw the hard drive in with all four screws - so
    there ended up being one screw behind the chassis that I couldn't get to
    without taking the whole motherboard out. That wasn't going to happen :).
    So I grabbed another box and put them with their openings facing each other
    as closely as possible, and plugged the IDE cable and power connector from
    the other computer into the drive in the Compaq box. (it was a stretch)
    But, I powered it up and, voila, the drive worked fine - brought up the
    menu for FreeBSD or Windows just like FreeBSD said it would. I couldn't
    believe it. So then I ran FDISK /MBR on it from a Win98 boot-disk, plugged
    it back into the original Compaq - and it worked. Loaded Win98 just fine.
    Running Partition Magic, however, showed that the partition table was all
    screwed up - except that the DOS partition obviously worked. I don't know
    what FreeBSD did, but it didn't do well. (b/c of course it wasn't me ;)

    So I had to end up installing RedHat Linux to get the partition table done
    right. The FDISK that comes with that distro is more powerful than the one
    with Win98 (I just wish I could get my hands on a copy of DOS 6.22 - I
    threw all my old disks away a couple years ago because I was drugged out of
    my mind obviously). It's command-line driven (which the one on my Win98
    boot disk isn't, which sux), and it let's you reorder the partition table
    according to how the cylinders are actually allocated (yes, that can get
    whacked :)) and all sorts of other goodies.

    But anyway. It's now back to normal without any loss of data. (except
    FreeBSD, which I suppose I'll give another try one of these days soon)



    jab3



    > "jab3" <> wrote in message
    > news:...
    >> Hello -
    >>
    >> I've got a question for you A+ers out there. (I'm studying for it,
    >> should
    >> be taking it in a couple of weeks) So I've got this computer that I
    >> thought I would install FreeBSD on to see how I like it. (I'm dual

    > booting
    >> XP/SuSE on desktop and Me/Red Hat on laptop. I've installed many other
    >> distros of GNU/Linux on the laptop before settling with Red Hat, and I
    >> did all the partitioning and everything with each distros utility without
    >> destroying anything) I wanted to compare FreeBSD to GNU/Linux, and my
    >> wife's Win98 computer was just itching to be the testing ground, since
    >> there was a nice 30gig drive barely being used. :)
    >>
    >> So I get FreeBSD Unleashed and use it as my guide (CD comes w/ book) I
    >> follow all the instructions about partitioning/slicing, etc. and

    > everything
    >> seems to be fine. However, when it tried to install the OS - it said

    > there
    >> was insufficient space on the disk. (I split it in two - 15gig
    >> partitions/slices)
    >>
    >> OK, so I'm wondering now if something went wrong. I mean, it never has
    >> before. ;) And boy did it. I hit reboot, and nothing happened. This
    >> is
    >> a Compaq Presario 5440 - all it did was show the red COMPAQ logo. So I
    >> thought, oh well, I'll just boot to a Win98 floppy and try fixing the MBR
    >> with FDISK /MBR and see if that works, though it probably wouldn't have,
    >> but who knows. Worst case, I would repartition/reformat the drive and
    >> reinstall Win98 - the data is backed up. Well, there is a worster case.
    >> :)
    >> The computer won't boot from the floppy. It'll check the drive, but it
    >> refuses to boot from it, or the CD-ROM. All it does is sit there with
    >> the COMPAQ logo.
    >>
    >> So I go into the CMOS to make sure it set to boot from the floppy. It
    >> is. However, I noticed that there is no entry for any hard drive in the
    >> CMOS.
    >> It's not there anywhere. Not even one that says Empty or Unused or
    >> anything. It's as though the BIOS is before hard drives ever existed.
    >> Another interested thing, if I disable the 'Enable Quick POST' option -

    > the
    >> computer freezes before checking the floppy or anything. And I have to

    > hit
    >> F10 three times to get to the CMOS menu; otherwise, when the logo appears
    >> and it sits there (with the Quick POST enabled), I can hit F10 and it
    >> immediately goes to the CMOS.
    >>
    >> Any ideas from anyone? I've yet to take the computer and place it on the
    >> counter for inspection - like detaching the IDE cable from the controller
    >> and seeing if it will boot to the floppy that way, or just putting the
    >> drive in another computer and trying to find it that way. I'm just
    >> confused as to how a screwed up hard drive could prevent the computer
    >> from booting to anything.
    >>
    >>
    >>
    >> Just wondering,
    >> jab3
    >>
     
    jab3, Oct 1, 2003
    #3
  4. jab3

    AG Guest

    "jab3" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > Graham wrote:
    >

    (I just wish I could get my hands on a copy of DOS 6.22 - I
    > threw all my old disks away a couple years ago because I was drugged out

    of
    > my mind obviously). It's command-line driven (which the one on my Win98
    > boot disk isn't, which sux), and it let's you reorder the partition table
    > according to how the cylinders are actually allocated (yes, that can get
    > whacked :)) and all sorts of other goodies.
    >
    >
    > jab3

    Take a look at FreeDOS:
    www.freedos.org
    I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
    AG
     
    AG, Oct 2, 2003
    #4
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Replies:
    5
    Views:
    554
    ┬░Mike┬░
    Aug 10, 2004
  2. =?UTF-8?B?UGFsaW5kcuKYu21l?=

    "Ubdoing" an "accidental" Fdisk primary partition delete

    =?UTF-8?B?UGFsaW5kcuKYu21l?=, Aug 10, 2004, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    8
    Views:
    2,576
    =?UTF-8?B?UGFsaW5kcuKYu21l?=
    Aug 15, 2004
  3. Fred C

    tcp/ip concurrent connects imposed ??

    Fred C, Aug 3, 2006, in forum: Computer Information
    Replies:
    2
    Views:
    643
    bambam
    Aug 4, 2006
  4. Fred C

    TCP/IP limit imposed ?, then disconnected ?

    Fred C, Aug 3, 2006, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    691
    Gary G. Taylor
    Aug 4, 2006
  5. Karl Engel

    Word open as Final, not Final Showing Markup

    Karl Engel, Dec 17, 2006, in forum: Computer Support
    Replies:
    4
    Views:
    41,428
    What's in a Name?
    Dec 19, 2006
Loading...

Share This Page