problems with my hard drive

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Joe Black, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. Joe Black

    Joe Black Guest

    Hi, I need some advice what to do.

    Started my computer today, got a message "Operating system not found".

    Decided to try and boot from the CD (Windows 98 SE) - got the same message
    "Operating system not found" (didn't seem to recognise the CD drive although
    the light came on and went off at startup).

    Tried booting from a floppy disk, chose option "Start computer with CD Rom
    support". Oak technology driver started then gave message "No drives found,
    aborting installtion". I have 2 CD drives - one a ROM and one a CD writer.

    After that, still booting from the floppy, I got the message "Windows 98 has
    detected that drive C does not contain a valid fat or fat32 partition."

    I ran FDisk which stopped with a mesage "No fixed disks present".

    I could understand if the hard drive had packed in but I can't understand
    why I couldn't access my CD drives which makes me wonder if both problems
    are a symptom of something else (I don't want to replace the hard drive only
    to find that there was nothing wrong with it).

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks - Joe
    Joe Black, Oct 19, 2003
    #1
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  2. Joe Black

    Wally Guest

    "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    news:GDokb.183273$...
    > Hi, I need some advice what to do.
    >
    > Started my computer today, got a message "Operating system not found".
    >
    > Decided to try and boot from the CD (Windows 98 SE) - got the same message
    > "Operating system not found" (didn't seem to recognise the CD drive

    although
    > the light came on and went off at startup).
    >
    > Tried booting from a floppy disk, chose option "Start computer with CD Rom
    > support". Oak technology driver started then gave message "No drives

    found,
    > aborting installtion". I have 2 CD drives - one a ROM and one a CD writer.
    >
    > After that, still booting from the floppy, I got the message "Windows 98

    has
    > detected that drive C does not contain a valid fat or fat32 partition."
    >
    > I ran FDisk which stopped with a mesage "No fixed disks present".
    >
    > I could understand if the hard drive had packed in but I can't understand
    > why I couldn't access my CD drives which makes me wonder if both problems
    > are a symptom of something else (I don't want to replace the hard drive

    only
    > to find that there was nothing wrong with it).
    >
    > Any suggestions?
    >
    > Thanks - Joe
    >

    You need to get brave and take the cover off. Check the data cable from the
    motherboard to the Hard Disk Drive and CD ROM Drive. Pres down firmly on the
    connector plug. I nay have come unseated. Failing that, very carefully
    remove and replace the connectors, one at a time, to the motherboard and the
    drives. If that doesn't work it gets more technical.
    Wally, Oct 19, 2003
    #2
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  3. Joe Black

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    news:GDokb.183273$...
    > Hi, I need some advice what to do.
    >
    > Started my computer today, got a message "Operating system not found".
    >
    > Decided to try and boot from the CD (Windows 98 SE) - got the same message
    > "Operating system not found" (didn't seem to recognise the CD drive

    although
    > the light came on and went off at startup).
    >
    > Tried booting from a floppy disk, chose option "Start computer with CD Rom
    > support". Oak technology driver started then gave message "No drives

    found,
    > aborting installtion". I have 2 CD drives - one a ROM and one a CD writer.
    >
    > After that, still booting from the floppy, I got the message "Windows 98

    has
    > detected that drive C does not contain a valid fat or fat32 partition."
    >
    > I ran FDisk which stopped with a mesage "No fixed disks present".
    >
    > I could understand if the hard drive had packed in but I can't understand
    > why I couldn't access my CD drives which makes me wonder if both problems
    > are a symptom of something else (I don't want to replace the hard drive

    only
    > to find that there was nothing wrong with it).
    >
    > Any suggestions?


    Firstly check the IDE cable(s). I would think that both the HDD and CD-ROM
    are on the same IDE ribbon/controller and that either the cable has come
    lose or the IDE controller has packed up.

    I hope it's a lose cable. Although not picking up either CD drive is a
    worry. That's three drives giving trouble, suggesting more than one IDE
    controller/ribbon cable. Unless the writer is on it's own cable and it's too
    new for the BIOS to boot from. Just guessing here, more information is
    needed really.

    What age is the PC and did you move it or do anything to it immediately
    before this problem?

    If it's an old system (AT) I'm not sure but I don't think the motherboard
    depends on the 12v rail from the PSU, maybe the PSU is shot and that's why
    it can't detect the drives (which do require 12v). Maybe the 12v rail has
    packed up or is very weak. I'm not sure on that, I'm sure someone will
    correct me if I'm wrong.
    --
    ~misfit~


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.525 / Virus Database: 322 - Release Date: 9/10/2003
    ~misfit~, Oct 19, 2003
    #3
  4. Joe Black

    Joe Black Guest

    >
    > Firstly check the IDE cable(s). I would think that both the HDD and CD-ROM
    > are on the same IDE ribbon/controller and that either the cable has come
    > lose or the IDE controller has packed up.
    >
    > I hope it's a lose cable. Although not picking up either CD drive is a
    > worry. That's three drives giving trouble, suggesting more than one IDE
    > controller/ribbon cable. Unless the writer is on it's own cable and it's

    too
    > new for the BIOS to boot from. Just guessing here, more information is
    > needed really.
    >
    > What age is the PC and did you move it or do anything to it immediately
    > before this problem?
    >
    > If it's an old system (AT) I'm not sure but I don't think the motherboard
    > depends on the 12v rail from the PSU, maybe the PSU is shot and that's why
    > it can't detect the drives (which do require 12v). Maybe the 12v rail has
    > packed up or is very weak. I'm not sure on that, I'm sure someone will
    > correct me if I'm wrong.
    > --
    > ~misfit~


    Hi Misfit

    My son was playing a game on it and the game "froze" and when he rebooted it
    came up with "Operating system not found", I don't think the computer was
    moved.

    Not sure of exact age of computer but it is a few years old - a Gateway
    Pentium 600 coppermine. The original hard drive packed in and they replaced
    it under warranty so the hd is about 2 years old.

    I took cover off and checked tightness of cable and connectors - nothing
    loose. All drives appear to be on the same cable.

    Thanks for your reply - Joe.
    Joe Black, Oct 19, 2003
    #4
  5. Joe Black

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    news:Dwrkb.183403$...
    > >
    > > Firstly check the IDE cable(s). I would think that both the HDD and

    CD-ROM
    > > are on the same IDE ribbon/controller and that either the cable has come
    > > lose or the IDE controller has packed up.
    > >
    > > I hope it's a loose cable. Although not picking up either CD drive is a
    > > worry. That's three drives giving trouble, suggesting more than one IDE
    > > controller/ribbon cable. Unless the writer is on it's own cable and it's

    > too
    > > new for the BIOS to boot from. Just guessing here, more information is
    > > needed really.
    > >
    > > What age is the PC and did you move it or do anything to it immediately
    > > before this problem?
    > >
    > > If it's an old system (AT) I'm not sure but I don't think the

    motherboard
    > > depends on the 12v rail from the PSU, maybe the PSU is shot and that's

    why
    > > it can't detect the drives (which do require 12v). Maybe the 12v rail

    has
    > > packed up or is very weak. I'm not sure on that, I'm sure someone will
    > > correct me if I'm wrong.
    > > --
    > > ~misfit~

    >
    > Hi Misfit
    >
    > My son was playing a game on it and the game "froze" and when he rebooted

    it
    > came up with "Operating system not found", I don't think the computer was
    > moved.
    >
    > Not sure of exact age of computer but it is a few years old - a Gateway
    > Pentium 600 coppermine. The original hard drive packed in and they

    replaced
    > it under warranty so the hd is about 2 years old.
    >
    > I took cover off and checked tightness of cable and connectors - nothing
    > loose. All drives appear to be on the same cable.
    >
    > Thanks for your reply - Joe.


    Hi Joe.

    Hmmm, it's hard to trouble-shoot a PC problem remotely. If you have one HDD
    and two CD drives they can't all be on the same cable if it's running IDE
    drives, which I'd think it would be. IDE is limited to two drives per
    channel and most motherboards have two channels. If in fact they are all on
    one cable then it's using SCSI instead of IDE, which is a whole different
    kettle of fish. I wouldn't think it was SCSI but I can't be sure until you
    have another look under the hood and check to see if it is in fact two
    cables, one with one drive on it and the other with two drives on it.
    They'll plug into the motherboard right next to each other. Also SCSI uses
    50-pin cables whereas IDE uses 40-pin. Can you have another look please?

    Either way it doesn't look good. I would say, as a preliminary diagnosis,
    that the drive controller is shot. It might not be that but that's the way
    it looks at the moment. There's a slim chance it could be the power supply
    instead. I don't know if Gateway use standard wiring on their power supplies
    (Dell don't but I think Gateway might) or if you have access to another
    power supply to try. If you did that would be my first thing to try, it's
    quite easy to do.

    Check those cables again please, and do they go to the main board or an
    add-in board? Also, where are you?

    Cheers,
    --
    ~misfit~


    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
    Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.525 / Virus Database: 322 - Release Date: 9/10/2003
    ~misfit~, Oct 19, 2003
    #5
  6. Joe Black

    Mainlander Guest

    In article <RLvkb.183574$>, ~misfit~@his-
    desk.com says...
    >
    > "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    > news:Dwrkb.183403$...
    > > >
    > > > Firstly check the IDE cable(s). I would think that both the HDD and

    > CD-ROM
    > > > are on the same IDE ribbon/controller and that either the cable has come
    > > > lose or the IDE controller has packed up.
    > > >
    > > > I hope it's a loose cable. Although not picking up either CD drive is a
    > > > worry. That's three drives giving trouble, suggesting more than one IDE
    > > > controller/ribbon cable. Unless the writer is on it's own cable and it's

    > > too
    > > > new for the BIOS to boot from. Just guessing here, more information is
    > > > needed really.
    > > >
    > > > What age is the PC and did you move it or do anything to it immediately
    > > > before this problem?
    > > >
    > > > If it's an old system (AT) I'm not sure but I don't think the

    > motherboard
    > > > depends on the 12v rail from the PSU, maybe the PSU is shot and that's

    > why
    > > > it can't detect the drives (which do require 12v). Maybe the 12v rail

    > has
    > > > packed up or is very weak. I'm not sure on that, I'm sure someone will
    > > > correct me if I'm wrong.
    > > > --
    > > > ~misfit~

    > >
    > > Hi Misfit
    > >
    > > My son was playing a game on it and the game "froze" and when he rebooted

    > it
    > > came up with "Operating system not found", I don't think the computer was
    > > moved.
    > >
    > > Not sure of exact age of computer but it is a few years old - a Gateway
    > > Pentium 600 coppermine. The original hard drive packed in and they

    > replaced
    > > it under warranty so the hd is about 2 years old.
    > >
    > > I took cover off and checked tightness of cable and connectors - nothing
    > > loose. All drives appear to be on the same cable.
    > >
    > > Thanks for your reply - Joe.

    >
    > Hi Joe.
    >
    > Hmmm, it's hard to trouble-shoot a PC problem remotely. If you have one HDD
    > and two CD drives they can't all be on the same cable if it's running IDE
    > drives, which I'd think it would be. IDE is limited to two drives per
    > channel and most motherboards have two channels. If in fact they are all on
    > one cable then it's using SCSI instead of IDE, which is a whole different
    > kettle of fish. I wouldn't think it was SCSI but I can't be sure until you
    > have another look under the hood and check to see if it is in fact two
    > cables, one with one drive on it and the other with two drives on it.
    > They'll plug into the motherboard right next to each other. Also SCSI uses
    > 50-pin cables whereas IDE uses 40-pin. Can you have another look please?
    >
    > Either way it doesn't look good. I would say, as a preliminary diagnosis,
    > that the drive controller is shot. It might not be that but that's the way
    > it looks at the moment. There's a slim chance it could be the power supply
    > instead. I don't know if Gateway use standard wiring on their power supplies
    > (Dell don't but I think Gateway might) or if you have access to another
    > power supply to try. If you did that would be my first thing to try, it's
    > quite easy to do.
    >
    > Check those cables again please, and do they go to the main board or an
    > add-in board? Also, where are you?


    Could be a simple peripheral conflict, get them to remove all cards
    except the display, if it has cards.
    Mainlander, Oct 20, 2003
    #6
  7. Joe Black

    Joe Black Guest


    >
    > Hi Joe.
    >
    > Hmmm, it's hard to trouble-shoot a PC problem remotely. If you have one

    HDD
    > and two CD drives they can't all be on the same cable if it's running IDE
    > drives, which I'd think it would be. IDE is limited to two drives per
    > channel and most motherboards have two channels. If in fact they are all

    on
    > one cable then it's using SCSI instead of IDE, which is a whole different
    > kettle of fish. I wouldn't think it was SCSI but I can't be sure until you
    > have another look under the hood and check to see if it is in fact two
    > cables, one with one drive on it and the other with two drives on it.
    > They'll plug into the motherboard right next to each other. Also SCSI uses
    > 50-pin cables whereas IDE uses 40-pin. Can you have another look please?
    >
    > Either way it doesn't look good. I would say, as a preliminary diagnosis,
    > that the drive controller is shot. It might not be that but that's the way
    > it looks at the moment. There's a slim chance it could be the power supply
    > instead. I don't know if Gateway use standard wiring on their power

    supplies
    > (Dell don't but I think Gateway might) or if you have access to another
    > power supply to try. If you did that would be my first thing to try, it's
    > quite easy to do.
    >
    > Check those cables again please, and do they go to the main board or an
    > add-in board? Also, where are you?
    >
    > Cheers,
    > --
    > ~misfit~


    Hi Misfit

    Sorry I put you crook, there are in fact two cables that plug into the
    motherboard next to each other.
    (I am in Tauranga)

    I tried swapping hard drives with a friend and his one gives the "Operating
    system not found" error on my computer and my HD works OK in his computer so
    it looks like you were right and the drive controller is shot. (I don't have
    access to another power supply so I can't test that).

    How major would it be to fix, do I have to replace the motherboard, is it
    worth it or should I just do a swap-a-box at the local computer shop?

    Thanks for your time and help.
    - Joe
    Joe Black, Oct 20, 2003
    #7
  8. Joe Black

    Paul Mathews Guest

    On Mon, 20 Oct 2003 21:27:44 +1300, "Joe Black" <>
    wrote:

    >
    >>
    >> Hi Joe.
    >>
    >> Hmmm, it's hard to trouble-shoot a PC problem remotely. If you have one

    >HDD
    >> and two CD drives they can't all be on the same cable if it's running IDE
    >> drives, which I'd think it would be. IDE is limited to two drives per
    >> channel and most motherboards have two channels. If in fact they are all

    >on
    >> one cable then it's using SCSI instead of IDE, which is a whole different
    >> kettle of fish. I wouldn't think it was SCSI but I can't be sure until you
    >> have another look under the hood and check to see if it is in fact two
    >> cables, one with one drive on it and the other with two drives on it.
    >> They'll plug into the motherboard right next to each other. Also SCSI uses
    >> 50-pin cables whereas IDE uses 40-pin. Can you have another look please?
    >>
    >> Either way it doesn't look good. I would say, as a preliminary diagnosis,
    >> that the drive controller is shot. It might not be that but that's the way
    >> it looks at the moment. There's a slim chance it could be the power supply
    >> instead. I don't know if Gateway use standard wiring on their power

    >supplies
    >> (Dell don't but I think Gateway might) or if you have access to another
    >> power supply to try. If you did that would be my first thing to try, it's
    >> quite easy to do.
    >>
    >> Check those cables again please, and do they go to the main board or an
    >> add-in board? Also, where are you?
    >>
    >> Cheers,
    >> --
    >> ~misfit~

    >
    >Hi Misfit
    >
    >Sorry I put you crook, there are in fact two cables that plug into the
    >motherboard next to each other.
    >(I am in Tauranga)
    >
    >I tried swapping hard drives with a friend and his one gives the "Operating
    >system not found" error on my computer and my HD works OK in his computer so
    >it looks like you were right and the drive controller is shot. (I don't have
    >access to another power supply so I can't test that).
    >
    >How major would it be to fix, do I have to replace the motherboard, is it
    >worth it or should I just do a swap-a-box at the local computer shop?
    >
    >Thanks for your time and help.
    >- Joe
    >




    Stop pissing around with it and Take it to a shop.
    Paul Mathews, Oct 20, 2003
    #8
  9. Joe Black

    pete Guest

    "Paul Mathews" <> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Mon, 20 Oct 2003 21:27:44 +1300, "Joe Black" <>
    > wrote:
    >
    > >
    > >>
    > >> Hi Joe.
    > >>
    > >> Hmmm, it's hard to trouble-shoot a PC problem remotely. If you have one

    > >HDD
    > >> and two CD drives they can't all be on the same cable if it's running

    IDE
    > >> drives, which I'd think it would be. IDE is limited to two drives per
    > >> channel and most motherboards have two channels. If in fact they are

    all
    > >on
    > >> one cable then it's using SCSI instead of IDE, which is a whole

    different
    > >> kettle of fish. I wouldn't think it was SCSI but I can't be sure until

    you
    > >> have another look under the hood and check to see if it is in fact two
    > >> cables, one with one drive on it and the other with two drives on it.
    > >> They'll plug into the motherboard right next to each other. Also SCSI

    uses
    > >> 50-pin cables whereas IDE uses 40-pin. Can you have another look

    please?
    > >>
    > >> Either way it doesn't look good. I would say, as a preliminary

    diagnosis,
    > >> that the drive controller is shot. It might not be that but that's the

    way
    > >> it looks at the moment. There's a slim chance it could be the power

    supply
    > >> instead. I don't know if Gateway use standard wiring on their power

    > >supplies
    > >> (Dell don't but I think Gateway might) or if you have access to another
    > >> power supply to try. If you did that would be my first thing to try,

    it's
    > >> quite easy to do.
    > >>
    > >> Check those cables again please, and do they go to the main board or an
    > >> add-in board? Also, where are you?
    > >>
    > >> Cheers,
    > >> --
    > >> ~misfit~

    > >
    > >Hi Misfit
    > >
    > >Sorry I put you crook, there are in fact two cables that plug into the
    > >motherboard next to each other.
    > >(I am in Tauranga)
    > >
    > >I tried swapping hard drives with a friend and his one gives the

    "Operating
    > >system not found" error on my computer and my HD works OK in his computer

    so
    > >it looks like you were right and the drive controller is shot. (I don't

    have
    > >access to another power supply so I can't test that).
    > >
    > >How major would it be to fix, do I have to replace the motherboard, is it
    > >worth it or should I just do a swap-a-box at the local computer shop?
    > >
    > >Thanks for your time and help.
    > >- Joe
    > >

    >
    >
    >
    > Stop pissing around with it and Take it to a shop.


    Take it to a shop and some knob like Woger will end up fucking with it.
    You've pretty much proven the board is borked, (the IDE controller is
    integral with the board)
    If you can pull out the old board, then you'd be capable of putting in a new
    one.
    Whether it is worth repairing this PC or upgrading to a new one depends on
    how old it is, did it meet your needs prior to dying or have you been
    waiting for something like this to happen so you can justify to the
    financial controler that a new PC is required.
    >
    pete, Oct 20, 2003
    #9
  10. Joe Black

    Mainlander Guest

    In article <80Nkb.184460$>, joeblack99
    @hotmail.com says...
    >
    > >
    > > Hi Joe.
    > >
    > > Hmmm, it's hard to trouble-shoot a PC problem remotely. If you have one

    > HDD
    > > and two CD drives they can't all be on the same cable if it's running IDE
    > > drives, which I'd think it would be. IDE is limited to two drives per
    > > channel and most motherboards have two channels. If in fact they are all

    > on
    > > one cable then it's using SCSI instead of IDE, which is a whole different
    > > kettle of fish. I wouldn't think it was SCSI but I can't be sure until you
    > > have another look under the hood and check to see if it is in fact two
    > > cables, one with one drive on it and the other with two drives on it.
    > > They'll plug into the motherboard right next to each other. Also SCSI uses
    > > 50-pin cables whereas IDE uses 40-pin. Can you have another look please?
    > >
    > > Either way it doesn't look good. I would say, as a preliminary diagnosis,
    > > that the drive controller is shot. It might not be that but that's the way
    > > it looks at the moment. There's a slim chance it could be the power supply
    > > instead. I don't know if Gateway use standard wiring on their power

    > supplies
    > > (Dell don't but I think Gateway might) or if you have access to another
    > > power supply to try. If you did that would be my first thing to try, it's
    > > quite easy to do.
    > >
    > > Check those cables again please, and do they go to the main board or an
    > > add-in board? Also, where are you?
    > >
    > > Cheers,
    > > --
    > > ~misfit~

    >
    > Hi Misfit
    >
    > Sorry I put you crook, there are in fact two cables that plug into the
    > motherboard next to each other.
    > (I am in Tauranga)
    >
    > I tried swapping hard drives with a friend and his one gives the "Operating
    > system not found" error on my computer and my HD works OK in his computer so
    > it looks like you were right and the drive controller is shot. (I don't have
    > access to another power supply so I can't test that).
    >
    > How major would it be to fix, do I have to replace the motherboard, is it
    > worth it or should I just do a swap-a-box at the local computer shop?


    Before you go to the trouble of replacing a board do run down all of the
    other possibilities. HDD controller failure is not a common event and the
    symptoms may be due to other causes. For example the BIOS settings for
    the hard disk are incorrect. I wonder if the BIOS could be corrupted, as
    some viruses can do this. Alternately BIOS settings are lost due to a
    flat battery.

    I assume when you put your friend's hard disk in you went into the BIOS
    and entered the parameters or set auto HDD detection. Check to see what
    data is entered into the BIOS by auto detection, and if there is a POST
    message on the screen about the HDD being detected.

    I had a situation recently with a PC with pretty much the same symptoms,
    there were several problems the most notable being that the data cable
    was connected incorrectly. Have you tried replacing the data cable to the
    HDD and try a different power cable. There was also a problem in this
    instance of the master/slave jumper being set wrongly.

    If there have been no hardware changes in the PC then the BIOS seems to
    be the most likely cause before the rare situation of HDD controller
    failure. Even a simple matter of peripheral conflict can cause a spurious
    error message like "Primary HDD failure" which is nothing of the sort.
    Mainlander, Oct 20, 2003
    #10
  11. Joe Black

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    news:kJ1lb.185338$...
    > > Joe, if you feel confident enough to flash your BIOS with the latest

    > version
    > > available (it's not *that* hazardous) then that would be a good thing to

    > try
    > > before rolling up you sleeves and getting into the hardware. You say

    your
    > > floppy drive works fine and that's all you need for a BIOS flash. Check
    > > Gateway's site for the latest version for your board and instructions on

    > how
    > > to do it.
    > > --
    > > ~misfit~
    > >

    >
    > Thanks - I'll give it a go, I just have to find out what sort of board I
    > have got.


    Probably a Gateway proprietry board. You can try downloading and installing
    Aida32, it's a worthwhile proggy anyway. Oh, just realised, you can't boot
    into Windows. You'll have to open her up and have a look on the board.
    --
    ~misfit~
    ~misfit~, Oct 21, 2003
    #11
  12. Joe Black

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    news:9L2lb.185401$...
    > Problem solved thanks to the suggestions of BIOS problems!
    >
    > I had a look at the BIOS settings and the IDE controller was set to
    > [Disabled]. I set it to [Both] (primary and secondary) and everything is
    > working OK again. I don't know how it got set to disabled but I am just

    very
    > releived to get it working again without having to shell out some $.


    :) Glad you got it sorted. Strange that it was set to disabled, I would
    have mentioned that but going by your description of the 'crash' I didn't
    see how it could have been re-set.

    > I am a bit embarrased I didn't look at the BIOS settings before now and
    > apologise if I have wasted anyones time on this problem.


    It's all good, we can all learn form this stuff. If I see a person having
    the same problem in future the first thing I'll suggest, regardless of how
    the 'crash' happened is look in the BIOS settings.

    > Thanks again misfit and Mainlander.


    You're welcome.

    > I'm off to queue up at Dick Smith's for my free Office 2003 - Joe


    What time are you going to go down there Joe? I'm thinking of getting an
    early start myself, take a book, a drink, a bite to eat and a chair and wrap
    up warm. It's OK, we're going to different Dick Smith's. :)
    --
    ~misfit~
    ~misfit~, Oct 21, 2003
    #12
  13. Joe Black

    Joe Black Guest

    > Joe, if you feel confident enough to flash your BIOS with the latest
    version
    > available (it's not *that* hazardous) then that would be a good thing to

    try
    > before rolling up you sleeves and getting into the hardware. You say your
    > floppy drive works fine and that's all you need for a BIOS flash. Check
    > Gateway's site for the latest version for your board and instructions on

    how
    > to do it.
    > --
    > ~misfit~
    >


    Thanks - I'll give it a go, I just have to find out what sort of board I
    have got.

    - Joe
    Joe Black, Oct 21, 2003
    #13
  14. Joe Black

    Joe Black Guest

    "~misfit~" <~misfit~@his.desk.com> wrote in message
    news:Yu2lb.185389$...
    >
    > "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    > news:kJ1lb.185338$...
    > > > Joe, if you feel confident enough to flash your BIOS with the latest

    > > version
    > > > available (it's not *that* hazardous) then that would be a good thing

    to
    > > try
    > > > before rolling up you sleeves and getting into the hardware. You say

    > your
    > > > floppy drive works fine and that's all you need for a BIOS flash.

    Check
    > > > Gateway's site for the latest version for your board and instructions

    on
    > > how
    > > > to do it.
    > > > --
    > > > ~misfit~
    > > >

    > >
    > > Thanks - I'll give it a go, I just have to find out what sort of board I
    > > have got.

    >
    > Probably a Gateway proprietry board. You can try downloading and

    installing
    > Aida32, it's a worthwhile proggy anyway. Oh, just realised, you can't boot
    > into Windows. You'll have to open her up and have a look on the board.
    > --
    > ~misfit~
    >
    >


    Problem solved thanks to the suggestions of BIOS problems!

    I had a look at the BIOS settings and the IDE controller was set to
    [Disabled]. I set it to [Both] (primary and secondary) and everything is
    working OK again. I don't know how it got set to disabled but I am just very
    releived to get it working again without having to shell out some $.

    I am a bit embarrased I didn't look at the BIOS settings before now and
    apologise if I have wasted anyones time on this problem.

    Thanks again misfit and Mainlander.

    I'm off to queue up at Dick Smith's for my free Office 2003 - Joe
    Joe Black, Oct 21, 2003
    #14
  15. Joe Black

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    news:80Nkb.184460$...
    >
    > >
    > > Hi Joe.
    > >
    > > Hmmm, it's hard to trouble-shoot a PC problem remotely. If you have one

    > HDD
    > > and two CD drives they can't all be on the same cable if it's running

    IDE
    > > drives, which I'd think it would be. IDE is limited to two drives per
    > > channel and most motherboards have two channels. If in fact they are all

    > on
    > > one cable then it's using SCSI instead of IDE, which is a whole

    different
    > > kettle of fish. I wouldn't think it was SCSI but I can't be sure until

    you
    > > have another look under the hood and check to see if it is in fact two
    > > cables, one with one drive on it and the other with two drives on it.
    > > They'll plug into the motherboard right next to each other. Also SCSI

    uses
    > > 50-pin cables whereas IDE uses 40-pin. Can you have another look please?
    > >
    > > Either way it doesn't look good. I would say, as a preliminary

    diagnosis,
    > > that the drive controller is shot. It might not be that but that's the

    way
    > > it looks at the moment. There's a slim chance it could be the power

    supply
    > > instead. I don't know if Gateway use standard wiring on their power

    > supplies
    > > (Dell don't but I think Gateway might) or if you have access to another
    > > power supply to try. If you did that would be my first thing to try,

    it's
    > > quite easy to do.
    > >
    > > Check those cables again please, and do they go to the main board or an
    > > add-in board? Also, where are you?
    > >
    > > Cheers,
    > > --
    > > ~misfit~

    >
    > Hi Misfit
    >
    > Sorry I put you crook, there are in fact two cables that plug into the
    > motherboard next to each other.
    > (I am in Tauranga)
    >
    > I tried swapping hard drives with a friend and his one gives the

    "Operating
    > system not found" error on my computer and my HD works OK in his computer

    so
    > it looks like you were right and the drive controller is shot. (I don't

    have
    > access to another power supply so I can't test that).
    >
    > How major would it be to fix, do I have to replace the motherboard, is it
    > worth it or should I just do a swap-a-box at the local computer shop?
    >
    > Thanks for your time and help.


    Well Joe, it looks like the IDE controllers on the motherboard are shot. I
    wouldn't say 100% that is the case but around 95% chance.

    A PIII Coppermine 600MHz is still quite a usable machine. Does it still do
    all you want it to or are you in need of an upgrade?

    If you decide to keep it you have two options:

    Option one is to replace the motherboard. I'm not sure if you can fit just
    any mobo into that machine as I believe you said it was a Gateway. Maybe
    someone more familiar with Gateway machines can tell us?
    Do you know if the CPU is a 100MHz front-side bus (FSB) or a 133MHz? Slot 1
    or Socket 370? Maybe a generic mobo will fit to replace your existing one
    and you could pick one up second-hand. I have a Jetway 911AF board here but
    I'm not sure if it will do the job, the website says it can take PII/PIII in
    the slot or Celerons in the socket. It doesn't have the facility to
    accomodate a 133FSB and also it only has on-board graphics, no AGP slot.
    It's fine with Coppermines as it was running a Celeron Coppermine 600 in the
    socket so if your CPU is a 100MHz FSB slot 1 model (or maybe even a socket
    370 100FSB) it might do at a pinch. It's yours for the price of postage if
    you want it. You would have to re-install Windows I expect depending on the
    version of Windows you are running. Maybe spend some time googling and see
    if you can find anyone who has had success with running a Coppermine CPU in
    a Jetway 911AF. Of course, if your son plays games that are demanding of
    graphics and you have a reasonable graphics card then maybe it wouldn't be
    practical. I don't know how good the on-board graphics is.

    Option two is to add an IDE controller card, I'm not sure how much you'd pay
    for one. I've just had a bit of a disaster myself, spent all afternoon
    re-installing Windows as my HDD decided that the Windows partition should be
    corrupted and consequently it became un-bootable. As a result I've lost my
    'favorites' so don't have NZ PC stores bookmarked at present. I'd say in the
    region of $80. The advantage of an IDE controller card is you won't have to
    re-install. There is a slim chance however that you may not be able to use
    one, it depends on your BIOS, you may have to tell it to boot from SCSI or
    somesuch. (Some motherboards think add-in IDE cards are SCSI cards) If you
    decide to try it ask for the right to return the card if it doen't work in
    your machine.

    Only you can say if it's worth it. If the PC has been doing all you require
    it to then it may be viable to repair. If you found yourself getting a
    little frustrated with it and it was a bit slow then maybe an upgrade box is
    in order.

    I'm in South Auckland, a bit far away, or I would've offered to come and
    have a look at it for you.

    (After doing a quick Google it seems that the 911AF may support a 100MHz FSB
    PIII in either the slot or the socket, can't be sure though.)
    --
    ~misfit~
    ~misfit~, Oct 21, 2003
    #15
  16. Joe Black

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Mainlander" <*@*.*> wrote in message
    news:...
    > In article <80Nkb.184460$>, joeblack99
    > @hotmail.com says...
    > >
    > > >
    > > > Hi Joe.
    > > >
    > > > Hmmm, it's hard to trouble-shoot a PC problem remotely. If you have

    one
    > > HDD
    > > > and two CD drives they can't all be on the same cable if it's running

    IDE
    > > > drives, which I'd think it would be. IDE is limited to two drives per
    > > > channel and most motherboards have two channels. If in fact they are

    all
    > > on
    > > > one cable then it's using SCSI instead of IDE, which is a whole

    different
    > > > kettle of fish. I wouldn't think it was SCSI but I can't be sure until

    you
    > > > have another look under the hood and check to see if it is in fact two
    > > > cables, one with one drive on it and the other with two drives on it.
    > > > They'll plug into the motherboard right next to each other. Also SCSI

    uses
    > > > 50-pin cables whereas IDE uses 40-pin. Can you have another look

    please?
    > > >
    > > > Either way it doesn't look good. I would say, as a preliminary

    diagnosis,
    > > > that the drive controller is shot. It might not be that but that's the

    way
    > > > it looks at the moment. There's a slim chance it could be the power

    supply
    > > > instead. I don't know if Gateway use standard wiring on their power

    > > supplies
    > > > (Dell don't but I think Gateway might) or if you have access to

    another
    > > > power supply to try. If you did that would be my first thing to try,

    it's
    > > > quite easy to do.
    > > >
    > > > Check those cables again please, and do they go to the main board or

    an
    > > > add-in board? Also, where are you?
    > > >
    > > > Cheers,
    > > > --
    > > > ~misfit~

    > >
    > > Hi Misfit
    > >
    > > Sorry I put you crook, there are in fact two cables that plug into the
    > > motherboard next to each other.
    > > (I am in Tauranga)
    > >
    > > I tried swapping hard drives with a friend and his one gives the

    "Operating
    > > system not found" error on my computer and my HD works OK in his

    computer so
    > > it looks like you were right and the drive controller is shot. (I don't

    have
    > > access to another power supply so I can't test that).
    > >
    > > How major would it be to fix, do I have to replace the motherboard, is

    it
    > > worth it or should I just do a swap-a-box at the local computer shop?

    >
    > Before you go to the trouble of replacing a board do run down all of the
    > other possibilities. HDD controller failure is not a common event and the
    > symptoms may be due to other causes. For example the BIOS settings for
    > the hard disk are incorrect. I wonder if the BIOS could be corrupted, as
    > some viruses can do this. Alternately BIOS settings are lost due to a
    > flat battery.
    >
    > I assume when you put your friend's hard disk in you went into the BIOS
    > and entered the parameters or set auto HDD detection. Check to see what
    > data is entered into the BIOS by auto detection, and if there is a POST
    > message on the screen about the HDD being detected.
    >
    > I had a situation recently with a PC with pretty much the same symptoms,
    > there were several problems the most notable being that the data cable
    > was connected incorrectly. Have you tried replacing the data cable to the
    > HDD and try a different power cable. There was also a problem in this
    > instance of the master/slave jumper being set wrongly.
    >
    > If there have been no hardware changes in the PC then the BIOS seems to
    > be the most likely cause before the rare situation of HDD controller
    > failure. Even a simple matter of peripheral conflict can cause a spurious
    > error message like "Primary HDD failure" which is nothing of the sort.


    Good advice. Although the initial crash happened during a gaming sesion
    which suggests to me that it isn't hardware conflict or flat battery. Still
    well worth checking.

    Joe, if you feel confident enough to flash your BIOS with the latest version
    available (it's not *that* hazardous) then that would be a good thing to try
    before rolling up you sleeves and getting into the hardware. You say your
    floppy drive works fine and that's all you need for a BIOS flash. Check
    Gateway's site for the latest version for your board and instructions on how
    to do it.
    --
    ~misfit~
    ~misfit~, Oct 21, 2003
    #16
  17. Joe Black

    Joe Black Guest


    > > I'm off to queue up at Dick Smith's for my free Office 2003 - Joe

    >
    > What time are you going to go down there Joe? I'm thinking of getting an
    > early start myself, take a book, a drink, a bite to eat and a chair and

    wrap
    > up warm. It's OK, we're going to different Dick Smith's. :)
    > --
    > ~misfit~


    I went down 10 o'clock Tuesday night, parked in my car until midnight - not
    a sign of anyone waiting.
    Went back home, got some sleep, went back at 5 a.m. this morning - still
    noone there.
    Waited outside shop until the next people arrived at 8 a.m. - apparently it
    was not widely known about in Tauranga.

    Anyway, I got my copy and I probably would not have even known about the
    promotion if I had not been posting about my HD problems and seen the post
    about the giveaway.

    -Joe
    Joe Black, Oct 21, 2003
    #17
  18. Joe Black

    ~misfit~ Guest

    "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    news:v6hlb.186081$...
    >
    > > > I'm off to queue up at Dick Smith's for my free Office 2003 - Joe

    > >
    > > What time are you going to go down there Joe? I'm thinking of getting an
    > > early start myself, take a book, a drink, a bite to eat and a chair and

    > wrap
    > > up warm. It's OK, we're going to different Dick Smith's. :)
    > > --
    > > ~misfit~

    >
    > I went down 10 o'clock Tuesday night, parked in my car until midnight -

    not
    > a sign of anyone waiting.
    > Went back home, got some sleep, went back at 5 a.m. this morning - still
    > noone there.
    > Waited outside shop until the next people arrived at 8 a.m. - apparently

    it
    > was not widely known about in Tauranga.
    >
    > Anyway, I got my copy and I probably would not have even known about the
    > promotion if I had not been posting about my HD problems and seen the post
    > about the giveaway.


    Good on ya! I got up at 4:30am and went and waited, my girlfriend asked what
    I was up to and came as well. We were the first two there and both got
    copies. I had to take a chair as I have a fractured vertabrae and can't
    stand for long. Three more people arrived around 6:30-ish. After that
    several people drove past, saw five people waiting and kept going.
    --
    ~misfit~
    ~misfit~, Oct 21, 2003
    #18
  19. Joe Black

    Mainlander Guest

    In article <9L2lb.185401$>, joeblack99
    @hotmail.com says...
    >
    > "~misfit~" <~misfit~@his.desk.com> wrote in message
    > news:Yu2lb.185389$...
    > >
    > > "Joe Black" <> wrote in message
    > > news:kJ1lb.185338$...
    > > > > Joe, if you feel confident enough to flash your BIOS with the latest
    > > > version
    > > > > available (it's not *that* hazardous) then that would be a good thing

    > to
    > > > try
    > > > > before rolling up you sleeves and getting into the hardware. You say

    > > your
    > > > > floppy drive works fine and that's all you need for a BIOS flash.

    > Check
    > > > > Gateway's site for the latest version for your board and instructions

    > on
    > > > how
    > > > > to do it.
    > > > > --
    > > > > ~misfit~
    > > > >
    > > >
    > > > Thanks - I'll give it a go, I just have to find out what sort of board I
    > > > have got.

    > >
    > > Probably a Gateway proprietry board. You can try downloading and

    > installing
    > > Aida32, it's a worthwhile proggy anyway. Oh, just realised, you can't boot
    > > into Windows. You'll have to open her up and have a look on the board.
    > > --
    > > ~misfit~
    > >
    > >

    >
    > Problem solved thanks to the suggestions of BIOS problems!
    >
    > I had a look at the BIOS settings and the IDE controller was set to
    > [Disabled]. I set it to [Both] (primary and secondary) and everything is
    > working OK again. I don't know how it got set to disabled but I am just very
    > releived to get it working again without having to shell out some $.
    >
    > I am a bit embarrased I didn't look at the BIOS settings before now and
    > apologise if I have wasted anyones time on this problem.
    >
    > Thanks again misfit and Mainlander.
    >
    > I'm off to queue up at Dick Smith's for my free Office 2003 - Joe


    As stated I believe some viruses can affect the Bios settings, the other
    possibility is the battery has gone flat.
    Mainlander, Oct 22, 2003
    #19
  20. Joe Black

    Joe Black Guest


    > As stated I believe some viruses can affect the Bios settings, the other
    > possibility is the battery has gone flat.


    Hi Mainlander

    If I replace the battery, can I do so without losing the current BIOS
    settings?

    - Joe
    Joe Black, Oct 22, 2003
    #20
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