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Disc Drive Error


OSNN Senior Addict
My neighbour asked me to look at his computer, which wouldn't boot. I have checked the BIOS, and everything appears OK. However, the computer will not boot into Safe Mode, and will not boot from either Hard Drive or CD. I have checked all internal cables, which appear OK. My own thoughts are Hard Drive failure, but is there likely to be any other options to try before changing the Hard Drive?


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
If you grab a knoppix distro (it's a Linux flavour) try booting that from CD - I believe it should be available in a basic form even without HD....

Other than that there are maybe some older versions of DOS or similar which you can get to boot from a floppy or maybe you have a USB drive you could create bootable and put in there - but this is getting more esoteric and to be honest chaning the HD is probably less hassle?


OSNN Senior Addict
How old is the hard drive, any noise from it on boot up. ?
You can try a Win 98 Boot floppy disc and adjust bios boot priority.as a work round to reinstall.


The Voices Talk to Me
Well a simple boot floppy should at least get you to the A:/ prompt. If you include CD-ROM support drivers you will be able to use the CD-ROM to run things like windows repair utilites.


OSNN Senior Addict
Thanks Guys. Like I said the Hard Drive wouldn't boot, the CD Drive wouldn't boot the XP disc, and all I was getting was disc read error messages. The BIOS showed all the drives correctly, and the boot sequence was correct. I was sure the Hard Drive was dead. However, in the finish I used the XP floppy set, which loaded the drivers, and allowed the CD to be read and loaded. I still haven't found out what caused the problem in the first place though. My neighbour told me his teenage son was using the computer at the time it crashed, but he claimed he hadn't done anything to cause it.


Debiant by way of Ubuntu
Don't blame the teenager automatically - I feel odds are stacked that it coulda been M$... maybe he just innocently turned the thing off at the socket instead of shutting down or something?


The Voices Talk to Me
Strange things happen with pc's, with no real clear reason why. I had my USB keyboard stop working on me once out of the blue. Turns out that a BIOS setting got changed and turned off the USB port!?! I am the only person who uses my comp and I know I didn't change the settings.

Just wierd crap that happens.


OSNN Senior Addict
One thing this has taught me, is that the Floppy Drive is still very useful. At one time, with XP being bootable from CD, I had thought of building computers without the Floppy Drive, but it appears the age of the Floppy is not yet over.

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