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"Disk Error Press any key to restart"

By lechevarria89
May 27, 2009
  1. Yesterday, I recieved a new 80GB HDD (Hard Disk Drive) for my Dell Optiplex GX280 SD. As soon as I recieved it I shutdown my computer and replaced my 40GB HDD with it; however, once I turned on my PC I got a black screen with a message that said: "Disk Error Press any key to restart". Everytime I hit Eneter (or any other button) I get the same message right underneath it. In order to restart my computer I have to press Ctrl/Alt/Delete.

    Why am I getting this message? Is the Hard Drive damaged? Should I return it? Or am I doing something wrong? I tried to install a clean version of Windows XP but can't because my computer doesn't boot up.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 660

    Have you made sure that the computer is not trying to boot off the hard drive?
    Check in the BIOS to make sure its set to booting off the CD.

    I'm assuming that you haven't managed to install XP on it however, as it will be a blank disk and have nothing to read.

    Hope this helps :)
     
  3. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Yeah, that's probably the problem. I was booting off of the blank hard drive. Is that the reason why I keep getting that Disk Error message? I have it set to boot from the CD drive but for some reason my DVD-RW/CD-RW drive isn't being recognized in BIOS. I guess that's the reason why it's booting from the blank hard drive, right?

    Thanks a bunch, I wouldn't of been able to figure that out if it wasn't you. :)
     
  4. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Oh wait, you're the same person that replied to my other thread about how my DVD-RW/CD-RW drive wasn't being recognized in BIOS. Wow, you've helped me a lot, thanks again!

    Oh and one more thing.. about my last tread, if I buy a new PATA cable and the DVD drive still doesn't work, do you think that it might be the motherboard??
     
  5. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 660

    Haha yeah I am! You seem to catch me when I'm online a lot.

    The disk error is because it can't read any boot information off the drive (because there's nothing on it. Ha!). Since you're drive isn't working it is unable to boot off a CD and tries the hard drive.


    Does your motherboard have more then one PATA connection? If so, then I would be trying it in the second one and see if that makes any changes. I'd probably be suspecting the drive before the motherboard, but if the same thing occurs with a new drive and cable then looks like you may have a deeper problem that could be motherboard related.

    Motherboard faults are quite hard to pin point 100%, so lets not have you throwing that computer out the window just yet (unless you get too frustrated :))
     
  6. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    No, my motherboard doesn't have more than one PATA connection, just one. I also thought it might be the DVD drive but the same thing happened with my CD-ROM drive so it can't be the drive. I guess I'll have to wait until I recieve a new IDE cable. If it works than I'm in luck, if not, well... IDK... I guess it could be the IDE Connector on the motherboard.... haha, this is a never ending process!

    Thanks so much for the help, I appreciate it. :)
     
  7. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 660

    Hi Lechevarria89,

    You could try purchasing a PCI card port adapter, which gives you an extra PATA connection.

    That way you can bypass the slot on the motherboard, as that may be faulty.

    If the new cable doesnt work, then I'd be looking at trying that before putting it under the wood splitter

    They are only about $50 in my small island of a country, let me know and I'll try locate one for you
     
  8. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    That's a great idea! I'm definately going to looking into getting one if the IDE cable doesn't work. They sell them on ebay for under $20 depending on with type you get.

    However, it might be hard to connect the PATA cable from my DVD drive to the PCI card port adapter because of the way my computers interior is set up. I have a Dell Optiplex GX280 Smsll Desktop. The PCI card port adapter will be facing down.

    What do you think? You could take a look at how the inside of my computer looks here: http://www.dell.com/html/us/products/optiplex/GX280sd_3d_model.html

    Just click on Internal.
     
  9. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 660

    Hm,

    Thats going to be a tight fit!

    Maybe experiment a bit before actually purchasing the card, keep in mind that you can bend the PATA cables which ever way you want to get around things.

    It's SATA that we advise not to do any bending.

    Let me know how you go!
     
  10. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Yeah.. I think have to get a longer IDE cable...

    Now that I think about it, I need some more USB slots. I might just buy the PCI card port adapter anyway. Will any card fit into my PC or do I have to get a specific one?
     
  11. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 660

    Have done a bit of research on your machine and found that it has full height PCI expansion slots, but can have half height PCI-E ones (graphics card).

    So you can just go for a full height card, don't worry about a low profile one.

    Other then that, most cards will be fine (as long as they support your operating system)

    You can have a look at the specs here
     
  12. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Yeah I purchased a graphics card not too long ago and it had to be a low profile one so I wasn't sure if that aplied for the PCI card port adapter as well. Thanks for checking that out for me, I appreciate it. :)

    I have Windows Vista Home Premium as my OS. I was thinking about buying this card:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/USB-2-0-SATA-Serial-ATA-IDE-7-Ports-PCI-PC-Card-Adapter_W0QQitemZ170336674123QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item27a8db614b&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318%7C301%3A1%7C293%3A1%7C294%3A50

    Do you think that it'll support Windows Vista? It's not mentioned on the sellers page. I doubt that you can tell just by looking at it though, I guess I'll have to contact the seller.
     
  13. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 660

    Hi there,

    That should be fine for what you want. Just ask if it is Vista ready, or has drivers for Vista. Nothing worse then buying something and Vista not playing with it.

    Just double check the height of your graphics card compared to the PCI slots, make sure they arent the same height. But going by that spec info, you should be able to put a full height in there
     
  14. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Hey,

    Yeah I think thats what I'm going to do. Hopefully it's compatible with Windows Vista.

    I checked my graphics card; the PCI slots seem to have enough room to fit a regular height card.

    One more question: If the new IDE cable doesn't fix the problem and I decide to connect my DVD drive to the PCI card port adapter will BIOS automatically begin to recognize the DVD drive or will I have to install the drivers into my OS first? Because I won't be able to install any drivers if I'm trying to install Windows XP into my new blank HDD.
     
  15. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 660

    Interesting question,

    The actual card itself is installed onto the hard drive, so thats why when you upgrade hard drives, you have to reinstall all the devices.

    Basically my guess is, it will detect and install and you can run the XP installation. Have a go and see how you end up. May have to put my thinking cap on if you run into any troubles

    Then I can get back to you when my head isnt full of riesling :D
     
  16. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Ha! Okay, well I'll get back to you with the results. Until next time, friend. :)
     
  17. snowchick7669

    snowchick7669 TS Maniac Posts: 660

    Look forward to see how you get on!
     
  18. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    OK, well the IDE cable didn't work. Neither did the PCI card port adapter (I couldn't boot from the DVD drive). So, I decided to purchase an IDE to USB adapter.

    Once I recieved the adapter I immediately connected my optical drive via USB into my PC using the adapter, I turned on my computer and before Windows Vista started up I got a black screen with a blinking white line on the upper left hand corner of the screen. I'm assuming that the DVD drive is what's causing this to happen. Everything seemed OK, until I realized that nothing else happened, the screen doesn't move on to Windows Vista.

    So, I decided to disconnect the adapter from the USB port and restart my computer. WIndows Vista started up and everything seemed to be working fine again; so, I reconnected the adapter. Windows immediately began installing the driver. After it installed the driver I checked My Computer and noticed that the DVD drive icon was showing. I restarted the computer once more with the adapter connected and I got the same black screen as before.

    I disconnected the adapter and restarted my computer once more; Windows Vista started up. So, I reconnected the adapter. After windows installed the driver I decided to insert my Windows XP Pro CD; it read the CD perfectly.

    Again, I decided to restart my computer and as expected I got the same black screen but this time it said 'Press any key to boot from CD'. I said to myself, "yes! finally! now I can install an OS to my blank 80GB HDD." At least that was what I thought. However, when I installed the 80GB HDD into my PC then attempted to boot my Windows XP Professional installation CD from my DVD drive, instead of getting the black screen that said 'Press any key to boot from CD', I got just a black screen.

    Why?! I don't understand why this is happening! This is driving me crazy. All I want to do is upgrade my hard drive.

    Anyone who is willing to help feel free, I don't know what else to do.
     
  19. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    Just to touch this base, have you set the jumper on the back of each IDE device (both hard drive and optical drive) to the appropriate master/slave configuration? Unless I overlooked it, I didn't see that issue addressed yet. When you replaced the hard drive (in your first post), did you set the jumper to the same setting as the one it replaced?
     
  20. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Only my DVD drive is PATA. Both my new and old HDD's are SATA. I think I might of tried that before when I had the optical drive connected directly into the motherboard. Should I do it now? If so, what should I switch the optical drive to?

    To answer your second question, since both of my HDD's are SATA they don't come with a jumper, so I can't set them to anything.
     
  21. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    If you only have one IDE device, you can set it to master. I didn't realize the hard drives were SATA.

    Your BIOS has to allow booting from a USB device or the device connected to the PCI card you tried earlier and that device has to be selected in the BIOS for it to boot from it for the installation of Windows. Not all do, of course. To answer an earlier question regarding your PCI card, yes, you have to install the driver for the card itself before an attached device will be recognized. So under the circumstances, I don't think you will be able to install Windows with it.

    If I were you, I would try a new optical drive. Set it to master, make it the first boot device and try to boot it with the Windows CD in it. While it does seem unlikely your two existing optical drives would both fail at the same time, stranger things have happened.
     
  22. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Well, my DVD drive is already set to master so that couldn't be the problem. I tried my CD drive a few weeks ago while set to master but still had the same problem.

    I'm pretty sure that BIOS allows booting from a USB device because I'm able to boot my Windows XP CD with my old drive. I'm assuming that since there's already an OS installed in my old hard drive Windows is able to install the adapters driver.

    This is how my BIOS boot sequences looks:

    1. Onboard or USB CD-ROM Drive
    2. Onboard or USB Floppy Drive
    3. Onboard SATA Hard Drive
    4. Onboard IDE Hard Drive (not present)
    5. USB Device
    6. Onboard Network Controller

    When I turn on my computer, using my OLD drive, while my Windows XP CD is inserted into my DVD Drive, I get a black screen that says 'Press Any Key To Boot From CD'. If I decide not to press any key, after a few seconds, Windows Vista starts up. However, if I turn on my computer, using my OLD drive, WITHOUT my Windows XP CD inserted, I get a black screen with a white blinking line on the upper left corner of the screen. Whether I decide to press any key or not the screen stays this way and Windows doesn't boot up. In order for Windows Vista to boot up without me having to insert the Windows XP CD, I have to change the order of my BIOS's boot sequence so that the Onboard SATA Hard Drive boots before the Onboard or USB CD-ROM. If not, my computer will not get pass the "Black Screen of Death," as I call it.

    When I turn on my computer, using my NEW hard drive, whether my Windows XP CD is inserted or not, I once again, get the "Black Screen of Death."

    Also, if I change BIOS's boot sequence so that 'USB Device' is first, I get neither the 'Black Screen of Death' nor the 'Press Any Key To Boot From CD' screen, instead I get a black screen that says Missing Operating System. This happens with both the new hard drive and the old hard drive and, also, whether or not I have my Windows XP CD inserted.
     
  23. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    That's true but if you are trying to install Windows with an optical drive attached to that adapter it likely won't work. That's because the card driver installed in Windows doesn't kick in at that point, only after Windows starts. But when you are trying to install Windows that driver will never kick in because it will be wiped out along with everything else on the old hard drive. That's all I was trying to say regarding that issue.
     
  24. lechevarria89

    lechevarria89 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 43

    Yeah, that makes sense. So then that means that I still can't install Windows XP not even on my old hard drive although it says 'press any keys to boot from cd.'

    What if I buy a usb external dvd rom drive? will I be able to boot from that?
     
  25. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,979   +362

    Evidently not with your current setup. In theory you should be able to but if there is something wrong with the optical drives you've been using or if there's something wrong with the motherboard (the IDE controller), it appears not.

    According to the choices in your BIOS boot sequence, you should be able to boot from an external optical drive. For what it's worth, in a PC I recently built (it's in my System specs at the upper right) I used an external USB optical drive to install Windows on a brand new hard drive. I assembled the external optical drive myself from a separate enclosure and a regular IDE DVD writer drive.
     
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