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HP computer will not boot from hard drive

By DoctorP62
Jun 3, 2011
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  1. I'm David AKA DoctorP62. I came to this site because I have a tech support question that I don't know the answer to. But the board will only let me post in this forum. So I'll ask my question here.
    I have a Compaq Presario SR1617CL, with an AMD Sempron 3200+ processor on a ASUS A8AE-LE motherboard. It had 512 KB of memory. My BIOS is Phoenix award bios Core v6.00 PG Revision3.08 09/13/2005. The computer came with Windows XP home installed on a 160 GB hard drive with 2 partitions (C: OS and D: Restore). It did not come with any restore disks. When booting it says press f1 for setup press f10 for restore.I blew out the OS, and tried to restore with the restore partition, but it didn’t work. So I increased the memory to 3.25 GB and installed Windows 7 Ultimate. Everything worked fine. I was running out of disk space, so I formatted the restore partition, and used it for my page file. After I did this, I started getting an error during boot, but if I pressed any key, the computer would boot. I ran out of disk space, and bought a 320 GB hard drive. Installed the new drive, installed Windows 7 Ultimate on it, and used the original 160 GB drive for user files (still leaving 2 partitions). Still had the boot error, but press any key and boot would continue. I tried to backup my system using Acronis True Image home, but got an error when trying to image the 160 GB drive (the one that came with the computer). So I copied all the data to another drive, deleted both partitions (the user data, and the old restore partition), reformatted the drive, and made 1 partition. I rebooted the computer; it did the POST, and then froze with strange symbols in the upper right of the screen. I put the Windows 7 Ultimate DVD in, and booted from it, and tried to repair Windows, but it said there was no problem with Windows. I removed the DVD and rebooted, it did the POST, and froze with the same strange symbols in the upper right corner of the screen.
    I am a disabled veteran, with very little money, but I could pay someone $20 (Via PayPal), if they can E-mail me a bootable ISO image, to fix this problem.
     
  2. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    First question is, did you install all the chipset drivers for the motherboard?

    The boot error might be happening because the old drive still has the original boot sector on it.

    As an experiment, disconnect the old drive and then boot and tell me exactly what happens.

    We all work for free on this site and your Windows 7 disc is all that is needed to do any repairs to the PC.
     
  3. DoctorP62

    DoctorP62 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No change.

    I removed the original drive completely, and it still does the same thing, no change.
     
  4. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    OK, this guide below will do a full setup and repair on the boot sector. I believe the boot sector on your Windows 7 install has corrupted. This guide may be a bit extreme but it covers all possibilities. Before you do this make sure the CD drive is set to 1st in the boot order and leave the old drive disconnected. When complete the Win7 drive should boot, if not report back and tell me exactly what you see on screen. If successfull then you can put the old drive back in but make sure it is set in the boot order to be after the Win7 drive. In Disc Manager delete the partitions and run a format on the whole drive. Then you can repartition it.

     
  5. DoctorP62

    DoctorP62 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Successful Failure

    Went through diskpart, everything completed successfully, still have same problem.
    Did all commands for bootrec.exe, completed successfully, still have same problem
    did bootsect.exe, completed successfully, still have same problem.
     
  6. DoctorP62

    DoctorP62 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Successful Failure

    Went through diskpart, everything completed successfully, still have same problem.
    Ran Startup Repair, it said no problem with windows. still have same problem.
    Did all commands for bootrec.exe, completed successfully, still have same problem
    did bootsect.exe, completed successfully, still have same problem.
     
  7. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    OK, I would now suspect a hardware problem. Try booting up on one memory stick at a time.
     
  8. DoctorP62

    DoctorP62 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No change.

    I removed all memory, and tried to boot with each of the 1 GB sticks, no boot. Tried the 256K stick, no boot. Tried the matched set of 1 GB sticks, no boot.
     
  9. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    Well, I hate to say it but after trying what has been done I suspect your motherboard has a fault and that can only be proved by replacing it. Those odd symbols appearing on screen when it freezes made me think that might be a possibility right from the start.

    These are the final steps that I would take.

    Do a full format and clean install of Windows 7 on the new drive, leaving the old drive disconnected.

    If you are using a graphics card and the motherboard has on board graphics, remove the card and use the onboard connection. If you are using onboard graphics try using a graphics card instead.

    Remove the CMOS battery to reset the Bios to default, then replace the battery.

    Create a bootable disc to flash the Bios.http://www.biosflash.com/e/bios-boot-cd.htm

    Test the system with another PSU.

    After that then it can only be the motherboard or may be the CPU. There is no way I now of to test the CPU, when the system won't boot, other than fitting it in another working PC that is compatible with your processor.
     
  10. DoctorP62

    DoctorP62 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Bios

    I think it could be a BIOS problem, After I formatted the restore partition on the original drive, I started getting a boot error. After I deleted the restore partition, the computer will not boot. I think the HP BIOS is looking for the restore partition, and when it doesn't find it, it hangs. Do you know where I can find a non-HP BIOS compatible with my Motherboard?. I've read about a version 3.15, but that is for multi core processors. I have a single processor, but my CPU socket will accept a dual core 64 bit processor, and my motherboard supports this. (I had planned to upgrade later, I don't have the money now, to buy processor, heat sink, and fan). Do you think the 3.15 version would work with a single processor?
     
  11. Mark56

    Mark56 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,889

    The Bios first looks for the master boot record on each drive in turn as they are listed in the boot order. The restore partition would not be bootable so it will ignore that. If the Bios fails to see a master boot recod it should show an error saying "No bootable device found" or similar.

    You will get the most up to date version of your Bios from the HP site. The Bios will support any processor that your motherboard supports.
     

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