TechSpot

It won't do anything

By mattfd37
Nov 16, 2008
  1. I have a Dell Dim 3000 with XP. I defrag'd it last night and went to bed. I woke up this am and found a black screen and the hard drive busy light on constant. I rebooted and got <window root>\system32\ntoskrnl.exe.
    I have done every F8 and F12 function and it comes right back to the original message. I stick the reinstall disk in but it can't be read. Before I throw this thing through a wall I thought I'd better ask some experts. My walls will thank you!
    matt
     
  2. nobardin

    nobardin TS Rookie Posts: 256

    Just wondering, Have you went into the bios and made sure your cd drive is set to boot first?

    To access the bios press either Delete or F2 when the dell logo appears, if I am not mistaken.
     
  3. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I did F2 and went to boot sequence where it shows a check mark and says that Hard disk Drive (not installed) and IDE CD-ROM DEvice
     
  4. nobardin

    nobardin TS Rookie Posts: 256

    Hmmm, If I understand that right, it says your hard disk drive is not installed? have you checked the cables that are attached to your hard drive to make sure they aren't loose or even disconnected, and also checked to make sure the data cable is connected to your motherboard and isn't loose? It saying hard disk drive (not installed) isn't a good thing if I understand your last post correctly.
     
  5. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I checked and everything is fine. I figured HDD not installed was a bad thing. I've tried everything and I come back to that same message. I wonder if the HD is fried?
     
  6. nobardin

    nobardin TS Rookie Posts: 256

    I would hope not. I have to run out for a bit right now. However, I will be back soon and will be more than happy to further assist you with this issue once I get back. I apologize, but a client just called and has a computer issue that I need to go take care of.

    I will be back soon and will continue assisting you with this issue .
     
  7. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    After unplugging to check I turned it on and it stopped at the 'Loading PBR for descriptors 2...Done' Not sure what the heck is going on!
     
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    PBR is partition boot record, and that means the hard disk may be accessible, but the partition is/are corrupt.

    Important - what defragmenter were you using ?

    You could try to repair the master boot record as described here http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/10things/?p=348
    i.e. try #7 first, then #6. Repair console is on the XP install disk. You need to set the boot order in the bios to ensure the CD comes first. Your bios claiming the hard drive is not present could be a corrupt bios. If you use the bios option to reset to default it might help. Before that, take note of every setting on every page, so if the existing setting is not default you can get back.

    another free utility worth a look
    [http://www.dtidata.com/ntfs_partition_repair.htm will at least show you what can be seen on your drive
     
  9. nobardin

    nobardin TS Rookie Posts: 256

    it's simply loading the Image Restore Partitions. If you press CTRL+F11 when you see www.dell.com (you have a 2 second window) it will load the Restore screen. However, if don't want to lose your data and revert back to factory defaults, don't continue with it.

    If you are fine with wiping the system and starting over from scratch there is a possible solution for you. However, before you do that. Have you tried loading the "Optimized settings" from the bios screen?

    *Edit*

    Just after I posted this last message I thought...hey maybe try to repair the MBR!!!!!...HOwever, I see Gbhall has beaten me to the punch line so to speak. /hats off to you Gbhall!!!
     
  10. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thank you. I switched the bios to read the cd first but never turned off the primary and slave drivers. when i get the recovery console and hit R, it says there is no hard disk drive installed???? is my HD unrecoverable?
     
  11. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    Doubt it, but the bios may be corrupt. Have you checked the bios to see if it recognises the drive ? It should give you the full name and model of the drive. If not, try forcing a fresh look - set the drive type to auto and reboot.

    Can you mount the hard drive in another PC temporarily in place of a Cd/DVD drive (make sure it is primary on the channel, or move the dongle to secondary as required). Then tell me what the other PC can see.

    If another PC cannot recognise the drive, it may be caput. If it CAN recognise the drive, can it read it? If it CAN read it, you need to make a backup of everything you don't want to lose, then your bios needs a kicking.....
     
  12. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    gbhall,
    My bios doesn't see the hard drive. I went ahead for the heck of it and bought a new Western Digital 320GB HD. After installing it I used the xp install disk and it is almost done installing it as we speak. I guess then I have to run the disk WD gave to install the drive info etc. I would assume if this works it was a bad HD?
     
  13. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    oh well.... using the xp disk I got thru 90min of installing and then I saw this, setup cannot copy file: mswdat10.dll
    so then I tried the set up disk WD gave and it is now stuck on: ATA Level Communications: Attempting PM ATA Identity after I got I got this wonder message: Int 13 Level Communications: Attemping Int 13 IO to drive 80 No Response. I'm not sure if this makes sense to anyone but I'm ready to just get a hammer and beat the crap out of this!!!!!
     
  14. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    The only sensible thing I can suggest here is motherboard failure. If you had done as suggested - mount the drive in another PC, you would probably have discovered the drive is fine, and be nearer a full solution.
     
  15. hynesy

    hynesy TS Maniac Posts: 389

    Another idea mattfd37 should look at is a PSU failure, I had a very similar issue, 3 Hard Drives went caput in a month, turns out it was my crappy old psu rebelling, though this time it does sound like a MoBo issue, just keep it in mind.
    cheers
    hynesy
     
  16. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    gbhall,
    I'm a novice with hardware and I am afraid if I swap HD's with my wifes computer(same as mine) that I won't be able to get hers back. Basically, I'm not entirely sure what I am looking for when I put my drive in or what to expect. When I started the primary install of xp there were about 7 dll files like (mswdat10.dll) that would not copy so I by passed them knowing xp may not run properly. It has about 20min left on the install so I'll see if it worked.
     
  17. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    Well, we all need to learn sometime.....you have already taken the old drive out of your PC according to your post, so all you do with it is go to the wife's PC, open it, find out which of the internal CD/DVD's is first on a data cable which is different to the main hard drive (this ensures it is a primary drive). You are NOT TOUCHING her hard drive at all. Pull the power and data cord out of that CD/DVD and plug into your hard drive. It can only go in one way, or if there is no 'key' on the connector, the coloured wire on the data cable goes next to the power connector. Plug in the power connector as well. There is no need to remove the CD drive nor to put your hard drive inside the case, just put a peice of cardboard under the loose drive.

    Now power up, and your drive should appear in your wife's PC as drive D: or maybe E: etc. If it does, you can examine it just as if it had always been a part of her PC, BUT you are not executing Windows from it, nor are you executing ANY programs from it, you are just confirming it spins, identifies itself, and can be read. If you find this easy, there is absolutely no reason why you cannot virus test it inside her PC.

    The just reassemble your wife's PC as before. Takes all of tem minutes with no risks.
     
  18. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    ok let me see what happens in 10 minutes...
     
  19. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I hooked it up to the cd rom drive and then turned on her computer. Went to My Computer and clicked on drive D and it said it is not accessible, The file is corrupted and unreadable.
     
  20. mattfd37

    mattfd37 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i scanned it with mcafee and it scanned 840 items and found nothing, but I couldn't here the HD spinning.
     
  21. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,425   +77

    That is a step forward. You now know the drive is corrupt, and can try to repair it. See earlier posts and links. you are looking to repair the Master Boot Record, repair the partition boot sector, and then if possible, repair Windows.

    Mind you, Hynesy could well be right that the corruption originally happened because of a failing Power Supply Unit. In your position, I would simply replace that PSU as a matter of routine preventive maintenance.
     
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add New Comment

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...