No boot up, no recovery console, but HDD is functional

By xyzed
Jul 11, 2007
  1. On my old desktop with XP pre-installed (Read: I don't have the disks, and anyway the CD-ROM is busted), I had been getting "Operating system not found" and "NTLDR is missing" error messages on boot up, which I researched online and figured out how to fix using six boot disks and the recovery console.

    Now, instead of those error messages, I'm just getting a black screen with a flashing cursor, and when I try to access the recovery console it says "The path or file specified is not valid". The machine also makes a loud wailing sound sometimes.

    I ran a DOS diagnostic tool on the hard drive and it passed both the Short Test (Drive Self Test) and the Long Test. The accompanying Readme file says the following:

    How do I pinpoint and fix the problem?

    eMachines T1090
    900 Mhz Intel Celeron processor
    128MB RAM
    20GB Seagate hard drive
    Windows XP Home Edition (OEM)
    Service Pack 2 (downloaded)
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Read the posts on eMachines... you likely have a failed unit that will never work again.
    Your hard disk drive is bad, no matter what you think, but you may have other major issues as well.
  3. xyzed

    xyzed TS Rookie Topic Starter

    What do you mean? The test says it's still good. I'm going by that, not "what I think". Broken MBR is one of the possible causes, and the only command I can get to work happens to be FIXMBR, but it comes with a strong warning. Microsoft support says to just ignore the warning, but recommends making sure that the computer is not infected with a virus before proceeding. How do I do that from DOS?
  4. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    You need to be sure that the HDD is OK - take it out and connect it to another PC as a slave drive, then run the downloadable diagnostics tools from the drive manufacturer's website. If it passes the test, then run a low level format on it before refitting it and installng the OS. You will have to get a working CD drive, tho'.
    Hope this helps.
  5. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

  6. xyzed

    xyzed TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks, CCT. Those instructions are too complicated for me, so I googled "F-Prot antivirus boot disk" and found a pre-made one. I'll download that and give it a go.

    AlbertLionheart, I don't know how to do and/or don't understand most of what you suggested. As far as running the diagnostics tool, I did that already (this one), and the HDD passed. Was that not good enough?
  7. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +9

    Shop for the suggestions that make you most happy, but you do have the symptons of a failed eMachine because of the motherboard. If all those components work in another computer, which I suspect they will, you are merely spinning your wheels.
    You are correct. When the Seagate Seatools says your drive is ok, it is ok.
    You have NOT reported a valid motherboard test. You will find none. But you can install all known good components to replace the ones you have, and you will likely have the same problem.
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