hard drive? or motherboard?

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TS Rookie
Hey guess i'm new but we'll save that.

So my laptop (compaq presario, 1.5 years old) was running very slow and choppy i ended up defrag etc. and ended up getting the blue screens of death. It was at the point the computer would work for 5-10 mins then BSOD. SOOO I reformatted totally wiped the hard drive etc. and did a fresh install of xp home (i was running pro before). Anyway, that went fine and I thought I was in the clear. Next thing I know same thing same BSOD:

0x000000F4 (0x00000003, 0x8244CDA0, 0x8244CF14, 0x805C749A)

While this happend for awhile, i began to get upset. Now the laptop is doing the PXE-E61 check media cable blah blah....

Long story short..I took it to get serviced..they told me nothing was wrong with ram OR the hard drive (wow thanks)

Then out of spite I took it somewhere else; the guy there basically just used an HD of his and installed XP and said..well it looks like a new HD is what you need. Tried that, but when I installed it...I still couldnt' get passed the media cable errors (which he didn't even have).

Yes i've tried changing boot orders etc.

Weird thing is..sometimes it will load windows...othertimes it won't? And usually when I try to install windows it says no hard disk found blah blah F3 to exit

Furthermore, in bios 9/10 times it will say NO IDE found for the diagnostic test, and only one or two times have I been able to run the test, both times giving an error something along the lines of:

#2 - 07 fail? (which i'm assuming is a problem)

So with this all said...its off warranty...what's wrong...I need this thing fixed.
I don't want it to be the hard drive controller.


TS Rookie
Well, if you replaced the HD and it still doesn't work right..

It could be a bad connection. Does your laptop use some kind of a tray or an adaptor for the hard drive? It may not give good contact. Maybe get another one?

I have also seen a ThinkPad that would lose the HD if you didn't bend the corner of the laptop right. Took it to the repair shop and had them re-solder all the hard drive connectors. Fixed it.

And yes, it could be plain bad HD controller.


TS Rookie
well that is a good idea...i think it has one of those caddys...I could try another one I suppose.

as for the bending of the laptop..that might actually be my problem I tend to lift it with one hand.(well though)..and of course..I just realized on the same side as the HD

if i opened up the laptop..do you think I would be able to see a loose soldering job for the connector? where should i be looking..right on mobo?

thanks again


TS Evangelist
You are not likely to see the problem. The connections can look complete, but just not have to transfer power at those low voltages. Many of the components on a Compaq are cold soldered on.
But I would not think the soldering is the likely cause.
Take a very close look at cables and connectors. The cables and connections in a Compaq or many other laptops get brittle as they age... and slip partially out of socket. You can sometimes benefit from gently but firmly disconnecting everything and re-installing or plugging it back in one at a time.
You can also use a couple of cans of difluoroethane gas (Dust Off is one brand) to clean everything... pay close attention to the cooling fans as you look for dust and pet hair... and perhaps some denatured alcohol or 91% rubbing alcohol with a box of q-tips.
Tell us more about the "media cable errors" you mentioned.
I would still suspect the memory. Can you borrow any from someone to try out?


TS Rookie
raybay thanks!

I will try to look at the connectors and see what the scoop on those is and maybe try to unplug and plug in as you suggested!
I have tried using just compressed air (as I have an air compressor), to blow out some of the dust inside...but i can try that again.

As for the media cable error...

PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM

Again I have looked this up and saw it was "trying to boot lan" etc. changing the boot sequenece in bios etc. but that doesn't seem to work
(at this second)...i just went into bios..and it shows the 4 different orders...SOMETIMES there is a + beside the HD sometimes there isn't....this time I happened to be able to do the bios HD test..apparently it is still failing "02-07 fail"........usually it is IDE not found

I just changed the boot order so that the HD is first...and...still it does the PXE error...if i disable the network adapter in bios...then it just says "OS not found"....so i switched it back to default

i put the XP cd in ...and it will just automatically go into setup...NOW i finally can get through the setup (where before it would say NO HD present)..and I discovered..that there is a FULL partition (basically my windows got deleted off the HD)

so now tell me whats going on? I didn't delete this partition or anything...but i have a full unpartitioned space with what appears to have NO OS on it.

so i guess i'll try reinstalling XP...and some of those tips...from raybay...



TS Rookie
one quick addition...

i formattedd...and tried to do a partition to install in xp...it told me that i couldn't as the disk might be damaged...so OBVIOUSLY there is somethign wrong with the HD

i'm going to try getting an HD AGAIN...and see what happens..when i reinstall....

please keep the helpful tips coming :)


TS Evangelist
Plain compressed air increases the risk of serious damage from static electricity. The seven brands of most commonly used "canned air" cleaners reduce the risk to almost zero. The risk is low, but we have seen it many times from shops that have compressed air, and particularly from vacuum cleaners.


TS Rookie
yea so...new HD did nothing...stilll blue screen errors and sometimes would/wouldn't recognize the HD in bios

so i'm going to open it up and take some looks...then post back...


TS Rookie
i cannot see anything wrong with where that controller connects to the mobo

again..im not 100% what i'm looking for..it doesn't appear loose or anything like that...dust seems to be nil

furthermore...i can't even open the back of my laptop off..it seems as tho..there are screws or something holding it in the middle of the case...but i see no screw holes :p and there is nothing i could take out...that it might be behind....i'm scared it will crack if i pull harder...
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