VAIO boot failure/bad disk?

By glowingnissan07
Dec 22, 2009
  1. Sony Vaio Desktop computer

    Windows XP SP2

    2.35 GHz Processor

    320 GB WD Hard disk

    I've been doing battle with my computer for some time now trying to get it to work correctly. Many months ago I was having a severe problem getting to boot windows from my hard disk I had salvaged from my old computer, so thats when I bought this one to replace. It's not even a year old, and now the PC can't even boot to Windows from it.


    Occassionally (4-8 weeks) The Pc will randomly strain itself trying to respond to common tasks, such as selecting the Windows Start Menu or opening a folder. Often this will lead to a huge crash or a blue screen of death.

    Sometimes when I restart it, I can get back to windows, but shortly after the same thing happens. But more often than not, I'll get the "Insert Proper Boot Device" error, which is indicative of the motherboard not being able to detect the hard disk, [or the hard disk is gone to crap]

    The IDE cable connecting the disk to the motherboard has 2 inputs on one end and one on the other (that one connecting to the motherboard). Usually just by putting in a different end of the IDE into the the hard disk, I could get the PC up and running smoothly again without any problems for another month or two.

    Today something different happened. It randomly crashed on its own while already running Windows while I was away,. and came back to the "Insert Proper Boot Device". Only this time, switching the cable didn't do anything. I'd still get the same error.

    I tried reversing the ends of the cable (the motherboard side into the disk and the disk side to the board) and this got it to at least recognize the disk, because it would start booting Windows, but then as soon as the Windows loading screen was done, the computer would automatically restart itself.

    Same thing happens when I tried Safe Mode.

    Any reversing of the cables means either no hard drive recognition at all or a automatic restart when I get to Windows.

    My initial hunch is the IDE cable is bad, so I'm going to try to replace it.

    The other thing could be the power supply. Perhaps one of the wires is bad? Along with switching the ends of the IDE cable, I have been switching between two available 4 prong power supply wires. But I haven't noticed a difference because I get the same problem using either of them.

    I guess I just need help diagnosing the problem to see whether or not its the Power, IDE, Hard Disk, or Motherboard, or maybe even a software problem. I have a lot of data on that disk I need for my work.

    Thanks for your help


    Ok So Besides what I did earlier I'm still stuck in the same dilemna. I have tried REPLACING the IDE cable. I still get to try to boot to windows but it still restarts.

    Then I unplugged all other power, to see if there if there wasnt enough power getting to the device. I unplugged my DVD-RW, my CD-ROM, and my floppy drive. When I booted up, It took an extra 20 seconds on the first screen to decide what to do, but on the next screen it said "Fan Abnormal! Press F1 to Continue. Press F2 to enter SETUP."

    In the history of my computer I have never seen this error message, EVER, and the fan i believe it's reffering to is the one on my video card, which, although works, makes a abnormally loud grinding sound when the PC is booting up and well into when Windows is already loaded, but eventually dies down and works quietly. However this time it was not making any noise, and as far as I can tell, all the fans inside are spinning so I don't know what the heck is going on.

    Oh and it still restarts after the Windows loading screen.

    I just tried again, and this time i realized the error says "Power Fan Abnormal!". Which really sucks because that means the problem lies within the untouchable confined interior of the dangerous power supply box.

    What's more worth it - scrapping the PC for a brand new one that I've been wanting? or saving money and repairing the power box?

    if the latter, how should I do it.
  2. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    I think the hard drive might be failing despite it being fairly new. It happens. It's probably still under warranty. In order to save your data you could place your hard drive into an USB enclosure or a docking station and use another PC to see if you can access and copy your data before RMAing your hard drive.

    My guess is the power fan issue is probably from your CPU cooling fan. The motherboard usually monitors this fan from a special CPU fan outlet on the motherboard itself.
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