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Strange boot error, possibly MBR related?

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by Yotta, 15 Oct 2008.

  1. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    I've just put a 500GB Samsung HD502IJ into my son's computer and installed Win XP Home on it. The drive hadn't been used before. When I boot it up I get "Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter".

    If I just press the reset button on the PC it then boots ok. I've restarted this machine many times now, and it always gives the boot failure error when starting up from being completely shut down. It always boots ok the second time from the reset button.

    If I enter the BIOS when started from off state, it doesn't see the C drive, but it always sees it after another restart. If I enter the BIOS after the second restart and look at the Hard disk boot priority, it always shows the D drive as first boot device. If I change the order to C drive as first boot device, quit and save, it always gets changed back to the D drive on next start from cold. That's presumably because it only recognises the D drive when booting after a shut down.

    Looking in disk management it shows 1MB of unallocated space at both ends of the C drive. Not sure if that's significant, but I have two of these drives in another PC and they don't have these 1MB partitions.

    Temporarily unplugging the D drive doesn't help.

    Anyone got any ideas?

    Thought I'd keep this short (ish), more info on request.
    MB is Gigabyte 7VT600P-RZ, Award BIOS.

    TIA
     
  2. airchie

    airchie New Member

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    Could you try booting from it when its in another machine?
    And try booting from one of your working drives in this machine?

    Should help narrow down to the mobo or HDD. :)
     
  3. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Hadn't thought of putting the new drive in another machine. Will try that.

    I'd already tried putting back the original OS drive (also SATA), which booted ok.

    Cheers
     
  4. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Anyone else fancy a stab at what this could be?

    It's not practical to try the offending drive in another machine at the moment.
    I've just put the old SATA drive back in and can confirm it boots first time, every time, so that would suggest it's not the mobo. Tried optimised defaults and fail safe defaults, which doesn't solve it.

    Weird how the new drive will boot fine from a restart every time, but not when it's been shut down.

    Another thing that might be related is that when I installed XP on this new drive, I left the old D drive (just used for data) connected, which although it had no OS installed, it did have the left over grub boot loader from an earlier linux installation.


    So when first booting up this new drive and it wasn't recognised, it would try and boot to the D drive with grub, and then give an obvious error as there was no OS on it. This meant I couldn't boot to the new drive at all, because as mentioned above the BIOS would shuffle the D drive back to first boot device, so endless loop of grub trying to boot. It was only after removing the D drive containing grub that by chance I realised the new drive booted, but only after a restart. As a temporary measure to get it booting and have the data drive back, I've moved the data off onto a different clean drive. Now it boots the same as it did without a second drive i.e. only after a restart.

    So is it possible that installing XP on a new drive whilst having grub on another drive could mess up the MBR, or am I barking up the wrong tree?
     
  5. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Anyone think the problem could be the 1MB spaces? There's none on the old sata drive, or the two identical HD502IJs (one used as OS) I have on my Vista machine.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. heh-

    heh- curses.

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    Have you tried plugging in the C drive in the place that the D drive was? Could be that that sata connection on the motherboad is a bit dodgy.

    Also, while I think about it... does either drive have a jumper in the back to set it manually to master?
     
  7. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Tried both sata connectors, same result. D drive is pata so can't swap. Old OS (sata) drive works fine on both sata connectors.

    Just looked at the two HD502IJs on my PC. One has 8 jumper pins, with no jumper. The other only has 4 pins, with no jumper.

    The problem drive on my son's has 8 pins, with no jumper. There's also no info on what the jumper setting are on any of them.
     
  8. airchie

    airchie New Member

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    Shouldn't need jumpers on the SATA drive tbh.

    I would reinstall with the D drive disconnected.
    Or just try it without the D drive connected to see if it makes a diff?
     
  9. heh-

    heh- curses.

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    Normally they don't (and shouldn't), just a thought.

    Sounds to me like a faulty drive, It's unlikely to be anything to do with the partitions if the bios only recognises it 1 in 2 times, the bios (as far as I know) doesn't read any partition information.
     
  10. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Had thought about installing without other drive connected, just the time factor.

    ===========================

    It's almost like there's no power going to the drive when it boots from a shut down, but what could failing to boot possibly do to make it boot on a restart. It's never failed to boot from a restart.
    I've also realised pressing ctrl-alt-del at the Disk boot failure error makes it boot, or more like restarts it (saves bending down for the reset button).
     
  11. Kurayamino

    Kurayamino As long as the Raven flies

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    I would try the suggested re-install, I don't see it should matter which drives are connected when you do it. Am I the only one that thinks it might be a problem with the MBR? I'd wait for a heads up from someone else on that first of all before trying this http://support.microsoft.com/kb/927392
     
  12. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    My money is on MBR too, hence the thread title.

    That link is aimed at Vista, so I think I'll stear clear of that for now, though I'm up for trying to check/fix/repair the MBR.
    I was going to try a fix I googled earlier, put XP disk in, when recovery console loaded it didn't see sata drive. Tried this twice and gave up.
     
  13. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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  14. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Thanks for that patricsmith. Not really looking for a workaround, already got one. Also tried a smaller HDD which worked, but needed a bigger one.

    Maybe my earlier posts were a bit too long-winded for you to read, but basically everything works, it's just when starting PC from cold/off I have to press reset button after post screen to get it to boot.
     
  15. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Update:

    Late last night I unplugged D drive, loaded with XP disk, typed R for recovery consol, chose 1 for C drive. Got a series of loud beeps from mobo speaker and it shut down.

    This morning tried exactly the same, got to 1 for C drive and it loaded to C:\windows prompt in recovery console. Typed fixmbr, followed by Y and hit enter. Got a caution warning something like "this computer appears to have a non standard or invalid master boot record. Fixing MBR may damage partition tables........bla bla, could make partitions inaccessible.

    Typed Y and hit enter. Then it confirmed new MBR had been successfully written. Typed exit and hit enter. Restarted and it booted as it usually does from restart. Shut down PC, but still doesn't boot, same boot failure warning.

    Anyone reckon Scan will be cool or not with me sending the drive back, based on this info?

    Any other advice welcome.
     
  16. airchie

    airchie New Member

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    Just had a thought.

    I seem to remember seeing an option on one of my old PC's BIOSes that was a delay for HDD and a number of seconds.
    It seems that, depending on your BIOS andyour specified options etc that the BIOS may look for the HDD before its ready and then obviously assume it faulty.
    Have a look through your BIOS for a "delay for HDD" option or similar and try that. :)
     
  17. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Couldn't find an option for HDD delay, then remembered there were more advanced BIOS options by pressing CTRL-F1.
    Has got HDD delay, so put it to max of 15 sec. Still no joy. :(

    Cheers anyway.
     
  18. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Well I've just done what I should have done right at the beginning, what airchie suggested back in post #2, i.e. try the drive in another machine. Now I feel like a complete tool because it booted up from cold.

    Bios of mobo is v5, no more updates were released after that.
    Samsung apparently don't release firmware updates for their HDDs :(
    Machine in question boots ok with other HDDs
    Can't see that reinstalling OS would help, as HDD boots in another machine.

    Can't think of anything else to try apart from buying a different make/model HDD.
     
  19. airchie

    airchie New Member

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    lol.

    Could you image a working machine's OS to the dodgy drive and just use it in the machine with the mobo that plays nice and use the spare drive in the other machine?

    Not sure that sentence made sense but I hope you get what I mean... :D
     
  20. Yotta

    Yotta Member

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    Yes I see what you mean. The "machine with the mobo that plays nice" is my gaming rig, and that's all dandy at the moment. Only thing is, the drive in question probably isn't dodgy, neither is the machine I installed it in, they just don't like each other. In fact this Athlon machine I gave my son has had at least 6 HDDs installed in many different configurations over the years, with many installations of Windows and different Linux distros. This is the first time it's had issues.

    Even though the drive was unused (still in raw state) when I gave it to my son, it'd been sitting in my PC as an extra data drive, in reserve. So it can be formatted and go back in there and I'll get another drive for him. Me and Samsung are over now.

    Thanks to all who replied.
     
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