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oh boy .... 'Reboot & select proper boot device or insert boot mediain selected boot device & press a key'

 
 
ndy
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      25th Feb 2006
lately I have been getting this message on a DOS screen upon startup,
first from hibernation, and now from a shutdown restart. does this mean
my HD is failing, or can it be file corruption?

over the last 3-4 weeks I have been occasionally getting this error
message after starting from hibernation mode. it just sits there, push
any key and it makes no difference, can't use F8, anything.
I'll turn it off and then it would proceed to starting the hibernation
startup. as of late it has taken more than 1 reboot, and then it got to
like 4 or so so I figured I better stop with that for a while and just
shutdown regular, but it is also doing this from a shutdown as well.
both, after the machine has been off for some time or usually, overnight.

at first I thought it might have something to do with my DSL modem as I
have a recent habit of turning it off some time while the computer is
down or in hibernation when I figure I won't be needing it for a day or
so and thought maybe this was changing the configuration, different from
when it shut off and upsetting the apple cart. but I think this turning
it on, off, before shutdown, after, whatever, which seemed to make some
difference, now was only anecdotal as some initial investigation seem to
be something to do with the HD itself, rather than any program as I
haven't really done much change to the machine except for the usual MS
updates over the last month or any change to a bios.

this last time I started my computer from a overnight shutdown it took 6
reboots to get it to go past the screen and it is getting a little scary.

a Google search suggest this is nothing new and some suggest its a HD
failure. but the drive is only a few months old with a clean XP Pro
install and worked for a month without any problems then this started
intermittently, and now slowly getting worse, to now pretty much every
time. I dare not turn my machine off right now and figure I guess a call
to Maxtor in in order, but it is the weekend. some suggest corrupted
files such as the boot sector and/or the ntdetect, ntldr files.

any ideas to do help narrow the causes, or can it be such a myriad of
things, I'm screwed???

thanks ..........
 
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ndy
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      25th Feb 2006
hate when people answer themselves but maybe some more background might
help???

ndy wrote:
> lately I have been getting this message on a DOS screen upon startup,
> first from hibernation, and now from a shutdown restart. does this mean
> my HD is failing, or can it be file corruption?
>

from digesting the Google search of this problem over the years, it
would seem that the Maxtor 250 Ultra ATA HD is having a problem starting
up from a cold boot, no problem from a warm boot as I have done this a
few times already yesterday and this morning with no problems and I
guess also the same goes over the last 3-4 weeks. some suggestions
narrow in on something to do with the spinup perhaps and would the fact
that it does start after turning it off and on, needing more and more
times to kick start it, suggest that it's probably not any type of file
corruption but mechanical, or firmware setup somehow? hell, I really
don't know.

I downloaded and ran Maxtor's diags utility from the floppy and it
reports no errors, but then this is in a sense from a warm boot. I guess
the next brave step would be to shut it off and when I restart this
evening if I get the message then boot to the floppy diag utility and
see what it has to say then. of course, like I said, sometimes I only
have to turn it off and on 1, 2 times and it starts, but again, lately
it is getting to need more and more restarts to kick it on.

just to be safe I reset my simple HP Bios to its defaults, although I
really hadn't changed much there, and certainly not any different from a
few months back when I got this drive and installed a clean XP Pro
setup. I guess the thing I didn't know before is that I should have gone
into the Bios setup screen when this problem arises after turning it on
again and check to see if the drive is recognized at startup, which
might have provided a clue.

as for now, I will keep the computer on standby as I did last night with
no problems rather have this thing cold boot and finally one time, just
not startup so I am starting to process of backing up important stuff to
the USB external just in case.
 
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Rod Speed
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      25th Feb 2006
ndy <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote

> lately I have been getting this message on a DOS screen upon
> startup, first from hibernation, and now from a shutdown restart.
> does this mean my HD is failing, or can it be file corruption?


It can be a variety of things, including a failing motherboard with
bad caps, or a weak power supply that doesnt start properly.

It isnt usually a bad HD and even less likely to be file corruption.
File corruption should produce an error message.

> over the last 3-4 weeks I have been occasionally getting this error
> message after starting from hibernation mode. it just sits there,
> push any key and it makes no difference, can't use F8, anything.


You wont get that effect with file corruption.

Are you ever seeing anything on the screen at all,
particularly the black bios screen listing the drives etc ?

> I'll turn it off and then it would proceed to starting the hibernation
> startup. as of late it has taken more than 1 reboot, and then it got
> to like 4 or so so I figured I better stop with that for a while and just
> shutdown regular, but it is also doing this from a shutdown as well.
> both, after the machine has been off for some time or usually, overnight.


> at first I thought it might have something to do with my DSL modem


Unlikely, a modem problem shouldnt produce those symptoms either.
You should get an error message or not being able to use the net etc.

> as I have a recent habit of turning it off some time while
> the computer is down or in hibernation when I figure I
> won't be needing it for a day or so and thought maybe
> this was changing the configuration, different from when
> it shut off and upsetting the apple cart.


See above.

> but I think this turning it on, off, before shutdown, after,
> whatever, which seemed to make some difference,


Its easy to decide you are seeing a difference when
the fault is variable like this one, when what you are
changing doesnt actually make any difference at all.

> now was only anecdotal as some initial investigation
> seem to be something to do with the HD itself,


Thats just one possibility, and again, a bad HD would
normally produce different symptoms, particularly the
system complaining about the HD at boot time.

> rather than any program as I haven't really done much
> change to the machine except for the usual MS updates
> over the last month or any change to a bios.


> this last time I started my computer from a overnight
> shutdown it took 6 reboots to get it to go past the
> screen and it is getting a little scary.


Thats more likely to be a bad motherboard or power supply.

> a Google search suggest this is nothing
> new and some suggest its a HD failure.


Again, the system should be complaining
about the HD, not just freezing on startup.

> but the drive is only a few months old with a clean XP Pro install
> and worked for a month without any problems then this started
> intermittently, and now slowly getting worse, to now pretty much
> every time. I dare not turn my machine off right now


Yeah, best to leave it on till you resolve the problem.

> and figure I guess a call to Maxtor in in order,


Thats the least likely possibility for the cause of the problem.

> but it is the weekend. some suggest corrupted files
> such as the boot sector and/or the ntdetect, ntldr files.


Those would all produce some sort of error message.

> hate when people answer themselves but
> maybe some more background might help???


Yes, particularly the tests you have done.

> from digesting the Google search of this problem over the years,
> it would seem that the Maxtor 250 Ultra ATA HD is having a problem
> starting up from a cold boot, no problem from a warm boot as I have
> done this a few times already yesterday and this morning with no
> problems and I guess also the same goes over the last 3-4 weeks.
> some suggestions narrow in on something to do with the spinup
> perhaps and would the fact that it does start after turning it off
> and on, needing more and more times to kick start it, suggest
> that it's probably not any type of file corruption but mechanical,
> or firmware setup somehow? hell, I really don't know.


Again, if it was the HD you should be seeing an error message
when the system cant find a HD or cant read the files properly.

> I downloaded and ran Maxtor's diags utility from the floppy and
> it reports no errors, but then this is in a sense from a warm boot.


> I guess the next brave step would be to shut it off and when I restart
> this evening if I get the message then boot to the floppy diag utility
> and see what it has to say then. of course, like I said, sometimes
> I only have to turn it off and on 1, 2 times and it starts, but again,
> lately it is getting to need more and more restarts to kick it on.


I wouldnt bother with that test right now.

> just to be safe I reset my simple HP Bios to its defaults,
> although I really hadn't changed much there, and certainly
> not any different from a few months back when I got this
> drive and installed a clean XP Pro setup.


Yeah, its unlikely to be that.

> I guess the thing I didn't know before is that I should have
> gone into the Bios setup screen when this problem arises
> after turning it on again and check to see if the drive is
> recognized at startup, which might have provided a clue.


That makes it sound like you are seeing the black bios screen
at startup, and then it freezes later on the bad starts.

You should still get an error message if the HD
cant be seen, tho the bios can take a surprisingly
long time to decide that it cant see a HD, minutes.

> as for now, I will keep the computer on standby as I did last
> night with no problems rather have this thing cold boot and
> finally one time, just not startup so I am starting to process
> of backing up important stuff to the USB external just in case.


Yes, thats important, to do that.

> any ideas to do help narrow the causes,


Have a look at the motherboard and check for bad caps.
These are the usually black or blue plastic covered post
like things sticking up vertically from the motherboard.
Check the tops of those, they should be flat. See if
you can see any that have bulged or even leaked.

Try another power supply if you can, tho
it sounds unlikely that you have a spare.

See what the Everest SMART stats for the drive say. Quote them
here. That should show if the drive is having a problem spinning up.
http://www.majorgeeks.com/download.php?det=4181

If the system is still under warranty, make them fix the problem, after
you have backed up the stuff you will slash your wrists if you lose them.

Say exactly how far it gets before it freezes on a bad start.
If you can see the black bios screen but no hard drive listed
on it, wait at least 10 mins to see if its taking a long time
to decide that there is no HD visible.

If its not under warranty, and the motherboard caps look
ok, and it isnt just taking a long time to decide that there
is no HD visible, I'd try another power supply next, mainly
because thats a lot cheaper to try than a new motherboard.

If there are visibly bad motherboard caps, it may make
more sense to move the drive to a new system than to
replace the motherboard with a proprietary system like HP.

> or can it be such a myriad of things, I'm screwed???


No, its always possible to work out where the problem is. Not
as easy if you dont have spares like a spare power supply tho.


 
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