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Boot up problem - "drive not ready - system halted"


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19-Aug-2008, 01:06 PM #1
Boot up problem - "drive not ready - system halted"
Hi,

I bought a stone pc off the internet a couple of days ago, and when I boot it up, it just says "drive not ready-system halted". Its 20gb hdd, 128 mb RAM, (I think DDR-2) and im not sure if its running an OS. No cds came with it, and the disk drive is stuck. What should I do to fix it? I took the top off, and checked to see of everything was plugged in, which it was, and blew the dust from within.


Please help
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19-Aug-2008, 01:29 PM #2
Check in BIOS setup. There is sometimes a setting to delay the boot process to give the drive time to initialize.
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19-Aug-2008, 01:49 PM #3
Bios Setup
Hi, thanks for your post.

How do you get to the BIOS set-up?

The PC shows the Pentium 3 boot picture, and then says straight away, that the drive is not ready.

thanks
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19-Aug-2008, 02:52 PM #4
ok...
I have set the boot time to 30 secs, but when the intel screen is gone, it still has the same problem. I have tried putting all the settings back to default, and it still doesn't work. What next?
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19-Aug-2008, 03:31 PM #5
It's not the boot time that I was referring to. I'm assuming you made that change in Windows?

When you boot the machine, is there a message to press some key to enter setup?

BIOS Access Guide

One in BIOS setup, look around for a delay setting for the drive. It usually has timing settings like 5 secs., 10 secs., etc., and just basically pauses the boot process for the drive to initialize. Not all BIOS have it.

You could also just try hitting the Pause key on your keyboard during the very early stages of the boot process (then Enter to resume) just to see if that makes the drive accessible.

But to be honest, new drives, at least, should not need any additional initialization time. So the drive may have problems, too.

Does it make any difference if you leave the machine to warm up before you try booting? You could use the Pause key, leave it for a while, and then resume to see if that makes any difference.

------------------------------------------------------------

If none of that seems to help, look at some of these tests and find one that you can use. A bootable CD or floppy can be created with some of them and you can test the drive that way.

Free Hard Drive Testing Applications:

Manufacturer's Tests
Victoria for DOS
Victoria for Windows (Both versions of Victoria are among the best and most thorough tests available.)
HD Tune
CheckDisk 1.03 (Marks bad sectors as unusable.)
HDAT2 (Diagnostics and bad sector recovery)
MHDD Low-level Diagnostics
Bootable Hitachi Drive Fitness Test Floppy or CD Image (works on most drives)

Hard Drive Manufacturers' Diagnostic Utilities Links:

TachTech
BleepingComputer
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20-Aug-2008, 03:39 AM #6
Timing
Sorry, I meant the boot BIOS with the 5 sec etc changes, thats what I changed.

It wasn't on windows I made the change, but on the set up as you start the PC. I will now try pressing pause as it starts, and then, how do you check the hdd?

thanks
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20-Aug-2008, 03:43 AM #7
The tests I linked above.

Can you hear the drive spin up at all? Any drive led flashing?
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20-Aug-2008, 04:59 AM #8
Yes, the drive spins, and all the LEDS light up.

For the tests, do I need to take out the hdd?

thanks
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20-Aug-2008, 01:28 PM #9
Pick a test that runs from a bootable CD or floppy and you can test it where it is.
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20-Aug-2008, 01:43 PM #10
provided u even can get this thing to run right u dont have nearly enough gs in your hard drive and your RAM is seriously undersized. if u want to run windows xp properly for example u need at the minumum a 40 gig hd and 512mb of ram. hope this helps u.
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20-Aug-2008, 02:00 PM #11
It probably wouldn't hurt to check the drive's jumper and connections, too. And the cable on the board, too.
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21-Aug-2008, 07:27 AM #12
The Cables are fine,
The PC has bad specs because I bought it as a summer project to update the RAM, HDD etc. Furthermore, I probably wont rum XP on it, but Linux, because I don't need to run lots of apps on it, just Mozilla Firefox and open office

To scan the HDD doing a check disk, can I use an external SATA and IDE usb connector
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21-Aug-2008, 12:21 PM #13
You can run chkdsk if there is a recognized file system and the drive is recognized.
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boot up, help me pls, operating system, ram, stone

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