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Aspire PXE-E61 Boot problem. Please Help!


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jsmit's Avatar
jsmit jsmit is offline
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30-Jan-2012, 01:30 PM #1
Aspire PXE-E61 Boot problem. Please Help!
Until recently my Acer Aspire 5942 Laptop was running perfectly. Then one day I turned it on and got the following message -

Broadcom UNDI PXE-2.1 v12.2.0
Copyright (C) 2000-2009 Broadcom Corporation
Copyright (C) 1997-2000 Intel Corporation
All rights reserved.
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-MOF: Exiting Broadcom PXE ROM.
No bootable Device -- insert boot disk and press any key


Firstly I checked the boot order in the bios menu. IDE0 : WDC WD6400BEVT-22A0RT0 is in first position, followed by IDE1 and the others. I gather that this is the order it is supposed to be in. However on the first page of the Bios menu I noticed that the HDD Model name was showing up as "None", and the HDD Serial number space was blank.

I then took the Hard disk out of my computer to check that it was not loose. Everything seemed fine. I took it out and put it in again several times but nothing changed.

I then tried to access the Acer system restore menu by holding alt and pressing F10. But nothing happens when I try to press these keys. I do not have boot CDs or system restore disks.

I am not sure what to do next. I don't see how the hard drive could just totally fail like that with no warning. The computer was not dropped or mishandled and was working perfectly until I turned it off one day. There were no strange sounds from the HD.

Please advise me on how to proceed. I've contacted Acer but their repair service seems very expensive (my warranty is out).

I have at my disposal a second computer, and an external hard drive. I took my computer hard drive out to see if I could access it using the shell of the external hard drive but they are not compatible.

Thanks a lot to whomever replies.
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zGreenGhostz zGreenGhostz is offline
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30-Jan-2012, 01:59 PM #2
From the symptoms that you described, It sounds like the harddrive failed.

If your harddive has really died then there's very little that can be done to get the data off it without spending a lot of money IMHO.

I've had drives that wouldn't spin up, work when attached to IDE to SATA converter and plugged into a a sata port. I'm not a drive forensics expert but it's just a suggestion. If your drive is an IDE drive and your External drive bay is SATA, you might look into getting the adapter and trying that. The adapter isn' t expensive. I think you can get one for less than 10$.

Sounds like you already know about this but if that doesn't work I'd say try calling Acer and see if they will send you a set of recovery disks for your model machine and get a new harddrive. Even if you have to pay 50$ or so it's worth it. PC will be factory restored.
jsmit's Avatar
jsmit jsmit is offline
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30-Jan-2012, 03:52 PM #3
Thanks zGreenGhostz,

Yeah, sounds like the hard drive is screwed.

I'd always heard people complaining about how hard drives are very precarious but I'd never seen it for myself. The computer is only 2 years old and I've looked after it. It's never even been dropped once. I've never had a hard drive failure on any of my older laptops either, the one I'm using to write this message is five or six years old and it's running great and it's been through a lot more. To be honest there's still a part of me which is convinced that the hard drive isn't the problem. I guess taking out the hard drive and trying it in this machine wouldn't work? The defunct machine is Windows 7, while this one is Vista.

Luckily there was nothing important that hadn't already been backed up, but it's still a real shame.


Thanks
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30-Jan-2012, 04:03 PM #4
You cannot swap Windows installations between computers. It's usually a licensing violation (unless you purchased a full retail license), and it's technically challenging since all the hardware is different.

Since the drive isn't being detected in the BIOS, that definitely points to a hard drive failure.
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jsmit jsmit is offline
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30-Jan-2012, 04:10 PM #5
The hard drive was a WD Scorpio Blue 640 GB. Should I get exactly the same one again or does it really matter? Do you get what you pay for when it comes to hard drives for portable computers or are they pretty much all the same? Any recommendations?
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jsmit jsmit is offline
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30-Jan-2012, 04:12 PM #6
DoubleHelix,

Both machines have the operating system on a hidden sectioned hard drive I think.

Thanks

EDIT:

It occurs to me that I can hear the disk spinning in the computer. If the hard disk is dead does this still happen?

Also, if I change the SATA Mode to IDE (from AHCI) in the bios I can kinda get into windows, that is, it gets so far and then gives me a message saying - "a problem in the hard drive is preventing windows from running".

Last edited by jsmit; 30-Jan-2012 at 06:31 PM..
DoubleHelix's Avatar
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30-Jan-2012, 11:08 PM #7
They're pretty much all the same. Hard drives don't usually die an abrupt and instantaneous death. Parts start to fail leading to unreliability.
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zGreenGhostz zGreenGhostz is offline
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31-Jan-2012, 10:09 AM #8
J,
Some possible solution for you:
http://www.google.com/products/catal...ed=0CD4Q8gIwBA

Just an example of an expresscard.

If one of the machines you have running has an expresscard slot you might be able to get a similar adapter (there are cheaper ones available) to connect your faulty h/d and remove any data you may have lost. If you don't care about the data on the drive then I'd say don't bother. Even if the drive is partly functional it's on it's last legs and not worth putting into a machine.

Suggestions for a h/d would be to get the same format/media but a larger size. (so if it's a 2.5" SATA drive you'd get the same) The other things to check would be the drive transfer rates and the SATA version that your machine's MB can support. Other than getting a mechanical drive, you might look into getting an SSD. Solid State Drives are silent and don't heat up. Keep in mind there are maintenance issues involved with using an SSD in a laptop, as well as special settings that need to be set in Win7. SSD's will give you a slight speed boost also. I'd suggest some research to see if it's right for you.

I use SSD's.

The other thing I wanted to mention is that a chillmat should always be used with a laptop. It really helps cool the machine. Could be a reason for your particular h/d failure?
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