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Can a failing hard drive cause the BIOS to not load?


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theghostofme theghostofme is offline
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04-Jun-2010, 01:03 PM #1
Can a failing hard drive cause the BIOS to not load?
I've been working on a laptop for the past few days. The owner told me that it was behaving strangely and having a problem booting back into Windows after waking up from Sleep mode. If the computer went to sleep, and would not boot, he would have to restart it. After restarting it, he said that nothing would happen. The computer would turn on, he would hear the drives being accessed, but nothing else would happen.

So I took over from there and noticed what he was talking about. When first powered on, the drives would begin to load like normal, the access lights would flicker, but nothing else would happen. No BIOS manufacturer screen would appear, and if it sat long enough, it would wind up just restarting. The laptop would do this over and over again until it finally would load the BIOS correctly and then Windows would boot as normal. It could take five restarts or twenty; it was never uniform.

Long story short, I discovered that the hard drive is failing. Two separate tests (a built in one in the BIOS, and another program from the Ultimate Boot CD) confirmed that it is in its final death throes. I've contacted the owner to let him know what the problem is and where we can go from here, but there is still something nagging at me.

Can a failing hard drive cause the BIOS boot screen to not appear? I was always under the impression that the BIOS data was never stored on the hard drive for this very reason. Could it be that the hard drive is not passing the POST and thus the BIOS won't even load? I just want to make sure that the BIOS not loading isn't because of some other underlying problem. The hard drive definitely has to be replaced, but I want to make sure something else isn't going on as well.

Laptop Specs:
Compaq Presario F730US
Windows Vista Home Premium x86 SP1
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core TK-55
1 GB of RAM
Fujitsu MHY2120BH SATA hard drive
Elvandil's Avatar
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04-Jun-2010, 01:10 PM #2
It may be a long delay with the BIOS trying to access and identify the drive. Just unplug it and see if the BIOS loads normally.
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theghostofme theghostofme is offline
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04-Jun-2010, 03:55 PM #3
Thanks for the reply. I did remove the hard drive and started the laptop back up again, but the BIOS would not show. Could it just be that this brand of BIOS (Phoenix) won't start up without a hard drive installed? Or is something else wrong. My biggest concern is that the hard drive having failed is only one of the problems and that replacing it won't be the only thing that needs fixing.
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