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DVD drives not found on reboot

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by calvin-c, Oct 11, 2008.

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  1. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned Thread Starter

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    Here's a new problem for me, hopefully it isn't new to everyone else, too.

    I replaced the DVD drives in a PC I'm rebuilding for my daughter. They work fine when I power on, but the BIOS consistently fails to find them on a reboot. Every time. If I power all the way off & restart, they work fine. If I select Restart from Windows, they aren't found.

    Any ideas what the problem might be? Thanks. (Dell Dimension 2400, BTW. Not the original drives so yes, it's possible the drives might have a problem-but they work fine from a cold boot?)
     
  2. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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  3. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned Thread Starter

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    Appreciate the reminder about that site (it's been a while since I've looked thru it), but this is definitely a hardware problem-not Windows. It's the BIOS that's unable to find the drives on a restart.
     
  4. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I don't see how it could be hardware if they are found on bootup and not on reboot as that sounds more like a software issue to me.
     
  5. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned Thread Starter

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    Yes, I see what you mean, but when it's the BIOS that can't find them?

    I don't really know what goes on during a reboot. On bootup the BIOS (or parts of it, at least) get loaded into memory. Does the reboot reload those parts or does it simply use whatever's there?

    The reason I ask is several years ago I had an add-in card that 'overwrote' part of the BIOS in memory. This was deliberate as the purpose of the card was to add support for large HD's & other IDE devices that weren't recognized by the PC's BIOS.

    These boards came in 2 versions-the one I had was 'firmware' so it totally replaced the 'drive list' in the original BIOS. Another was software-you had to boot from a drive that was recognized by the original BIOS & then that drive installed software that allowed the add-in board to recognize the new hardware. I always wondered if that really did any more than the DDO software that came with the drives.

    Anyway, could it be that Windows alters part of the BIOS in memory & on reboot that altered BIOS is what's causing the problem? Because if it's not that then it seems to me that it's got to be a hardware/firmware problem-but I don't really see how.

    So basically, I both agree & disagree with you. If it works fine on a cold boot then it seems like it's got to be a software problem-but if it's the BIOS that can't find it then it seems like it's got to be a hardware problem. Totally puzzled????

    I'll give the CDGone patch a try, but don't really expect it help. I'll definitely post back if it does, though. Thanks.
     
  6. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    The Dimension 2400 should support large hard drives with its original BIOS. Not sure why you'd need to use an add-in card to enable large(48bit) drive support0 or DDO software. Do you still have this card installed? Are any of the drives connected to it?

    Also Dell's liek the drives to be jumpered to Cable Select, so if you have them set to Master and Slave then try switching them to CS. Also make sure to check the BIOS setup via F2 to make sure there are properly detected as CD drives on the cold boot when they do get detected.

    And here's the latest BIOS for your DELL: http://support.dell.com/support/dow...=-1&impid=-1&formatcnt=2&libid=1&fileid=91373
    You can try reflashing it to this latest version and see if it helps.
     
  7. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned Thread Starter

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    I guess I wasn't specific when I said it was *several years ago* when I used that board. Specifically, that was in a 486 and I quit using both board & DDO software when they were no longer needed.

    I'll see what I can do about flashing the BIOS. Wonder if it'll boot from a USB floppy drive? I'm still setting it up, hampered by the drive problem, so it'll be a couple of days before I'll get it connected to the 'Net to download fixes

    But I'll go look at the jumpers now. I do prefer them set to Master/Slave & I've never noticed any difference between that & Cable Select (except that Master/Slave is definitive-you know both before the drive are installed & after they're removed which is which). They are properly detected in BIOS, when they're detected at all.
     
  8. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned Thread Starter

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    I guess it's official now-I'm incompetent. I thought you'd nailed it, Triple6, with your suggestion about M/S vs. CS as I tried that & it worked-but just to confirm, I switched back to M/S & it's still working-so now I'm suspecting that I didn't get the cables seated properly even though that was my first thought & I went in & reseated them twice. So I guess I'm officially incompetent now.

    Thanks for your help.

    I hate it when I have to reverse myself, although in this case I suppose I should be happy that I'm reversing my judgment that I'm incompetent. It appears the fact that it rebooted successfully 4 times was a coincidence. Right after I said it was solved, next reboot the problem reappeared. So either it isn't loose cables or the cables are coming loose during operation-which I doubt.

    I've switched back to CS & will try that for a while. But this time I won't conclude it's solved until it's been rebooting successfully for quite a bit longer.

    Still thanks.
     
  9. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Well oversights happen, at least its working now.
     
  10. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned Thread Starter

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    I don't get upset by errors, either my own or others. Mistakes happen-what counts is how you handle them. I get upset when people (more often, organizations) refuse to admit that they've made a mistake or refuse to try to fix it (when a fix is possible).

    In this case it looked like I'd made the same mistake 3 times in a row-twice while I was supposedly 'fixing' it. As it turned out though, my mistake was thinking I was wrong.

    Anyway, the problem is back even with the drives set to CS. And now Windows is refusing to boot at all, saying Windows\System32\Config\System is missing or corrupt.

    I'm going to go back to square one, reformatting & reinstalling Windows. The question is, do you think I should also replace the drives? If it's the mobo then I'm shot-don't have another PC right now so my daughter will need to limp along with her current one, hoping it doesn't fail completely. But if it's the drives then I do have another set of those.

    Maybe I'll give that a try. Thanks for the help.
     
  11. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Or try using only one of the drives.

    You may also want test the hard drives or the RAM just to make sure the corrupt file error is not a result of one of those.
     
  12. calvin-c

    calvin-c Banned Thread Starter

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    Yes. At this point I'm particularly suspicious of the RAM. Not only due to the corrupt file error but also the BIOS problem-as I said before, the BIOS loads itself into RAM on a cold boot & I'm not sure it actually reloads itself on a reboot. So if there's a problem with the RAM that could explain both errors. (I was using the PC for over a year on a project that ended 3 months ago-with the same RAM. But I do know that RAM can go bad at any time, so I'll check that out.)

    Thanks.
     
  13. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    I would run memtest86 on the ram (www.memtest.org) but I am also wondering if it isn't as simple as the cables because I doubt clean install will do anything as if it isn't the ram or cables, it could easily be bad motherboard.
     
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