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HD Failure on Cold Bootup

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Valdamir, Jan 14, 2006.

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  1. Valdamir

    Valdamir Thread Starter

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    Oftentimes, when I turn on my computer after a long period of inactivity (such as a day's time), and after I see the "Boot from CD-ROM... Boot from Floppy..." message, I receive the message HARD DISK BOOT FAILURE - INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER. Occassionally though, and I do not know if this relates to my problem, I will instead receive the message "A Disk Read Error Occured. Press CTRL+ALT+DEL to restart."

    The strange part is this: if I then immediately restart the machine, via Ctrl+Alt+Delete or the Reset button, it will always then boot correctly. It seems that once it has booted, as it always does on the second try, I can switch it on and off as much as I desire (within a short period of time - several hours but not a day) and it will successfully Reboot each time. Leave it shut down for a long time, and it will display the aforesaid error message on startup.

    I have run various diagnostic tests on the hard drive, which have passed. I did suffer from some bad sectors a month earlier, but erasing the drive solved that problem, and ever since then, all disk surface scans have turned up clean. The computer very rarely crashes or locks up on me, but this one regular error message has me concerned.

    Any explanations and suggestions are appreciated.:)

    Computer Configuration:
    -- Custom-Ordered System
    -- Windows XP Professional SP2
    -- AMD Athlon 64 3000+ Processor
    -- Gigabyte GA-K8NS Motherboard w/ nForce3 250 Chipset
    -- 1.00 GB of RAM
    -- 80 GB SATA Hard Drive - Hitachi DeskStar
    -- NEC DVD±R/RW Drive
    -- XFX GeForce FX 5200 Video Card - 128 MB
    -- Motherboard-Integrated Sound & Network Board
     
  2. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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    Some BIOS's have a Hard Disk Delay option, see if yours does and enable it or set it to the longest time available. You may also want to look into the BIOS updates to see if any deal with IDE/Hard drive issues.

    But if you drive makes any funny sounds, like clicking or has a whine to it then I'd be looking at replacing it. New drives/systems should not encounter this error.

    On a side note; you computer shoudn't ever lock up or reboot on you.
     
  3. dustyjay

    dustyjay

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    Jay
    could be a power supply problem. A weak or cheap power supply sometimes doesnt work well until it has had time to warm a little. Just replaced one yesterday that created very similar symptoms.
     
  4. bigbear

    bigbear

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    Try changing the boot sequence to your hard drive first and see if that makes any difference, if not it could be a windows problem, you could try a windows repair.
    If none of this works you could have a problem with the drive.
     
  5. Blfalcon

    Blfalcon

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    I had a bad ide cable that caused the same problem once
     
  6. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    This problem can be that the drive is spinning up slower than the POST process, and isn't ready when the BIOS attempts to read it. To see if this is the issue, enable the memory test in the BIOS, which will give the drive additional time to reach operational speed.
     
  7. Valdamir

    Valdamir Thread Starter

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    Unfortunately, my BIOS does not have a "Hard Disk Delay" option, or any similar HD Timing settings (such as the "Quick Boot" option I've seen on other machines).

    I think I'll leave that as a last resort. Sorry, but I've read too many bad reports about BIOS Flashing.

    The hard drive does not make any of those sounds, thankfully. Now THAT would be bad.

    Until now, I have never had so much trouble getting a system up and running. I have fought to keep this computer working.

    Upon arriving, it had faulty memory sticks. Once that was corrected, I found out that my video card drivers were incompatible with my system (to this day, I don't know why; I just swaped it with the card of my other computer). And then I started receiving "Data Error: Cyclic Redundancy Check" messages; learning that it was due to HD problems, I ran a HD check with disk surface scan, and it 'corrected' the bad sectors thereby erasing a couple critical Windows files; I was forced to run a repair installation of Windows. I thank God that I backup regularly. Running another scan revealed that bad sectors still existed, so I ran a full Erase Disk (suggested by my HD's Tech Support), and thus far, no more errors or bad sectors have appeared.

    I've been reading a little bit about faulty power supplies, and the thought is scary. Is there any way to find out whether it truly is faulty? That is, besides replacing it with a different one?

    I will give your boot-sequence suggestion a try. I doubt it is a Windows problem, since I've cleanly installed it twice without resolution. An HD problem is definitely possible.

    Following a SATA pinout, I used a multimeter to check the connectivity of my SATA cable, and it seemed good.

    That explanation also makes sense. I'll see if my BIOS has such a feature.

    Again, thanks for the support.
     
  8. Triple6

    Triple6 Moderator

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  9. Valdamir

    Valdamir Thread Starter

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    Wow, that was fast reply!:eek: :D

    Actually, this problem was there from the very beginning. It's just that I've finally solved the major problems (hopefully), such as bad sectors, and now I am focusing on this annoyance. But you're correct, I should start thinking about purchasing a new drive. It has not been at all reliable.

    And yes, I did run the DFT. Every since I ran Erase Disk using it, its scan results have come up clean. Perhaps I'll give it another scan soon.
     
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