1. Computer problem? Tech Support Guy is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations. Click here to join today! If you're new to Tech Support Guy, we highly recommend that you visit our Guide for New Members.

Solved: Computer will not start need help please

Discussion in 'Earlier Versions of Windows' started by rosh325, Sep 13, 2007.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
Advertisement
  1. rosh325

    rosh325 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,098
    Hello All,
    My girlfriend's mother's computer (what a mouthfull) is experiencing some problems. It is an older Pentium II windows 98 computer. It had been running slowly/coming up with some errors, so I was scanning it for viruses when it restarted randomly. It then booted up, passed POST, but could not find the Hard drive. I figured the drive was probably failing, and my next step was to try to run scandisk. I have the orignial windows 98 disk should I need to reinstall as well.

    Here's the problem: The computer will pass POST, scan IDE (and for the most part, find the harddrive), then go to a blank screen with a blinking cursor. From this point on, the computer is not responsive. It stays at the blankscreen with a blinking cursor, and the floppy disk light goes on as well which is quite odd.

    I have successfully accessed bios, and told it to boot from the CD, but it will not do this. I do not know how to get into a dos prompt since the usual tricks (F8 during startup) do not work. Any suggestions?

    Thank you

    EDIT: it should be noted that I do not have a computer that can write floppies (our newer laptops just have cd burners). I tried sticking a floppy into the problem computer, if only to see if I could get a "remove non-system disk" error and I didnt. The computer was set up to boot from disk, but still just went to the black screen with a blinking cursor
     
  2. Blue Zee

    Blue Zee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,759
    Instead of F8 try pressing CTRL and keep it pressed until the start menu appears.

    If that works, select Command Prompt and at the C:\ prompt type:

    SCANREG /RESTORE (note space between G and /)

    Press Enter, select a date just before the problem started and reboot when finished.

    See if that helps.

    Zee
     
  3. rosh325

    rosh325 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,098
    Thanks for the fast reply. Unfortunately it did not work.

    As soon as it detects the harddrive, the screen goes black, normally where the windows loading screen should be, and just leaves me with a non-dos blinking cursor

    Holding down Ctrl or tapping F8 does not work.

    I went to the HDD manufacturer's website and downloaded an ISO for a dos based repair. It would not load the CD. I set the first boot device to CDROM, but it did not work.

    Here's my question: When I was first trying to get the computer to work, I would restart and I would get the windows loading screen. It would stay here forever so I would restart. I was also able to get it to read the windows 98 disc that I have as I tried to see if there was a repair option. In my troubleshooting, there was a lot of restarting. Now it won't do these things, and I'm wondering if something could have been corrupted from all the restarts. Any suggestions? As I said, I can get into BIOS,but that's about it. Anything else and it will just go to that blinking screen. I can't even get it to read the windows disc to reinstall if necessary. Any help is greatly appreciated
     
  4. Blue Zee

    Blue Zee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,759
    Is the Bios correctly reporting the drives (floppy, CD-ROM and HDD)?
     
  5. rosh325

    rosh325 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,098
    In bios, it reports the HDD as the IDE primary master and the cd rom as the IDE secondary slave (why the manufacturer put the CD rom on slave, who knows)? Note that no jumper settings or drive changes have occurred at all, and that this configuration has been working for at least 2 years.

    The floppy is also reported

    The computer beeps as it passes POST, but after it detects the drives, it goes to the black screen with a flashing cursor.

    To recap, this all started with it not detecting the hard drive. After 2 restarts, it detected it, but would hang on windows loading....then after a few restarts of it not working, I put in the windows 98 disk, thinking that there might be a repair option (like xp). Now, after all the restarts, it doesnt even seem to want to do these things any more.

    Boot order is:CD-rom, A:, C:

    When it is at this flashing cursor, the HDD afctivity light tends to be on, which is odd.

    Thanks again Zee and I'll keep posting/trying new things
     
  6. Blue Zee

    Blue Zee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,759
    You must get a boot floppy...

    That seems to me the only way to confirm the HDD can be accessed or not.

    The other possibility is failing hardware, which wouldn't be a surprise considering the age of that system.

    Maybe you have a friend, neighbor, coworker that can create a Win98 boot floppy for you?
     
  7. rosh325

    rosh325 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,098
    Bleh, as of right now I do not. The only computer users I know are mac users. Maybe by some luck a circuit city or office depot will have a floor model PC with a floppy drive.

    What would the fact that it was allowing me to get to a dos prompt before, but not after many restarts indicate? Could this be bios corruption on top of the failing HDD? What if I was to disconnect the HDD from the computer, then try to boot and see if I still get the flashing cursor?

    Like I said, I have not been getting any kind of "non-system disk" error when I put in a floppy, so I do not know if it will read it (this was when the A was set to be the first drive up)

    Before I was able to at least get it to boot from the windows CD to reinstall, now I can not even get that.
     
  8. rosh325

    rosh325 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,098
    Also, why is the HDD activity light coming on right from the start, even though I am telling it to load from the CD first. The CD light does not indicate that the disk is being read before the HDD. Maybe I should move this thread to hardware as it is not necessarily OS related at this point
     
  9. rosh325

    rosh325 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,098
    UPDATE: When I go into bios, and set primary IDE to "none" instead of AUTO, I can get it to boot from the windows CD. From the windows CD, after telling it to "start windows with CD support", I get to an dos prompt (A:\)

    I can not get it to switch to C. I have tried typing cd c:\
    with no luck. At least this is a start
     
  10. Blue Zee

    Blue Zee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,759
    Windows 98 CDs are not bootable, Win98SE are....

    But... it may be failing hardware.

    You can try opening the box resetting the IDE cables, maybe change the CD-ROM to master on the secondary IDE cable, confirm the floppy cables are OK and tightly in place.

    Check everything, close box, power up.

    See what happens now.

    Zee
     
  11. rosh325

    rosh325 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,098
    Zee, thank you so much for your patience. Here's the latest. I burned a bootable repair ISO from western digital's website. Now that bios is set to essentially ignore the HDD (By setting primary IDE to "none"), the disc is booting. I ran a quick test and it came up with a read error probelm and told me to turn a full media scan to detect the damage and possibly repair. It is testing right now so I will post back when it's done. Still, I know this drive will have to be replaced, just trying to buy as much time as possible
     
  12. Blue Zee

    Blue Zee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,759
    Listening with interest.
     
  13. rosh325

    rosh325 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,098
    "unable to correct the errors found: Please contact technical support. error/status code 0226"

    I looked up this error, it means "sector relocation error: Unable to relocate a sector during drive repair, the drive has to be replaced"

    I will try the test one more time to see what happens. I will also try to boot to windows again just to see if I can get to its scandisk program to maybe move system files to a non-corrupt sector. Looks like I will have to shop for a new drive. Its funny, her mom only uses the computer for word processing and internet, today's hard drives are huge yet cheap compared to what she needs.

    It does seem odd to me that a bad drive would prevent the computer from reading a CD. It was only able to read the CD in dos after disabling the primary IDE channel in windows.
     
  14. Blue Zee

    Blue Zee

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,759
    Probably because the CD drive is set as slave?

    Just me thinking aloud.

    Zee
     
  15. rosh325

    rosh325 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2003
    Messages:
    1,098
    I guess the next problem is, finding a hard drive that is small enough for this BIOS to recognize. It seems most hard drives that I am finding in store are 160gigs.
     
  16. Sponsor

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 733,556 other people just like you!

Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Short URL to this thread: https://techguy.org/623527

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice