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Trouble Switching Hard Drives

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by bhc7447, Mar 10, 2008.

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  1. bhc7447

    bhc7447 Thread Starter

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    I posted this problem before but didn't have the time to dedicate to the solution. So, I'll break it down with the developments...

    First and foremost, my original computer, an older Compaq, just stopped booting. I think its a mobo issue and I didn't want to buy a new mobo for an older system, so it made more sense to just change my hard drive from that Compaq system over to a Dell System around the same age, along with the RAM and whatnot.

    When I plugged my hard drive into the primary drive slot, the computer booted past the BIOS and then immediately went to a black screen with a blinking cursor at the top of the screen. The computer would occasionally make a "thinking" noise but no progress past that point.

    When the hard drive was plugged into the secondary drive slot, the computer would complain that there was no drive in the primary slot and wouldn't boot past that problem.

    Originally, I thought maybe the primary slot wasn't functioning properly. This can't be so because the BIOS recognized the type of drive connected in the primary, as well as the size of the drive. I assume this also rules out a problem with the hard drive itself. It's also worth noting the hard drive was working correctly on the older system before the mobo malfunctioned.

    The only quirk involved is that my hard drive has two Windows installations. I had a virus that ravaged my system beyond recognition and instead of formatting and losing my files, I setup XP in "Windows2" on the same partition, instead of
    Windows," and then migrated my files over to the "Windows2." I never got around to deleting the old XP folder.

    I'm not sure this quirk would effect the system's ability to detect my hard drive and at least attempt to boot from it but I've been fooled before. Additionally, it's worth noting that I did install a CD-Drive from the old system, to ensure that it worked (as it did on the old system), and the system I'm migrating it to won't give me a boot from CD option. I'm not sure if the drive issue needs to be fixed before the boot from CD option will appear.

    I'm really stuck here and I'm dead in the water without my old hard drive. I know a lot of gurus here will say why not buy a new hard drive or a new mobo but this is a solution that should work. I don't want to have to spend needlessly for a problem that should be fixed using parts I have right now.

    Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated. I may just have to cave to the side of me that doesn't want to have it diagnosed by a computer repair store. I'm usually pretty savvy with this sort of stuff but I've had no luck.
     
  2. brite750

    brite750

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    well you are not going to take a hdd from one pc and boot it up with another, what you would have to do is erase the hdd (format it) and then load the restore disk from the dell, or a retail copy of windows
     
  3. brite750

    brite750

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    just some explaination
    the compaq has a mb with a different chipset, not to mention it is proprietary and will only work with the orig compaq os or a retail copy of windows
    the Dell is the same way it has to be run on the orig os or a retail copy of windows

    additionally you will need the drivers for the mb chipset, sound, gfx, network etc.
     
  4. brite750

    brite750

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    if you need to save what ever is on the hdd now you will need to slave it to a working computer, take your data of and then wipe the drive and install a fresh os
     
  5. brite750

    brite750

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    you could also buy a new hdd ide type install it in the Dell and then slave the old one or buy and external enclosure for it to use it as storage
     
  6. brite750

    brite750

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    if the dell has no boot from cd function that would be a new one on me, never have seen a pc without it, if it can see the optical drive you should be able to make it 1st in the boot order
     
  7. Crusnik

    Crusnik

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    Is the hard drive you're trying to use have it's jumpers set to primary or cable select?
     
  8. brite750

    brite750

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    also just for grins post the orig compaq pcz model and specs and exactly what it is doing, if its the psu that may be a better fix, if its the hdd that is dead then all of this is for nothing
     
  9. Crusnik

    Crusnik

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    Someone cares too much about their post count :rolleyes: ... Almost to the point of spamming there sir.
     
  10. bhc7447

    bhc7447 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the quick replies. I don't mean to refute at all, any facts/claims presented here. I didn't expect any quick responses, so while I was waiting, I decided to narrow down or rule out my hard drive as the issue. I did this by taking a hard drive with Windows ME installed on it from an old HP desktop that's no longer in use. I connected that as the primary drive to the Dell system I want to use, and it booted. The graphics card was messed up but that's something I can fix with the appropriate drivers. ME automatically started updating to account for the changed system hardware. I didn't try to finalize anything because I don't want ME or that hard drive (very little storage).

    Either way, this finding says a couple of things. That non-OS and non-brand hardware will work on this setup for whatever reason. The original OS on the Dell previously was XP Home. So this must be possible, to an extent. I just don't know how. For the sake of convenience, I may just give in to starting over.

    However, if this is possible, and it seems to be, do any of you guys have any other suggestions? I hate to give up on the possibility that this can and would work, given the latest finding... Is it possible that the boot process is simply looking for a non-partitioned, standard "Windows" installation?

    I don't know what else could account for these events....
     
  11. brite750

    brite750

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    since you hdd from the compaq seesm to recognized by the bios I would think the jumpering is ok, however if it is set to master you might try putting it on CS to see if you can get a bit further, if you use CS the drive will have to be at the end of the ribbon cable the black plug if you have the type that is blue=MB, grey=slave, black=master
     
  12. brite750

    brite750

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    that was ME and not XP and it would never run very well if you did try that, you can get away with it if chipset and other hw is very similar and there are ways of prepping a MB to switch from one MB to another, try the CS thing Dells can be fussy
     
  13. brite750

    brite750

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    mind your own business;) if you wirte one huge answer by the time you post it thread can solved
     
  14. Crusnik

    Crusnik

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    Could possiblty try fixing the master boot record?

    Boot up with an XP disk, goto the repair console.

    Type in these two commands and see if that helps booting:


    fixmbr
    fixboot


    Also, double check the jumper settings on that hard drive. Cable select or primary.
     
  15. Crusnik

    Crusnik

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    ...

    Wow...

    Just... wow...
     
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