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Hi friend has just given me his PC to look at as its broken and i mentioned that i had an interest in fixing dead machines.

The machine is a fairly new packard bell machine with a 3.06ghz P4 processor. It will not load past the packard bell bios splash screen. On further inspection it appears that the reason for this is because it will not recognise the HDD and is trying to boot from the DVDRW drive. I cant figure out why this would be? i have checked all the connections and even tried removing the drive and plugging it into another machine - firstly as a slave then master, and then as an external drive using a USB IDE adapter i have.. but the drive simply is not recognised?

Im wondering why this would be? the drive isnt that old so i cant imagine that it has died but i dont know what else could be causing the problem? is it possible that a virus could have done this?

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Last Post by Jupiter 2
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Im wondering why this would be? the drive isnt that old so i cant imagine that it has died

they sure can !

is it possible that a virus could have done this?

yes it is ,what you need to try is plugging another hdd into his computer to see if it will see it !

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thanks for the advice.. ive plugged another known good drive in and it is recognised as a master IDE. This is an old spare drive i had so i thought id format and try a clean install of windows XP onto it, then try booting from that.. however for some reason it wont let me boot from the cd drive to install windows.. does this sound like the work of a virus? if so where should i go from here? as im fresh out of ideas!

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@Suspishio..nice avatar..

hi bill, do as what Suspishio told you...go to setup BIOS and make sure it's configured to boot from CD..

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hi yes i did set it to boot from the cd in the bios.. and when i restart after the bios splash screen the cd drive does start to spin and sound like its reading the disc but then the screen switches off to standby?? very frustrating! not sure where to go from here??

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Really? So there's not much else I can do then? I'd rather have a go myself than pay someone even it means having to rebuild the machine although surely it won't come to that! Or will it? I've never come across anything quite like this one to be honest so any advice would be much appreciated

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First of all put a new hard drive in the machine, then set the bios back to default or optimal settings, go in and set your boot order to CD then HDD. I have bought brand new HDD's that went out in a day so it is very likely that that HDD is bad. Put your OS disk in the CD and reboot it should work. If that does not work pull the bios cmos jumper or remove the cmos battery for about 30sec to 1min and try again. The only other thing I could tell you to do after that is bring it to me to fix.

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Thanks for your advice.. any reason why a brand new drive though? as i have a spare drive which i know is fine and when i plug into this machine it is recognised as master ide. ill just need to format it i didnt think to remove the cmos battery but i guess that could work...

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OK, do it yourself it is cheaper,
to check the winxp disk does your computer boot to it .!it does,ok then we know that not the problem ,maybe the cdrom is bad ,you could always hook on good one up to it and try that !

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Apart from worrying about anyone whose website contains the name "Backroads" and who is promoting "custom choppers" this is what I now think.

If there is a power glitch (or indeed a defect in the IDE drive), then any part of the disk can be corrupted. If that happens to be the MBR or the partition table, that disk is f*cked until it is low level formatted and re-constituted from FDISK.

The puzzling thing is that, if I've read you right, even with a non-defective HDD, the CD won't boot. It should boot with the duff drive in. If the CD was dirty and it couldn't boot off it, then it would try to go to HDD, fail and your monjitor would go to standby.

So which is it now? Dirty CD (wash it)? Dirty CD/DVD lens (clean it); Faulty (through the aforementioned glitch) IDE circuitry (which could zap your HDD)?

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What you've said is correct.. when set to boot from the dvd drive the drive spins but the screen goes into standby... it could be a dirty disc so maybe ill try giving it a clean but i have used the disc before to format a machine and it was fine. Not sure if this would make a difference but i ave the machine plugged into my sony bravia television via vga cable i know it works as i am able to view the bios screen but as soon as i try to boot from the cd it shows the bios splash then the dvd drive appears to kick in and the screen jumps to "out of range"the disc does sound like its being read though..

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Booting should be in default VGA mode (640 x 480) @ 60Hz; I wouldn't have expected Windows/'DOS' to kick up to anything higher in vertical refresh terms when booting from CD. Other brainios here might know better.

So:

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What is the exact out of range message?

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What graphics card do you have & is there a DVI output that could go into the Bravia HDMI port??

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Have you examined the TV's menu options?

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Does your BIOS have any controls you can use to force VGA - I've forgotten that stuff as it's so long since I needed to go into BIOS!

Votes + Comments
Rude intrusive A$$H0LE, Wanker
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The out of range message.. is pretty much exactly that.. it shows the PC input icon followed by the message "out of range" which is the same message displayed when there is no input so i gather from that its not recieving or able to display the image from the dead machine,

Its a packard bell machine and the graphics are onboard with no DVI out put.

Ive had a look but to be honest i think its on the right settings as ive had machines plugged in on it before and able to display an image and havent changed any settings.

It does have the option to force VGA but it does the same thing when i set that so to be honest im now fresh out of ideas... im sure its something really simple as well which is the frustrating thing!

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well this is constructive... has anyone got anything to add which might actually help me? lol

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well this is constructive... has anyone got anything to add which might actually help me? lol

obvious thing to do is buy new harddrive , and hook all drives up correctly and it should work

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hi yes i did set it to boot from the cd in the bios.. and when i restart after the bios splash screen the cd drive does start to spin and sound like its reading the disc but then the screen switches off to standby

this could be caused by power supply or cpu overheating ! make sure all fans are free of dust buildup

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Sorry, to clarify - the HDD isn't recognised on any other machine as well as the original one?

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Sorry, to clarify - the HDD isn't recognised on any other machine as well as the original one?

ok,buy a new hdd

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HI,I take it you have 2 ide channels if you have try separating the hard drive from the cd rom and checking whether you have the jumpers in the correct position on the rears of them ie hdd master cdrom slave and then connecting them to ide0 & ide1 i,ve found this works

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Your old HDD may be set to Slave and that the CD Rom is set to Master. Check the Pin setting. If the CD Drive is on the same cable as the HDD then Change it to the Secondary Cable, as Master Scecondary.

Change or leave the HDD as Master on Primary.

In Bios, check for boot setting. Should be - 1) CD 2)Hdd

The Cd-Rom is probably only a CD-Rom and not a CD/DVD multi drive. You cannot boot from a DVD Boot disk, if this is the case.

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