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Old 03-05-2008, 12:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

Hello. This is our first time to build a PC. My husband was supposed to put it together, and I was supposed to get it working.

We bought new parts except tried to salvage a hard drive and a DVD-Rom from older computers.
The first time I booted it up it came up, but since we already had installed Windows XP on the old hard drive, it wanted to activate Windows. We were stuck because it would not recognize our mouse. So, I shut it down and went into the BIOS.

First I changed the boot sequence, it was set up to be removable drive, then CD, then hard drive. I changed it to be hard drive first then CD, then removable. Next, I changed the setting for USB mouse support. It was disabled, I enabled it, saved, exited.

When I booted back up, I got the blue screen error "Unmountable boot volume." I was concerned that I had messed something up with my editing, so I tried changing the boot sequence back to what it was, but the error persisted. I don't see why the small changes I made would affect anything, but I am concerned that it booted the first time without that error.

It's entirely possible that the hard drive is bad. My plan was to format and reinstall Windows anyway. I tried to boot from CD to do a "repair" and could not get that to work - I guess I do not know how to do it? I'm really curious to know if it at least has fixed the problem with not recognizing my mouse, I would love to get it to boot up to Windows. Any advice greatly appreciated.

One other note - I am pretty sure the hard drive is SATA. The motherboard looked like it had a SATA and an SATA2 connector. In the BIOS it looked like the drive had been connected to SATA2 (hard drive showed up there, not SATA). I didn't watch him connect the thing but I wonder if I should look at the connection? What specifically should I be double-checking?

I think this is long enough now - thanks :happy:
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Old 03-05-2008, 12:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

Is the DVD drive connected properly? The hard drive is SATA, so set the DVD Drive to master if it is alone on an EIDE channel.

So after you check that, change boot priority back to the optical drive and then the Harddrive and format and install.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

Thanks.
Yes - DVD is the only IDE drive. According to the setup screen, the DVD is recognized and is the master. I will check boot priority and try again. I am not sure what prompt I'm supposed to see to get to the repair or recovery option with the XP cd, but I'm definitely not getting there, for some reason. The DVD drive is very old; the hard drive, on the other hand, really has no reason why it should not work, but who knows.
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Old 03-05-2008, 01:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

Your not booting into windows because the install was installed on another motherboard.

Is it even asking you to boot off the CD?

If it does and you get into it, you say install windows, then hit R for repair.

But A format and fresh install is reccomended.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:21 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

Hello
No, I was not getting prompted to boot from CD. I did as you advised and changed the boot priority, then booted to CD, and formatted.

The format ran for a long time and wasn't successful.. not sure what happened because I went to sleep while it was running. This morning I tried quick format and it fails, message is something like Can't create Windows\temp directory.

I guess it sounds like bad hard drive? I'd like to recycle it b/c it's a decent size but I'm not that disappointed if I get a new one. I guess next step should be to get a new hard drive?
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

did you hit f6 to install the sata drivers prior to formatting?
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:46 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

Thanks!
No I did not do that (F6 and install SATA drivers).
I got no prompt to do that or to anything else to do with drivers; it goes to the black setup screen where it lists my hardware and F1 to continue (where I boot from CD and start format), del to enter setup, etc.

I don't have any indication that it doesn't recognize my hard drive. It lists the drive correctly in BIOS and starts the format. It also recognized that there was an O/S already installed on the drive...
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

Its odd how I never needed to install sata drivers on any motherboard, so I didn't suggest it.
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Old 03-06-2008, 04:11 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

I guess I am confused. Is there not really a way to tell if you need drivers or not? To me it seems that if the drive was detected correctly in the BIOS and the POST screen and I was able to delete the old partitions, and the format proceeded pretty far on the new partition, then it wouldn't seem like I needed drivers... not true?
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Old 03-06-2008, 05:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hard drive & BIOS settings questions...

it goes deeper than that. windows and drivers and the like can get real flakey sometimes.

what i would do from this point, if you have the proper items, is to stick the malfunctioning harddrive into an external case (you will obviously need a working bootable computer) and try to run the manufacturer's harddrive utilities on it and see what if anything it finds.
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