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Old 04-05-2011, 11:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Problem with reinstallation

I am working on a Toshiba Satellite L25-S1194 (model no. PSL2XU-01600D) for my church. It was in pretty bad shape as no one had pulled any maintenance on it (defrag, delete files, scans) since it was purchased so I opted for a format and reinstall. I used GParted to do the formatting and my trusty XP w/SP2 OEM Home disk for the reinstall.

The problem is that, after the initial reboot of the Windows installation, the laptop doesn't come up. I am getting a blank screen with an underscore cursor in the top left corner. Pushing the power button shuts it down like it is still in the BIOS or pre-BIOS. The laptop was working fine as far as hardware goes, so I am at a loss. I wondered if it is a Windows problem but I don't think it is getting that far in the boot.

Any ideas?
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Old 04-05-2011, 11:59 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problem with reinstallation

does it just hang at the underscore cursor forever?

have you tried reformatting it again and/or reinstalling again?
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problem with reinstallation

Yeah. I let it sit for 30 minutes... nada.

I am in the process of re-formatting it right now so we will see how that goes.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problem with reinstallation

Well, a new format and install and still no love. I am not getting a "No OS found" message so I doubt the hard drive up and died on me (plus it still shows up in the BIOS). The hard drive activity light is on if that means anything.

So fire away, people. I would like to get this thing back up and running ASAP.
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Old 04-05-2011, 12:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problem with reinstallation

Try hitting up Hiren's and do hard drive diagnostics. There could be some bad sectors in there.
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Old 04-05-2011, 05:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problem with reinstallation

sounds like a problem with the Master Boot Record or the Boot Order.

Do you have any usb devices plugged in? I have a flash drive that makes my PC do the same thing if I forget to remove it.
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Old 04-05-2011, 08:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problem with reinstallation

Make sure in the BIOS the drive is set to IDE not AHCI or anything like that
Like Slay said, make sure there's no USB devices plugged in. Can you boot into safe mode?
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Old 04-06-2011, 12:13 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problem with reinstallation

This is a fresh install of XP on a laptop. There is absolutely nothing plugged into it.

The hard drive is set as first boot device. There are no options for IDE or AHCI in the BIOS. The drive is an ATA else I would drop it in my dock and check it out.

Negatory on the safe mode.

I am firing up ERD Commander right now. Let's see if it can tell me anything.

EDIT: ERD Commander doesn't detect a Windows installation. Crap. Time to look at BIOS updates.

EDIT 2: Updated the BIOS (just in case). Nada. Used the repair console from the XP disk to repair the MBR. Nada.

What I don't understand is why this happened. Nor do I understand why the Windows installation can "see" that XP is installed but ERD Commander can't. Or why the lappy acts like it doesn't have a hard drive in it when I try to boot to Windows but GParted had no problem with it.

I think I am going to toss Ubuntu on it and see if it works or not. I really don't want to have to buy a new drive.
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Old 04-06-2011, 02:25 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problem with reinstallation

OK, this is weird. Ubuntu installed just fine and it boots. I log in and then it never goes past the tie-died desktop... no icons, nothing. However the cursor will change to a text bar in the middle of the screen; I typed a few letters and hit enter and it gave the spinning wheel wait symbol for a couple of seconds but nothing else.

I am currently running HDAT2 from Hiren's but no errors at 69% so far.
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Old 04-07-2011, 01:33 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Problem with reinstallation

I came up with no errors or bad sectors with both HDAT2 and the Fujitsu hard disk utility. I went ahead and did a low level format while I was at it. I am now trying yet another XP install...

EDIT: The low level format seems to have done the trick. Geez! What should have been a couple of hours has turned into a few days of work on this thing...
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