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a bios question

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Charlie, May 12, 2011.

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  1. Charlie

    Charlie Guest

    There used to be groups where one could get a cogent answer about PCs
    acting up.
    I'll try here.

    I have a friend with an E-Machines PC.
    OS is XP home. It looked to me that the HD had failed.
    I confirmed this to my mind by using a sata to usb adapter and found that
    the old HD could not be accessed.
    I checked that my setup was ok using other drives that were on hand.

    So I had her get a replacement HD. Two restore disks are on hand so I
    charged ahead feeling that all would be well.

    Phoenix BIOS is set to start from the CD first and the HD next.

    But when trying to start the recovery from the CD. there are two choices.
    1) restore the system.
    2) start from the CD

    Choice 1 warns that all data will be lost. That's ok. It's a new HD
    So I select Y go do it and the system hangs
    Trying choice 2 brings an unexpected result. The system tries to start from
    a nonexistent A drive.

    This box has no A drive. Looking through the setup panels show no mention of
    a floppy drive.

    What now?

  2. Sjouke Burry

    Sjouke Burry Guest

    Bootable cd's emulate a floppy A: with boot software, so allow boot
    from A
  3. Ken

    Ken Guest

    Is there really data on the CD to restore the HD??? Some computers
    depend upon the restoration partition on the HD to retrieve the data
    necessary for restoration. In other words, the CD is simply a boot
    vehicle that will look to the HD for the restoration data it needs.
    Read the CD and see if it has several directories of data that could be
    what it needs.

    Another question would be is the new HD partitioned and formatted? I
    ran the restoration DVD on a HP computer and it would not restore. It
    gave little reason for not doing so. What it needed was partitioning
    and formatting. One would have thought the restoration process would
    have been prepared to do that, but it was not.
  4. Many computers that include disks, and all that don't have some way of
    creating a restore disk from the install partition or files.

    It depends upon the manufacturer how insistant it is. One brand I saw would
    not let you do anything with the newly installed windows system until the
    burning of DVDs (install Windows, provided apps) was finished.

    Another made you click "not now" every hour until you did.

    Other's just gave you a one time notice, it was up to you to figure out how
    to do it if you canceled it.

    One even included blank DVDs.

    The one I am using now, and MSI Wind U100, included Hebrew Windows on the hard
    drive with an insistant option to burn disks and a set of English DVDs. Note
    that the computer did not have a DVD or optical drive of any kind.

    Apple used to include installation DVDs of MacOS with all of their computers,
    including the MacBook Air line, which has no optical drive. Now they include
    a USB memory stick with it. I expect netbook manufacturers will do the same for
    Windows too.

    Back to the original question, does the BIOS offer a boot menu, or a setup key?

    With the boot menu, you can just choose the DVD drive, with a setup menu,
    which comes up after your press the key (eventually), you can change the
    boot order to include the DVD drive first.

    BTW, did you try the A drive option? It might try to boot from the floppy and
    after giving up try the DVD.

  5. mm

    mm Guest

    Depending on what's wrong with the HD, you might be able to access the
    other one or two partitions on the HD, though you can't access the XP
    partition. But the other partitions are hidden, I think.

    It would be the old HD that had the restore partition. I'm told in
    the Dell group that this partition can be copied too, which is not
    surprising, but I'm guessing you have to first unhide it. And you
    can't do that with the Storage Management software in XP afaik but you
    can with 3rd-party software, like Partition Magic 8, Paragon free and
    Easeus free Partition Manager, though the latter and maybe Paragon
    will ruin a win98 partition if you try to change its size, even when
    runnning under XP.

    However all restore will do is put it back the way the factory shipped
    it. Did it have special features that XP from MS doesn't have. If

    Is this a laptop that requires special drivers. Can you dl them from

    If it has nothing special and you can get the drivers, you can use a
    retail XP CD but use the Product Key from this computer.

    But better yet, see Michael Terrell's first post. I think if you use
    an emachine DVD, you don't need to know the product key. At least I
    think that is true for Dell, so I'm guessing it's the same.

    I haven't read the rest.
  6. mm

    mm Guest

    And if a CRT tv doesn't have a picture, it's not likely to be he
    picture tube. even though everyone I dealt with thought it was.
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