[NBLUG/talk] Can't boot from Hard Drive

Scrappy Laptop scrappylaptop at yahoo.com
Wed Oct 24 10:28:36 PDT 2007

A few thoughts, having supported a Dell or two:

1. It must be goat blood, the altar must be made of
stone and the cup must be of the finest crystal. 
Remember, chicken blood only works for Dell servers,
especially the PowerEdge series.  Likewise, sheep
sacrifices only work on Compaq/HP servers.  Use
something small like a Guinea Pig for laptops.  This
is getting disturbing, so I'm going to stop now.

Since the system boots fine from CD and the
memory-loaded OS identifies and presumably can access
the HDD, this appears to be an ide boot device
identification issue:

2.  Try setting the drive to CS, or cable select, on
the Primary cable as I've seen some Dells with the
sometimes very annoying 'special CS' IDE cables (look
for a gap in one of the conductors).

3. Try setting the HDD to Master, no Slave if the
CD-ROM is not on the same cable (and it is best to
test without the CD-ROM even in the system just in
case they are incompatible. Yeah, it still happens).

4.  Try throwing the HDD on the CD-ROM's cable afer
disconnecting the CD-ROM drive completely.  Set the
HDD to Master only, then go into the BIOS and see if
the HDD is recognized.  Set to Slave only.  Try CS. 
Repeat with the Primary cable.  Some Dell's with
mobo's made by Intel seem to me to be very picky about
various controller vs. HDD firmware vs. CD firmware
issues.  It's almost like they want you to only order
drives from Dell...

5. Since the InstallFest has been postponed, if you
are local, email me and we can try another drive,
cable, system, etc. to troubleshoot.  I'm in Santa
Rosa, work in Petaluma and have a shed full of spare
parts for testing.  

Good luck,

--- Troy Arnold <troy at zenux.net> wrote:

> On Tue, Oct 23, 2007 at 07:32:51AM -0700, Dave
> Sisley wrote:
> > Hey:
> > 
> > I have a Dell Dimension 2350 that had what looked
> like a Hard Drive 
> > failure.  I put in a different (used) drive and
> installed FC4 on that.  
> > When I try to boot, the machine acts as though
> there is no hard drive 
> > installed.  Poking around the bios boot options, I
> don't see the drive.  
> > The drive is jumpered to be a master with slave
> present (CD).
> > 
> > What's funny is that booting from knoppix or from
> the FC4 install disk - 
> > meaning booting from CD - works fine.  What's
> more, the CD-based OS can 
> > see the hard drive.  Knoppix saw it, and FC4
> obviously saw & wrote to 
> > it.  That means the disk is okay, and that there's
> nothing wrong with 
> > the data cable or something...
> Did you try and have the BIOS auto detect the
> drives?
> If none of the suggestions to date work, try
> resetting BIOS defaults.
> If that doesn't work, remove the BIOS battery and
> fling some chicken blood
> about the room.
> You can always bring it to an installfest; I hear
> the coordinator is a very
> helpful guy ;-)
> -t
> _______________________________________________
> talk mailing list
> talk at nblug.org
> http://nblug.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/talk

Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam?  Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around 

More information about the talk mailing list