Strange boot problem

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Strange boot problem

Postby joshua » Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:41 pm

I am sorting out an old laptop for my grand daughter to use for her homework. I am getting a strange boot problem.
I. it used to beep twice as it booted it now beeps once or not at all.but will still boot (sometimes)
2.Sometimes it will not boot but show this message...SIS900 PXE BootRom v1.09 hook Int19 then after a short while it asks me to place a bootable object in a place where it can be booted.
3 I have had a couple of times it try to boot but come up with the error message telling me ntdlr is missing.
4. it boots from a bootable cd every time I have tried it that way, (I have reinstalled the OS several times trying to sort this out) Sometimes when booting from the CD it tells me it cant find the hard drive.

from this it appears to be not finding the hard disc on startup but if I keep powering down and restarting it eventually boots to the OS. Am I right in thinking it is probably the hard disc on its way out?

Further update while I was writing this it decided it had to close and restart (good old winXP) It was doing nothing at the time just the desktop showing, anyway it restarted and ran chkdisc and recovered some orphan files then restarted again this time giving a single beep and straight onto the desktop
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Postby pastychomper » Thu Sep 19, 2013 10:02 am

I agree it sounds like a hard disc problem of some kind. My first thought is a bad connection between the disc and the motherboard, or maybe a problem on the motherboard itself. However that's just my limited experience talking, it could equally be the hard disc starting to die - which would be better news because hard discs can usually be replaced easily.

Since it boots from CD reliably, can you stop using the hard disc altogether and boot from CD every time? A lot of the live distros include tools to make customised live CDs, so you could burn one with all the tools your granddaughter needs, and give her a USB stick (or some Dropbox-like service if it's lacking in USB ports) to store her documents.
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Postby catgate » Thu Sep 19, 2013 12:10 pm

My advice would be to seriously examine the idea of ditching the the machine. It sounds as though the hard drive is ready for replacing, and that then brings the question "what are all the other components like".
You could spend a lot of time and effort (and £££) and still be working with an old model ...if you can get the bits you need.
Oh, sod it.
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Postby joshua » Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:49 am

Thanks for the replies, I;m also coming round to the idea that its the hard drive. I have taken the laptop to bits and checked all the connections and they all seem to be OK. When it doesn't boot, going into the bios shows that the hard drive has not been found and its trying to boot from a network which it can't find as its not on one. The annoying thing is that its intermittent. it will boot fine for half a dozen goes and then refuse. When it does boot it often runs a disk check and repairs several corrupt files, which makes me think its the hard disc itself on the way out. Of course being an old machine its hard to find the old discs at a reasonable price.
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Postby nelz » Fri Sep 20, 2013 7:55 am

Not even on eBay?
"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." (Albert Einstein)
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Postby catgate » Fri Sep 20, 2013 9:47 am

joshua wrote:Of course being an old machine its hard to find the old discs at a reasonable price.

I seem to remember a "parable" about putting new wine into old bottles.
I suppose the corollary hold good here in reverse.
Oh, sod it.
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Postby dandnsmith » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:59 am

The other thing to remember is that, even if you find a new hard disk, you still have to configure it to 'fit' (do you have a full image?), and some laptops will just reject anything but the correct HDD because of the way the BIOS works.
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Postby joshua » Thu Sep 26, 2013 7:21 pm

Apologies for delay in replying, managed to get hold of another hard disk which I formatted and reinstalled OS from a recovery disk. It was fine for a day and then started showing the same problems so I am assuming that its been the motherboard all along, so its time to junk it I think. Thanks to all who replied.
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