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2 PCs that can not boot

By rph ·
Both PC's have the same motherboard and CPU.
They both start up and I can get to Setup but they both hang with a flahing cursor in the top left of a black screen while trying to proceed.

They do not give any boot option (Boot from CD).

I haven't the slightest idea where to start.
I have reset all of the cables, power appears to be fine.

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Where to start...

by JeffDeWitt In reply to 2 PCs that can not boot

Start with the basics. Did these machines ever run or are they new? If they never ran you probably have some kind of conflict, like they are both trying to boot off of two drives at once. If the have floppy drives I'd start by unplugging all the drives (hard disk, CD, whatever), and see if you can boot off a floppy.

If it will boot then you can be pretty sure it is some kind of conflict.

Check your jumpers on the drives, the primary HD should be set to Master.

Also check the boot sequence in the BIOS. The system may be trying to boot off a network and it's unlikely you want to do that. Assuming you are loading Windows off of CD you probably want the order to be CD1 and then HDD1.

Also if you have more than one hard drive, and one is a regular drive and one is a SATA drive that can also confuse things. This computer gave me fits when I built it, and it was doing exactly what you describe. I wanted to boot off an IDE drive but with the IDE and the SATA drives connected it was trying to boot off of both of them at the same time, and that just didn't work.

Now if these are older machines you might have another problem, such as bad capacitors, that is a HUGE problem on the later PIII?s and earlier PIV?s.

You might give us some more detail, what processors you have, what motherboards, type of hard drives, how many drives and what kinds?

Good luck!

Jeff DeWitt

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Go back to basics

by Deadly Ernest In reply to 2 PCs that can not boot

In this situation I would go back to basics and check

1. Every BIOS setting, jumper setting on the board, and drive jumper settings are correct for this installation.

2. The cpu is installed correctly and the cpu fan is attached and working.

3. all internal and external poer connections are correct

4. all cards and cables are properly connected and seated (the described problem can occur if a drive cable is upside down) at both ends.

5. check the ram is compatible with the system and each other and working properly.

6. cut back to minimal gear, eg ram, graphics card, cpu and one drive - see if that boots, then add items until it fails or alll is in and OK.

7. try testing individual components in another known working machine.

Your problem sounds like it cannot find an essential item at boot, eg cpu, ram, hard drive. This could be due to incorrect settings, jumpers or BIOS setting; or faulty hardware in this list. I would carefully check the BIOS settings for the hard drives frist and then the BIOS 'boot sequence' settings - it may be looking to boot from something that is not there.

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Dont know if yo fingally solved this problem, but...

by Joe_in_Florida In reply to 2 PCs that can not boot

I had the same problem on a Sharp PC-MM10. On boot up it would give me the Sharp logo and a chance to go to press F2 to go to settings but then would go to a blank screen with a flashing cursor.
I found by switching to floppy boot and using a program called ivinit.exe, i could rewrite the MBR and then the machine would boot from the hard drive. Some say it might be the CIH virus causing the problem but could not ever find it present.

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