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multi problems after trying to clean up HDD disk boot failure, blank screen

By berniekealy ·
I was trying to clean up a PC for a friend. It is an Acer running Windows XP Home. At this point I don't remember the initial problem, but here is a list of things that have happened since I started. I started with a Recovery but without the original recovery disk and that didn't work. I used the Ultimate Boot CD because it wouldn't boot and tried the Recovery on it. Then I tried using my own XP installation disc using serial key of the Acer. I went to activate via phone and apparently it was not a legit key. All kinds of problems started to happen. The NTLDR was missing and tried fixes for that. All along there were numerous restarts. Then I got a legit installation CD of XP Pro and tried to install it. The last message was Disk Boot Failure. So then I removed the hard drive and put it as an external drive on another computer. All files and folders looked good. So I kept it out and tried to POST. Fans came on and then a new problem, blank screen and no beeps. So I changed the PSU. Put hard drive back in. At start up there are only continuous long beeps. I removed the RAM, HD, CD ROM, and floppy. Still blank screen, no light on the keyboard as before and the long beeps.
Here are a few of my thoughts of what may have happened. The many,many restarts overheated something. Maybe the mobo is fried or is it the CPU? Perhaps the CMOS battery and can I just remove it and test it then. Or replace it with another one? I've never put in or remove a CPU. I know that if I do that I will need the heat sink paste correct?
I need help obviously and if you could put it in a simple form, I would appreciate it. Any thoughts before I completely give up (which I hate to do). Thanks

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So if I am reading this correctly

by OH Smeg In reply to multi problems after tryi ...

You have removed the HDD, Optical Drive, RAM, Floppy and you are not getting any Video or any sign of POSTing right?

Well if there is a Plug In Video Card I would reseat it as particularly AGP Video Cards are very prone to moving in their sockets and stop working. Without RAM the system isn't going to POST and it should give a long or series of Beeps depending on the BIOS Beep Code for that M'Board.

Those Beeps are a Error Message from the M'Board so you should read the M'Board manual for the Beep Codes or try the Beep Codes on one of the BIOS web Sites

http://www.bioscentral.com/beepcodes/awardbeep.htm#

Try looking at your BIOS Makers List on this Page though you may need to click on the actual BIOS Maker.

As for the HDD Warning I would suggest using it's Makers Testing Utility to check it's correct function in it's computer. If it fails the Test test again in another computer and if it still fails the test the HDD is on it's way to Silicon Heaven but if it passes the second test the M'Board, Data Lead or Power Supply is faulty and needs repairing.

You can test in the second system and change the Data Lead and retest, if that works change the PS and retest and so on till you have ruled in or out everything but the M'Board.

You can get the HDD Makers Testing Utility here

http://www.tacktech.com/display.cfm?ttid=287

As for your Windows Copy it's defiantly Legit but it doesn't work with the Product Key that you used. This is because many of these systems use a modified Volume License Key that doesn't need Activation. So when you use a Install Disc that needs Activation with a VL Key that doesn't M$ get an error and reject it. The way around this is to speak to a Real Person at M$ Activation and tell them exactly what it is you have done use the wrong Install media with the Right Product Key and they will Activate the Installation.

Col

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Reponse To Answer

by berniekealy In reply to So if I am reading this c ...

Thanks for your reply. I checked everything that you suggested. It came down to the RAM not seated properly. The only problem remaining is that it doesn't go past the Windows XP screen. While running Hiren's boot cd and trying different tests,it seems as if XP wasn't there. And so back to Recovery and that didn't work. So I'm reinstalling Windows and I think I have it covered from there. Thanks again.

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HDD

by Strayer In reply to multi problems after tryi ...

Try putting everything back in the computer. Make sure everything is seated properly.
See if you can get into BIOS set up and check that the BIOS sees everything.
Go to the ACER site and look up the machine. See if there's a help section there and if anything helps.
I would even try to wipe the HDD clean and start over.
It depends on how old the ACER is, but I'd go with UBUNTU because you don't run into the product ID bit. An older version of Xubuntu is for older machines. Or older Ubuntu. There are new boot loaders that won't work on older computers.
I do not like computers.
I did a clean install on an ACER laptop for someone. It was old and I had a hard time with it.
Finally, it got straightened out.
I wish you good luck.

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Reponse To Answer

by DesertJim In reply to HDD

One problem to be aware of when swapping and reinstalling HDD on a friends machine is they may not have their data backed up to the point of failure. It's funny how some friends are not so grateful for a working machine with no data on it.

A few years ago I had a MBR failure on my HDD, before I reinstalled or played with the drive (as it appeared to be failing) I needed to make sure everything was backed up OK, Used a ubuntu 8.10 live CD to bring the system to life then backed up all the data to a USB HDD.

Bought the system back to life as an XP Pro machine, luckily with no data loss, got intrigued by this linux thing and did a dual boot on another machine to have a look.

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Reponse To Answer

by DesertJim In reply to HDD

One problem to be aware of when swapping and reinstalling HDD on a friends machine is they may not have their data backed up to the point of failure. It's funny how some friends are not so grateful for a working machine with no data on it.

A few years ago I had a MBR failure on my HDD, before I reinstalled or played with the drive (as it appeared to be failing) I needed to make sure everything was backed up OK, Used a ubuntu 8.10 live CD to bring the system to life then backed up all the data to a USB HDD.

Bought the system back to life as an XP Pro machine, luckily with no data loss, got intrigued by this linux thing and did a dual boot on another machine to have a look.

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XP clean install

by Strayer In reply to multi problems after tryi ...

I had to do clean installs of XP on production machines. WIndows wouldn't let me, kept wanting to use the corrupted insatall. I had an old Debian partitioner disk and wiped the XP off the HDD that way. The windows partitioner wouldn't remove XP.

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Reponse To Answer

by berniekealy In reply to XP clean install

After I wiped the disk, the install went very well. I had taken care of the data before I started everything. And I am putting Ubuntu on another machine to play around with it. So in the end it was a great learning experience.

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