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Old 03-15-2011, 09:50 AM   #1
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Stupid stupid computer

OK, here's another one. Like I've said before I'm not really a hardware person, I mainly tinker with Windows OS problems, and I do virus/malware/scareware removal.

The computer is an HP Pavilion dv6000 series. Hard drive died so the kid bought a new hard drive. Dropped it off wanting me to install the hard drive and reinstall the OS. Easy enough....except the damn thing will NOT boot off a CD. Optical drive is enabled in the BIOS and set as the first device in the boot order, but no matter what you do on startup, it only looks for a hard drive and then says "operating system not found" (duh, it's a brand new hard drive).

I removed the hard drive, reformatted it again for good measure, and then used the BIOS to run diagnostics on the memory and the new hard drive...everything passed.

I Googled this problem and it seems to be an issue with the BIOS even though it is set to boot off a disc. Well I can't flash the BIOS because there is not a bootable hard drive, and I can't boot off the disc!

A co-worker suggested connecting the hard drive to something else and installing an OS, just anything to get it to boot. So I installed the hard drive in a different computer. The HP recovery disc would not run, since the other computer is Lenovo, but luckily I had an OS install disc for the same operating system (Vista Home Premium 32-bit) and used the product key on the bottom of the HP laptop. The OS installed fine on the hard drive.

I put the hard drive back into its own computer, with the OS now installed and....it blue screens. BSOD normal, safe mode, LKGC. And it STILL will not boot off a disc. My plan was to boot it far enough into windows to run the HP recovery CD, which would reinstall the OS but it has all the correct drivers bundled with it.

Basically I'm no farther than I was originally. I don't know whether to blame this on an f-ed up BIOS, or maybe something more major wrong with the motherboard, or maybe it would just WORK if I could get the right drivers on the hard drive, but how can you do that when you cannot boot at all?
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:58 PM   #2
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Man, I wish I could offer some help but it looks like you've exhausted everything I would've tried.

This reminds me how much I hate laptops. Little fiddly POSs with vendor-specific cutsey power buttons and function keys. For a lot of them, without the default drivers you're screwed for restoring functionality, and companies like HP go with a recovery partition iin lieu of a recovery disk. Not much fucking help when the hard drive dies, you fuckers!

I love my standard ATX desktop tower. It's the computer equivilant of a VW Jetta. You always know there will be parts for it.
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Old 03-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #3
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The plot thickens....

I KNOW the drive works, and I KNOW the recovery CD works. So I did the reverse of what I tried originally: I put the Lenovo's hard drive into the HP, and thought if I can *just* get it to boot far enough where I can run the HP recover disk, or maybe even try to upgrade and fix the BIOS. I put in that drive, turn it on, and it asks for a Bitlocker key which makes sense b/c it's a work hard drive and we encrypt everything now. I spent a half hour tracking down someone at work who can get me the key, finally have it printed out, go back to the laptop and restart it and voila! it freaking skips the BitLcoker and boots off the recovery disk!!! While that was loading I quickly pulled out the Lenovo's drive and swapped the HP's drive back in but that didn't work because it didn't initialize the drive again (did not feel it spinning and got an error when the recovery disc tried to reformat). I figured all hope was lost and just for shits and giggles, rebooted the computer with its own hard drive and recover disc (back to square one) and the fucker booted off the recovery disc, reformatted the hard drive, and started the Windows install! I had to leave promptly (long story, police dogs tracking a thief in my yard) but I'm hoping when I get there tomorrow it will have completed the windows install with the correct HP drivers (the recovery disc is one from HP not just a generic Windows disc) so I can repair the BIOS or just give it back. I doubt the kid will care about the BIOS as long as his computer turns on and loads Facebook. Next time it fails it will be time for a new one anyway.
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Old 06-12-2011, 04:24 PM   #4
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Any update on this? I'm curious.
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Old 06-12-2011, 06:24 PM   #5
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I believe I sent it home b/c it was taking up too much time and space on my desk. I'll have to check the call history tomorrow...
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