Hard Disc halts the processor at boot

Wd Western digital 120gb wd1200bb ata-10...
August 29, 2010 at 08:13:31
Specs: Windows XP, AThlon 64/2 GB
My computer had a HD in which I have installed a Windows 7 and a Mandriva. Everything was OK
Yesterday I tried to install an XP in the same partition as the W7 (I know I am a terrorist but i wanted to see what happens). The fact is that the HD halts the processor when it tries to recognize it at boot. This happens even if it acts a slave with a spare disc with an XP is in the PC acting as master. If I disconnect the HD with problems, the PC boots and XP takes control. If I connect the HD the PC doesn¨t boot. Could anybody help me????


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August 29, 2010 at 09:07:02
How does a HDD halt a processor?

You did a boneheaded thing by installing two versions of Windows on the same partition. Undo what you did.

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August 29, 2010 at 09:38:11
Thanks Jam:

I can´t undo because the PC can´t run with the HDD connected whichever is its position (master,slave,primary or secondary). I follow the boot sequence in the screen and the sequence halts when the processor tries to recognize the HDD.

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August 29, 2010 at 10:01:13
If the hard drive is not defective then what you say is nonsense. Connect the hard drive the same exact way it was connected before you installed XP. Now boot to the BIOS (setup) screens. Check to see if the hard drive is configured there. If so, boot to the Windows 7 DVD and either repair or re-install Windows 7.

What probably is happening is that the initiation of starting an OS is halted at that point.

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August 29, 2010 at 10:02:54
"HD halts the processor" not feasible, a processer is a piece of slicon blah blah blah !!

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August 29, 2010 at 10:09:36
What I told is what is happening. Please read carefully. The BIOS is by American Megatrends, so I can follow the steps of the booting sequence. First it detects the mouse, then the device in primary master etc. When the sequence reachs the position in which the HDD is installed ( I tried all four positions ) it stays there maybe in a loop in which what the HDD replies is not what the processor is waiting for.
I don´t think its because a harware failure it should be a strange coincidence.

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August 29, 2010 at 10:17:21
Is there another drive on the same cable?

What brand is the hard drive?

Did you check in the BIOS, NOT the POST screens to see if the hard drive is being configured there?

If the hard drive was previously working and then stopped working, what made you think that changing the jumpers or cable position would be the problem?

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August 29, 2010 at 10:40:14
If the system had been working OK until you installed XP, why would you think anything else was wrong other than your ill advised move to install two OS's on the same partition? OS's are placed on their own partition for a reason & co-mingling their files & folders on the same partition can be disaturous. You found that out the hard way. And unless your hard drive failed coincidentally at the same time, you do NOT have a hardware problem. There was no reason to open the case, there was no reason to change any jumpers, there was no reason to mess with the BIOS.

Do as OtheHill recommended in response #3 - return the jumpers & BIOS back to exactly the way they were before you installed XP, then boot off the W7 disc to run a "startup repair".


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August 29, 2010 at 13:14:38

The fact is that the HDD was working OK. I installed the XP in same partition as W7. When it tried to boot again the problem appeared. In boot work the sequence stopped when detecting the HDD, I could not reach the point in which the parameters can be changed (boot sequence, etc.)- THEN and only THEN I tried changing the jumpers and cables so as to boot with another HDD with a correct installation so as to format the HDD with both OPs. . Of course the origin of the problem is the installing of the XP, but in the worst case I supposed that I would have to format the HDD, But the fact is that I couldn´t. I insist "The PC is not able to boot with the HDD connected in any way".
May be the solution is to try to boot in another PC with the HDD connected as a common disc and if it starts up I would be able to format the disc.

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August 29, 2010 at 13:17:45
Yes, there is another device (DVD or HDD)

WD 1200 IDE

I can not check the Bios. I have no opportunity

I changed cable and jumpers because the other options didn´t solve the problem

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August 29, 2010 at 13:57:02
I understand completely all the steps you took. Never the less, changing the jumpers was an exercise in futility.

Anyway, you already had WinXP running on another hard drive?

Have you tried booting with ONLY the hard drive in question jumpered and cabled properly. If you have and you still have the same problem then you may actually have a true coincidence on your hands.

At that point I would suggest trying the drive on a second IDE channel, if one is available. If not, try running ONLY the optical drive on that channel and try booting from it. That will eliminate any IDE controller issues.

The fact of the matter is that no matter what is on a hard drive you should be able to POST. If you actually can't then you have a hardware issue.

I am still not convinced of that. Have you tried getting into the BIOS as soon as you start up?

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August 29, 2010 at 14:24:56
I had a spare HDD. I cabled it with the optical and loaded an XP system. (I am writting in the only PC I have at home). The PC runs OK with an optical at Primary master, the HDD with XP OS as Primary Slave and a second HDD as Secondary Slave.

There is no way of booting with the cable attached to the HDD in question. I think that the processor enters a loop when trying to connect with the HDD, and it remains there, no way to take it from the loop. May be....

I´ll try tomorrow in my job to cable the HDD in another computer, may be the BIOS is different and it recognizes the HDD, so I can format it and solve the issue.

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August 29, 2010 at 15:01:15
The HDD with the OS is supposed to be the Primary Master. How many devices do you want connected... 3 ? Here's the ideal steup:

Primary Master = HDD w/OS
Primary Slave = none
2ndary master = optical drive
2ndary slave = 2nd HDD

Or if you prefer, you can flip the optical with the 2nd HDD:

Primary Master = HDD w/OS
Primary Slave = none
2ndary master = 2nd HDD
2ndary slave = optical drive

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August 29, 2010 at 16:30:53
Jam, I didn´t know this fact, but I have built many PC´s and no problems have aroused. From now onwards I´ll take this into account



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