can't boot from cd. exclamation point.

January 27, 2010 at 09:32:18
Specs: Windows XP, 512mb
hi,

i hope it's ok that i also post my problem at other forums. just being forthright (upfront).

i recently had a computer, hp pavillion 510c, given to me that was the victim of "rootkit activity", but now the computer is clean. the OS on the hard drive is XP. the computer with xp works nicely. there doesn't seem to be any hardware problems. i can use it for hours and it works flawlessly. there's no dust in the computer. plenty of fans.
what i have planned for this computer is adding a second hard drive as slave and putting a different OS on it (the second hard drive) so that i can have a dual boot system, but i can't get the system to boot from cd. there are two cd decks, but neither will boot any cd. i've tried numerous boot and utility disks and i get the "operating system not found" message. no number to go with the message.

the first thing that needs to be mentioned is the fact that in the bios>boot tab, the CD-rom has an exclamation point in front of it. i don't know how to remove the exclamtion point. obviously this is an eye-opener. a screenshot is included.
i've tried disconnecting the HDD (and the floppy) , nothing was connected but the master cd drive (the jumper on the cd-rom is on master, and it's on the last connector on the ribbon cable, and i've tried other cables). i've tried everything in the bios that i can think of, but i am in no way an expert (that's why i'm here).

the bios is phoenix core version 4.06

bios revision 3.05
12/04/01

the motherboard is a Mat,NO: 126708 LOMITA 011110
i have never heard of these motherboards, but it's all the reasonably identifiable info i can find.

i have never reset a bios back to defaults, so i haven't done it with this one. i have not flashed the bios either. it may need that, but i know that to be a risky endevour, so i won't look into this without guidance.

i have included a link that shows three screenshots.
one is the exclamation point that is probably causing the problem.
one is boot-time diagnostic and quickboot screen, and one is the main tab.

http://tinypic.com/4duk6dna

i am not in a hurry to get this computer working, and i have it completely disassembled, so there is nothing i am not willing (able) to try. i have all the time in the world.

thanks.

Ed James


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#1
January 28, 2010 at 07:11:50
it works!

it's hard to say exactly what, if any, changes had any effect, but these are the things that i did between the moments that it wouldn't boot from the cd and when it did boot from cd.

i unplugged the power cord to the psu and pulled the cmos battery for about 15 minutes to reset defaults.

i disabled quick-boot mode. i don't know if this had any bearing on the solution. i would sure like to know specifically what disabling/enabling quick-boot mode does.

i set the correct time in bios>general tab and pressed f10 to save changes.

Ed James


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#2
January 28, 2010 at 07:36:09
I would speculate the issue was that the boot order somehow excluded the CD drive. The default places it back int the boot order.

Disabling fast boot just allows you to see what is happening during the POST cycle.

I would recommend that if you have the option in the start up screens to choose which drive to boot from that you take advantage of that by totally isolating both hard drives from each other.

Disconnect the first hard drive before installing an OS on the second one. After completion you can reconnect and then use the option in the start up screens to choose what to boot to.

The advantage of this method is that it avoids using the Windows boot loader. This method is better, IMO, because the drives do NOT depend on one another to boot.

If one or the other becomes un-bootable you will still be able to get to the other. That is not usually the case when using the Windows boot loader.


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#3
January 28, 2010 at 08:48:49
(Oops - OtheHill's post was not there when I started typing this)

Your Boot Device Prority list

Hard drive
Removable Devices
!CD-Rom Drive
Network Boot

was set wrong.

When you removed then re-installed the cmos battery, the bios set the Boot Proirity list to defaults that work for booting from a bootable disk in an optical drive.

What is it set to now?

I have no idea why the ! in front of CD-Rom - I've never seen that - perhaps that is to show you you can't boot from it?

You always have to re-set the time and date to other than defaults when you remove the cmos battery, or when you remove it then replace it, or when you clear the cmos by moving a jumper on the mboard, then moving it back, either in the bios, or in the operating system before you reboot the computer.
If you set the bios to defaults in Setup, only the current time and date settings are retained of the user settings that were not defaults.

In order to be able to boot from a bootable disk in an optical drive, the CD drive or similar has to be listed before (above in this case) the bootable hard drive. It doesn't necessarily have to be first in the list.

Anything you want to be able to boot before a bootable hard drive must be listed before it.
If the hard drive is listed before the optical drive and is bootable, or in any case, if the hard drive is bootable, the bios never attempts to boot anything else in the list listed after that, including other hard drives that may be in the list, or in a list elsewhere in the bios settings, if you have more than one hard drive.


E.g. the possible correct ways for your case

Removable Devices
CD-Rom Drive
Hard Drive
Network Boot

or

CD-Rom Drive
Hard Drive
Network Boot

or on a computer you can connect a legacy floppy drive to

Floppy drive
CD-Rom Drive
Hard Drive
Network Boot

Sometimes floppy drive is listed even if you don't have one connected. That causes no problems - the bios never examines a floppy disk in a legacy drive to see if it's bootable, since the drive is not there.

I've found if a legacy floppy drive is listed after the optical drive, for most bioses, a bootable floppy in the floppy drive will not be recognized as bootable while booting.

For most if not all bioses, if the boot order is set up right to recognize a bootable floppy in a legacy drive, if the floppy in the drive is not bootable, the bios does not attempt to boot from anything else listed after it.
That may apply to a USB floppy drive as well, I don't know.

If your bios recognizes a bootable flash drive or USB connected external drive, I've found that with at least some bioses, if the boot order has Removable drives or similar first , if you plug in a non-bootable flash drive or USB connected external drive (or a USB floppy drive?), when the bios finds that is not bootable (or the floppy in the USB drive is not bootable?) , it does not attempt to boot the next thing in the list.
I have encountered one recent mboard that does that even when Removable drives or similar is not in the list, for a non-bootable flash drive.


Brand name systems often have Network Boot or similar listed in the bios boot order. If the computer is normally supposed to boot from a company or institutional network, that's usually listed first. The bios never attempts to boot from other things in the list if that's successful; if that's not successful, according to what I've heard of on this site, you get a network boot specific error message and the bios does not attempt to boot other devices in the list.

Network Boot
Removable Devices
CD-Rom Drive
Hard Drive
.....

Side notes

Many bioses will only boot from a bootable disk in one optical drive if you have more than one. In that case, insert the bootable disk in the other drive, or another drive if you have more than two, if a bootable disk is not recognized while booting.
OR, in that type of bios, when there is more than one optical drive, there is either
- a list of optical drives, often near the boot order list or similar - the optical drive you want to boot a bootable disk from must be listed first.
- or - less likely - there is more than one optical drive listed or available to be listed in the boot order or similar list - the optical drive you want to boot a bootable disk from must be listed first.

The network adapter has to have a boot rom chip or a similar capability on the adapter in order for you to be able to boot from a network. Most network adapters don't have that, but sometimes ones on brand name systems do, already, e.g. models marketed as for businesses. The rom chip must already have the data required on it to be able to boot from your network, or if the adapter has the capability, you can run a configuration program on the network adapter during booting to set settings right if the defaults are wrong for your network.


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Related Solutions

#4
January 29, 2010 at 08:04:53
Othehill,

you said:
"if you have the option in the start up screens to choose which drive to boot from that you take advantage of that by totally isolating both hard drives from each other.

Disconnect the first hard drive before installing an OS on the second one. After completion you can reconnect and then use the option in the start up screens to choose what to boot to."

sorry i was so late to notice you replied (i was working on that computer all day yesterday).
let me get this straight. install crunchbang linux (my choice as the 2nd OS) seperately as master (and no slave) via live cd, then i can reconnect the crunchbang hard drive on the ribbon cable as slave (set jumpers, of course) with the windowsXP as master, and this will work as you specify, or does the XP hard drive need to be slave? i totally agree with your idea, please specify in detail. this is great advice. my experience is intermediate at best.
by the way, the dual boot did go well. i have XP and crunchbang dual boot on seperate hdd's, but it goes to crunchbang as default. i was trying for the default to be XP.


Tubesandwires,

you said:
"Your Boot Device Prority list

Hard drive
Removable Devices
!CD-Rom Drive
Network Boot

was set wrong.

When you removed then re-installed the cmos battery, the bios set the Boot Proirity list to defaults that work for booting from a bootable disk in an optical drive.

What is it set to now?"
my fault. i tried a bunch of stuff, and when it didn't work, i put it back to where it was when i began. the pic was taken after i returned all the settings to the beginning.
by the way, now everything works like it's supposed to. when there is a bootable disk in the deck, the computer boots to it. when there isn't, it boots to hard drive. i do understand what you mean though, cd-rom needs to be at the top. point well taken. my delivery was flawed.

"I have no idea why the ! in front of CD-Rom - I've never seen that - perhaps that is to show you you can't boot from it?"
i spent most of a day on google in vein regarding this issue. yes, i am pretty confident that's why the exclamation point is there (in the pic).

in reading the remainder of your post, it's a pretty good idea not to have anything else plugged into the mb except the cd-rom that you intend to boot from, and in some instances you need to have a second cd-rom deck as slave (that's odd).

great post. i will record that on cassette and listen to it repeatedly at work during slow times. there's alot there and my circuitry overloads easily. this will, no doubt, help me with future bios problems.


thanks for the replies.


Ed James

Ed James


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#5
January 29, 2010 at 08:53:55
I recommend the boot order to have the CD drive before any hard drives. The reason for that is if you need to boot to a CD after you have an operational OS you can without changing the boot order. If there is no CD in the CD drive the BIOS looks and then skips over the CD drive and moves to the next device.

I am also confused by the mark in front of the CD drive in the BIOS screens. I haven't seen that before either.

Some recent mothrboards with SATA controllers have some SATA ports that are not bootable. Is your CD drive a SATA type? If so, move the cable to another port. You may need to consult your manual on that.

The idea is to have the other drive disconnected when installing the OS. So, You only want the WinXP drive connected if you are installing WinXP. Conversely, you only want the Linux drive connected when installing Linux.

If the drive isn't configured when the other is disconnected you may need to change jumpers on the connected drive temporarily. Or you could just set both to CS and avoid that issue.

You need to be using an 80 wire/ 40 pin IDE cable. 80 wire cables can be identified by the connectors. The MBoard end is usually blue but almost always a bright color. The center is gray and the other end is black.

In order for this to work your BIOS must have the option at start up to choose what to boot from without the need to enter the BIOS screens. That should be an option if your board is less than maybe 4 years old.


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#6
January 30, 2010 at 13:51:32
Othehill,

the computer dual-boots nicely, the only improvement (just a preference issue) is that it boots to crunchbang by default, but the computer is for my wife, so i think she would rather have it that way (booting to crunchbang linux).
yes, the exclamation point was a difficult subject to get info about on google. exclamation points are usually in the device manager, so that's what most of the hits on google were pertaining to.
this story has a happy ending. now the next time i see an exclamation point in the bios, i think i will know what to do. reset the cmos back to defaults, and reset the time.

this website has an abundance of "bios-brains"!
thanks.

Ed James


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