Solved Laptop won't boot. Probably motherboard problem.

January 25, 2014 at 14:37:13
Specs: Win Vista, AMD Turion 64 X2
Hi there guys, gotta a tricky one.
I have a HP laptop - Pavilion dv6700. Windows Vista, 3 GB Ram. AMD Turion 64 X2.
I cannot get it to boot the OS.
The computer boots the motherboard ( with all options available), but never starts the HD. I removed the hard drive, tested it, and it is ok. Reconnected (after backing it up on a secondary comp.) and did a factory restore with the software provided by HP (by pressing F11). Went smooth, checked the HD on the secondary computer, still working fine. Tried to boot the laptop, it will go trough with the bios, but when windows is supposed to load, it just gives me the black screen. I noticed that the light that shows activity on the HD is not blinking. I used a secondary HD that I have laying around and know is good, and the same thing happened.
So, I think the problem is on the motherboard, but it is strange that the bios works fine. I can access all the features there, even run tests on the memory and HD, without a hitch.
Any clues from anyone?

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January 25, 2014 at 18:08:35
✔ Best Answer
Sounds like it's probably a problem with the SATA connectors on your computer. If you have multiple slots for hard drives, you can try putting the HDD into one of the other slots and attempting to boot it. The BIOS is on a separate card (i.e. not on the hard drive) that is integrated into the motherboard. That's why BIOS will load but the OS (which is on the hard drive) won't.

Have you tried testing the hard drive through BIOS? Try this:

You can also change the boot order if you think this is the problem:

F10 (on startup) > System Configuration > Boot Options > Boot Order

And also make sure everything else is removed from the computer (CD/DVD, USB, Firewire) as it could be attempting to boot from these.

HP's website also suggests that you use the Boot Disc to reinstall Windows if using the HP factory reset (F11) doesn't work. If you still have the disc, try using that.

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January 25, 2014 at 19:27:10
Thanks NT56erbx,
I imagine it could be the connector, and this laptop has only one. But, as a new clue, I tried to change the boot order, and tried to start from the CD from a couple of bootable CDs that I have. It didn't work either.
I understand that the BIOS is a separate entity, and resides on the board and not on the hdd.
I tried the BIOS Hdd test, and it tells me that the disk is fine. I have windows boot discs, but they also wont start.
I was able to change the boot order, with no change on the outcome. I even tried to boot from the HDD connected to a USB connector, and nothing.

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January 26, 2014 at 09:15:55
When attempting to boot from the CD drive are you using a known bootable disk?

Have you tried to boot into Windows Safe Mode by tapping F8 at start up?

Have you tried an external keyboard?

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Related Solutions

January 26, 2014 at 09:20:27
Thanks OtheHill,
I tried with a few bootable CDs, including a original copy of windows XP.
The computer doesn't get into safe mode, as it is not reading the HDD.
The keyboard is working, as I can get to BIOS (F10), System Restore(HP proprietary software-F11) and change boot order (F-5).

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January 26, 2014 at 10:02:50
Referring back to your original post, I am confused. Did you state that you performed a factory restore from the restore partition? If that is the case, then the drive controller on the motherboard must be working OK.

When you enter the BIOS (setup) screens do you see a listing for the hard drive there? When viewing the boot order options does it list the drives by model or just generically?

Have you tried reseating the RAM?

Have you looked at the user manual to verify you don't have something set wrong?

Do you have ANY external devices or drives connected or inserted? Like a flash drive or SD card?

There is no password/s being asked for at start up?

message edited by OtheHill

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January 26, 2014 at 13:08:08
It's odd indeed, the motherboard recognizes the HDD.
On the System Configuration tab, where the boot order is, one of the options is "Notebook Hard Drive". That is pretty much the only mention of the HDD on the motherboard. They list a generic one, without specifics of the drive.
In the diagnostics mode, it has a "Primary Hard Drive Self Test" that tests the HDD and, after 75 minutes, tells me that is in good shape.
I also did a memory test here, and it came up clean. I removed both memory sticks, clean the connectors and plug them again, with no change.
No other devices are connected (I even disconnected the CD player), and no is password set.
To make even weirder, as I mentioned before, I was able to enter the restore mode and re-install windows from the safety partition. I did that once, and now, if I try to do it again, it will try to start the software, but will hang and go no further.
It seems to me that the problem is that the motherboard won't start the hard drive, for some reason. That's why the HDD light doesn't blink.

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January 26, 2014 at 14:07:51
You didn't comment on BIOS passwords.

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January 26, 2014 at 14:32:38
no passwords there either

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January 27, 2014 at 06:30:04
If you can't boot to any optical disk then perhaps the drive is defective. I have seen one defective drive affect the working of another drive in the same system. You could try removing the optical drive and see if the hard drive is then configured correctly.

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