What computer Hardware can prevent DOS from booting?

February 7, 2012 at 17:40:41
Specs: Windows 7, Intel Duo Core E8400 @ 3 GHz / 4GB
I have a computer that is refusing to boot to DOS. I'm thinking it is a hardware issue. But I'm not exactly sure which hardware is causing the problem. I thought maybe it was the harddrive, nope. Works like a charm in a different computer, CD-Rom, same story. I ran tests on the entire machine, everything "passed". Any ideas as to what component I should test next to see what the issue is?

Any and all help is greatly appreciated!!!


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#1
February 7, 2012 at 18:30:33
How are you attempting to boot to DOS? You listed Win7 as your OS, there is no DOS in Win7.

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#2
February 7, 2012 at 18:37:49
If you are trying to boot from a DOS CD in a 64 bit machine then its never going to work. DSO is only 16 bits.

Stuart


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#3
February 7, 2012 at 18:57:26
Either the dos part is wrong of maybe she means freedos?

A Pit Bull is like a gun you can pet. And there is no safety on it.


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Related Solutions

#4
February 7, 2012 at 23:21:14
@StuartS I don't think that is correct. A 64-bit processor is quite capable of running 16-bit code. (Indeed, even when running a 64-bit OS, it boots uo in 16-bit mode, then switches to 32-bit mode, then switches to 64-bit mode.)

But it is true that 64-bit versions of Windows cannot run 16-bit programs; if booting from a DOS disk this doesn't matter.

But, as said elsewhere, why run DOS on such a modern machine? If you must, then run it in a VM.


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#5
February 8, 2012 at 11:14:53
More info. I'm updating several computers from XP to Win7. I'm using a DOS based program, GhostCast. I have 61 identical computers. GhostCast loaded without an issue from the CD on the other 60 computers. When GhostCast loads, it says "Opening PC DOS..." then quits. I thought maybe the harddrive, nope, works fine in a different machine. Changed CD-Roms, same story. Changed the cable going to the CD-Rom, worked perfectly in another machine. So I'm thinking something hardware related is messed up. But I cannot figure out exactly what it is. Ideas??

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#6
February 8, 2012 at 12:43:17
I'd be inclined to try putting the disk in one of the other machines, update it there, and then transfer it back to the problem machine. Doesn't answer what the problem is on that machine, but it might work.

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#7
February 8, 2012 at 12:54:34
I have 61 identical computers.
loaded without an issue from the CD on the other 60 computers.

Now we are getting some place.
We can say that either some hardware or bios or firmware issue is involved. Identical may not be same motherboard revision level or even same day parts. While dos is pretty easy to get running there is some data issue here.

Check all bios settings. Run memtest, run smart or other hard drive diags. Run cpu tests. Be sure the hard drive cables are not damaged or kinked or cheap. Be sure you set bios settings to fail safe or default to help. Be sure the systems are indeed similar boards not just similar boxes. You'd be surprised how many goofy things can happen at the factory.
Might have to run a hardware diag test to see if some chip has changed revision level.

At this point I'd have considered using a different clone method to get that last one up but it would be nice to know why it didn't clone.

A Pit Bull is like a gun you can pet. And there is no safety on it.


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#8
February 8, 2012 at 13:46:56
ijack - I did that. That was my first thought. When I put the harddrive back into the original machine, it messed the OS boot file up.

jefro - It is a hardware issue. Part of the reason I'm convenced of this is because when I stick a harddrive with a working OS on it, it corrupts the boot file. But I have no idea what could be the issue. My first step after finding out that it was not the CD-Rom or harddrive was to run all the BIOS tests I could find. It "passed". I've looked though and through at the cables and hardware, all seem fine. When I started this job, I made sure that the computers are identical.

Ideas as to what could be going wrong?? If I could only figure out what is going on wtih the machine, it is under warrenty so Dell will replace it. I've just gotta figure the problem out.

Thanks for all the help so far everyone!!


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#9
February 8, 2012 at 14:26:03
Next step I would try would be to swap the memory with one of the working machines. And if that makes no difference I'd try the same with the PSU. If those make no difference then it's got to be a motherboard fault. (I think a processor fault is highly unlikely.)

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#10
February 8, 2012 at 15:17:38
ijack - Thanks! As soon as I finish up what I'm working on, I'll try that. I just wasn't exactly sure what could cause a the OS to corrupt like that. I'll let you know what I find out. My fear is that the motherboard is faulty. I detest replacing motherboards. But when you work with computer hardware, it is part of the job. :o)

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#11
February 8, 2012 at 15:38:18
Thanks everyone for their help. I still have no idea as to why GhostCast would not load onto that one machine. But I have it at least running an image now. I got into the BIOS and changed one harddrive setting and it booted. Oh well. I'm just happy that the computer is up and running now. Mainly because that means the boss is a happy man!

Thanks again for everyone's help!!


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