Vaio InsydeH2O Bios Can't Install Fresh OS

July 20, 2014 at 17:40:25
Specs: Vista, Core 2 Duo
I had to install a full version of Vista on my Sony VGN-BZ-650P. I get a message to load the driver for the hard drive from the restore disks. The Vaio restore disk could not find the driver. I was told that the InsydeH20 bios is hiding the HD. There are no F2 options to get into the bios. I was told that H2O software and skill is needed to get into the bios to unhide the HD. I have neither. Geek Squad said it never heard of this. Any suggestions? Thanks

See More: Vaio InsydeH2O Bios Cant Install Fresh OS

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#1
July 20, 2014 at 19:29:42
Yeah, I've never heard of that either.

Is that the Sony VGN-BZ560P instead of the VGN-BZ650P? There's no google hits for VGN-BZ650P.

Here's the support page for that model:

http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model...

You can download the user guide there. It may help out.


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#2
July 20, 2014 at 19:39:15
Typo: VGN-BZ560P...I'll have to show the screenshots on the BIOS if I can find them.

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#3
July 20, 2014 at 19:55:41
I'm curioius about the 'full install of vista' you did. Why was that necessary? Did you use the restore disks for that or a regular vista installation cd? (I find it odd a regular installation disk would ask for the restore disk.) Did it boot to windows at all after doing the install?

I'm thinking maybe there's a problem with the hard drive--perhaps that's why it's 'hidden'--and that the installation never finished or maybe never started because of that.


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#4
July 20, 2014 at 20:10:06
I accidentally erased a partition reserved for Ubuntu. The screen went blue with error messages. I first tried the Vaio restore disks but that didn't work. I thought a full install would do the trick in getting back the HD - with no success. BTW the full version of Vista was for a Dell and I was assured that would not be a problem. I hope that the Vista copy is valid for the Vaio.

After starting the full install, Vista asked to insert the CD for the HDD driver. I know Disk #2 from Sony had the drivers, but it could not find the .inf file (on either restore disks).

Now, How do I post a screenshot when I start the Vaio (no Vista or retore disks in CDD)?

message edited by ag13


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#5
July 20, 2014 at 21:08:24
I'm not sure about posting screen shots. You really just need to verify the bios is seeing the hard drive.

I think the Dell disk should work OK as long as it was a regular installation disk and not a restore disk. It was a Vista disk and not XP, right? I looked at the specs and it seems that has a SATA drive. XP doesn't natively see SATA and, depending on available bios settings, may need a SATA driver in order to install.

The driver the dell disk is looking for may be compressed on the recovery disk and something the dell disk can't find.

If you have the recovery disk why didn't you use that to do the reinstall? Or, I noticed on the page I linked to above you can order recovery disks. It says they're available.


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#6
July 20, 2014 at 21:20:44
I tried the recovery disks with no result. I also have a problem with the model #. The Sony auto-detect (long before the crash) web page said it was a VGN-BZ560P. The bottom of the laptop says it's a VG-BZ562P20. Sony support said that the 562P20 only supported XP and 7, but I had Vista. Windows Vista presented me with the option of downgrading to XP (when I started using the laptop). Based on the auto-detect, I called Sony and ordered the Vista recovery disks. I'm really confused about the model #.

message edited by ag13


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#7
July 20, 2014 at 21:59:41
When I power up without any CD's the blue screen says: "...unmountable_boot_volume"

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#8
July 20, 2014 at 22:02:59
I am not tech smart and have no idea how to verify the bios is seeing the hard drive.

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#9
July 20, 2014 at 22:10:48
Yeah, they had the p20, p22, p28 and p34 according to the specs from the link above. I'm not sure what the differences are--probably hard drive size, memory and/or cpu speed. But besides that the hardware will be the same.

A lot of the computers in the late xp, early vista era came with xp but had an option to upgrade to vista. Yours may have been one of those.

It's apparently taking the Dell disk OK, otherwise it'd be generating a message something like, 'Hey, this isn't a Dell computer you're trying to install me on. What's up with that?'

I'm not sure what driver it's looking for. I wouldn't think a vista disk would need a SATA driver but other than that, a single missing driver wouldn't stop an installation.

You say you tried the recovery disks with no result. But what happened? Did you get an error message? If so, what was it? Did the computer lock up? Are the disks scratched or in bad condition? Depending on what it's doing when you try the recovery disks you have, you might want to look into ordering a new set, or at least pricing them. They may have Vista disks.


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#10
July 20, 2014 at 22:20:55
It must be seeing the hard drive OK otherwise you'd be getting a different error message. Here's what MS says about 'unmountable boot volume':

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/555302

Your cause is the first one mentioned there 'The file system is damaged and cannot be mounted.' See if you can get to the recovery consolde there using your xp restore disks. (I'm not sure you can access XP recovery when booting from a Vista disk.) Maybe you can get it fixed and not worry about a reinstall.


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#11
July 20, 2014 at 22:50:57
I have the Vista restore disks. As I said, auto-detect said it was a VGN-BZ560P and Sony customer support said I needed the Vista restore disks.

When I insert the Vista full install disk (Dell) it gives me the following:

1. Windows is loading files...
2. Windows Vista - my language is English
3. Install now
4 Windows Vista Business SP1, accept terms
5. Which type of installation (Custom) only option...next page
6. Where do you want to install? Bottom of screen says "no drives were found" "Click Load drivers to provide a mass storage driver for installation"
7. I hit load driver - the only active option.
8. "To install the device driver, insert the installation media containing the driver files then click OK." I insert recovery disk 2 and I get the message "no device drivers found"
Same result with disk 1.


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#12
July 20, 2014 at 23:13:18
I tried to load the Vista recovery disk in an attempt to get the XP console as you suggested. No go. It asks for the driver .inf file but nothing is found on either recovery disk

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#13
July 21, 2014 at 02:10:36
OK, does all that mean it was running XP but the restore disks and the dell disk are both vista? And when you boot from the restore disk it's also telling you it needs the driver?

I couldn't find a vista sata driver (if that's what it's looking for) specifically for that model but it doesn't seem like the restore disks would need it since they were designed for that model. There's quite a few sata drivers for installing XP on various vaio models and they might work for vista. Here's one:

http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/sw...

But try this first; go into cmos/bios setup and see if there's an option to configure the sata hard drive in 'ide mode'. If so, setting it to ide mode will let the bios treat the sata drive as IDE and the installation disks should have no trouble seeing the drive then. Save and exit bios setup and boot with the restore disks. See if that changes the situation.

You may want to download the user guide (if you don't have it) to familiarize yourself with the bios setup options for the drive.


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#14
July 21, 2014 at 05:43:57
Yes, booting with the restore disks gives me the same message: load the driver.

There's no bios option to set the HD to ide mode. BTW, the bios says it's a VGN-BZ560P (my error, sorry) and as I said when I called Sony to order the restore disks, I gave them the product number, serial number and service tag #. They told me to order the Vista disks. I will try the driver you suggested. I'll let you know what happened. FYI, the product # = 28399633: where can I find details on this number? Thanks


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#15
July 21, 2014 at 08:55:35
Here is the e-mail from a tech in CA.

Here is my best guess.

You have changed the hard drive, right? If so, then it may be necessary to access BIOS advanced options on your computer to configure some setting so that your computer will detect the newly installed hard drive. On most BIOS platforms, making such settings is pretty straightforward. However for BIOS on your Vaio, it is not the case. This issue has been discussed in the following links.

Whether your Sony originally came with Vista 32 bit is not really that important, since Vista 32 bit is not a demanding OS and should be easily installed on all computers that are not ancient (say, no more than 10 years old).

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/...

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/8...


http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebo...

http://forum.notebookreview.com/tos...

The last link has instructions on how to get to the advanced settings.

This is a quite complicated issue and requires a highly skillful technician (or preferably the tech support / repair department of the computer maker).

I do not understand why Sony chose to do this on their laptops. Personally I am not a fan of such practice.


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#16
July 21, 2014 at 13:20:39
I got an e-mail from Sony Support. Useless bunch. They told me to load the full Vista but also to download drivers for the laptop. The problem is they didn't understand that the blue screen was preventing me from performing the usual full install. Their links were invalid (did not exist)

Would you like to see the entire message?

Dear A,

I understand that you need to upgrade to Windows Vista in your notebook.

In order to upgrade to Windows Vista you can follow the upgrade instructions provided in the link below :

http://esupport.sony.com/US/perl/su...

Once you install Windows Vista you can install the drivers and software's for your notebook from the link provided below :

http://esupport.sony.com/US/p/model...

Note : You need to select Windows Vista in the drop down box provided in the link above to download the appropriate drivers.


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#17
July 21, 2014 at 13:57:56
Unfortunately, the SATA drivers you suggested did not work.

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#18
July 21, 2014 at 14:27:05
I'm not sure what that product number is for. If it's on the computer it's probably not necessary as the model number is specific enough.

It sounds like sony just sent you a form letter that didn't specifically address your problem.

The email from the tech in # 15 asks if you replaced the hard drive. Is that what you did? If so what's the model number of the new one?

I'll take a look at the links he provided and maybe download the manual and see what it says about the hard drive configuration in bios setup.

In the meantime maybe someone else will post in with their thoughts (hint, hint).


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#19
July 21, 2014 at 17:21:10
No , it's the original hard drive. I know, I've been a pest. A dog with a bone. Thanks.

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#20
July 21, 2014 at 18:05:11
Oh no it's not that. I was hoping someone with more experience with that model or with it possibly needing a SATA driver would post in.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#21
July 21, 2014 at 19:24:22
I guess there's no CD-based software that could tell me the model of the SATA. Do you think Geek Squad could put a new HD in? I'm not sure of their level of expertise. By the way, Sony's product number corresponds exactly to the model number.

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#22
July 21, 2014 at 19:44:41
Replacing the hard drive is no big deal. Most anyplace can do that. But we don't know that the hard drive is bad. Just deleting a partition won't do that. I only asked about that because I guess the tech assumed you'd put one in. Let me check into his links and the manual and see if I can figure something out.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#23
July 21, 2014 at 21:14:33
I downloaded a DOS utility called HDSDOS.iso It gave me info about the HD:

Intel ICH9M/M-E SATA Controller

Hitachi HTS542516K9SA00 Rev BBC0C3BP Hard Drive 160GB 96% healthy.

So I need the SATA Controller Driver?


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#24
July 22, 2014 at 00:12:02
I can't tell if you need the driver--that depends on windows vista and maybe the bios. However the 'Intel ICH9M/M-E SATA Controller' you've identified means if it needs a driver this is probably it:

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/dow...

The instructions tell how to extract it for a clean install of XP. If your vista needs it you'd do the same thing. If you don't have the floppy drive you'd need to copy the extracted files to cd or flash drive or whatever you used when you tried the previous drivers.

When you run the download to extract the files it will default to putting them in C:\DRIVERS\WIN\IMSM. You can change that as it doesn't matter where they're at--just remember where you put them. If you look in the folder the files extract to it'll show these files and a 'prepare' folder:

iaahci.cat
iaAHCI.inf
iastor.cat
iaStor.inf
IaStor.sys
license.txt
<DIR> PREPARE
SWI.xml
TXTSETUP.OEM

Now, when you copy them to the cd or flash drive or whatever don't just copy the folder they're in--drivers\win\imsm--or wherever you put them. Copy the files individually so they're in the root directory on your cd or flash drive. I'm not even sure if the vista install will search any subfolders on the disk so the best thing is to make sure there aren't any. You CAN copy the PREPARE folder because the inf files will have that as a location. (I'm not even sure if you'll need it.)

I hope that makes sense. Give it a try.

The links the tech referred to talk about modifying the bios. Apparently those links are dead and I wasn't sure they even applied to your vaio bios. Several other manufacturers used that type of bios but any modifications would have to be specifically for yours. Modifying the bios is risky anyway and I wouldn't suggest it.

When you go into bios setup you use the right/left arrow keys to choose an option. Apparently there is an ADVANCED option you can choose. I don't know what it contains but if there is any place you can modify the hard drive settings that would be it. So if the drivers don't work out you might recheck bios setup and see if you missed anything before.

If neither works we can see if there's drive fitness utility from Hitatchi to check the drive. My guess is it'll come back as good.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#25
July 22, 2014 at 11:34:53
The .inf files didn't work. There are no advanced BIOS options to speak of:(

message edited by ag13


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#26
July 22, 2014 at 21:11:40
Here's the hitachi support page:

https://www2.hgst.com/hdd/support/d...

Download the 'drive fitness tool'. Likely you'll want the cd image. It will create a bootable cd. Boot the vaio with it and run the test.

I think it will probably show the drive is good but at this point I can't think of anything else to try.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#27
July 23, 2014 at 14:02:29
The Hitachi DOS disk didn't work. There autorun file didn't execute. How do I modify it? Can you help?

@ECHO OFF
PATH=A:\DOS;A:\DFT;A:\;
KEYB US,,A:\DOS\KEYBOARD.SYS
MOUSE /Z

ECHO Loading DFT ...
cd DFT
LOADDFT.EXE DFT-V300.EXE DFT.EXE /!BLOB /PSR >NUL


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#28
July 23, 2014 at 22:10:45
You downloaded the 'diskette creator for Windows OS'?

Hold on. I downloaded that file and created the floppy disk. I'll reboot this computer and boot from the disk. I doubt it'll run because I don't have an hitachi drive but I'll see what happens.

. . . ten minutes later. . .

I had no problem with the disk. I downloaded fhe file, ran it to create the floppydisk and booted the computer with it. It went through a few menus and identified my drives and asked about running the test.

Are you booting from a USB floppy drive? The config.sys and autoexec.bat on that disk assume you're booting from the a: drive and they're attempting to load files from the a: drive. It's possible your USB drive isn't the a: drive. If that's the reason you need to edit references to a: in those files to whatever the drive letter for your USB drive is. That letter may not be the same as windows sees it. I think if you hit CTRL C it should stop those files from running and leave you at a dos prompt that will show the drive letter.

Other than that I can't think of any reason it wouldn't work. What exactly is it doing when you boot from the floppy? The info you list is just the contents of the autoexec.bat file.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS


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#29
July 23, 2014 at 23:11:59
It could not find the USB Floppy.

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#30
July 23, 2014 at 23:23:03
I downloaded the right file this time: dft32_v416_b00_install

Binary diskette image for non-Windows OS (1.44MB) but it said the file is corrupted. I must be doing something wrong.

I'll try again tomorrow.

message edited by ag13


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#31
July 24, 2014 at 00:24:55
The binary file is an .img file so you'd need the correct software to write it to the disk. It's meant for non-windows OS's like linux. Is that what you're running on the computer you're using now? Otherwise I think the windows-created disk would be easiest to make. Or use the cd image download and create the bootable cd.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#32
July 24, 2014 at 19:20:24
ftool_215.iso is the file? and I'll change A: to D: - the Vaio CD drive

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#33
July 24, 2014 at 22:08:41
No, the one I was talking about was the cd image for the drive fitness test. You click on 'drive fitness test' and it moves down the page for those download options. There are 4 downloads there--the user guide, 2 that create bootable floppy disks that run the test and the last one is the cd image file. That file name is dft32_v416_b00.iso. You donwload it and then use the option in your cd burner software to burn a file image, choose that one and that's how you make the disk.

You don't need to make any changes to anything. Just boot from the cd you create with the image.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#34
July 25, 2014 at 01:24:37
OK, got it to work. Getting a message "Loading DFT..." More than 1 hr later, still loading DFT.

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#35
July 25, 2014 at 01:29:15
That's odd. I'll download it tomorrow and create the disk and try it on mine and see what happens.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#36
July 25, 2014 at 23:17:28
I downloaded the file (had to find another site as the hitachi site is temporarily down but it should be the same file) and burned it to a cd. It booted OK and I got a menu to choose the drive type--SCSI and ATA or ATA only. I chose ATA only because that's what I have and got the 'dft loading' for a few seconds and then it detected my drives and asked about doing the test--the same as when I booted from floppy.

What exactly happened when you booted from the cd?

The hitachi site said the test worked for SATA--the drive type your vaio has--but I'm not sure. It's a dos boot and it loads some files for SCSI detection but I have my doubts it will see a SATA drive. I'm going to look around and see if I can find a fitness test that I know will see SATA.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#37
July 25, 2014 at 23:48:35
OK, that software should work for SATA. There are other postings from people whe successfully used it with SATA. There was one mention that it won't work with 64-bit OS's. I assume that means there's a problem when it creates the disk, not when it runs, since when you boot from the disk the only operating system involved is dos.

So if you're creating the disks with a 64-bit OS that may be the problem.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#38
July 26, 2014 at 08:21:15
The Fitness program loaded fine but then hung as I said: "Loading DFT..." " I chose the ATA only option.

Also, it's a 32-bit OS, not 64. I'll try the SATA option although there's a sub-menu asking for the type of SATA. Don't know which SATA to chose so I'll try all of them.


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#39
July 26, 2014 at 08:57:00
I tried the 4 options for the sub-menu for SATA. One said, "unable to find controller". All options then said "Loading DFT..." I give up.

message edited by ag13


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#40
July 26, 2014 at 22:41:40
You shouldn't have to change those options on the vaio. I think the OS restrictions are about the computer on which you're creating the cd.

Try both menu options for the drive fitness test--the SCSI and ATA and ATA only. The SCSI one will load a bunch of SCSI drivers and they'll scroll down the screen. Then see if it hangs at the same place.

Yeah it is frustrating and we're running out of things to try.

Bad ram can sometimes cause loading problems. You can download an iso for software called Memtest that will test your ram. Their site is here:

http://www.memtest.org/

You probably wouldn't need the newest version. I recommended version 2.11 for another poster's computer of similar age. They have several different types of downloads. The easiest for you to use would probably be the 'pre compiled bootable iso (zip). You'd unzip it with something like winzip or I think you can just click on it and windows own utility will extract it. You'll be left with just the iso file and create the disk the same way you did with the drive fitness test.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.

message edited by DAVEINCAPS


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#41
July 27, 2014 at 09:07:16
When I tried the SCSI and ATA option, I got a sub-menu to choose from 4 different controllers:

Adaptek
LSI 300
Tekram & Symbios
ATTO 320

In all cases, I got the "Loading DFT..." message. I'll try the memtest.


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#42
July 27, 2014 at 11:01:35
Memory passed. Took 2 hrs to run the test.

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#43
July 27, 2014 at 19:20:59
I should have read the notes on the hitachi page about the fitness test. It says it won't work with the ICH9M chipset, which is what you have. Here's the download page for Seagate's seatools for dos:

http://www.seagate.com/support/down...

It does pretty much what the hitachi drive fitness test was supposed to do and should work with your drive. You can download an iso there and burn it to cd the same way you did before.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#44
July 27, 2014 at 20:12:30
Software loaded. HD detected (160GB) with generic PCI ATA. Started the short and long test. The drive is not reacting. HD light not blinking. Can't abort test. Had to reboot

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#45
July 27, 2014 at 20:39:56
I'm not sure what's supposed to happen when it's running, although I'd expect the hard drive light to flash. How long did you let it sit there before rebooting? It may take awhile before an error message pops up.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#46
July 28, 2014 at 10:50:52
At least an hour.

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#47
July 28, 2014 at 22:22:12
I don't know if it's not running because it has the same problem as the hitachi software or if the drive is bad or the possible bios problem. It seems like anything we try to do that involves the hard drive doesn't go right. Normally I'd say it's a bad hard drive but just deleting a partition won't cause a drive to go bad and then there's the bios that might be involved in all this.

But I think the next step would be to try another hard drive. I wouldn't recommend you go out and buy a new one, especially since it may not be the drive. You might just set the laptop aside for now and keep an eye on SATA drives on ebay in the 80 - 160 gig range. If a working one pops up there for a reasonable price you might consider it.

I didn't really pursue the modified bios update except to note a lot of the links were dead. It's enough of a problem sometimes just doing a regular bios update. But if you can find someone more familiar with that bios you might see what they have to say about it.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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#48
July 28, 2014 at 23:37:54
Thanks for all your help and your patience. I'll let it be for now.

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#49
July 29, 2014 at 00:41:30
You're welcome. Someone else may still post in with other ideas. Or if you do anything else with it post back in with results.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


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