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- Weird boot problem
March 3, 2008, 6:32 am
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I have an HP Pavillion DV9731CA laptop (DV9000 series). The laptop has
Windows Vista Home Premium installed. 2 gig ram, 250 gig HD, Nvidia
8400 video card.
I was installing a network drive (Mediagate player) and the laptop
stopeed working. I am not sure it had anything to do with the
installation of the drive.
What is happening is that Windows is booting up, gets to the point
where mouse pointer is visible, it says "please wait" and it keeps on
going through this cycle, without the actual login screen. If I
restart, I can get in via safe mode, but even there the explorer does
not open up, so the only thing I can do is go ALT CTRL DEL and get to
task manager where I can start a new task of Firefox or open a Window
explorer window (which sometimes closes itself). I can connect to the
internet, I can access the hard drive and run most applications, which
are allowed by safe mode. What is important is that the drive exists,
boots, is visible and accessible.
I do no have the recovery disk, so I ordered it via HP site (will get
it this week), but my other copies of XP and a modified Vista CD, if
loaded, get to a point where they can be installed, but tell me that
the hard drive is not visible. Same goes for a D with Ubuntu (Linux),
it loads itself into memory, it can see that the hard drive is there,
but does cannot access it.
With an Ultimate boot CD, I can see the partition, can see the disk
name and size, but cannot reformat it. I thought it was a problem
with the HD, so copied everything from there to an external HD (so the
data is there and it is accessible!), but replacing the HD with a new
one did not help - it does not see the new HD and dos not allow me to
install a new system (XP or Vista). So it is not a problem with the
hard drive. I thought it could be that somehow in Vitsta the network
hard drive I was trying to add affected the BIOS - which is my only
real theory at this point, but I cannot flash the BIOS in Safe Mode,
which is my only method of accessing the system at this point, and I
do not know a manual way of updating/resetting the BIOS. The only
place that I found to update my BIOS was an HP download page, that
installs a Winflash utility, ut it tells me that it cannot run in safe
BIOS is accessible if I press F1 during start up, but it is very
basic, not like the ones on older PCs - I cannot set master or slave
drives, etc. I tried installing XP on an external USB drive, but it
does not boot from there, even when I can tell the system to use USB -
it reads the drive, but fails to load Windows.
So here is my dilemma: Hard drive is there, but it is accessible only
in safe mode, not through dos apps, or any other way. Bios can only be
updated in real mode, but I can only boot in safe mode with limited
capabilities. It seems that he problem is the BIOS settings as it is
the only thing that keeps some settings after the hard drive is
Any thoughts of advise? Any alternative ideas? Any thoughts on how to
manually reset the BIOS? I read up and others had this similar issues
int eh past with HP and other laptops and they said it was a result of
an ptomatic update from Microsoft or HP, which is possible in case, as
I do not know if the new network drive intallation was the actual
cause of this.
Re: Weird boot problem
XP will not boot from a USB drive, without some special modifications.
Have you removed all power to the laptop? Sometimes a laptop's
electronics can get into a state that only a battery removal & a/c
disconnect can reset.