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Old 04-28-2013, 06:41 PM   #1
arranskye
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Unhappy Big Bios problems after freespire install


Hi All, Im totally new to Linux and don't even understand the questions being asked by newbies much less the answers. I started a few weeks ago with puppy CD, loved it and installed it on my old Dell Pc (desktop) with no problems. The I got Freespire. played with it on Cd for a few days, liked it and decided to install on my laptop external HDD with disasterous results. DETAILS: Laptop: Packard Bell MV35-202 1.4GHz 60HDD running windows XP. All was ok until closed the laptop and rebooted. This message. "Windows could not start because of a computer disc hardware problem. Could not read from selected disc. Check boot path & selected hardware." I thought by installing on an external HDD I would avoid this type of problem. I think I made the mistake of mounting the drive but I cant find a way to unmount it. This bios has very limited access F2 set up & F8 boot order only.
I have tried changing these but no luck. I have tried selecting "Default settings" but again no luck. Its a difficult bios to operate in, I cant find an access to safe mode or last good config.

The main menu states: Devices: Floppy drive = none: Primary master = ST960813A. (this is the internal HDD) Secondary master DVD/RW
Advanced section details memory & USB Mass Boot. Note USB Boot not primary. The only option given is to enable or disable and I have tried both, each with the external drive plugged in & each without the ex. hdd
The Boot section is listed as 1st CD 2nd HDD primary master. tried changing to 1st primary master but again no good.
I used gpartition to erase the external drive and made it a primary drive to install Freespire. I think this was also an error.
Sometime ago when I had bios problems on my old Dell desktop I removed the comos battery for about 6 minutes and the bios reset itself. Would that work on a laptop. Would reinstalling windows or freespire reset the bios.

Sorry this is so long. Thanks for your time. I do hope someone can help.

Cheers.
 
Old 04-28-2013, 06:46 PM   #2
AceofSpades19
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It sounds like you overwrote the bootloader for windows. Can you boot into freespire right now? And does that BIOS support booting off of an external HDD? If you have a windows xp disk you can boot into recovery mode and do a fixmbr or fixboot and it might be able to fix it. (Also according to distrowatch, freespire hasn't been updated since 2007 so I wouldn't use it if I were you)
 
Old 04-29-2013, 04:09 AM   #3
arranskye
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Question

Thanks ACE. I will give it a go. We are on different time zones. Im uk so it was around midnight here when I submitted my question. Its now about 9.00am so I will try your suggestions this morning and let you know. Thanks again for your very fast response and help.

Just remembered I have a Hirem boot disk with various MBR fixes but I was afraid to try them in case I made things worseI will try your suggestions first, then if no joy, I will try the Hirem disk and if its ok with you, I will try to establish the instructions being given, and hopefully check with you before implementing.

I was so pleased with puppy that I bought several distro's from ebay. Would Ubuntu 12.10 be better than Freespire please
 
Old 04-29-2013, 04:13 AM   #4
AceofSpades19
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Yes, ubuntu 12.10 is definitely better than freespire, the 12.10 means it was released in October, 2012 so its fairly up to date. The current release of ubuntu is 13.04 though so it would be best if you could get that
 
Old 04-30-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
arranskye
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Hi Ace, I cant boot into Freespire: I don't think the bios originaly supported booting of an external HDD and at the moment wont boot at all.

This is where im at:

I think two things may have caused this problem: I formatted an external HDD to fat32 Primary, using Linux Gpartition. I forgot to flag the disc as "BOOT"
I accidently mounted the drive and could not find a way to unmount it

The Bios in this Packard Bell laptop: MV32-202 : 1.4GHz : 60GB HDD : 1GB Ram : Running XP Home ( 6 years old, but had very little usage for 4 years and has not been used at all for the past 2 years) is very limited.
F2 & F8 only. The screen page does not change, only the options in the title bar which are as follows:

MAIN MENU Clicking on this button gives time & Date as the only options.
Main page shows: Devices A : Floppy none. Primary Master ST960813A HDD : Secondary master DVD/CD No options to change anything:

ADVANCE MENU: Clicking on the USB Mass Boot gives an option to tick, which I assume is to enable or disable. This plus shared memory are the only other features on this menu with no options to change.

SECURITY: Passwords & hard Disk Boot Sector Protection is here with the option to change passwords or tick to enable/disable HDD sector protection.

BOOT MENU: The usual options to change the boot order. Floppy : CD : HDD : PXE

It is also difficult to save changes because a light tap on the enter button nothing happens, a firmer tap appears to make the save option change from OK to cancel followed by a quick shutdown.

F8 is boot order only. I did a MBR check using Hiren's Boot CD with the following results:

Locical Drives mask: 0x0080000e\\.\ B: --> Error

Physical Drive 1 at offset 0x00000001 3947600 (NFTS) 55GB

Win XP MBR code detected Shal1: and then the code. Shows the DVD/CD ok

I used the Win XP installation disc to FixMBR & Fixboot as you suggested, thanks: Both declared a successful outcome. However now when I switch the laptop on it goes directly to the boot order menu. I just catch a very quick look at a bios page which as far as I can tell says "possibly" IDE failure and exiting memory PXE. When switching on and hitting the F2 button it still goes into the Main Bios Menu ok but now having used the Fixmrb & fixboot the HDD drive is showing as disabled and I cant find any options to enable it.
Again using Hiren's CD & mini XP I clicked on My Computer and no HD drive is showing.

I have tried re-installing XP & Freespire but both are unable to find the HD Drive.
Is it possible that Linux left a grub or something on the HDD that is preventing windows from comunnicating with the HDD.
Should I erase the disc to see if it will re-install windows? Is a new HDD required?

prior to this the laptop was working perfectly and I had done a check disc using Sentinal and a mem test. All ok. It is carrying XP home only apart from a couple of security app. No personal, files music or anything.

So in Summary although the HDD shows up in the BIOS its disabled with no apparent way of re-enabling ,and the HDD cannot be found so the laptop can only operate on the DVD/CD drive

really don't know where to go from here. Thanks for your help.

Last edited by arranskye; 04-30-2013 at 10:00 AM. Reason: text error
 
Old 04-30-2013, 10:07 AM   #6
m.a.l.'s pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arranskye View Post
Would Ubuntu 12.10 be better than Freespire please
I don't think Freespire is an active Linux distribution. Its DistroWatch page says "Status: Discontinued." http://distrowatch.com/table.php?distribution=freespire
 
Old 04-30-2013, 10:15 AM   #7
arranskye
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Thanks m.a.l. Yes your right apparently support stopped in 2007 (Ace explained)so I will eventually use the latest Ubuntu Distro. Just at the moment my priority is to get the laptop booting up & running.

Thanks again
 
Old 04-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #8
m.a.l.'s pa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arranskye View Post
Yes your right apparently support stopped in 2007 (Ace explained)
Oops, missed that this was already pointed out. Sorry about that.
 
Old 04-30-2013, 11:37 AM   #9
arranskye
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No Problem M.A.L. I appreciate your interest. Thanks
 
Old 04-30-2013, 11:40 AM   #10
m.a.l.'s pa
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Lol. I'm M.A.L.'s dad, though.
 
Old 04-30-2013, 01:37 PM   #11
arranskye
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Talking

OH Right Got it now M.A.L.'s pa Yes
 
Old 04-30-2013, 01:44 PM   #12
spiky0011
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Hi what have you tried and where are you up to??
Do you just need to boot windows again?
 
Old 04-30-2013, 03:55 PM   #13
AceofSpades19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arranskye View Post
Hi Ace, I cant boot into Freespire: I don't think the bios originaly supported booting of an external HDD and at the moment wont boot at all.

This is where im at:

I think two things may have caused this problem: I formatted an external HDD to fat32 Primary, using Linux Gpartition. I forgot to flag the disc as "BOOT"
I accidently mounted the drive and could not find a way to unmount it

The Bios in this Packard Bell laptop: MV32-202 : 1.4GHz : 60GB HDD : 1GB Ram : Running XP Home ( 6 years old, but had very little usage for 4 years and has not been used at all for the past 2 years) is very limited.
F2 & F8 only. The screen page does not change, only the options in the title bar which are as follows:

MAIN MENU Clicking on this button gives time & Date as the only options.
Main page shows: Devices A : Floppy none. Primary Master ST960813A HDD : Secondary master DVD/CD No options to change anything:

ADVANCE MENU: Clicking on the USB Mass Boot gives an option to tick, which I assume is to enable or disable. This plus shared memory are the only other features on this menu with no options to change.

SECURITY: Passwords & hard Disk Boot Sector Protection is here with the option to change passwords or tick to enable/disable HDD sector protection.

BOOT MENU: The usual options to change the boot order. Floppy : CD : HDD : PXE

It is also difficult to save changes because a light tap on the enter button nothing happens, a firmer tap appears to make the save option change from OK to cancel followed by a quick shutdown.

F8 is boot order only. I did a MBR check using Hiren's Boot CD with the following results:

Locical Drives mask: 0x0080000e\\.\ B: --> Error

Physical Drive 1 at offset 0x00000001 3947600 (NFTS) 55GB

Win XP MBR code detected Shal1: and then the code. Shows the DVD/CD ok

I used the Win XP installation disc to FixMBR & Fixboot as you suggested, thanks: Both declared a successful outcome. However now when I switch the laptop on it goes directly to the boot order menu. I just catch a very quick look at a bios page which as far as I can tell says "possibly" IDE failure and exiting memory PXE. When switching on and hitting the F2 button it still goes into the Main Bios Menu ok but now having used the Fixmrb & fixboot the HDD drive is showing as disabled and I cant find any options to enable it.
Again using Hiren's CD & mini XP I clicked on My Computer and no HD drive is showing.

I have tried re-installing XP & Freespire but both are unable to find the HD Drive.
Is it possible that Linux left a grub or something on the HDD that is preventing windows from comunnicating with the HDD.
Should I erase the disc to see if it will re-install windows? Is a new HDD required?

prior to this the laptop was working perfectly and I had done a check disc using Sentinal and a mem test. All ok. It is carrying XP home only apart from a couple of security app. No personal, files music or anything.

So in Summary although the HDD shows up in the BIOS its disabled with no apparent way of re-enabling ,and the HDD cannot be found so the laptop can only operate on the DVD/CD drive

really don't know where to go from here. Thanks for your help.
Have you tried opening up the laptop and reseated the HDD? most laptops have a panel you can unscrew and you can get the HDD out from there and reseat it. It sounds it may be likely the HDD is dead because it is a very old laptop, but I would definitely try reseating the HDD. Make sure to unplug and remove the battery before touching any internal components though.
 
Old 04-30-2013, 04:10 PM   #14
273
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AceofSpades19 View Post
Have you tried opening up the laptop and reseated the HDD? most laptops have a panel you can unscrew and you can get the HDD out from there and reseat it. It sounds it may be likely the HDD is dead because it is a very old laptop, but I would definitely try reseating the HDD. Make sure to unplug and remove the battery before touching any internal components though.
I think this is a little premature -- the problem sounds like a simple case of overwriting the MBR or otherwise damaging the windows partition to me.
In reference to the thread title I don't think the BIOS is in any way involved here it looks like a software problem to me.
 
Old 04-30-2013, 04:18 PM   #15
spiky0011
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I agree with 273 the bios dose show and recognise the drive I would maybe boot a live cd an d see if the drive will mount.
 
  


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