BIOS problems after installation

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BIOS problems after installation

Postby nspboarderdude on Sun Dec 28, 2008 4:54 pm

I just attempted installing Mint on a machine that already has XP for dual boot purposes. Now something is wrong with BIOS. Upon startup I get "Media test failure, check cable" followed by "Non-system disk or disk error." I cannot boot to either Linux or Windows from hdd. I tried changing boot sequence and reseting BIOS to defaults. When I insert the Windows installation cd to try running chkdsk it hangs on "setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration" screen. I thought it might take awhile to inspect hardware, so I let it sit overnight and it was still hanging on that screen 6+ hours later. The only thing I can do is boot from Linux cd. Once in Linux I looked around at all the hdds and everything seems to be fine, which leads me to believe its a BIOS problem.

Also, if it means anything, Windows boots from C drive, which is SATA. I installed Mint on D drive, which is IDE, and was set to cable select. This whole thing is making my first Linux experience very unpleasant...someone please help.
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Re: BIOS problems after installation

Postby Husse on Sun Dec 28, 2008 5:44 pm

I know quite a bit about computer hardware and one thing I know is not to use cable select unless you have to (this is the case in some Compaqs)
However I am not convinced that it is a BIOS problem as you can boot one CD but not another
I don't know how much you know about hardware, but I would open the box and change from CS to master. If something else is connected move it to the other IDE cable and take care that you don't have two masters on one cable (master at the end of the cable - slave in the middle)
Then I'd check that everything is connected as it should - I don't know how many times I've had something working only partially because something was not inserted as it should (mostly video card and IDE cables)
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Re: BIOS problems after installation

Postby rolento on Sun Dec 28, 2008 7:02 pm

nspboarderdude wrote:I just attempted installing Mint on a machine that already has XP for dual boot purposes. Now something is wrong with BIOS. Upon startup I get "Media test failure, check cable" followed by "Non-system disk or disk error." I cannot boot to either Linux or Windows from hdd. I tried changing boot sequence and reseting BIOS to defaults. When I insert the Windows installation cd to try running chkdsk it hangs on "setup is inspecting your computer's hardware configuration" screen. I thought it might take awhile to inspect hardware, so I let it sit overnight and it was still hanging on that screen 6+ hours later. The only thing I can do is boot from Linux cd. Once in Linux I looked around at all the hdds and everything seems to be fine, which leads me to believe its a BIOS problem.

Also, if it means anything, Windows boots from C drive, which is SATA. I installed Mint on D drive, which is IDE, and was set to cable select. This whole thing is making my first Linux experience very unpleasant...someone please help.

Some BIOS put IDE before SATA, some SATA before IDE, Some you can pick which tops the list,some are like mine and let you choose and still do the opposite. Was the d: drive blank when you installed Mint? Which drive did you install GRUB to? Also when using the LiveCD run sudo blkid , it will show you what order Mint/GRUB will see the drives in. Im kind of a Linux noob myself, running it as my main OS(actually now only OS) for the first time in atleast 4 years, and was a total noob most of that time since to play my games I had to keep going back to windows, but curious about the setup since my next install is going to be on a setup like yours dualbooting windows and Mint, one ide one SATA, plus the extra information could help whoever can/does answer the question.


Husse wrote:I know quite a bit about computer hardware and one thing I know is not to use cable select unless you have to (this is the case in some Compaqs)
However I am not convinced that it is a BIOS problem as you can boot one CD but not another
I don't know how much you know about hardware, but I would open the box and change from CS to master. If something else is connected move it to the other IDE cable and take care that you don't have two masters on one cable (master at the end of the cable - slave in the middle)
Then I'd check that everything is connected as it should - I don't know how many times I've had something working only partially because something was not inserted as it should (mostly video card and IDE cables)

Slight derail/offtopic, but Ive never used cable select since I always prefered master/slave to be sure I had my drives setup in the order I want no matter where on the cable. But what the hell is the point of having CS on ide anyway? You still have to set the jumpers, and can only( well usually anyway, ive seen hacks) have 2 devices per channel. I would understand if IDE was like SCSI and having a buttload of drives daisy-chained together, then it could simplify things. CS on IDE just seems a bit limiting to me since you have to place the drives in order on the cable, which reduces flexibility in placement inside the case.
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Re: BIOS problems after installation

Postby nspboarderdude on Sun Dec 28, 2008 8:16 pm

I switched the IDE to master, nothing. So removed the IDE drive completely; I suspect a faulty ribbon. I then installed Linux on another SATA hdd, different from the C drive. Still nothing. sudo blkid gives the following:

sda1 - ntfs (SATA, just media files on here)
sdb1 - ntfs (SATA, more media files)
sdb5 - ext3 (this is the SATA partition which has Mint)
sdb6 - swap
sdc1 - ntfs (SATA, this has XP)
sdd1 - ntfs (SATA, more media files)

Also, I changed the flags in GParted for sdc1 and sdb6 to boot, and now instead of the "check cable" error, I get "NTLDR is missing." help?
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Re: BIOS problems after installation

Postby nspboarderdude on Mon Dec 29, 2008 4:18 am

Well after a day of constant rebooting from the livecd, I've found that somehow during the installation process the boot.ini file was deleted from the C directory. what I ended up doing was disconnecting all the SATA hdds and installing to the IDE hdd. Now I can boot to Mint just fine, but not XP. All the files are there, so I didn't really lose anything, I just can't boot to Windows. So much for dual-booting, oh well, I'm off to discovering the world of Linux.
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