Top Tip: My computer won’t boot!

Tips used for Top Tips come from the ExtremeTech forum and are written by our community.

Question from smokey984

“OS: Windows XP

MOBO: ASUS P4G8X Deluxe, BIOS rev 1006

Comp wont boot, courtesy of my son who hit the light switch which in turn cut the power to my comp, now it wont boot. I get a error message which sais DRIVE NOT FOUND.

I checked my bios, and it sees the drive, took out the connection cords from drive to mobo and put em back in, but still same error message.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, thanks in advance”

Answer from SharkyMan

“My kid did something similar a few years back…

Here is what I would try

First see if all of your components are powered on. Does the HDD light come on when the system is POSTing… Is it spinning?

If all of the physical components are OK, the next thing is to see if it will boot from a floppy or CD. If it does, the problem may be in finding the boot sector on the HD.

I would check the BIOS and look at the boot order. Is the HDD in the search sequence? Use you windows CD or emergency boot disk to get a basic OS running to see if it recognizes your HD.

What OS are you running? Win XP and 2000 will give an error message if it loads the boot sector but can’t boot the OS.

A last resort would be to go into the BIOS and select “load factory defaults”. You may want to try doing a system repair from the windows CD.”

Answer from Neorio

“I have the exact same mobo with the exact same BIOS revision.

Those “drive not found drive not found” messages appear right next to the SATA RAID test messages. Now, unless you have drives plugged into those ports on your motherboard, you should just disregard those messages.

Whats important is that your CDROM and hard drives appear in the IDE section.

If your PC passes its power-on self test (Doesn’t the BIOS get vocal and actually say something? “Now booting from operating system” ? If not, enable the voice in your BIOS settings) then any problem happening after that you can safely say is a Windows install issue. In which case, a reinstall of Windows is due (Geez, can a power-outage really screw up a WinXP install?)

If it doesn’t get as far as telling you about the successful POST (power on self test) , then something funny is afoot inside your PC case.”

Got a better answer? Post it in the discussion that generated this tip.

Copyright © 2003 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in ExtremeTech.

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