07-31-2009 06:05 AM - edited 07-31-2009 06:13 AM
I have a self built asus a8n32 deluxe mb, Athlon 64 4000+, 3 gig memory, Asus 4850 graphics card running vista. Two identical Maxtors are installed (System C and Backup D). The system has been working very well for a number of weeks. However, I thought I'd try installing XP as a 2nd OS. I reduced the partition of drive C (holding the Vista OS), formatted and installed the OS. But on reboot the system hung after post. The last message was "4th Master Ultra DMA Mode-6 S.M.A.R.T capable and status OK". The 4th Master being Drive C.
I cannot do anything else other than power off (note that the keyboard numlock light can go off and on).
Just prior to the Primary, Secondary, 3rd and 4th disk confirmations I have the option to select BIOS or bootable priority. Selecting these are recognised but it wont go to the next step which is to load the BIOS or provide an alternative boot sequence.
I try the cables (Sata and Power) from the 2nd drive (D) I get the same problem. If I remove the drive C and just keep the backup Drive D in and I can get through to selecting the Install Disk and also into BIOS. I nother words all seems fine.
So it does look like there might be something wrong with the Drive C. I purchased an external drive bay (USB SATA) and could successfully see the Drive on another computer. I could also reformat it. Putting it back into the original PC I get the same problem.
PS. I have wiped the BIOS several times.
Like every good citizen I do have a backup of Drive C on Drive D, but I would love to know what the problem is and be able to re-install the backup from drive D onto Drive C.
Thanks for reading. Any help greatfully received.
PN is STM3250310AS
08-09-2009 10:49 AM
I must say - this sounds quite a peculiar case.
Perhaps the reason for this is partition header irregularities. The system is trying to boot from the drive, but it cant sort out the info the header's contain for eg.
And perhaps the reason for your not being able to enter your bios - is that your bios is of the sort that tries to get some info about partitions itself.
I have a motherboard like yours. But I cant say I recall this being the case.
I know it does that for FLASH drives. To the extent that if a drive is formatted in FAT32 instead of 16, it gives problems on occasion (you know, theres that option to boot from it.)
All conjecture though, this is curious.
Dont have an answer for you off the bat, but you can find out why:
You say you have backups? Very nice.
Lets see if its a problem with the drive:
You sound fairly knowledgable - run some utility programs on the drive.
Ensure it passes seek and read, and such routine tests. If does, reformat this drive, and install Vista, see if it boots fine.
Format again, and install XP, and see if that also boots fine.
If they both do - then we have an angle.
Its likely not the drive
Most importatly - do a full surface test.