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Old 03-15-2011, 07:22 PM   #1
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Arrow Boot Looping

I just got a computer that has no hard drive in it and will not boot with one in it. I've tried three different hard drives and I've tried booting by CD. Nothing works, it just keeps looping back to the screen that gives me the option to put in safe mode, etc. It will not boot into safe mode or last good configuration. Two of the hard drives that I tried are used on a daily basis, so I know they are good. I've even formatted one with a new copy of windows on it, still no luck. The third hard drive is an old 1gig with Windows 95 on it. Its runs the way that it's supposed to. The computer is 2.8ghz which is too much for 95, but it still lets me boot up in safe mode. I had to downgrade to 512 ram to do this also. I've tried different PSUs, hard drives, RAM, CD-Roms and booting from CD all ending up the same way, except for the old Windows 95 hdd. I've tried everything in BIOS, too. Does anybody have any idea what could be causing this? I'm hoping it's not a faulty mobo. Thanks all.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:26 AM   #2
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Default Re: Boot Looping

Reset the CMOS on the motherboard, and install those drives again. If the system can't boot to an existing Windows install (Keep in mind you can't do this with XP - You have to format and start over with XP) then expect to run into some resistance, but Vista & 7 have no problems jumping motherboards. It's part of their design now.

You might also want to test the RAM, since this is a computer you know nothing about (other than the fact that it won't boot into an OS) it's always wise to start testing hardware first. Grab a copy of MemTest from their site (google it) and download a copy of GWSCAN for good measure (support.gateway.com - it'll work on nearly every IDE & SATA Hard drive in existence today, except SSDs) and then see how those fare.

If you get ANY errors in MemTest, that would be the root cause for a lot of the problems (80%+)
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Old 03-16-2011, 02:30 PM   #3
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Default Re: Boot Looping

I reset the CMOS, but i can't get it to read a CD so there's no way i can install anything. The memory in it is good, i use it everyday with one of my other computers. Would there be any difference if i were to put the hard drive into another computer and put ubuntu on it?

I put ubuntu on the hard drive and it has memtest86 on it, so i'm running it right now. i'll post the outcome
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Boot Looping

If you can't get it to read CD, and it's doing the same thing with hard drives, then it is possible that the controller on the board is hosed, which means it's garbage anyway. MemTest notwithstanding, it's a small program, would fit on a floppy if you needed to.
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Old 03-17-2011, 01:13 PM   #5
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Default Re: Boot Looping

Okay, got some results and new confusions. I ran memtest and the results showed no errors. I installed Ubuntu on the hard drive and it will actually boot up. It runs extremely badly though(about a ten to twenty second delay to do anything). It took 20 minutes to boot up and is very very laggy. I tried to run a CD now that the OS is up, but it's still not showing any disc. I know absolutely nothing about ubuntu or computer programming, so now I don't know where to start from this point. So, what do y'all think about this situation? Any ideas?

Ok, I left the disc in the cdrom long enough and it did finally show up, after like 15 minutes. But even this far, i still don't know how to execute files or anything on ubuntu.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:18 AM   #6
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Default Re: Boot Looping

Sounds like a corrupt mobo. Have you tried to flash the bios? Also try taking out and reinstalling the cpu. If the person before you messed with it and didnt get it in the socket just right it could cause problems. Can you give us some specs on the pc?
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