I need computer help again...
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  1. #1
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    I need computer help again...

    Sooooooo... I'm back with more "HELP MY COMPUTER IS MESSED UP!" questions.

    This time it's for my laptop, which is a Compaq Presario. I replaced the hard drive a few months ago, and I installed Windows XP onto it. For some reason the copy of Windows XP that I used didn't have a serial number so I activated it through "alternative means." It worked fine for a while but then, for whatever reason, it began to say "This copy of Windows must be activated before use. Activate now?" When you click, "OK," it said, "Windows has already been activated." When you clicked ok after then, it brings you back the beginning. It was a never-ending repetition...

    So I decided to just start from scratch on my computer and restore everything. I put in this compaq restore CD that I found in my house and did everything the CD said to do. Towards the end of the CD process (at like 98%) it said "Too many errors found, restore must halt." And then it stopped. My computer restarted itself and it didn't go back to the "Windows must be activated, etc." but rather went to the screen that displays the different start up options. When it went to load normally, or in smart-mode, etc it wasn't able to load. This is expected...

    I put in the Windows XP CD to attempt to install it onto the computer. After the set up window loaded, and I clicked install, it came up with message, "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed on your computer." Obviously, seeing as I just installed a new hard drive, there is a hard drive on the computer.

    Please help me out. I need to get this laptop working by the end of the week.

    I really hate computers sometimes.

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    Have you tried physically reinstalling the HD?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BuckWeisel View Post
    Have you tried physically reinstalling the HD?
    Yep, did nothing.

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    Sounds like you need some software to clean and format the drive first then try to install it.. Paragon Hard Disk Managerô 2010 Professional it very good and for an early Partition Magic if you find a copy like 7 or 8 before Symantec got hold of it you can boot from diskette with PM and set up your drive. Paragon will let make an ISO you can burn to make work CD that can be used to boot from to work on the drive.. Also if the drive has some type format error you should download any boot disk utility to repair the hard drive.
    Now for you XP install .. If you DO not use the right Key you will get hit with windows WGA detection and you install can and will be killed.. Yes there is ways to get around it but you really don't want to go there ..
    You need to get a key and if there is one on the computer use it and that OS..
    The other thing you could think about is try a Linux distro you will not have to worry about a key and all and you can most likely find one type of the Linux that worked really well.. If you have a Bootleg of the OS do not this most of the copies out have some kind of embedded software to seal from you. I looked into the XP and Vista/Win7 offerings an most of the had some kind of keystroke program that no AV software would find or could not fix as it would kill the OS install adn the drive's MBR making a paper weight.
    If you have an OEM it will do you good the cost of Windows XP Pro is like $130 to $140 for Win7 it's like $155 for pro and $185 for ultimate.

    I am not trying to preach to not steal but having the OEM can save you in a OS failure if you need to repair it and you don't have to worry about the Window Genuine Advantage BS(which I for the record find to be the worse thing ever from MS but it due to so many people stealing their programs)

    Ok if you do as I say and can't get the hard drive back up and running and you just bought it you can REM it back as most companies give you at lease a year to have drive replaced at best they can help you test the drive with some tech support.

    If you search there some free programs to help boot and format the Hard drive.. they try your CD for XP and see if find the drive .. if you install and it fails try to do the install again but have the XP CD do the quick format and install .. this sometime work as it set the drive to format the CD is looking for.
    Also if you using a XP CD that s Service pack 2 or less MS activation may not work as MS stop supporting SP2 and bellow and you will need to get SP3 installed for it to work again the newer XP CD'x for both Home and Pro have SP3 on them..

    Go luck PM me if you really need more help..I been working with computer for over 30+ years ..So I done this many many times..

    CC

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    Just start your comp up in the BIOS and wtf-pwn it's hard drive into submission from there. Then find a decent compy of windows and install that.

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    Solution.

    Have you tried contacting Compaq's customer service line?

    This sounds vaguely like a virus that I had to deal with several years ago for my uncle, although I can't be sure now since it's been so long. Ultimately the solution boiled down to just call microsoft if your copy of XP is in fact legit, if not then join a good tech forum and get professional advice.

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    The problem isn't a virus. (This computer/hard disk has never had internet access. I don't think it could contract a virus without the internet.) It's entirely a problem of the hard disk. I believe that CC's solution will work. I'm trying it now.

    And all of the copies I own of XP are legal. It's bizarre but there are like 10 copies of XP in my house and yet NONE of them have serial numbers!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    The problem isn't a virus. (This computer/hard disk has never had internet access. I don't think it could contract a virus without the internet.) It's entirely a problem of the hard disk. I believe that CC's solution will work. I'm trying it now.

    And all of the copies I own of XP are legal. It's bizarre but there are like 10 copies of XP in my house and yet NONE of them have serial numbers!
    if you have them installed look on the systems that they were use on some people put the key tags on them still if not.. I would look for any of the paper work some could have put it on the booklet or on some of the computer paper work.. It would be hard to lose the Key unless like room mate you tossed it not knowing that it was on the plastic wrapping. If you didn't go online to resister the OS then how would it know to give you the error for the WGA or was it just the 30 day countdown to resister? if so you just need to find your key or call in to MS give the serial number off the XP CD they will give you new key if they can see that you have real disk.. If it copy from original disk it may not work as MS does have a few tricks on the CD so they can be copied..Good luck let me know how the hard dive scan works out..

    CC

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    Check the back of your laptop. My windows CD key is stick to the bottom of the my dell laptop. And most of the CDkeys are also stick to the top of the desktops in my work place

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    Quote Originally Posted by pencilkiller View Post
    Check the back of your laptop. My windows CD key is stick to the bottom of the my dell laptop. And most of the CDkeys are also stick to the top of the desktops in my work place
    As of Late some system from companies have been putting the key on the bottom or inside the computer on the main door panel.

    Also a Home key with not work for XP pro the keys have to match the installing OS..

    CC

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    Well, this laptop came with Vista (which I do have the serial number for, I think) but I prefer XP so I'm using that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    . Towards the end of the CD process (at like 98%) it said "Too many errors found, restore must halt." And then it stopped.
    Yeah that's concerning. It is starting to sound like your HD is borked.


    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    .
    "Setup did not find any hard disk drives installed on your computer."
    Check your bios.. does it see the hard drive?
    If not check the connection to the hard drive again. Is there something impeding it or not firmly seated?
    If this is an IDE drive (not SATA) is it possible you have a jumper pin in the wrong slot?

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    This sounds like something I had right after I build my second pc. I had similar problems as you are experiencing.

    I ended up playing with the jumper pin, putting it on master, slave and the other one. And playing with the sata cable and where I put it in into the motherboard. In the end it all worked out, but as I recall it has something to do with my sata cable going to my motherboard.

    Hope that gives you some ideas.

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    So I tried CC's method, to no luck. I wiped/formatted the drive, etc. yet it still is invisible to the XP setup. It's totally visible to Paragon, however, which at least tells me that it has nothing to do with the physical connection, I think. I don't know what to do now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    So I tried CC's method, to no luck. I wiped/formatted the drive, etc. yet it still is invisible to the XP setup. It's totally visible to Paragon, however, which at least tells me that it has nothing to do with the physical connection, I think. I don't know what to do now.
    What's the BIOS telling you? Can it see it there?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    What is a BIOS?
    BIOS is your laptop's hardware manager.. you know when it boots up (well - when it *used to* boot up.. haha) it should scroll things like your RAM amounts, disk drives, etc. Here's how to get to it.

    http://www.ehow.com/how_5797132_acce...-settings.html

    It should be a ghetto graphic displaying all your system information. The first tab open should display your system time and what not should be there. This also where your hard drive information is located. It should say if there is one hard drive or not connected.

    If you knew your laptop model number I could be a better help providing screen shots.

    quick edit - if your bios is not seeing your hard drive then that is a *bad* sign.

    Last edited by modi123; August 24th, 2010 at 03:14 PM.
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    So here's a new one... On start up, instead of just saying "Press any key to boot from CD" it is saying "Non-system disk or disk error. Insert DOS diskette and press any key..." Does anyone know how I get that diskette?

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    And the BIOS (I guess... Setup utility?) says
    Presario C500 RZ343UA#ABA
    System Board ID 30C6
    BIOS version F.15
    Serial Number CND7120J07

    And I'm running a hard disk test right now.

    I think I may just buy a new hard drive, even if it's just to use temporarily. I need this computer running soon and that seems less and less likely.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    And the BIOS (I guess... Setup utility?) says
    Presario C500 RZ343UA#ABA
    System Board ID 30C6
    BIOS version F.15
    Serial Number CND7120J07

    And I'm running a hard disk test right now.

    I think I may just buy a new hard drive, even if it's just to use temporarily. I need this computer running soon and that seems less and less likely.
    It's hard to get a grasp of what is going on. Can you take a picture and send it to me of your bios screen?

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    So yeah... Thanks to everyone that has helped me, but I just ordered a new hard drive. It's much faster than the older one as well. Hopefully I can fix this hard drive some day but for now I'll just use the new one.

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    When restarting you computer keep tapping your delete button to access your BIOS. It should appear as a blue screen with white writing. There are also tabs on the top that you can flip through with your arrow keys. Choose the tab that is related to your hardrives and check to see if the hardrive is set as the main bootup drive. Sometime the computer may try to boot up from a usb device or the CD.

    remove all peripherals when installing your OS.

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    It sounds like you need some expert helps....

    Don't worries! I cans hook you up!



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    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Kobryn View Post
    So I tried CC's method, to no luck. I wiped/formatted the drive, etc. yet it still is invisible to the XP setup. It's totally visible to Paragon, however, which at least tells me that it has nothing to do with the physical connection, I think. I don't know what to do now.
    Check the Laptop Bios. it could have some errors but if Paragon is seeing the drive do a full test with the program to see what it reports but it sounding like the there is some kind of problem with the bios or the drive bios .But if Paragon is seeing teh drive then the connection is right. what brand of Hard drive Seagate or Western Digital or other? Get the Drive Utility from the maker test that drive. If still get no drive coming up I would say it something in the Laptop.. If you have another drive I test it or if you could hook the drive into another system to test as well ..they make USB cases for about $20 or more you can put the drive in .. see if you can test the drive that way from another system.. Also was the Laptop working right before this? if it had error(other than Vista) what were they..?

    what the model on this Laptop i like to look it up...

    don't give up yet the is an answer..

    CC


    BTW Ivory I am a pro.. I been doing computers for over 30 plus year and I get pays as consultant I do drive recovery for business and law enforcement.

    Last edited by CCorsair; August 24th, 2010 at 06:31 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by CCorsair View Post
    Check the Laptop Bios. it could have some errors but if Paragon is seeing the drive do a full test with the program to see what it reports but it sounding like the there is some kind of problem with the bios or the drive bios .But if Paragon is seeing teh drive then the connection is right. what brand of Hard drive Seagate or Western Digital or other? Get the Drive Utility from the maker test that drive. If still get no drive coming up I would say it something in the Laptop.. If you have another drive I test it or if you could hook the drive into another system to test as well ..they make USB cases for about $20 or more you can put the drive in .. see if you can test the drive that way from another system.. Also was the Laptop working right before this? if it had error(other than Vista) what were they..?

    what the model on this Laptop i like to look it up...

    don't give up yet the is an answer..

    CC
    It's a seagate hard drive and the laptop is a Compaq Presario C500. And no, I had no problems before this.

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    seagate has some drive utility for scanning and repairing the drive you can download them.. If you order the new drive us e the Paragon program to set it up it good program. Another program i use for fixing a drive is bit costly but works well its called Spinrite http://www.grc.com/sr/spinrite.htm it about $80 to $90 but it can save a drive and bring it back ..If it just blank drive don't get it the program but if you like to have great drive recovery tool think about it .

    Let us know what happens with the new drive hope that works out better.

    CC

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    M brother has had a desk top from Del for a long time, and the first thing that started to happen was it would burn up anything connected to the usb. That work fine again but one day it burned up his hard drive and 4 others we hooked up. With all of the roaming problems I should have known better than replace his stuff with what I have. I am sure as long as that power supply is in there any thing can go at any time. The power supply cover the whole bottom of the computer, but I think it would be a good idea to build a new one and be ready to use what don't burn up. With a laptop having so much trouble I can guess the is some kind of short around the power supply, because it is really hard to tell what a bad power supply would do. It can burn out or burn out everything else. Most the time the power supply will just burn out, but there is that one chance it can get a arc across and start feeding everything a higher voltage.
    Just something to think about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AChipps View Post
    M brother has had a desk top from Del for a long time, and the first thing that started to happen was it would burn up anything connected to the usb. That work fine again but one day it burned up his hard drive and 4 others we hooked up. With all of the roaming problems I should have known better than replace his stuff with what I have. I am sure as long as that power supply is in there any thing can go at any time. The power supply cover the whole bottom of the computer, but I think it would be a good idea to build a new one and be ready to use what don't burn up. With a laptop having so much trouble I can guess the is some kind of short around the power supply, because it is really hard to tell what a bad power supply would do. It can burn out or burn out everything else. Most the time the power supply will just burn out, but there is that one chance it can get a arc across and start feeding everything a higher voltage.
    Just something to think about.
    That sound like a Defect in the motherboard I have seen in early dells .. bad board that got out .. cased some fires .. as for a laptop power on the system is more DC then AC and has a less change of short but they do happen and even can case damage. Many battery's for laptops have had some major problems some have caused fires some have caused shots that have killed Hard drives and more.. I try to run with power and some take my battery out on my laptop on my system when it is docked and doe snot need a charge .. my new laptop is a smart power system and stop charging if at 97% or better..this keep the cells from heating up from taking a charge and causing shorts. Talking of this Jacob try doing the install with out the battery in it use the AC adapter only.. as Compaq and HP has or had problems with their electrical on their laptops. this has been known to kill some hard drives and even a bios(I have a clients HP Laptop with a dead bios here now) This is the problem with having too many companies building a system that are far apart no real check of the system till it is in the store some times and even caching on fire at a demo or just at an airport as this one did http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlZggVrF9VI now that is a very extreme event it has happen. Not a lot nit it has made maker of PC's and laptop art change or at best have people keep and eye on them.

    Apple had a ADB to USB converter that was made by a third party to let legacy Macs work with USB part but it has a small lithium cell in it . the problem we found when I was a tech working there at Apple was they would short out and blow up like M80. I saw about 5 go off one in a guy's hand .. it didn't break the skin but it did brush the palm of his hand. So USB device that have battery's were phased out by Apple and we were to not have the devices in the Factory .. sadly they stayed on the market till no longer need as the ADB style connection were phased out for USB but still they too have limited life time and can short out..but with out teh fire or blowing up..lol


    CC

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    This might work if you haven't tried it already. Windows XP intallation disk has an error checker on it. If you go through the methods to format you HD or set up partitions, it will ask something like "Format HD or Check and Fix installation errors". You have to change the boot order to have the CD boot first and when you restart it will take you through several steps to fix an already installed version of the OS. It may be worth a try.

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