View Full Version : This is absolutely bizarre!!!!!

Chemical Ali
12-06-2007, 11:05 PM
Hi All

I am having the most infuriatingly bizarre problem with this PC that I'm using to trial Windows Home Server (WHS) (in Beta).
It's got a new motherboard, CPU (AMD Socket 754 Sempron) & RAM (DDR400 1GB) as well as 2 IDE hard Drives & 2 SATA drives plus a DVD-Rom drive.

For several days now I've been pulling my hair out and uttering every swear word known to man while this sytem drives me insane.

I recently changed the RAM and one of the hard drives so I decided to reinstall Windows Home Server as it's BETA software. Everything went okay and all installed with all hard drives etc detected and tested with several reboots. So I decided that it was looking 'all good' and went to put the case cover back on, seal it up and put it back in it's usual place to start it up and start using it
HOWEVER when I restart it it wont boot and after passing the Mo/Bo splash screen comes to a message: "Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter"!!

I check BIOS and all looks good but no matter what I cant get it to boot into the O/S again! So, naturally I undo the case, check all the cables, connections, PSU etc but still no luck. SO I reduce it to a bare system with just the 2 IDE hard drives and the DVD-Rom drive (all this time the case cover is off) and then I can finally/normally get it to boot okay. The WHS O/S then reports that the 2 SATA-based drives are missing - I reconnect them okay and the system picks them up and adds them back into the data storage pool just fine (WHS doesn't operate on drive letters just a storage availability "pool"). I'll then retest it with several reboots, check everything looks okay in both the BIOS and device manager as well as the O/S's administrative console and everything is going and operating A okay.
SO I put the case cover back on and place it back where it should be, connect the monitor and keyboard/mouse back up so that I can verify it'll restart okay and guess what?!!

We're back to that damn no-boot problem with the "Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter" message. It's like the system wont boot with the case all screwed back together!!!

So I've going through this 'ritual' about 5 times now in the past couple of weeks. Each time I fix it back up by doing the abovementioned and thinking that I've finally cracked it I'm confronted with the 'disk error' message!!

Possible thoughts:
# When its all tucked back in is something like a cable lead or PSU cable 'contacting' with something else and 'shorting' it?
# Dodgy RAM
# Buggy BETA software (did have it running okay for a month tough before I did the recent hardware change)
# Temp problems when case resealed (unlikely as it's a quality case and temp situation hasn't had days of solid running to escalate in)
# Voodoo?!

Any ideas/suggestions please! This is driving me insane as it all seems so illogical!

12-06-2007, 11:13 PM
I think SolMeister has been demoing WHS without too many problems.

Chemical Ali
12-06-2007, 11:14 PM
Yeah, I'm aware of that and so have I until the last 2 weeks!

It's just got me mystified eh ...

12-06-2007, 11:22 PM
you proberly have sata1 mobo with sata2 drives, you need to set the drives to sata1.

12-06-2007, 11:42 PM
Sound like you may have a case open switch, find that setting in the bios and reset it or disable, or try a reinstall with the side on.

13-06-2007, 12:00 AM
Motherboard shorting to the case, or crack in the motherboard (only shows when case deformed when you put the covers on, or opens up when you plug the drives in)?
Overlength screws touching motherboard?
Loose connectors in plugs?
Does it have a floppy drive (trying to boot from a non-system disk)?
Maybe youve got an iffy boot sector on your boot HDD.

Good point, Robb99.

Chemical Ali
13-06-2007, 10:11 AM
Thanks for all the interesting suggestions - it's much appreciated especially since Windows Home Server RC1 was released this morning! Downloading it as we speak!

To report back:
# Motherboard isn't cracked or has screws contacting the case surface.
# Am using SATA2 drives with a SATA1 capable Mo/Bo but I thought that they just automatically throttled back to 150MB/S but I'll jumper them anyway to restrict to SATA1 thruput.
# BIOS doesn't have a case open detection setting (but an interesting thought)
# No floppy drive in system
# All cable connections are fine (have checked that a million times!)

I will check both IDE drives (as they were the boot drives at all times - not the SATA drives) for bad boot sectors - what's the best application/program to use for that or would simply reformatting them fix that?



13-06-2007, 04:57 PM
When you take the side back off, are you putting the case down on its side or leaving it upright?

I'd leave it upright, boot it, then gently attach the side again and see what happens. I find sata cables can be a bit sloppy and move sometimes if they aren't arranged properly.

Graham L
13-06-2007, 05:25 PM
This is one of the many ways in which Captain Murphy shows that he is always present.