’twas the night before xmas

…and my BIOS was quieter than a mouse!

I thought Xmas was spose to be fun? It’s no fun when your whole system goes down without any explanation.

The system had locked up…

Nothing too unusual about that. A reboot and away I went again. Continued on my way.

I came back a while later and found my computer locked in a disk boot error just after POST…<!–break–>

But why?

I dunno.

And this is where the fun started. Several boots and bios settings checks soon revealed what most people often fear: A dead hard drive. Now that in itself is a little disconcerting, but I soon got over it. I don’t often run back-ups of my C Drive, but I’m not adverse to reinstalling often anyway. I can do it rather quickly. And anyway, I don’t keep much on C Drive. It only contains my operating system and applications. All my data files, music, movies, and whatever else are stored over many other hard drives in the system. So I wasn’t too concerned. Just peeved at the timing.

So I pull out an old 17Gb HDD and decide to settle that one into the system. Reboot and get the “No operating system error”. No probs. Windows XP Pro CD into the DVD drive and reboot…

…and again, no operating system. A check of the BIOS confirmed the DVD drive had priority over the HDD, but for some reason, it was the HDD that was getting the priority!

After tweaking the BIOS, trying many different settings, trying a NEW 80GB HDD, and a NEW DVD-Rom drive, and new IDE cables, BIOS upgrades and downgrades, and many other odd combinations of anything I could think of; I finally decided to call it a night once my blood pressure reached about 180/120!

Day 2: I spoke to a few friends who are just as computer savvy as I, without success. They only suggested things I had already tried. They were no help. The essential problem I was having, is that no matter what I did, the BIOS was giving priority to the Floppy, then HDD01 and finally the CDROM. As the HDD had the higher priority, the CDROM would never boot! The ODD part of all this, is that I could disable all three boot order preferences, and the BIOS would still only process it in that order. To make it worse, if I unplugged the HDD’s, it wouldn’t boot the CD anyway! I couldn’t win.

I’m gonna cut this short here… but in short, knowing it was the BIOS, and not being able to upgrade the BIOS (another long part of this story), I decided to clear it. Now, if I had of made this decision about 36 hours earlier, I would have been a happy camper. Once cleared, and restarted…

It all went well!

NOW, I’m a happy camper.

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