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Computer Talk: The screen of death. Instructions on reloading OS anywhere?

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Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 29, 2012
12:37 PM

Post #9143547

Howdy, Folks!

I bet you've missed me and my elementary questions regarding computer issues, eh? :>)

I recently was given a new-to-me tower/PC with XP on it (since my WIN2K no longer works with so many browsers and my new printer, dagnabbit!). Unfortunately after a week or so I got an error message on it, "Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter".

I rec'd an XP CD last week, put it in the computer but ended up getting so many choices to click on I have no idea how to load it all up again.

Question: Is there a dummied down site that will lead me to reloading this OS in a step by step manner?

As for now I'm still using my Win2K computer so am able to get online but sure would like to get a newer-improved OS so I can access other browsers beside Opera and also use a new printer I have. I was glad I hadn't started using the XP tower full time nor have I moved my files over to it yet, which will be yet another piece of education because I only know how to put files on a flash drive then plug the flash drive in to the new(er) computer and copy over; yikes, lots of copying there, eh?)

Any guidance, words of encouragement or commiseration is greatly appreciated.

Shoe

Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

May 29, 2012
1:25 PM

Post #9143613

Something like this.

I've never installed Xp so I'm taking some guesses here.
If it asks about SCSI or Raid disks you don't have them.
If it asks about what file system to choose, Fat32 or NTFS pick NTFS.
Since you don't have other partitions with stuff you are trying to save not answer is catastrophic. The worst you would have to do is start over again.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 30, 2012
3:46 AM

Post #9144391

I have installed both XP and Vista many times. I prefer to delete the partition (s) and reset them then do a complete format of each of them, not the quick format. After that, it only requires the selection of the file system (must be NTFS for partitions larger than 2.1 g) and the selection of which partition the OS is to be installed upon. This is only valid with an OEM or purchased full version. Upgrades require an OS to be already installed.

One point to remember is you must select the CD/DVD drive as the boot drive while making the install.
kowari
Rottweil
Germany

May 31, 2012
11:55 AM

Post #9146333

Shoe, I hate to say it, but that wouldn't happen using LINUX :))
This is actually the "computer-angels" telling you: "Get away from hell - come to paradise!" Only no one listens. This is actually THE (YOUR) chance to try Linux. Burn with the last remaining power of your 2K the LINUX Version MINT onto a CD (or DVD), stick the damned thing into the slot of your tower, press F2 or F12 to select your bootup drive (CD in your case) and "Bob's your uncle" - no more silly questions by an OS that doesn't know what's it doing - enter the new and easy world of LINUX...
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

May 31, 2012
3:56 PM

Post #9146663

There is a 'Repair' function with XP and other OSs if you do not have a good set of backups of your files. Several sites on the internet can be found by googling 'Repair XP OS'. I take the drastic approach since something causes a pc to lose OS files. Bad sectors or certain types of intrusions are the most likely cause. A complete scrub is time consuming but, when it is finished, the pc is like new again unless the hd is about to crash.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

May 31, 2012
8:53 PM

Post #9147103

Great info! thanks, folks!

My sis sent me the XPCD and it turned out the hard drive was gone. No fair, eh?

So..at this point I have my Win2K to still work with and yes(!), kowari, I'd love to give Linux a try. Dave (the real Dave of DG) has encouraged me to try it for years but I never knew how. And if I understood what you suggested I'd do it in a heart beat...burn Linux to a CD (from where?) and then hope this antique has enough memory/space to run it, etc. Heck, someone brought me their daughter's Dell but it turns on just fine but doesn't seem to acknowledge the monitor? I'm surrounded by broken computers right now.

Wish me luck. But I see my saving grace..my win2K is still letting me online to consult w/ya'll! :>)

Shoe
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

June 1, 2012
12:23 PM

Post #9147842

Shoe are you on dial up or do you have some kind of high speed Internet? If I remember correctly you are on high speed. How much disk space free do you have on your windows 2k machine. In another thread you said 37g with 15g free. You'll need a little more than 700 MB free disk space on you 2k machine to download the image. and an application that is capable if burning an CD image.

You co here to get Ubuntu:
http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop

You go here to get mint release 12
http://mirror.umd.edu/linuxmint/images//stable/12/linuxmint-12-kde-dvd-32bit.iso

This should work for Knoppix
http://archive.cs.stedwards.edu/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.7.0CD-2011-08-01-EN.iso

I've used Ubuntu and Knoppix I've never tried Mint though the versions I've tried are a couple of versions old.

After you down load which ever one(s) you want to try, open your burning software and you need to choose Burn image and not burn data or however it is worded.

The computer you are going to try it on needs to be set so you can boot from CD and you are good to go.


Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 1, 2012
1:42 PM

Post #9147952

Thanks, Doug.

And yes, I finally got "semi-high speed" here. It's not as fast as most folks' DSL but much faster than dial-up.

I'll copy your post and save it. Good info there. And perhaps later this evening I'll start checking out my computer disc space and such and go from there.

Very grateful!
Shoe
kowari
Rottweil
Germany

June 9, 2012
1:42 PM

Post #9158345

Hi Shoey,

I'll guarantee you, that your hard drive is NOT gone.

It IS perfectly alright. Hard drives don't go like that. Hard drives are very much like the engine of your car. First, they blow black, blue or grey smoke, depending on the illness. You will find, they overheat. Or, they burn or loose oil. Or the tappets are knocking. Or the transmission will whine. But they will whine for another 200 000 miles. The tappets, especially on FORDS, will knock for another 200 000 miles. Or, they will blow smoke for another 200 000 miles. Like your hard-drive. Some sectors might die. But the drive will still be functioning.

Shoey, if you were committed to trying LINUX like you were committed to giving up smoking or keeping the old FORD going, I 'd send you the disk with LINUX on it - for free - naturally !! All I need is your commitment to try LINUX. Otherwise, I am wasting my time if I send the disk to you and you have no intention of using it. Is that fair enough ??

Any excuses about slow dial up time - or modems, or trying to push the blame onto remote distances or obsolete BIOSes won't work with LINUX - or with me. Linux will work with any modem in any area with any BIOS under any circumstances - regardless of the condition of the hard-drive !!! Is that fair enough ??

If WINDOWS is able to connect to the Internet - LINUX will do it too. If WINDOWS were able to recognize or supply
drivers on YOUR machine - LINUX would have a field day.

So don't write your computer off as yet. Be adventurous and give LINUX a try. You will not regret it !! If you were able to adept to colour Television you will be able to manage LINUX - and get rid of half of your head-aches !! I'll guarantee it !! I have been with WINDOWS since 1985 - and I only started LIVING in 2009 - since I switched to LINUX.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 9, 2012
2:54 PM

Post #9158406

There are many reasons why a HD will 'crash'. It could be best described as a 'soft crash' or a 'hard crash'. The R/W heads float on a cushion of air of possibly a 1,000th of an inch or less and any time an external force or rapid power on/off occurs the heads can scrape the platters which will damage the sector (s). This would be a soft crash and can be overcome by a full format which will mark the damaged sector (s) as unusable. A hard crash is usually when the head mechanism fails and cannot be repaired. A quick format just erases the FAT or MBR and does not test the drive which a full format does. There are also failures in the disk electronics but they are not really common.
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

June 9, 2012
5:31 PM

Post #9158533

Thanks Oldgardenrose. I was going to say hard drives can fail exactly like that. I had one in a laptop that made a bunch of noises that sounded like a ping pong ball bouncing on a table. The next one I had fail was some catastrophic failure that took out the power supply the HD controller and the hard drive. The last one I had fail was less than a week ago. I was downloading a Suse 12.1 Suse dvd onto one of its partitions. It was 459MB into it when the drive failed and it won't run. It says "can't find the superblock". The download would of failed later because of the 2.1GiB limit on files on fat32 partitions, but that isn't the reason this time. The drive has treated me well though. It's 8 or 10 years old. I'm going to try putting it in the freezer and then on ice to see if I can get it to function long enough to get some stuff off it. First though I have to look through my back ups to see what I don't have to retrieve.

The problem with the soft crash you describe is that it leaves particles floating around in the hard drive to damage other area. I recommend replacing any drive that crashes like that.

This message was edited Jun 9, 2012 8:25 PM
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

June 9, 2012
6:52 PM

Post #9158630

Kowari you are trying to lead people on dial up into a world of frustrations and dented foreheads from banging their heads on the wall. When I built my first computer back in 2002 I did a lot of research to determine what would work with Linux and what wouldn't. What I found out at that time was to go with an external serial modem. I did and only had a little bit of frustration setting up the ISP, but at that time I'd done it a lot on Windows 98 machines and knew off the top of my head what information I needed to know. The situation hasn't gotten any better. Dial up is considered obsolete technology and nobody is working on it. My Ubuntu 10.04 live CD /install disk doesn't even have the software on it to deal with a SERIAL modem let alone a winmodem. That's why I never installed it. I was on dial up until about a year ago. I was going to post my computer saga when it was finished for this round but I'll continue it in the next post.
Oldgardenrose
Salem, IL
(Zone 5b)

June 9, 2012
8:31 PM

Post #9158722

Dial-up is usually considered to be analog on a single copper pair and is restricted to 51kb, if my memory is still accurate, even though the modem may be rated as 56kb. It has to do with the maximum allowable power on an analog line. DSL is available up to 5 mb in some locations but it is not dial-up. About the only people using dial-up are those too far away from the CO for DSL and living in areas not serviced by CATV or satellite data. There are a number of data compression systems but, regardless of the OS being used, the speed is not increased all that much.

At my previous work, we used a lot of 4-wire 56kb lines and 4-wire T-1 lines leased from the local office to the mainframe office several states away but they were dedicated lines and did not involve dial-up. They were fast but expensive and out of budget for most home users. Encouraging users to change their OS in order to increase the speed of a naturally restricted system is much like trying to make a silk purse from a sow's ear. Probably will not work as advertised.
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

June 9, 2012
10:44 PM

Post #9158797

You basically described my situation. I'm about 10 miles from the central station. The phone company installed hardware in a box about two miles from my house and they also spent a week doing something in the small box in my front yard, They had a tent there for the whole time. Cable is a no go here because the closest lines are a mile away, but the power comes in the other way. This means there is no poles to put the wire on and there is no way they could make a profit from 17 houses even if everyone did both internet and cable. I looked at satellite but decided to not go that way because it is very expensive and the general sense is that if they decide you are using to much bandwidth they will cut you way back. I was ecstatic when DSL came here.

There are still a lot of people on dial up. If you look back at an earlier thread that we had this linux discussion in you see where a posted a stat about one of the counties north of here only 17% of the people had high speed internet. The rest were on dial up. There are certainly large areas that don't have cell coverage. Some of these areas only got electricity around 1950 or so.
Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 12, 2012
1:12 PM

Post #9162424

Howdy, All...

thanks, Kowari, for the info and advice. As for the hard drive crashing, I was wondering how the computer would show even the "Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter". I thought nothing would work if the hard drive was gone. OldGardenRose, your description of the 'soft crash' sounds like what may have happened to that computer, eh?

As for now, I just came home with yet another "hand me down" computer. It, too, contains XP and has a "local disk (C)" size of 76 GB. I assume that is the size of my memory, drive, ram altogether? Regardless it is twice the size of the antique with win2k on it.

I'll play with it later and get it hooked to the 'Net.

As for dial-up/and DSL. I have what's considered slow DSL but just did an online speed test. My Download results showed 507 kbps, upload was 117 kbps. (Ping was 216 but I'm not sure what that is)

It is all definitely faster than my old dial up but not always fast enough to view things non-stop like youtube videos w/out it stopping/loading/playing...then stopping/loading/playing the video (very frustrating!)

All in all, I think I should be fast enough to download Ubuntu or one of the other LInux programs you linked above, Doug.

Thanks again. Lots of good knowledge on this forum!
Shoe
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

June 12, 2012
1:59 PM

Post #9162485

[quote="Horseshoe"]Howdy, All...

As for the hard drive crashing, I was wondering how the computer would show even the "Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk and Press Enter". I thought nothing would work if the hard drive was gone.
[/quote]
No, that Message comes from the BIOS. If you have an OS on a disk, It would boot and run assuming the is nothing else wrong and it is set to boot from the CD ROM or even DOS if you had it on a floppy and the computer has a floppy drive. It might just be something silly like a cable that has lost contact. You could always open the case and unplug and replug both the power and data cables to see if it solves the problem.
[quote]
As for now, I just came home with yet another "hand me down" computer. It, too, contains XP and has a "local disk (C)" size of 76 GB. I assume that is the size of my memory, drive, ram altogether? [/quote]
No that is just the HD. It is giving the number in base 2 GigaBytes opposed to base 10 Gigabytes. Base 2 is 1024x1024x1024, base 10 is 1000x1000x1000.


[quote]
As for dial-up/and DSL. I have what's considered slow DSL but just did an online speed test. My Download results showed 507 kbps, upload was 117 kbps.

It is all definitely faster than my old dial up but not always fast enough to view things non-stop like youtube videos w/out it stopping/loading/playing...then stopping/loading/playing the video (very frustrating!)[/quote]

That's what I have. Works about the same too.
[quote]
All in all, I think I should be fast enough to download Ubuntu or one of the other Linux programs you linked above, Doug. [/quote]
See the other thread I'm posting bit by bit Titled Saga of Loading Linux on a computer.
Mint was about 2 hours, Ubuntu should be the same and SUSE was 10 hours.

Horseshoe
Efland, NC
(Zone 7a)

June 12, 2012
6:27 PM

Post #9162814

Mint was about 2 hours, Ubuntu should be the same and SUSE was 10 hours...

Oh my...guess when I get that far I'll put it on before I go snooze.

I'll go read your other thread for more details. At this point I assume I'd download the software to Program Files then burn it to a CD, right?

Off to read the other thread.
Thanks!
Doug9345
Durhamville, NY
(Zone 5b)

June 12, 2012
9:26 PM

Post #9163031

Posted in wrong thread
sorry

I don't know how to remove the picture


This message was edited Jun 12, 2012 11:28 PM

Thumbnail by Doug9345
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Dyson
Rocky Mount, VA
(Zone 7a)

June 15, 2012
5:43 AM

Post #9165953

Shoe just noticed this thread - give me a call when you get a chance. I'll send the number in a dmail.

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