Question about Dell Inspiron 531 Athlon 64 X2 4400+ 2.3GHz 1GB 500GB DVD RW Vista Home Premium PC Desktop

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Problems with getting bootable disks to be read - Dell/VISTA

Not sure whether there are two problems here or one - but help would be appreciated!

The problem started when I discovered that I had forgotten my Administrator Account Password - when I tried to adjust my son's time limit access to his PC (he was spending WAY too much time on it). I am the only one with Administrator access (dumb!). Tried all the tricks but couldn't recall the name. The OS is VISTA. Searched the web and decided to try OphCrack. Downloaded it and created (I think) an optical image disk on a CD (using Nero software, that came bundled with PC). I think the burning went OK - I have a single executable file (several MB) on the CD.

I then took the burned CD to the problem PC, loaded and rebooted it. No luck. Then rebooted, went to Set Up/Boot Menu and changed the Priority so that the DVD/CD drive (single drive on this PC) was read first - BEFORE the hard drive. Rebooted and got an error message.
Not sure how to interpret the following message:
SATA 0 - ST325082045 3.ADG
"diskette drive 0 seek failure"

I've also tried the It looks to me as though the DVD/CD drive is not being recognized. Normally, I'd figure that this means the DVD/CD drive is broken, but that doesn't make sense because my son continues to be able to play his games on the PC, using the same drive.

I even tried, in desperation, to rewrite the entire hard drive, putting in the Dell VISTA reinstallation disk (that came with the PC), but this isn't being read either

At this point, I am almost out of ideas. Is there something I've overlooked?
If not, should I bite the bullet and take the PC to a repair shop? Should I purchase an external (changing out an internal drive is beyond me) DVD/CD drive (with USB port), and see if the PC will boot up using that drive?

Thanks for your help!

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Replace the CMOS battery, go into the BIOS and disable the 'Floppy Seek' function, reconnect the SETA drives and you should be good to go...

The battery has about a 3 yr life expectancy, so after being 'off' for an extended period, I suppose it scrambled the BIOS settings. Diskette Drive 0 usually refers to the floppy drive, and I'm guessing that there isn't one installed in that machine, mainly since you didn't mention one being installed...

Posted on Dec 26, 2008

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i) when you start your system press button(F8 or F10 or DEL) so that you can go into BIOS menu now     try explore BIOS menu and see whether

  a) SATA 0 - ST325082045 3.ADG

   are just visbile(in sense, you can see them in  BIOS writen ), this will make sure system is able to        detect them, we will be assured that your a)HARD DISK b) DVD writer   are working perfectly ......

    if so without any hesitation format or reload system with  Windows Vista....

ii) if otherwise any one of them or both are not visible in your BIOS Menu like a)HARD DISK b)DVD        writer 

   try to open your computer tower and locate cables that are going to ur DVD writer, HARD DISK 
   and reseat them(just remove the cable and place them again), by this way we are making sure that    no loose connections are can even try new cables .......

   now restart ur system and go in to BIOS menu and repeat the step (i) .... 

   if you are enable to see any one or both 

      a) SATA 0 - ST325082045 3.ADG ....................HARD DISK 
      b) SATA 1 HL-DT-STDVD +-RW GSA H31................DVD WRITER

  then you are having problem with either HARD DISK OR DVD WRITER  and you have to buy them .....

 Thanking you

M. Sridhar

Posted on Dec 26, 2008


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