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Laptop will not boot from either hard drive or boot cd - sometimes

3-yr-old HP ZT3000. For the past week, the laptop has had a problem when booting up. Half the time, the laptop boots to Windows XP without issue; the other half, the HP logo appears and fades, being replaced (as usual) with the F10=Rom Based Setup and F12=Network Service Boot msg in the bottom left.

PROBLEM: At this point, instead of booting windows, the system hangs. I cannot access the BIOS, and pressing F10 and F12 gives an 'Entering Setup' or 'Attempting to Boot Network' status message, at which point the system is completely frozen. IF I do not press either F10 or F12, and wait between 5-15 minutes, the hard-drive-based password utility (which I have never previously used, and currently does not appear when the system behaves normally) appears. If I press nothing, it will hang indefinitely on this utility; if I press enter, it will return to the F10/F12 screen, with a flashing cursor against the middle of the left side of the screen. After a few more minutes, the old standard 'Non-System Disk Error' will appear; at this point, nothing else happens and there is no option but to restart the computer and repeat the process (as there is no non-system disk in any of the drives).

MY ATTEMPTS TO RESOLVE: When the computer is exhibiting this behavior, there is no way to load Windows or anything else. It will not boot from the CD-ROM drive, in addition to the hard drive, which leads me to believe that it may have something to do with the BIOS or a connection. I have not found a pattern yet for when the system will work, though it still continues to be intermittent; sometimes the computer will behave normally, other times it will exhibit the problem repeatedly, and there is nothing to do but walk away from the system and try again a half-hour later.

When the computer does load Windows, it behaves flawlessly. I have run every diagnostic program that I have, and none of them have found any issues.

Any help to solve this mystery problem would be appreciated!

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  • sctosc Oct 14, 2007

    Thank you for the advice. I've reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled Windows, and the issue is still present. I think it must be a hardware issue. Any other ideas?

  • Sameerh Nov 18, 2007

    I have the same problem. It started with the CDROM not being discovered. I tried removing it to check if the connectors on it were fine and put it back in. Now the laptop refuses to go beyond the "hp invent" logo screen.
    If I press F10, it gets stuck on "entering setup", is there a way to reset the BIOS on the HP Pavilion ZT3000?

  • Camb Nov 28, 2007

    iv just tried to upgrade my Acer 3610 from XP Home to XP Pro and it hangs and doesnt get past the Checking system ....

  • sctosc Nov 30, 2007

    I ended up reinstalling Windows and the computer began booting normally all of the time, though I still believe that it may have been a bad hardware connection. If the problem manifests itself again, that's the first place I'll go. Thanks to all of you for your help!!!

  • Anonymous Dec 03, 2007

    same

  • thanousine Feb 29, 2008

    my laptop cannot see sata hdd on IDE0 in bios, and when i install win xp2, i can see it but when computer reboot, the hdd not work again. i think my hdd have problum but when i change to work at another computer, its work ok!how can i do. help me please. my notebook: acer aspire 3680, aspire 3683NWXCi

  • Anonymous Mar 12, 2008

    Acer TravelMate 2350 XP Pro. Unable to boot up, keeps asking for 6 digits pass word. shut computer down for 18 hrs are when turned back on have had problem since.

  • emong8128 Jul 14, 2008

    LS50a LG...my problem is it doensnt want to start up although it is lit it doesnt want to boot. originally it was hphome edition,i reformatted it to xp pro and then reformatted it to vita windows but after a week of using it and put it on a standby or sleep mode te next time i want to to turn it on it doesnt want to boot or start...until now and i was forced to buy a new laptop instead of paying 400$ to be repaired....emong8128

    l

  • dinogo34 Apr 14, 2009

    I have the same problem on my Dell Laptop. I have tried many times to boot from either the hard drive or boot cd with no such luck. On one occassion I was able to start the boot cd and halfway thru the setup stopped coping the config files off of the boot cd. Then an error appeared stating; unable to copy all setup and config files due to harddrive failure. It then asked me to reboot and once again was unable to access the boot cd.

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Sounds to me like both of you may be having hardware issues. When you try to enter the BIOS, it will poll all connecting ports (IDE, mini-PCI USB Hubs etc) to find out what is attached so it can be manipulated in the BIOS utility (of course HP/Compaq locks these feature out but hey what can you do) When the device is misbehaving, the BIOS is probably not able to communicate with it in order to get data from it (ie: model and serial number normally displayed in the BIOS via the IDE channel) thus it locks the system. Same thing happens when booting normally, its looking at the primary IDE channel; knows there something there that it should be able to boot from but can't read from it, thus you get the generic 'non-system disk error'. If the previous suggestion of reinstalling windows hasn't helped, then I would take the Hard drive to someone locally so then can test it on a desktop; or you can purchase a 40pin to 44pin IDE or USB adapter and attach it to your own desktop and see if you can browse it. If you can, then you might be looking at a motherboard problem, if you can't or it is intermitant (keep an ear out for excess noise) then the hard drive is probably defective. I hope this helps.

Posted on Nov 30, 2007

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I have a acer travelmate 3000 when i start my computer cant go to bios or any thing just hang even i remove the battery but nthing happen plz can sone one help me thanks

Posted on Sep 08, 2010

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I have the same problem with my laptop. After playing around with I found that the bios I stopping for an error which it is not showing. If you push the F1 key the systems boots.

Posted on Aug 14, 2009

Hi

I work as a computer technician and had a laptop with a similar problem. When I tried to boot from harddrive the cursor just blinked for 10-15 seconds and then nothing else happend. Same problem when trying to boot from cd/dvd. Well I found a solution for it and a reason for the problem. I removed the harddrive and plugged it into one of our test machines and ran an antivirus scan of the drive. Well it found some infected files and cleaned them up so I figured that was the problem. Well didnt help. The solution came by trial and errror. It seemed there was a virus in the system32 and drivers folders in the windows installation which the antivirus could not pick up. What I did was simply click the sys and dll files that are located in these folders and when clicking two of the files the antivirus suddenly found a virus in those files. May sound like a stupid idea but I think you should try and run antivirus scan and when that is done then go through the system32 and drivers folder, simply clicking the files once to highlight them. After I had done this I just mounted the drive back in the laptop and the computer started without any problems. My guess is that the virus somehow blocks the sys files from loading under boot resulting in a black screen as the drivers and sys files cannot be loaded. If you have tried everything else then just try this method. You have nothing to lose :)

Posted on Aug 21, 2008

WHAT "F" BUTTOM DO I PRESS TO RESET MY HO INVENT LAPTOP??

Posted on Apr 04, 2008

Hi all

Had the same problem as this.
Removed the CD\DVD bay. Rebooted, no go.
Took out the HDD and tested via connecting it to IDE and onto a desktop PC, initially the HDD was corrupt and unreadable, reformatted and reinstalled. Rebooted, no go.
Took out the keyboard release screws underneath, lifted the Key board and removed the RTC battery for bour 5-10mins. hookedher back up. Setup an external CD and rebooted. It came up with the F10=Based Setup trick and then flashed to a boot options list. Selected USB CD and away we go.
Crossing my fingers though after reading that the problem may be intermittant with some machines and could possibly be a hardware issue.

dmax

Posted on Feb 09, 2008

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I was using LCD inerfaced with my toshiba laptop,there ocured power interruption. Next time when starting it hungs up on "Microsoft windos XP" display. Shutting it down i started it in safe mode it works. But still i can't sart windos normally.

Posted on Jan 24, 2008

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Same solution and same result. Powered off, removed the retaining screw, removed the drive, rebooted to make sure it was a cd/dvd drive issue, powered off again, reinserted the drive, and booted back up. No problems at all.

Good luck to you.

PS- Don't forget to put the screw back in at the end.

Posted on Jan 02, 2008

I ended up reinstalling Windows, and the problems have stopped. I still think that it may have been caused by a faulty hardware connection somewhere, and if the problem manifests itself again, that's where I'll go first. Thanks to all of you for your help!!!

Posted on Nov 30, 2007

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Time to bite the bullet and reinstall windows.

You will only be able to do this when the computer loads normally.

Posted on Oct 13, 2007

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I was able to fix my problem.
It was being caused by the DVDRW drive in the media bay.
I removed my DVDRW drive and it started to boot fine. I then cleaned the DVDRW contacts and inserted it back and viola - everything was back to normal.

Considering that we both have the same model and our laptops are the same age, you might want to check the drive.

Hope this helps.

Posted on Nov 30, 2007

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