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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Part 2 Having problems reformatting hard drive (XP SP 2?)

    Hello everyone. As I mentioned in my desperate bid for help the other day (THANK YOU, AGAIN!) I have a second computer to fix; my nephew's. It was because of something I was trying to do for his computer that <img src=/S/cooked.gif border=0 alt=cooked width=50 height=46> mine. Learned from that!

    I have been working on this computer for 4 days off and on (mine came 1st, of course!) The computer boots to the Welcome Screen, however, I get a message stating that the computer needs to be activated by Microsoft and asks if I want to do that. I click yes and the next message tells me it's already activated and logs me out. It's a loop and it is documented at Microsoft. http://support.microsoft.com/kb/312295 Unfortunately, I cant seem to boot into safe mode to follow the instructions. The motherboard is an Asus and pressing the delete key takes me into the Bios. Tried every other key to boot into safe mode but nothing.

    So I decided to reformat his hard drive and reinstall the operating system. HERE IS WHAT I DO KNOW: The CD drive is in working order and the XP CD is definitely bootable (tried it on mine to be sure.) The hard drive is Master on the primary IDE and the CD drive is Master on the secondary. They both show up in the BIOS.
    Now for the troubles: I have set the boot sequence every way possible and no matter what I do, it is ignoring the CD drive and booting from the HD. Even if I take the HD out of the boot sequence! The only time it actually booted from the CD was when the hard drive was not showing up in the BIOS; however, that just shows me that the CD and disk are in working order. I removed the battery, waited for five minutes and reinstalled it to reset the BIOS. I thought <img src=/S/doh.gif border=0 alt=doh width=15 height=15> I was getting somewhere when the screen came up giving me the option to go to safe mode BUT THE KEYBOARD WOULDN'T WORK. Unplugging the computer and waiting and replugging again got the keyboard back but whenever I get the golden opportunity to boot to safe mode - the keyboard doesn't work AGAIN.

    I am sorry about the length of this plea for assistance; I wanted to let you know what I have done so that maybe you could figure out where to start from here. When (IF) I get this computer running again, I'd like to do an upgrade or two and will ask those questions if we make it that far.

    <img src=/S/thankyou.gif border=0 alt=thankyou width=40 height=15> for all of your patience and assistance!
    cs.
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
    Mahatma Ghandi

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger Leif's Avatar
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    Re: Part 2 Having problems reformatting hard drive (XP SP 2?)

    You should be able to get into safe Mode by hitting the F8 key - is that not working?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Re: Part 2 Having problems reformatting hard drive (XP SP 2?)

    As Leif says, the F8 key is the one you need for Safe Mode. F12 is the key usually used to give you a menu to select the Boot Device.

    It can be difficult on some PCs or laptops to get it to be accepted, so, as soon as you've pressed the Power button on, begin pressing and releasing the F8 key (gently but firmly!) at a rate of about once a second until it comes up with the expected menu.

    The same would apply for the F12 key.

    If your keyboard seems flaky, have you tried a different one? Or a PS/2 one instead of a USB one (assuming you have this option)?
    BATcher

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    Gold Lounger Rebel's Avatar
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    Re: Part 2 Having problems reformatting hard drive (XP SP 2?)

    "BUT THE KEYBOARD WOULDN'T WORK"
    Is it possible that you have some brand of "Multimedia" keyboard? On many of these keyboards, the Function keys have TWO functions, and unless you press the "F Lock" key as soon as the keyboard is recognized (when booting), the secondary functions are the default - i.e. the F8 key will function as "Fwd" and the F12 key will function as "Print" (at least on my keyboard). If I press the F Lock key as soon as the keyboard is recognized, then all of my F keys work as F keys.
    John
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  5. #5
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Part 2 Having problems reformatting hard drive (XP SP 2?)

    Thank you all for your suggestions. F8 doesn't work; it just delays the amount of time it takes to boot the HD. I tried another keyboard (mine) and got the same results. Arrow keys don't work when the screen comes up with various start up methods. Of course, booting from the CD drive isn't working either. I am so frustrated with this one. Could it be some type of BIOS setting? Should the HD and the CD be on the same Primary IDE cable as Master and Slave? I didn't think that was necessary. What else can you suggest?

    I have to back away slowly from the computer now before something gets <img src=/S/meltdown.gif border=0 alt=meltdown width=15 height=15>

    Thanks for your help; it is always appreciated.
    cs.
    "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
    Mahatma Ghandi

  6. #6
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Part 2 Having problems reformatting hard drive (XP SP 2?)

    What happens if you connect the CD as the primary on the MB and the HD as the secondary ??
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  7. #7
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Part 2 Having problems reformatting hard drive (XP SP 2?)

    I have an Asus motherboard (with AMI BIOS).

    If I press F8 too early during POST or before POST, I get a dialog for choosing boot device, and then I can either select another, if I have, or press Esc, to continue the start (if I remember correct).

    These fancy BIOS setup programs nowadays react on all kind of keys; my AMI BIOS has Delete as the default key for Setup, but as mentioned there is F8 for boot device list, TAB does something else, Alt+F2 updates the BIOS with Asus EZ Flash built in to the firmware.

    So, if the Windows installation isn't completely damaged etc. I would say F8, but not too early, because then the BIOS boot list will be invoked, long before the "Windows Advanced Options Menu".

    Of course it's possible to run BIOS Setup, disable eventual Quick Boot and Full Screen Logo (if any) so that one can see the POST and press F8 at the right time.

    When you say "... decided to reformat his hard drive and reinstall the operating system ..." and now talking about problems with Safe Mode, does that mean you have successfully installed the OS after reformat or was this before, or...?

  8. #8
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Re: Part 2 Having problems reformatting hard drive (XP SP 2?)

    By accident I came across this, whose first article talks about the problems some PCs have with pressing F8 on a USB keyboard...
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  9. #9
    Platinum Lounger
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    Re: Part 2 Having problems reformatting hard drive (XP SP 2?)

    I sometimes run into the USB keyboard problem myself. I find it useful to have BootSafe on my system, which makes booting to safe mode easy. <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> little utility.

    Alan

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