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Big computer trouble

Kevin Trotter

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So last night after reading two chapters for school putting my daughter the Evil One down for the night

and popping tomorrows dinner in the crock pot, I head down into the dungeon to liberate Kentares IV form the evil Stiener forces in my tricked out Mauler.

I turn on the computer and after the memory check..nothing. Just a blinking cursor in the left hand corner, like a DOS prompt only it wont accept any commands. After turning off the power and trying again ..nothing. Can anyone help me? Warning I am a computer semi illiterate so type slow and no big words.

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Hi Race,

Yep, that sounds like big trouble to me. Can you give us more details? What were the last things you've installed in the past, say, five days? Added any new hardware? Also, can you give us your system specs, including what operating system you have and what utility software you use? (Norton utilities, for example)

In the meantime, here's something you can do. It will probably result in your losing your data, however, but not knowing any details it's all I can offer at the moment.

Do you have Windows ME or XP? These come on bootable CDs. I believe certain versions of Windows 98 did as well.

Pop your OS CD in your CD-ROM drive, reboot your computer. Go into your BIOS setup and tell your comptuer to boot using the CD-ROM *FIRST*. Save and exit. With luck, windows setup will get going and hopefully give you the chance to MERELY reinstall windows. At the worst, you'll get a chance to format your hard drive. That will result in your losing everything, of course.

Give us some more info Race

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Don't know what OS I'm running my comp was built by our IT guy at work who is in Virginia for a week, just know that at setup non OS/2 was the default.

Also at setup when I tried to check the HDD it just blinked when I hit the enter button. Also says at the memory check screen for Primary master and secondary slave : None.

My wife claims my kid did something to the comp but didnt see her do it. The only hardware I added was a Sidewinder Joystick because the Wingman extreme was just too much for me. At one point I had both of them

plugged in at the same time although one is USB and the is serial port, I didnt think that was a problem.

It did this the day before but started up by itself after being left on of 15 minutes but last night it was on for 2hrs and nada.

AMD Athlon 1.33Mhz

GeForce2 200x 32mg

Soundblaster Pro


Soyo SY-K7VTA pro motherboard

Soyo PS/2 Keyboard

That all I can remember being that I'm at work.

Unfortunately I dont have Win98 bootdisk.

Hope this helps

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I got demoted too. Lt. Commander to Ensign, big step, that.

Guess this place runs by the 'What have you done for me lately' rules, heheh.

On your machine:

Sounds like your hard disk ribbon cable(s) have been unplugged. (I'd think your disk failed, but sounds more like something's been unplugged, since no drives show up at all; you should be seeing at least 1 hard disk and a CD drive in that list).

I'd then open the puppy up and check those cables at both ends to be sure they're plugged in. Then check to be sure all your cards are firmly seated in their slots.

Another thing to check: The drives could possibly be 'turned off' in your BIOS. On most systems, you hit delete after you turn the machine on, (it usually says what key to press to enter 'setup' at the bottom of the screen while it counts memory). Be careful of what you change in there, though. You should write down any changes you make, in case you mess up, so you can be sure to change it back after.

Good luck, man.


[ 02-27-2003, 11:55 AM: Message edited by: Duncan Idaho ]

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If you can't get this sorted let me know. I know you are in Pittsburgh, and I could come over and take a look at it. No charge ofcourse.

Do you get this message: Non system disk, please install system disk. Or something along those lines?

Do you get a C Prompt, looks like this: C:

If so, see if you can do this: C:dir and hit the enter button.

I too have been Demoted to Ensign. It is all explained in this thread.

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No messages similar to the ones you listed just a big fat blinking cursor that wont allow you to input any commands. If I don't get this straightend out I will most definitely take you up on your offer. Check your PM in a little while. Thanks

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Sounds like the Primary/secondary IDE controllers may have been set to disabled within the bios or a incorrect hard disk type set/set to none for each of your IDE connections.

That will stop the Non System disk or disk error at startup and the system will just sit there with a flashing cursor as it believes you have no hard disk.

To fix go into you bios (depending on board type can be DELETE or F2 or F10 or F1 during memory test)

On the general/basics page go into the configuration for your primary IDE controler disk 1 and check it is set to AUTO DETECT your hard disk.

Alternatively go to the Advanced Section and ensure your Primary IDE controler is set to enabled.

If that don't work I have other ideas but they are the best place to start!(probably )

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You lucky one.

I had the same problem 5 days ago. I was FURIOUS after 6 hours of troubleshooting (and im a PC tech! ACH!).

Then it dawned on me.. "it couldnt be the damn IDE cable..can it?"

Got new cable, plugged it, VOILA!


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