Very large (HUGE!) Problem, A7A266

Philisoft

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Jun 3, 2001
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I need _someone's_ help, because I've never had a problem on this large of a scale before =) This isn't your "my computer is detecting 255MB of ram instead of 256 on my a7a" problem, I can't even get into my system because of the new A7A board and windows 2000.

Here is the current dilema: I've had an emachines OEM box for awihle now, bought the new Asus A7A266 board and am putting all of my devices into the board from the emachines, leaving the board and its processor in the old box. Now, did all the installation, few hitches here and there, got past post into bios. Recognizes my hard drive, recognizes the master boot partition.

I currently have only 1 hard drive, 13GB, partitioned so that I have a windows 2000 NTFS partition, and linux. When i start up with the new motherboard, LILO comes up (the linux utility that lets you pick your operating system). I can pick windows 2000 or linux. Linux boots fine but doesn't recognize the keyboard for some reason, but I'm not worried about that. Windows 2000 starts booting, hits the colorful startup screen and fails.

The error is a STOP error, Inacessible_boot_device. I looked this up on many pages/forums, and its kind of a common error sometimes when you upgrade your hard drives or motherboards. I've tried the obvious suggestions like checking to make sure my hard drive is set to the correct master/slave jumper etc. The problem seems to be with the motherboard and the harddrive in windows 2000, so I'm not sure what to do. I want to try and upgrade the bios, and see if that fixes the compatibility problem. If anyone has had a similar error and fixed it, please post how.

Anyway, back to the situation at hand: I cannot flash the bios. Remember, I cannot boot into windows 2000. The windows2000 boot disk lets me go into a "command-console" mode, which isn't really a command prompt because you can only do a certain number of commands (cannot run exe's btw). In this command console I tried using the command "chkdsk", which is what the blue screen error told me to do. Of course the hard drive checked out fine. So, the command console didn't help because I cannot run the bios program I have which is on a floppy. I cannot do a windows 9x startup disk dealy, because my hard drive is NTFS and the 9x systems only recognize fat compatible drives.

So, the above choices are out. I cannot just take soomeone's windows 98 hard drive and let it load into windows 98 on my current setup (I think that would work, 98 would detect all of the hardware hopefully) I cannot do that because my master boot partition is modified to have linux lilo handle it, not windows 2k or any other operating system. Of course none of my friends have lilo installed or anything, and I'm not sure if that would work regardless. If I were to put in a 98 hard drive and then startup, I do believe the master boot partition would look for the lilo manager to execute, fail, and stall. Also, I cannot boot off of the windows 2000 CD rom for some reason (I have CD as my 2nd boot check, after the floppy, but even with the 2k CD in there it goes past it and to the hard drive to load windows 2000). Actually I'm not sure if the CD is even bootable, but it would be nice because the windows 2000 startup disks take like 15 minutes to load the necessary files (4 disks!) and it has limited options.

So, that's my position. I'm currently online becuase I reverted back to my other motherboard setup. I have friends who can look things up for me on the internet, but I'm not too concerned about that because the #1 most probable solution (updating the new mobo's bios) is impossible because I cannot get these files from this disk (also have them on CDrom) into memory to run them. I have the image and the dos-based flashing program as well as the windows one. I'm in windows but cannot flash because I'm on my original motherboard.

Any suggestions would be incredibly helpful, this problem is holding me up, I cannot sleep at night =) I'd like to gather all of the information I can because It's a perty painful process switching all components to the other motherboard considering I only have one case. I don't want to switch everything, find out it doesn't work, and come all the way back to this system to try some more solutions.
Right now my computer components w/ the new motherboard are in a box in a heap =) it works tho, nice looking computer.... just can't get into windows =(

Also I was thinking, I remember the 9x boot disk once letting me have a command prompt when my hard drive died, but I only had access to A: in the command prompt and couldn't really do anything. Does anyone remember if the windows boot disk will work if you're hard drive is not readable by dos (NTFS)? If that works, I could just do that because I only need access to the disk to flash the bios (or so the program says, methinks).
Help!
Thanks.

-Phil Crosby
http://www.philisoft.com
http://www.graphics-design.com
 

rbertino

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Jan 16, 2001
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Okay, just a thought here, but I have a feeling it might be the Linux LILO. Windows NT/2000 can be very picky about the boot sector. Did you follow the documentation on getting Linux to work on a Windows 2000 machine? From what I recall, it requires that you use a Linux Boot Disk as opposed to using the LILO.

So, my thought is to fdisk the hard drive, and start over, but just install Windows 2000 (no Linux). If this clears up your problems than it's something with the Linux LILO.

For more info on Linux, I've always used <A HREF="http://www.linuxdoc.org" target="_new">http://www.linuxdoc.org</A>, it has documentation on how to do almost everything in Linux.

<i>I don't know anything about computers... but I did stay at a Holiday Inn last night...</i> :lol:
 
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Guest

Guest
Since you had linux on the partition fdisk won't remove it from the MBR. run the following command:
fdisk /mbr
this erases the MBR, after running this command run fdisk

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I bought a pentium once!
Everybody makes mistakes..
 

Philisoft

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I'm not concerned about Lilo's pressence, as I'd rather not remove it. I'm running the same machine/hard drive setup, just on a different motherboard. I've had linux working in windows 2000 for quite some time now, just upon recieving the motherboard windows 2000 now crashes. Generally the error I'm getting appears when you install a new IDE device controller or a new motherboard, or if your hard drive is corrupt. My HD checks out by their own utility, so I'm none too sure how to fix the IDE problem, because again even if I found a solution I wouldn't be able to access windows 2000 under the new motherboard to apply it (can't run an exe in any way with the newer motherboard attached).

Also I was thinking, I remember the 9x boot disk once letting me have a command prompt when my hard drive died, but I only had access to A: in the command prompt and couldn't really do anything. Does anyone remember if the windows boot disk will work if you're hard drive is not readable by dos (NTFS)? If that works, I could just do that because I only need access to the disk to flash the bios (or so the program says, methinks).
Help!
Thanks.

-Phil Crosby
http://www.philisoft.com
http://www.graphics-design.com
 

Spdy_Gonzales

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Mar 9, 2001
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I don't know anything about win2k, but I believe you could boot with a win98 or winME startup disk, even if you can't access the HD (I assume that to be the case because you can boot into DOS even if you have a spanking new hard drive that has not yet been formated). However, if you are wanting to flash the bios you should check the motherboard manufacturer's website to see if they have a startup disk download, and what they say about flashing the bios from DOS.

I wonder...what is the speed of gravity?
 

Philisoft

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Jun 3, 2001
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I've confirmed the 98 boot disk will work fine on my system and that I should be able to flash my bios with it. btvillarin said that in this thread, http://forumz.tomshardware.com/software/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=7180#7180

Well, I'll have to make a startup disk, no problem I'm sure I can download one somewhere. But, I have no idea if this will be the solution to my problem and want to collect a few more suggestions before I switch this whole system over to the A7A setup and try that flash thing =)

-Phil Crosby
http://www.philisoft.com
http://www.graphics-design.com
 
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Guest

Guest
i have had this problem too on a celeron/tyan s1854 combination. i just cant get in so im having to reinstall. i think its the nvidia 12.41 drivers but im not sure any other ideas anyone??

cheers

steve

CELERON 667@1GHZ............... WOTS THE POINT?<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by steveoliver on 06/15/01 06:13 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
 
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Guest

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ok have just reinstalled using 12.4 not 12.41 everything seems to be ok i'll update in a bit

cheers

steve

CELERON 667@1GHZ............... WOTS THE POINT?
 

Parid

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Feb 15, 2001
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Have you checked your Boot.ini file out yet? I don't remember if the recover console has a text editor or not but make sure it is setup correctly. There is not reason why you couldn't use another bootloader like lilo as long as lilo knows how to start 2k up correctly.

Boot.ini should be on the first drive in your computer (the one it boots off of) when you installed 2k.

Boot.ini tells win2k which partition your winnt folder is on to boot off of. This is where people have a lot of problems when adding HDs.


Here is an example of my win2k boot.ini file:
[boot loader]
timeout=30
default=multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT
[operating systems]
multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINNT="Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional" /fastdetect

Multi= Disk Controler, be it IDE or SCSI, starts count at 0
Disk= Disk number on the controler, starts count at 0
rdisk= don't remember :)
Partition= Partition number, starts at 1 for some reason, I think it might have to do with the MBR, maybe the mbr is 0 *shrugs*

Make sure it's pointing to the right place on your machine to get to your winnt files. Go ahead and add more lines if you want. It will bring up a menu for you to pick from.

Hope this helps.
 

Philisoft

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My boot.ini file is identical to yours. I'm going to do a big reformat I guess, because I read in several places you're not supposed to just switch a hard drive over to a new motherboard, but install 2k from scratch on that motherboard. So, I'm going to switch the other motherboard into this system, boot from the 2k safe disk, and reinstall. Hopefully there will be an option to swtich to FAT32, because I'm sick of this NT only NTFS; basically you're screwed if NT crashes, which despite what microsoft says, it obviously does.

-Phil Crosby
http://www.philisoft.com
http://www.graphics-design.com
 
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Guest

Guest
Well... first of all, I´d like to ask u readers some patience with my awful English, cuz the country I live in doesn´t have English as a native language... Well... I have a A7A133, Athlon 1@1.15, 256RAM PC133, Quantum 10Gb Plus AS + 40 Gb LCT20, etc etc etc... When I first bought this machine, I bought it without the 10gb Plus AS HD... So, with my 40Gb LCT20 the first problem I had was when installing Win2k... This mobo has that awesome ATA100 Primise Controler PLUS 2 more IDE Slots... When I mounted this machine, I obviously put my HD on the main ATA100 slot, cuz it´s the fastest one... everyone would´ve done that, right? So... When I began installing Win2k, the first problem came up... Windows Setup couldn´t locate the source path... Well, I had installed Win2k a thousand times before and I never had such a problem... It took ME ABOUT 2 HOURS thinking what could´ve been wrong, till I got to the conclusion that it could only be that ATA 100 crap... Then i switched the HD to primary IDE, started Win2k installation (plus 3 hours in that AWFUL file copy thing) all over and I finally had Win2k installed... Right... Then I installed all proper drivers (including Promise ATA100 Controller drivers, the most important ones) and switched back to the main ATA100 controler... Ok, then Win2k ran ok... no more problems... THEN, i decided to buy this new Plus AS HD, which everyone knows is much faster than those LCTs... Well, just like our friend Phil, I copied (using Norton Ghost 2001) all the things on the LCT to the new HD... it wouldnt work... Then i had to reinstall Win2k... that´s when more problems came up... I formated my new HD correctly and did all the stuff u usually do to install an OS... right... then, I started Installing Win2k from a bootable CD (3 hours more to copy all those 3000 files to the HD) and then that Graphical Setup started... U know that first screen where the program detects keyboard and mouse? So... with about 60% done, that LOVELY blue screen came up and said there was an error, that the installation program couldnt locate the boot device, just like our friend Phill said... Right... I tried repeating it 3 times, always gettin the same errors... Then i quit... I installed WinMe, cuz all I wanted was using the computer. Right... As everyone knows, WinME in stability is a nothing but crap... Then I decided to install Win2k, no matter how long it´d take... Then, as in my comp. i couldn´t install 2k at all, i installed on my brothers comp (equal to mine, but he uses a 40gb LCT) and everything went well... (well, i had to switch between ATA100 Promise Slot and IDE, but I already knew that, so, piece of cake). Then i installed all drivers (as his comp is EXACTLY like mine, the drivers would be the same in my machine). Right... i installed all drivers, made a Ghost image, picked up the image file over the network and installed on my 10GB plus as hd... I didnt even had to switch slots cuz the drivers were all installed... Well... for my total surprise, when i booted up next time, Win2k would finally run... I´m currently using 2k and it´s very stable on my machine... So, so sum up, I guess Win2k has some compatibility problems with ATA100 slots and PLUS AS drives... I guess win2k recognizes ATA100 slots as scsi devices, that´s why it couldnt locate the source path... However, in relation to Plus AS drive, I have no idea why i had problems... If i´m not mistaken, A7A266 only has 2 ATA100 slots, right? So, maybe you´ll have some trouble when installing Win2k all over... Besides, that ALiMagik chipset has shown some problems... Maybe u should consider buying a A7M266 Mobo, cuz its chipset is much better than AliMagik´s... Just to finish it up, Win98/ME can read NTFS partitions... DOS also... And if Win2k/NT crashes, you´re not screwed, cuz there is this tool called System Life Line that lets you access Win2k/NT partitions before boot so that u can save importany information (u can password protect the access to that feature). Well, I hope I helped somehow...
 
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Guest

Guest
It don't need to have an OS installed in order to update the Bios. I have the same mobo and I flash the Bios before ever Fdisk the HD. All you need is go to a Win98 machine and format with the "copy system files" checked. This will format your floppy and copy three files to to the floppy ( COMMAND.COM, IO.SYS, and MSDOS.SYS).

Now download the Bios update from ASUS and copy the AFLASH.EXE and Bios file to your new boot up disk. Now boot from the floppy disk and update your bios. Hope this helps.
 

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