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A friend gave me his computer to repair. It does not boot at all. When we try to boot from the hard disk, safe mode is not an option as it seems it cannot detect windows. I suspect the HDD is wiped or corrupt.

Trying to boot from USB wont help either. No error is returned. Just a blinking cursor. Trying the same USB on a netbook yields the normal results so the USB stick is fine.

Trying to boot directly from the internal HDD I get this message:

Intel UNDI, PXE-2.1 (build 082)
Copyright (C) 1997-2000 Intel Corporation
For Atheros PCIE Ethernet Controller v2.0.0.9(05/08/09)

Check cable connection!
PXE-MOF:Existing Intel PXE ROM.
No bootable device -- insert boot disk and press any key 

Other then that I get no more text.


When I go into bios I see everything. The HDD is a Toshiba mk5065gsx. The usb I am trying to boot off is a lacie iamakey. All the details are there.

The lacie iamakey was preloaded with Ubuntu 11.04 and windows 7 separately. None were detected by the computer both were detected by my net book.

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The PXE message means that the computer is trying to boot from the network. Possible because booting from the HDD failed and it is falling back to other options (e.g. CDROM, floppy, network, ...) –  Hennes Dec 18 '12 at 14:39
    
Can you get into the BIOS and check if the HDD is detected. (and add that information to the original post). If it is no longer detected then the HDD is broken, or the SATA controller on the motherboard is broken, or a cable has fallen out. If it is detected then you should be able to access it if you boot from a floppy, pendrive (I know, failed for some reason: might be if legacy mode disabled in the BIOS), or from a CDROM. (A live CD would be most useful here, but even a window install DVD would do if you access a command from via shift-F10) –  Hennes Dec 18 '12 at 14:46
    
Hi Stephen! Please register your account here as currently you're only authenticated with a cookie, which you seem to have lost. I've made your answer an edit to the post, but please simply register, so you can drop comments, edit posts yourself, etc. Thanks! –  slhck Dec 18 '12 at 15:27
    
The HDD and the USB along with the CD Drive were all detectable in BIOS –  Stephen Dec 19 '12 at 8:47

1 Answer 1

Open the computer and ensure everything is connected (cables) and that there is a CPU, RAM and a hard drive!

On start up, can you get to the BIOS and load default settings.

You could try to load Unix from a CD to see if that starts the machine up (to rule out if the HDD is duff or not).

I suggest you slave the hard drive into a computer and then use a SMART tool or similar to test it.

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It is a laptop so opening it up completely while is possible, I would like to only do it as a last resort. To check it completely would require dismantling most of the laptop. From the back panels that are accessible I did see that the CPU and RAM as well as the hard drive are indeed connected. A quick look at the BIOS also indicated that the USB drives were able to identify the devices plugged into them. Given these indicators do you still think having a look at all the components connected to the motherboard is required? –  Stephen Dec 19 '12 at 5:53

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