I have an amazingly confounding problem.
A friend has an HP Pavilion P6000 series computer circa 2010. Recently, a storm came through and flickered the power a few times in rapid succession. After this happened, the computer seemingly would not boot from the hard disk - the BIOS would report it could find no boot media after trying to network boot, etc.
Windows will boot just fine if I do one of two things:
- Enter the BIOS and exit (I don't have to make any changes or even save and exit)
- Boot with a bootable CD or USB stick attached.
For the BIOS trick, it just works. For the CD trick, I just don't hit a key at "Press any key to boot from CD or DVD".
I have tried the following things to resolve the issue:
- run startup repair 3 times
- Rebuilt the BCD by hand using the Nuclear Holocaust instructions here: http://neosmart.net/wiki/recovering-windows-bootloader/#Attempt_Three_Nuclear_Holocaust
- Replaced the SATA cable
- Tried booting on every SATA port on the motherboard (there are four of them), without the DVD drive attached (hard drive is the only SATA device)
- Powered off, removed power, removed CMOS battery, and jumpered CMOS to discharge for ten minutes
- Reset BIOS to factory default
The BIOS does not have a "startup delay" setting, otherwise I would have tried that too.
The only remaining things to try are a complete OS rebuild (which I don't want to do if I can avoid it, I hate OEM restores and my friend can't find his discs) or clone the OS to a new hard drive. My hypothesis is that the power surges damaged either the hard drive or the SATA controller.
Is there anything else I can try?