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Disk Boot Failure on initial startup.
I've seen this bit of weirdness in the past. The issue is actually fairly simple to diagnose.
What seems to be happening in this situation is as follows:
The computer starts off in a "cold" state - meaning it's been off for some time.
1.) You hit the power button
2.) The power supply engages, starts feeding power to the peripherals and the motherboard.
3.) The motherboard "wakes up" and begins it's POST (Power On Self Test) sequence.
4.) Peripherals (hard and optical drives) being their POST sequences as well.
Now then, the POST for the motherboard finishes before the hard drive finishes spinning up and POSTing itself. Therefore, when the motherboard's finished, the hard drive is still not ready for action. The motherboard decides it's not going to wait for the hard drive to finish and the motherboard fails the drive.
Now, if you hit the reset switch, the next time the computer boots, it recognizes the hard drive as it's already had a chance to power up at least partially.
So... What's the cause? When you power up a computer, all of the devices that are connected to it are activated at the same time so they can, if nothing else, be at the ready when the system comes online. So, if you've got a LOT of devices - two hard drives, two optical drives, multiple USB devices that draw power from the USB port, etc..., then it may be the power supply is inadequate for the task at hand. Additionally, things like video cards/chipsets can be quite power hungry.
Having a weak power supply can be the problem. Unfortunately, vendors these days tend to be as cheap as possible with their hardware. After all, they do want to make a profit. The problem lies, however, when the system and the components in it require say, 350 watts and the power supply installed is only rated at 300 or even 250 watts MAX. The word "MAX" appears on many power supplies these days - and means the power supply can deliver a maximum of it's rated wattage for a short period of time. It doesn't mean it can deliver that for an extended period of time.
However, it can also be the hard drive itself. Some drives tend to be "lazy" and not come up to their "ready" state fast enough.
Either way, wiping the hard drive and starting over isn't going to be a solution.
So...what to do about this... Given your post, it would seem you've only had the system for a couple of months and that means it should still be under warranty. The obvious fix would be to power it off, crack open the case and look at the power supply. If it's fairly small - say a 250 or 300 watt PSU, a replacement with a 400 or 450 watt PSU would be the quick fix - however, replacing it yourself could possibly void your warranty. Contact HP for assistance.
If the power supply is rated to be a reasonable amount, it could be faulty. It happens. Contact HP for a replacement.
The first thing I would suggest would be to have the computer checked out by someone who's got a larger power supply handy. If it seems to solve the problem, take the results of the test and going to HP and insisting (politely, of course) that they do something about it.
Submitted by Wolfie2k5
Houston, we have a hardware problem
This is indeed a frustrating problem. Without having access to your PC to test it, it's hard to say for certain what it is, but I think I can give you some idea what may be happening. My thought is that you have a hardware problem, and you need a new motherboard, or possibly hard drive. Maybe even power supply. I'll explain why.
First, 'boot disk' is (almost certainly) your C drive - the disk Windows usually lives on. The failure means that for some reason, while trying to boot, there was a problem reading the hard drive. You probably know this.
Now there are two different places this (or similar) error can occur, and as you didn't say exactly when it happens, I'll cover both.
The first is during POST when the hardware is getting itself ready to load. It's checked out basic processor and memory function (and a whole lot else), initialized the hardware, and then it tries to find the operating system. If at this point it can't find a disk with windows - it will complain...
Now since HP suggested running CHKDSK, I suspect it gets started and fails during boot. After all, a fragmented disk doesn't matter if you can't even start booting!
Now I have had disk boot errors when I've tried to put a hard drive onto a different motherboard. The reason here is that the drivers set up in Windows for the old motherboard would not work for the new motherboard and everything falls apart. However, this always happens - just rebooting won't fix it. This isn't your problem.
However, if you have a Windows (software) problem, you can expect it to do the same thing every time during boot. Yes I know Windows has ... idiosyncrasies? but the odd happenings usually occur after it's been running a while.
But your problem happens some times and not others. It happens when the computer is cold (just switched on), and then when you try again it works. The thing about software is that (fundamentally) the same code with the same data does thing every time. But hardware... When hardware is acting up all sorts of strange and inconsistent things can happen. Sometimes.
Now what can happen that makes a boot fail - and then succeed at the next try?
One thing is temperature. It is possible that something, perhaps a solder joint or other connection, doesn't make good contact when cold, but does when warm. Perhaps a component changes characteristics with temperature, and only works properly (or well enough) when warm. This applies to any chips, including the processor.
Another possibility is the simple fact that the machine is switched on and the power supply is present. It's just possible an electrolytic condenser is defective and causes a malfunction, but after it's been on a while, the fact that the voltage is present allows it to heal itself and work well enough.. until it's switched off again...
Now HP has had you run diagnostics and turned up nothing wrong. I'd say of course not - you can only run diagnostics after booting - and by the time you can boot, the problem has gone away.
one thing you can try - as soon as you switch on, press f1 to enter the BIOS to stop it booting. Wait a few minutes and then exit the BIOS and let it boot. If it does, it sounds a lot like warm-up problems.
So my strong suspicion is you have a hardware problem. If it's under warranty - get it fixed or replaced. Right now it is an irritation, but, whenever hardware is messing up, it's only likely to get worse. And you'd be really upset if it limped along just long enough for the warranty to expire.
If it's out of warranty it's a case of can you live with the inconvenience .. and remember to take frequent backups.
Submitted by redking44
Disk Boot Failure - Some Things To Try
The disk boot failure could come from a number of sources. As an ex-HP tech, I can offer some solutions one or a combination of which will hopefully correct the error.
First, check your BIOS settings to see if S.M.A.R.T drive reporting is enabled. If it is, disable it and give it a test run of 2-3 days under a regular rebooting cycle to see if the error persists. S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology)is a somewhat outdated standard developed as an "early warning" system to detect hard disk issues. If your desktop is newer, it may not even be available as an option as it is not widely used these days. The SMART technology while useful under certain circumstances had an extremely wide margin of error and would throw errors on boot occasionally when there would be nothing from either a physical or configuration standpoint failing or pending failing in the drive.
While we're in the BIOS, I'd recommend that you ensure that it is recognizing the drive correctly on each startup. The easiest way to ensure this is to reset your BIOS default settings. While on the BIOS screen, look for an indication either along the top or bottom designated by one of the function keys (I believe it used to be F10 to restore defaults). Be sure to save your changes and exit. Again, where you did not get the error every time, you may need to monitor it's progress to see if the error returns.
Second, physically check all cabling. A loose or in some cases failing IDE cable (assuming it is an IDE and not SATA connection) will produce these errors in the Pavilion line (and most others I would well imagine). Power everything completely down, remove the side of the case to give access to the drives and start with reseating the cable both at the drive end and the controller (where they plug into the motherboard) ends. Ultimately, if you were to pick up (or could somehow borrow) a different IDE cable to test for a short time it may also call out a failed or failing cable as well.
Third, we can't overlook the possibility of a failed drive itself. Formatting and/or recovering the drive will most likely not correct an error of this type. If any of the steps on the HP forums resemble those suggested above and have already been attempted, the issue may well point to the disk itself. How old is your system out of curiosity. HP had a now-infamous recall issue back at the early part of 2001-2002 with a batch of Fujitsu brand hard disks. Although I am skeptical that there are still some of those offending drives floating around (and if so that you are only receiving errors 6 years later ), the company *are* still obligated to replace should the drive be determined to be part of this recall. I realize this option is quite a stretch given the timeframe.
Keeping with issues with the drive itself however, if all steps listed above don't correct the errors, there could be a strong possibility of a failing disk. Since you say it will boot on occasion the failure may not be severe enough at this stage to completely fail, but a total inability to boot may be looming on the horizon. If the system is still within the warranty, HP will replace the drive for you (you will most likely have to ship the tower to them in a postage-paid box they will send you if you are unfamiliar with the repair process).
Should the system be outside of any manufacturer or extended warranty you may have purchased additionally, you will need to purchase and have a new hard drive installed. Some facilities may be able to salvage information off your original disk for transfer (although where you are still at a point where your OS boots occasionaly, backing up data important to you is something I would go about starting ASAP) before installing the new one.
I hope one or a combination of the recommendations I've made correct your issue. Keep me posted if possible.
Submitted by H41N
Disk boot failure
I have had this message a number of times. There were different explanations on different occasions.
Before you do anything else, back up your computer. The time it takes to back up is much less than the time it takes to recover from a disk failure (if you can). I've been there. At the very least, back up your documents, pictures, music files, and data files.
Two possibilities you need to consider: your system is attempting to boot from a disk/drive/card without a system file, or your Master Boot Record (MBR) is faulty, a sign your hard disk may be about to fail.
The first possibility occurred to me: my computer (a Gateway Core 2 Duo) was giving me the message 'Unable to find DOS.' It turned out that it was trying to boot from a memory card in my USB-connected photo printer. When you boot/reboot, you may see a (sometimes brief) message "Press <Del> to setup BIOS options" or similar message. The keys are usually <Del>, <F2>, <F10>, or <F12>. When you are brought into your Setup screen, go to Boot Options. The most frequent sequence for boot is <Floppy> (if you have one), Optical Drive (CD/DVD drive) and HD0, your main hard drive. Unless you have a boot system on a USB flash drive, you do not want your machine to attempt to boot to a USB. This was the cause of my difficulty. I had to disable 'Boot USB First', an option I hadn't seen when I set up the machine.
If this does not work, you need to try to refresh your Master Boot Record. I have a program from GRC associates (www.grc.com) called SpinRite, which refreshes the signals on the tracks on your drives. It has save a failing drive long enough to allow me to copy it over to another drive. There are other programs, including free ones, that will refresh your MBR. A copy of your MBR is kept in the early tracks on the hard drive, and various programs will 'refresh' your MBR.
If you succeed in getting your computer to boot, I suggest you think about a new hard drive. The 'failure to boot' is often the early death call of a failing hard drive.
If your drive fails to boot, not all is lost. Borrow a hard drive from a friend who has the same OS as your computer. Use the other hard drive to back up your hard disk. Once a drive has failed to boot, I replace it and use it as auxiliary storage for non-critical data (e.g., music and video files I can replace).
I hope this is helpful.
Whatever the outcome of your situation, I cannot emphasize enough backing up your hard drives periodically (e.g., once a month) and your data files frequently (daily). Been there. Done that. Saved my skin more than once.
Submitted by: qdon