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07-17-2011 01:31 PM
Here is a truly curious puzzle.
I have an 8710w Mobil Workstation. A few weeks ago it started giving trouble and then refused to startup because of a missing DLL. After a couple of attempts to patch around the problem, I decided to reload a Macuium disk image. After this reload, the system would hang on startup at a blank black screen with just a blinking cursor. I reloaded again and told Macrium to replace the master boot record. The sytem then reported media test failure and then non-system disk. I attempted to run the recovery system from the recovery partition on the hard disk. It claimed success, but hung on boot. I then tried to load a generic copy of Windows XP which reported that there were no hard disks in the system. This seemed to suggest that the hard disk is going bad, so I ordered a new one. When that came, I repeated most of the steps with exactly the same results. Further checking shows that the BIOS disk self-test passes and several flavors of RAM-based Linux will load iwth no problem and have no trouble reading the disk. Does anyone have any insights about what is going on here or more importantly what can be done to bring this system back to life?
07-17-2011 01:57 PM
I doubt there was anything wrong with your hard drive.
You can't load XP on these newer notebooks (2006+) without doing one of three things...Slipstream the SATA ACHI drivers into a copy of the XP installation disk, load them at the F6 prompt, or go into your BIOS and change the SATA Native Mode from Enabled to Disabled (or IDE).
I can't get into your service manual (website is non reponsive) to tell you exactly where that setting is. Normally it is found in the device configuration menu.
If you change the SATA Native Mode in the BIOS, you must manually install the SATA ACHI drivers post XP installation. If you need help doing that, please post back, and I will be happy to assist you. You cannot change the BIOS setting back until you install the SATA ACHI drivers or your notebook will not boot.