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Top Student
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎04-04-2014
Message 1 of 5 (3,974 Views)
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Diagnostic error codes 303 and 305.

I am having problems with a Compaq presario CQ61 421SA which is over 3 years old and hardly used. It has become unresponsive and would hang constantly on the desktop page. Then it would only start in Safe mode and eventually it would not do even that. I have recovered from the recovery partition 3 times now and got things going again only to relapse to the same problems. I have performed all sorts of checks from sfc/scannow,scandisk,hard boot,clean boot and even BIOS update. Nothing shown or improving. Diagnostics before boot up checks have shown both codes 303 and 305 and the log has several entries in this respect. The computer is presently running OK but a full diagnostic still produces a 305 error even though I have recovered from the recovery partition and updated everything. I fear it will start misbehaving again shortly. On my latest recovery I tried setting the BIOS to boot from the internal DVD and then put in the first of the 3 recovery discs I created when I first purchased it. It did not seem to want to read the disc or start installing from it so I reverted to the recovery partition. I am reluctant to throw good money after bad until I can be sure that a new hard drive is needed.

All suggestions/help would be gratefully received.

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Accepted Solution

Re: Diagnostic error codes 303 and 305.

Hi,

 

Thanks again for the help.

 

I have now resolved this one. I found that the 303 and 305 codes got worse when I also started failing the SMART test on the diagnostics on checks done from within the BIOS. That was pretty much conclusive of the problem - failing hard drive. I replaced the HDD with a brand new one of slightly larger size (500 gb as opposed to 320), made sure the BIOS was set to prioritise booting from the CD Rom drive rather than the HDD and then used the 3 installation disks I had created when the computer was first purchased in order to get back to a fully functioning state. The downside was  it was in  the same state as it was when first purchased with all later DATA lost. Apart from time, it all went well albeit I had to reinstall the endless security updates  etc to bring myself fully up to date again. It proves the value of backing up files elsewhere or creating an ISO file of the content of the old hdd before it fails with a view to reinstating later. As long as you are using the original motherboard and the installation disks first created it looks like those disks will run and reinstate on a brand new new hdd.  Hope this assists somebody else.

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Master's Graduate
Posts: 410
Member Since: ‎03-27-2014
Message 2 of 5 (3,961 Views)

Re: Diagnostic error codes 303 and 305.

Hi DJag,

 

303 and 305, is a error there tells 2 things.

 

1. It the harddisk there is dying.

2. It can be the HDD controller on the motherboard.

 

But 9/10 times is it the harddisk there is the problem on this errors.

Zincas
I am an HP notebook/printer technician.

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Top Student
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎04-04-2014
Message 3 of 5 (3,957 Views)

Re: Diagnostic error codes 303 and 305.

Thank you for your prompt response. I did not know about the possibility of the HDD controller on the motherboard. Is there any way that the controller can be tested?

 

Best regards

Master's Graduate
Posts: 410
Member Since: ‎03-27-2014
Message 4 of 5 (3,954 Views)

Re: Diagnostic error codes 303 and 305.

[ Edited ]

Hi,

 

I really have no idea right now. I have not being able to find any tool yet. So I don't think there is any public tool yet.

Zincas
I am an HP notebook/printer technician.

Please click “Accept as Solution ” on the post that solves your issue to help others find the solution.
Click the Thumbs Up on the left to say “Thanks” for helping!
Top Student
Posts: 3
Member Since: ‎04-04-2014
Message 5 of 5 (3,910 Views)

Re: Diagnostic error codes 303 and 305.

Hi,

 

Thanks again for the help.

 

I have now resolved this one. I found that the 303 and 305 codes got worse when I also started failing the SMART test on the diagnostics on checks done from within the BIOS. That was pretty much conclusive of the problem - failing hard drive. I replaced the HDD with a brand new one of slightly larger size (500 gb as opposed to 320), made sure the BIOS was set to prioritise booting from the CD Rom drive rather than the HDD and then used the 3 installation disks I had created when the computer was first purchased in order to get back to a fully functioning state. The downside was  it was in  the same state as it was when first purchased with all later DATA lost. Apart from time, it all went well albeit I had to reinstall the endless security updates  etc to bring myself fully up to date again. It proves the value of backing up files elsewhere or creating an ISO file of the content of the old hdd before it fails with a view to reinstating later. As long as you are using the original motherboard and the installation disks first created it looks like those disks will run and reinstate on a brand new new hdd.  Hope this assists somebody else.

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