Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Troubleshoot DELL Desktop (Disk Failure)

Few days ago i was called by a customer with DELL PC. The reported problem was the system could be boot through hard disk. The familiar 'DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK' was displayed. The common reason for this error message is the problem with boot partition / boot sector which iniates the booting process. On encountering these problems we normally check the connection of Hard Disk and IDE cable and power cable. Some times this will fix the problem for old and worn Hard Disks. FDISK /MBR rarely works.

BIOS was not able to get the boot secotor. The hard disk was giving a tick, tack sound which indicates that the disk is dead and no longer usable. The PC was DELL make of 2000. I think the model is GX200. It runs on Intel Pentium III 733 MHz processor. The memory was 256 MB RDRAM. Two modules of 128 MB chips were found on two slots.

The simple and only solution was a replacement of Hard Disk. Nowadays Hard Disks use SATA interface for data transfer. The old IDE technology is obsolete. New motherboards did not even have the IDE connectors. But the IDE Disks are still available on markets to support older systems. I consulted my hardware vendor and they confirmed 160 GB is not supported and only 80 GB or less is supported. I got a 80GB seagate at 2050 from a coimbatore wholesaler. The machine accepted the DISK after some BIOS configs.

Another problem is some noise from speaker at irregular intervals. I could not figure out the reason for the noise. I suspect the sound card and its electricals. The old chip and its electronics is giving this weired sounds. I have to check it today. I have planned to check the speaker on a different system. If the speaker is ok the sound card is the culprit.

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