[thechat] Laptop Woes

Luther, Ron Ron.Luther at hp.com
Wed Mar 21 08:25:26 CDT 2007

Roger Austin offered some helpful suggestions:

(As did Hassan as well!)

>>I would first create a bootable floppy to see if the hard drive 
>>is the issue or whether it is something else.

Thanks Guys!!

My wife and I had a discussion about 'boot disks' recently. 
(Actually, I probably rambled on incoherently. Reminiscing 
eloquently about 'boot disks' and 'bootable disks' and 
recalling the last time I really needed either of them, 
while my wife, long suffering soul that she is, ignored me 
and took direct action attempting to fix the dang thing.) 

<shrug />

And yes, being relatively newish, this laptop has no flopperty!  ;-(

>>Boot to the floppy and see if you get similar results as the hard
>>If you can get to Windows Explorer, run the Tools under the harddrive 
>>properties. Run the Error checking tool. 

My wife [*] had been managing to boot the laptop off a CD after much 
'escape', 'F1' nonsense.  At one point I did see her running drive 
error checking or drive error correction thingies off the Tools menu 
so I believe she ran through this as one of her diagnostic/correction 

>>You will probably need to restart to run it on the main drive.

Aye, and there's the rub; the restart.  She go to the black screen. 
She doan never come back.  <sigh />


<sound_effect type = "ta ta Ta DA!" />

There has been a new development!

This just in.  Last evening I believe I saw my first ever 
non-ambiguous computer error message!  You heard right 
folks!  Or, at the very least, the first such error 
message I have seen in a very very long time!

The error was prefaced with the word [Toshiba].  Toshiba? 

This struck me as a tad unusual at the time since my son drives 
a Compaq. (Hey, what could I do - I was working there at the 
time, okay?)  But also a tad interesting since it appeared to 
be an error message from a 'component' manufacturer!  I don't 
think I've ever seen one of those before.

The message mumbled something about a 'sector 0 error'. (Boot 
sector, home of the MBR, land of the FAT and all of that, right?) 

Anyway, the key portion of the message was the inclusion of 
a phrase indicating that "Drive Failure IS Imminent!"


Holy 'Danger Will Robinson'!  

That seems clear enough for even *me* to understand!   ;-)

Needless to say, we'll be picking up a new hard drive at 
lunch today and trying to install it (or, better yet, con 
someone else into installing it) this evening.

I'll let you know how it works out!

Thanks Much,

[*] My wife has IT degrees from college.  I don't.  My wife 
works in IT.  I don't.  My wife project manages large and 
expensive IT development efforts.  I don't.  I only work 
fer onna them com-pu-tair cmpnys.  I'm not actually allowed 
ta touch the dang things at home!

Boo-Yaaa!   ;-)

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