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vgratias
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XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

XPS 600 computer was fine until the day the error message said "NTLDR missing .

local support suggested we needed new hard drive got a Western Digital, no luck installing.

WD support said we had to "update motherboard drivers for it to work...[now that's a dilemma]

Paid Dell support and went though troubleshooting.

1]said the motherboard was bad, [Dell support says the motherboard is bad, they don't have one in stock, but if they did would be $700]

2] OS reinstallation disk, never used, is not seen in computer, nor in our backup computer--must have bad cd. but that we were entitled to one free OS CD, gave us website to order.

We ordered the OS cd then Dell replied we have to buy new one, if they even have one. We then ran diagnostics. The "confidence test" on both Sata drives were left unchecked. We will greatly appreciate any help or suggestions!!! And thanks for your valuable time in advance.

 

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15 Replies
7- Thorium

Re: XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

 "NTLDR missing" is a Windows (software) error. It's unlikely to be caused by a hardware failure, with the possible exception of a failing hard drive on which the Windows file NTLDR (NT Loader) was either lost or corrupted.

 

What  color are the 4 diagnostic LEDs on the front of the tower when you attempt to boot. If not all green, look up the error codes here.  If all green, then your problem is unlikely to be failed hardware, with the possible exception of a failing hard drive -as I noted above.

 

You can read this from Microsoft for tips how to recover from the "NTLDR missing" message. 

 

Don't know why Dell won't replace the XP CD if it's defective.  Are you sure you're actually booting from the CD when you tried to use it?  I will flag this thread for the moderators and maybe they can help you get the disk replaced for free. It will probably be Monday before any of them see the flag, so be patient.  In the meanwhile use the Microsoft tips to see if you can get the system to boot up from the hard drive.

 

Ron

EDIT: Are you sure you didn't leave a non-system (data) disk in any of the optical drives or the floppy drive?

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

The_Namek
5 Tungsten

Re: XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

vgratias,
To add to what RoHe has posted, check out this 5 Star Support article. The steps there typically fix a missing NTLDR error unless there's a physical problem with the hard drive. I seriously doubt you have any kind of motherboard problem with that XPS 600.

XPS One. Core2 Duo @ 2.2GHz. 2 GB DDR2-667. WD2500AAJS 250GB SATA. Intel GMA 3100 video. 20" WSXGA HD LCD. 2 Megapixel Webcam. 8X DVD±RW. 8-in-1 Media Reader. 802.11 a/b/g/n wireless. Integrated High Def Audio. Internal Bluetooth 2.0. NTSC/ATSC TV Tuner. Windows 7 Professional SP1.

vgratias
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

No, I didn't leave any disk's in the drives.  Interesting that you asked because I ran an express test from my Resource CD.  It gave me this error code

0F00:136C

MSG IDE device failed: blank media or no media is present in optical drive. Test requires media with digital data [Resource CD, Installation CD].

Of course, the resource cd was in at the time.

Lights 2&3 are most often on.  4 also was on. [I'll check that out].

 

I really appreciate all the help we can get. 

none of the solutions for NTLDR missing has worked.  results include file not found..

7- Thorium

Re: XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

If you have more than 1 optical drive, you need to have a CD in all of them to avoid that "IDE failed" message.

 

LEDS 2 and 3 on means either a hard drive or floppy drive failure.  If you don't have a floppy drive installed, run BIOS setup (F2 before XP starts to load) and make sure that the floppy drive controller is disabled. Be sure to save the change before exiting setup. While you're in BIOS setup, make sure hard drive is being correctly recognized.

 

If that doesn't help, power off and disconnect PC from the wall. Press/hold the power button for ~15 sec. Open the case and make sure that the cables to the hard drive are properly seated at both ends and, if you have a floppy, check its cables too.

 

If you're getting 2-3-4 at the same time, that's a USB error, so be sure to disconnect all external USB devices, except keyboard and mouse.  If 2-3-4 continues, then it's possible there has been a motherboard failure, but there are other things to try before concluding it's a fatal motherboard failure

Ron

 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

vgratias
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

Hi Ron, Thank you for your help.  My floppy drive does work. 

The 4th light came on at a separate time by itself.  #2 & 3 are most consistently on together.

I have made sure all cables are secure, and each time I unplug, discharge etc, I recheck cables.

How do I check to make sure my hard drives are properly recognised?  Under bios, they show up under sata 0 and sata 1, they have a serial number listed. 

what would you suggest my next move be?  I am trying to go slow, methodical and when I am not too wiped out to think ( :

 

Thanks,

Val

7- Thorium

Re: XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

Are your 2 hard drives set up in a RAID array? RAID(0) means that different bits of a file may be stored on both drive, and RAID(1) means the second hard drive is a mirror image backup of the primary drive and each drive contains all of the data for every file.

 

If they show up in BIOS with a serial number, and not as "unrecgonized", BIOS is seeing them correctly, even if they're damaged. 

 

If this a RAID(1) array or just 2 independent hard drives, remove the cable from the drive connected to SATA1 and use it to replace the cable on the SATA0 drive. Reboot and check the LEDS while it boots. Then run BIOS setup and disable SATA1. Save the change and exit setup.  If you're lucky, it'll boot. 

 

If that doesn't do it, then you may have a defective primary hard drive if RAID(1), or it could be either drive if it's RAID(0).  If it's not a RAID setup, you could connect the second drive to the SATA0 connector, boot from the XP CD and reformat the drive and load windows. This assumes all the files on that drive are backed up on CDs or other external media because reformatting and installing Windows will wipe everything off the drive.  You could also try to install that new drive you bought in place of the SATA0 drive, format it and install XP. Again, that assumes you don't have a RAID(0) configuration.

 

Ron 

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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vgratias
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

Hi Ron,

 

Thank you for your continued help and support.  Yesterday was a bad day...brother in law lost his job...economy...and my husband got his job cut back.  It seems like the banks think this is a limbo--seeing how low can they take us.

At any rate I think I must have a raid setup.  I put power & cable from sata 1 to sata 0 [with cable 0]

Result: LED light #4 with 2 beeps.  Then error: Drive 0 not found: sata 0

I then disabled sata 0

Results with sata drive 1: NTLDR error  with LED 2 & 3

I rebooted with windows 2000 pro OS cd [because my reinstallation cd for this machine is bad].

I got number 4 LED with 2 beeps

 

I then went to sato 0 with sata 1 disabled. Result : could not determine the type of mass storage device, wanted "manufacturers supplied hardware support disk" .  I tried my resource cd-closest thing I could think of.  Result: machine wanted txtsetup.oem.

I was able the other day to format the second hard drive [I believe Sata 1]  using the WD set up disk. I have since returned that to Best Buy as WD support said they're Sata drive would not work.

What next?  get the Reinstallation DVD, windows xp media center edition 2005?

thank you again for your valuable time assisting us ( :

Val

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7- Thorium

Re: XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

When it rains...

 

I'm totally confused!  When you connected the data cable from SATA1 to the SATA0 drive, did you move the other end of that cable to the SATA0 connector on the motherboard?  Or did you just connect the SATA0 drive to the SATA1 port? The idea was to see if the SATA0 cable was bad, not to connect the SATA0 drive to the SATA1 port on the motherboard.

 

We really need to know if you have RAID and what type (0 or 1) it is. If it's RAID0, it's going to be very hard to recover your files if either of the drives failed. If it's RAID1 you should be able to recover, assuming only 1 drive failed.

 

2 beeps is not a listed error code in the manual. But LED 4 is a USB error. So did you disconnect all USB devices except mouse and keyboard? What happens when you boot after you disconnect USB mouse and keyboard too?

 

And I'm confused about which drive you reformatted with the WD setup disk.  Did you reformat your SATA1 drive or the new drive from Best Buy? If you reformatted your SATA1 drive and you have RAID0, you've killed any chance to recover your files.  So the only thing is to reformat and start over. Sure hope you've got the important stuff backed up on CDs or DVDs.

 

Why do you say the reinstallation CD (DVD?) for this machine is bad? Are you getting an error message? 

 

Ron

Ron

   Forum Member since 2004
   I am not a Dell employee

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vgratias
1 Nickel

Re: XPS 600--how to verify a motherboard failure??? Anyone know??

Hi Ron,

I apologize for my bad communication skills.  I took notes and then typed them later.  I should have relayed what I did at the time I did it. 

Anyway--I tested each data cable on sata 0, both are good cables.

I had not disabled my dvd, floppy and cd drives.  After I did that no LED lights are on, and no beeps.

I ran hard drive diagnostics at that point and both hard drives show up and say 'pass'.

I now get the NTLDR error.

The reinstallation OS dvd is simply not seen in either computer.  It has never been used so I don't know why that would be.  But I have a new one on the way.

I do not know how my raid system is.  Under system set up it says the drives are set up for raid...but don't know whether raid was in use or not as the option "on" was selected as opposed to "raid on".

I do have most everything backed up on a removable hard drive and offline file.  Therefore I did try to format Sata one, hoping  I could just format and reload an operating system and get going again.  My machine had me confirm it was going to erase data.  And said it was formatted--but then I could not get an OS on it.

I hope I cleared up my communication and this makes sense. 

Thanks,

Val

 

 

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