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hoo

Laptop Won't Boot Past HP Screen

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hoo

Alright, about 2 weeks ago my laptop broke, and my mom is sick of me using the family's computer, and she wants me to fix mine so I don't sit on it all day like a lazy bum.

 

Anyways, so the problem is that I have an older computer (an HP pavilion ze4400) that won't quite boot past the HP logo on boot. It just brings up the logo and all that and says to press Esc. to change boot order, press F2 to enter setup, and tells me to press F12 to boot from LAN. When the screen shows up, I only have a few seconds to press these keys or else it will freeze. When I do press these keys, (even F10, which runs some kind of diagnostic) it will just sit there and say "booting from LAN" or "Entering Setup." But when I press Esc., a screen comes up that says the build time and date, and it has my RAM numbers shooting upwards. Then it just says like Mouse Intialized and whatnot. If you leave it on for a while, the fan will start to get really noisy in it for some reason. 

 

Anyways, I was thinking about putting Ubuntu on a flashdrive and seeing if the laptop would boot from that. I haven't tried it yet, but I still wanted to put this out there just in case that wouldn't work.

 

Help is appreciated, I spent a lot of money for my age on this. (Don't ask how much. :P)

-Hoo

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hoo

Alright, so I installed Ubuntu on a flash drive, and removed the hard drive from the computer. (That was the problem.) I plugged in the flash drive and booted from it as a test, and it worked! Thank you guys for your help!

 

Also, It's kinda slow. But still.

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OneUnder

Do you have a Windows installation CD that you can try to boot from instead of your HDD?  If you can boot from a disc, but not your HDD, it's a good bet that the HDD is toast or that an OS file could be corrupted. In regards to the latter, did you hard-reset before the problem appeared?

 

You could probably boot Ubuntu from your flash drive to test the same thing, but as I'm not versed in Linux I do not want to give you potentially incorrect advise.

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Sarita

Do you still have the Windows disc that...

 

Damnit OneUnder, you ninja'd me with the same answer. Anyways, if you still have that, most of the time it will diagnose startup issues and try to repair them, too.

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OneUnder

I may have ninja'd you, but you mentioned the fact that a Windows installation disc might be able to repair a corrupted/damaged installation, a fact that I completely overlooked. :-P

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hoo

No, I do not have the installation cd, as I got this off of a classified ad on KSL. As for reinstalling, or booting from my flashdrive, I don't know how to get it to work exactly. Every button I press won't load anything. It will just say launching setup, or things of the sorts. The boot order thing just displays info about the system. That's just about all I can do on the screen.

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OneUnder

If you have the flash drive plugged in before you attempt to boot, there is a possibility that it will default to booting from the flash drive.  If not, see if you can change the boot order in the BIOS and set the flash drive as the primary device, assuming that the files on the flash drive can be booted directly from. 

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hoo

It isn't booting from it on default, and I can't change the boot order. All it does is give me info about the system, and then it won't do anything past that.

 

EDIT: I'm gonna try getting the hard drive out and maybe that will boot the flashdrive by default.

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OneUnder

I'm not familiar with how Ubuntu is packaged, but can its files on the flash drive even be booted from directly at all?

 

---

 

This sort of puts you in a tough spot; it's difficult to narrow down whether it's a software or hardware problem without an installation disc or spare parts to rule one of them out.  Assuming that you don't happen to have a spare laptop HDD laying around to swap it in for testing purposes, you could use a SATA cable to connect your laptop's hard drive to your desktop and run chkdsk to see if it turns up anything.   

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hoo

I'm not familiar with how Ubuntu is packaged, but can its files on the flash drive even be booted from directly at all?

I believe so. After removing the hard drive, I could go to the boot menu and do all that crap, and I was able to boot from the flash drive. The menu pulled up, saying if I would like to boot from it or install it on my hard drive. When I would click one, there would be an error, but that was only because when I was creating it, I noticed some errors in the files. I'm installing a different version of it right now, and hopefully that will work. If so, my laptop should be up and running again! I'll update if it works.

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Pgpaw3

If you don't have the install disc for windows, you can always download an ISO of windows, burn it to a disc and try booting from that, then trying a system repair/reinstall. My hard drive died a few months back and I downloaded a Windows 7 ISO and booted from that.

 

I think they have them on the microsoft website somewhere, or if not, some other site will have them.

 

If a repair/ reinstall doesn't work then I would say the hard drives had it.

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OneUnder

I believe so. After removing the hard drive, I could go to the boot menu and do all that crap, and I was able to boot from the flash drive. The menu pulled up, saying if I would like to boot from it or install it on my hard drive. When I would click one, there would be an error, but that was only because when I was creating it, I noticed some errors in the files. I'm installing a different version of it right now, and hopefully that will work. If so, my laptop should be up and running again! I'll update if it works.

 

Here's hoping that this works.  At the very least it should help narrow down the problem to a failing HDD/misconfigured OS files on the HDD.

 

If you don't have the install disc for windows, you can always download an ISO of windows, burn it to a disc and try booting from that, then trying a system repair/reinstall. My hard drive died a few months back and I downloaded a Windows 7 ISO and booted from that.

 

I think they have them on the microsoft website somewhere, or if not, some other site will have them.

 

If a repair/ reinstall doesn't work then I would say the hard drives had it.

 

You can only officially download a Windows 7 ISO if you have your original product key.  The link to Microsoft's site can be found here.

 

www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-recovery

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Pgpaw3

You can only officially download a Windows 7 ISO if you have your original product key.  The link to Microsoft's site can be found here.

 

www.microsoft.com/en-us/software-recovery

 

I downloaded one without the key, I only needed the key to activate windows. Might have gotten mine from an unofficial source.

 

Theoretically the laptop should have a sticker on it that says what the key is, either on the underside or sometimes in the battery compartment.

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OneUnder

I downloaded one without the key, I only needed the key to activate windows. Might have gotten mine from an unofficial source.

 

Theoretically the laptop should have a sticker on it that says what the key is, either on the underside or sometimes in the battery compartment.

 

Microsoft used to allow a download without a key if I recall correctly, though as you stated you need a key to activate the product. 

 

You're correct; the product key should be located on a sticker of some sort.  Of the two laptops that I've owned previously, both had their Windows product keys on the underside on a multicolored sticker.

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OneUnder

Glad to be of service, and congrats on getting things up and running again. :P

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DZComposer

Running your OS from USB will be slow.

If you're happy with Ubuntu, get a new HDD (They're cheap) and drop Ubuntu on it. Most Linux live boots have an "install to disk" option.

If you want Windows, download the ISO from the link mentioned earlier and install it on the new HDD instead.

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hoo

Yeah, it's dirt slow. The only problem with getting a new HDD is that the current one is jammed in. I at least got it out to the point where the laptop won't read it, and I can boot from Ubuntu.

 

EDIT: I installed puppy linux and that runs super fast. I think I'm happy with it.

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