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I got wacked real good x 3 (SOLVED)
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obxjerry


Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 394
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar 2010, 16:41    Post subject:  

I worry that I'm wearing out my welcome because I'm not as computer literate as everyone else here and because of this there seems to be a communication problem. Definitely nothing anyone has said but everyone's patience has limits. Hopefully I can address some things and help the situation.

I think I'm good on the EBCD deal; burn iso image to CD using either Puppy or I have always used InfraReader in the past, boot a computer from the CD, burn a floppy.

The code that identifies my BIOS is 03/28/2001-8363A-686B6A6LMD4FC-00

I have 9 proven bootable CDs. The sick computer will not boot any of them without the SBM floppy. If it doesn't have a bootable floppy to boot to it tries to boot the hard drive. In BIOS it is set to boot to the CD after the floppy, before the HD.

With the SBM floppy, one of the disks (DSL) will boot most of the time. When I try to boot the DSL CD I get the 0x03 error code, I hit enter then either it boots or I get the 0xAA error code.

The openSUSE CD does the same thing basically. When it does boot it takes me to a menu of; Memtest- that works, Mediacheck-that works, boot openSUSE- can't find kernal and Failsafe openSUSE-doesn't boot.

The 7 that don't boot get the 0x03 error then the 0xAA error every time. There is a small click from the CD drive with the 0xAA error but the drive does not spin. There is no error message, no tried and failed. I don't think they go far enough for them to be having an OS won't run on my computer problem. I'm still thinking the drive is picky and it's not necessarily the program that's on the disk. I other words if I had another same version DSL CD it may not boot.

I have another question. DSL sees my NIC. DSL has Firefox. Can I connect to the net without infecting the world? It goes without saying it would be the only computer connected to my network at that time. If I can do that could I use an online scan tool to my advantage?

Prehistoric, thanks for the heads-up on not wiping the hard drive to install Puppy. I bought that laptop a couple of weeks ago. It had a "new install" of XP Pro on a 10gb HD. It was using over 8gb. I didn't think XP could be contained to 10gb but I tried making room. I would delete stuff, M$ would update, not much was gained. I'll have to weigh my options, pick partition sizes and go with it at some point.

Take care
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar 2010, 18:43    Post subject: boot problems with CD  

obxjerry wrote:
I worry that I'm wearing out my welcome because I'm not as computer literate as everyone else here and because of this there seems to be a communication problem.
I'll let you know if you approach my limits. (Not yet.)
Quote:
...The code that identifies my BIOS is 03/28/2001-8363A-686B6A6LMD4FC-00
I'll get back to you on this, after I've done some investigation.
Quote:
I have 9 proven bootable CDs. The sick computer will not boot any of them without the SBM floppy. If it doesn't have a bootable floppy to boot to it tries to boot the hard drive. In BIOS it is set to boot to the CD after the floppy, before the HD...
The picture I'm getting now is one of a CD device on its last legs. It was probably limping along before, but then you had an operating system that would keep trying until commands or data were transferred correctly. If this takes place silently, at electronic speeds, you aren't even aware of it, unless you run diagnostics or look at error logs. The BIOS, or boot floppy, code isn't very smart and may not succeed where the OS can.

CD drives depend on certain mechanical tolerances to get them close enough to the right place to read something off the drive they can use to adjust head position. If this isn't reliable, they may read some CDs and not others, even if these are made on the same device, using the same type of media. Take a dead CD drive apart, and you will see what cheap mechanical parts they use. Unless you pay a premium, you aren't going to get a drive designed for long years of use.

Another cause of random failure is dust on the lens. Careful cleaning can restore a drive to reliable operation, bad cleaning can destroy it. More consistently, the diode laser used may lose output power over time, or the optics could be out of alignment. This could also be a cause of your problems.

I would swap out that CD drive. At this point, you don't need the ability to burn a CD/DVD.
Quote:
I have another question. DSL sees my NIC. DSL has Firefox. Can I connect to the net without infecting the world? It goes without saying it would be the only computer connected to my network at that time. If I can do that could I use an online scan tool to my advantage?
Yes, to that last question. Once you are able to boot Windows at all, (common scanners assume you are running on the infected system,) I'd recommend you try the eset or trendnet house call scanner for example. (Kaspersky on-line scan appears to be temporarily unavailable right now.) Be aware that even a site which claims it is merely scanning your computer could be up to no good. There is also a natural commercial tendency to report false positives to boost sales. Those sites I mentioned are well-known and respected. If something fishy happens to them, the news will get out fast.

As for fear of infecting the Internet, I have bad news for you, the whole world out there is infected. In a random sampling of personal computers connected to the Internet, 48% were found to be infected.

Quote:
Prehistoric, thanks for the heads-up on not wiping the hard drive to install Puppy. I bought that laptop a couple of weeks ago. It had a "new install" of XP Pro on a 10gb HD. It was using over 8gb. I didn't think XP could be contained to 10gb but I tried making room. I would delete stuff, M$ would update, not much was gained. I'll have to weigh my options, pick partition sizes and go with it at some point.
Your laptop sounds like an ideal candidate for an install of Puppy to a USB flash drive, a very common option with the Puppy Universal Installer. This can be removed and carried to another machine in your pocket. The only thing tricky is getting that first boot. Some people have had to try several different installation options, BIOS settings or brands of flash drive. I'm confident I could do it quickly if I were there.

Your Windows XP system probably has all kinds of things which could be removed without losing the ability to run a few Windows applications you actually need. For my purposes, where I just need to run exe files once in a while to unpack archives, etc. It can be a lot smaller. Don't waste too much time on this. You can probably find someone who has upgraded their laptop from a 40 GB drive to 160 GB and has an old drive just lying around. You mainly need to make sure it uses the same interface (IDE or SATA). Most laptop drives today are 2.5" disks 9.5 mm thick, making them physically interchangeable. We can talk about moving the Windows partition from one disk to another later, after the crisis is over.
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3447
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar 2010, 19:20    Post subject:  

1. "I worry that I'm wearing out my welcome"
No way! I've been doing this for years without my patience wearing out.

2. "because I'm not as computer literate as everyone else"
No matter how good or bad anyone is, there's always someone better and also someone worse.

3. "I have 9 proven bootable CDs. The sick computer will not boot any of them without the SBM floppy"
The info you gave beginning here was/is really useful/clear.

4. " If it doesn't have a bootable floppy to boot to it tries to boot the hard drive"
(a) Very significant! Very Happy
So it is skipping-the-disk in the optical drive. [Because the BIOS hasn't (yet) detected the presence of a disk]
[Only happens when/if the optical disk is the 1st disk available (or aught to be, but isn't ready?)].
It would do that if the disk wasn't bootable, or not-ready, or not-readable methinks.
Is the optical disk in the drive before you ever switch on the PC? [Good]
Or do you switch on and rush to get the optical disk in place and the drawer closed? [Bad]

(b) And yet it boots those same disks OK if the SBM is used to boot them, right?
Possibly because using the SBM gives you plenty of time to get the optical disk in place and close the drawer before you hit <Enter>.

5. " I hit enter then either it boots or I get the 0xAA error code"
(a) Seems like either the BIOS is having trouble establishing contact with the drive, or else the drive is having trouble reading the disk.
In any case, when you hit <Enter>...
If things are not yet ready to go...
You get a failure with an error code.

(b) Try detecting signs that the disk/drive is ready to go.
Wait longer.
Only then hit <Enter>.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Tue 09 Mar 2010, 22:22    Post subject: Avira rescue disk  

@Sylvander,

Thanks to your tip about the exe file for the Avira rescue disk offering to save the iso file, if the program failed to burn it, I was able to get that image file, to burn and verify it with tools I understand. All I had to do was create a fault that would convince the program the burn had failed. My problem before was that it hung during the burn, and never offered that option.

The disk boots on a 550 MHz machine, and even gets to a graphical screen, but doesn't ever seem to do anything else. Not sure what the problem may be. Could it be that the machine has no Windows system?

If you choose the last option on their boot menu (5), it will let you choose the video mode. I played around with this, and got it to boot in video mode 5, 80x34 characters. This should work on all kinds of machines. Of course, it also showed graphics when started in several VGA and VESA modes.

On my 1.8 GHz Dell D610 laptop, with 1 GB RAM, the Avira rescue disk comes up with a GUI, and, when I start a scan, this completes, correctly showing my Windows system clean as a whistle. I don't have an infected system handy to test it on. That should turn up any day now.

My general impression is that the Linux system they have compiled is not as flexible as the Puppy kernel in dealing with older machines. For typical used systems coming off lease right now, like the Dell D610 I mentioned, it should be fine.

W.R.T. Jerry's CD drive, I think one experiment to test our hypotheses would be to try booting that DSL disk repeatedly, to see if it always works. Or, try to boot a Puppy disk, that once worked, several times to see if you can get it to succeed once in a while. I'm betting behavior isn't consistent.

OT: Why doesn't the heart of West Lothian have the literary appeal of your neighbor?
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Sylvander

Joined: 15 Dec 2008
Posts: 3447
Location: West Lothian, Scotland, UK

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 05:24    Post subject:  

"OT: Why doesn't the heart of West Lothian have the literary appeal of your neighbor?"
Huh?
Don't understand. What is OT?
Are you referring to the "Hearts of Midlothian"?
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 08:43    Post subject: Literary reference  

@Sylvander,

OT: is often used in some discussion forums as an abbreviation for Off-Topic.

I was indirectly referring to the novel by Sir Walter Scott, not the football club. Word plays are one of my vices.
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 09:53    Post subject: BIOS number  

I'm having some trouble with that BIOS code:
Code:
03/28/2001-8363A-686B6A6LMD4FC-00
Both Aopen and DFI now seem to go out of their way to pretend they never made anything that is not currently for sale. The format of that code is a little unusual, which makes it possible to place it in a series.

The closest match I have at the moment is in a series of Tyan boards.
Code:
02/05/2001-8363A-686B-6A6LMT5BC-00       TRINITY KT-A

I'm sure this is a Socket A mainboard using the VIA KT-133A chipset with the 686B southbridge. One problem is that Tyan doesn't use the AK-75A designation. Also, none of the Tyan BIOS dates match the one on the POST screen. This takes us back to Aopen or DFI. I'm guessing the D after the LM has something to do with DFI.

@Aitch,

Can you find any closer match, or a sneaky link to an archive of DFI or Aopen BIOS codes?
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 10:22    Post subject:  

prehistoric
No - I hit the same wall - you look to have got further than me....but I only spent 1/2hr or so....other things to do, ....

slightly aside/
....as I was trying to help Don in Thailand, with a replacement processor, which I've managed to source, just having difficulty getting it there for a reasonable price, to make it worthwhile

back on topic
- Jerry, this CD problem is looking [to me] increasing like either a misaligned read head, requiring a replacement CD unit complete, or old firmware in need of update retaining the CD player
We'd need the manufacturer and model code to get an update firmware, and you'd probably need to be running some form of windoze.... Sad

Aitch Smile
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 10:43    Post subject: Another boot method  

@Jerry,

If you now have that external CD drive, you are in a position to sidestep potential problems with that internal drive. By burning a CD on the good machine, then transferring the USB CD drive to the suspect machine, it may be possible to read the CD on the same device that wrote it.

Unless you can get the BIOS set up to boot from an external USB CD drive, you will have to use a boot floppy as an intermediate step, to get the super multi-boot loader to start the process.

Once you regain the ability to boot, you can use Puppy to mount that file system and recover irreplaceable files from the suspect machine, (if you haven't already done that with DSLinux.) After that, the Avira antivirus rescue system already described might be a good bet. If it works, great, if not, it doesn't cost anything. (There are slicker tools available, for a price. If I were a service technician making $50 a crack on calls I might have the Avast! Bootable Antivirus Recovery Tool, for a mere $299/year. People who haven't lost the ability to boot Windows often swear by Spyware Dr., though I have little experience with it.)

If you need to reflash the BIOS, you may be able to do that directly from the BIOS option for awardflash, using a BIOS binary file on the floppy, (assuming we can find that file.) If not, there is an option on that System Rescue CD I mentioned earlier to boot freedos from a floppy image on the CD. Using this with the correct version of awardflash, downloaded off the Internet, and the correct binary file, will allow you to reflash the BIOS even if the flash code in the current BIOS is corrupted.

While a specialized tool for recovering the ability to boot from the hard drive may be the best way to go, there is another option. When Windows XP installs, it puts an NT bootloader in the system partition. When you install GRUB from Puppy, it scans the device for other bootable systems. When it finds a Windows partition, it puts an entry for booting that via the chainloader in the GRUB menu.lst file. If the MBR alone is clobbered, installing GRUB to the MBR will then allow you to boot Windows via GRUB.

This is a bit tricky, and I will defer to Sylvander's greater experience with Windows systems.

@Aitch,

Jerry has said he has other CD drives which were working when removed. He has also said he will get the external CD-burner from his son. Either way he can get around a flaky drive, if that is the problem.

I understand about competing activities, I also have a life away from the computer, but will leave that real-life soap opera out of discussion. Here's a link to a classic recent news story to show what we are up against.
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Aitch


Joined: 04 Apr 2007
Posts: 6825
Location: Chatham, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 11:56    Post subject:  

Laughing Laughing Brilliant! thanks...

Aitch Smile
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obxjerry


Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 394
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 13:43    Post subject:  

I'm replying after a quick read through of the posts written. Bad habits die hard. Rest assured I do reread. You folks have been busy and I do appreciate your efforts.

Prehistoric and others, thanks for the say so to swap out that CD drive. Thats an itch I've been wanting to scratch for a loooong time. Puppy 431 booted first try. It does have to have the SBM floppy to boot. I didn't try any other CDs so, I may have used all the good luck I have left in my lifetime. The drive is CD read only and I replaced it with the same so it's nothing but a step forward. My son is the manager of the music department at a book store so I'm sure he got the good out of the old drive playing music while at the computer.

My son did bring the CD burner, USB interface. Unfortunately he also brought back the computer I brought to replace his. The sound has gone away and audio is important to him. It is running 2 distros of Linux so he's clueless. I have that to address today. I mention this only to let you know what I'm doing, NOT a back door request for help. I may have this solved before you write.

I have perhaps a small clue, or mislead, as to the manufacturer of the motherboard. The CD drive I took out is an AOpen. Is there anywhere on the motherboard I might find an identifier? To be honest I haven't looked that hard.

It just occurred to me I have another observation that may be worth a mention. When I started the computer after swapping CD drives it didn't power up. I shut down, unplugged from the wall and checked connections. All seemed in order. When I started up the second time the drive powered up and was detected. There is some function there. It renamed the drive in BIOS. I didn't take it for granted that would happen.

Next step in the process for me is getting the external CD burner functioning and burn the EBCD and the floppy.

Thank you all very much,
Take care
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obxjerry


Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 394
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 16:18    Post subject:  

I know you all have taken me as a pup to raise. Rest assured that sometimes even a blind pig finds a truffle.

Working the audio problem on my son's replacement computer; I went through the settings on both OS, booted up a third Linux OS live-CD and un-installed and reinstalled drivers. There was no doubt the sound card was there. All three OS saw it and so did I when I opened the case. I gave up last night and today worked on it just a short time before swapping the sick computer back in with the replaced CD drive.

When I swapped the computers again I noticed the orange jack from the speakers should not (logically) plug into the orange plug. That would be the microphone plug. The speaker plug is green. Rolling Eyes Laughing

I have looked over the motherboard on the sick computer. I haven't found a name yet. Is there a chance it would be on the side I can't see. I would think logically it would be on the side that can be seen but we see where my logic takes me. I may have the technology to take a picture and send it somewhere if that would help.

Prehistoric, concerning the laptop, I am hesitant to go the usb flashdrive route for two reasons. First the flashdrive sticks out like a sore thumb on a laptop. Is that why they call it a thumb drive? Second I have a real problem with XP taking up x number of gigabytes and being less useful, all things considered, than Puppy in 500mb. The XP is supposed to be a fresh install but I can find things the previous owner probably thought were gone. I think there's lots I can prune away, I just haven't done it yet.

I have other things to do before I get back to the CD burner and EBCD.

Take care all
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prehistoric


Joined: 23 Oct 2007
Posts: 1282

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 16:45    Post subject: manufacturer ID  

@Jerry,

The vital ID is the one for the BIOS code itself. The brand name on the CD drive in the same box may not even come from the same country.

When you get a machine from a large company, like HP, or even IBM, those drives and boards may have been made by companies you never heard of. Aopen is a brand name for suppliers, but doesn't tell you which factory a part came from. DFI is a mainboard vendor, probably tied to the company owning the factory that made this board. (Though this one is very similar to a Tyan board. I'm not even sure there is always a physical difference in boards manufactured for different companies.) The changes in relationships between Chinese suppliers are more complex than I can follow.

The major part of that BIOS, after the code from Award and AMD, came from VIA, which made several important chips on the mainboard. Even so, there may be tiny differences in configuration between different manufacturers. Sometimes they substitute parts, and make minor code changes, just because they can get a better price from some supplier. To check that BIOS we need an exact match, unless we are absolutely sure we can flash a good later version of the correct BIOS.

I have made a mistake in flashing a BIOS in the past, and I am just now about to swap that board with another which is aging badly, (bad capacitors,) by moving the working Flash ROM from the aging board to replace the one I messed up. From the time I made the mistake, years ago, until now, this is the first use I've had for that otherwise-new board.

Even in the worst case, if you have to go on booting from a floppy, you can use the machine now. You have eliminated one possible source of problems. Once the OS loads, all modern systems -- both Windows and Linux -- stop using the BIOS, and use their own code. There may be problems because of settings copied from the BIOS, but these are in RAM, and can be modified.

Your next tasks are retrieving valuable personal data, then cleaning and restoring the system on the hard drive. When you run an anti-virus scan, I'll be interested in what it turns up.

We'll talk about other machines when you get to them.

Added: Concerning the audio problem, does your son have trouble telling the difference between red and green traffic lights?
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obxjerry


Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 394
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 20:02    Post subject:  

It wasn't my son's mistake. I have no idea what the original problem was. He said something about a irregular shutdown and the audio didn't work after. He brought the tower over and I swapped it in and made the bad connection. Color coding anything with a wire just comes natural to me.

The CD burner is taking more time than it should. I'm not off in the weeds. I'm just finding a way. Fortunately I have ways to chose from.

After supper I'll check that BIOS number again. Surely you can see why we need to double check my work. Laughing

Take care
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obxjerry


Joined: 29 Jan 2010
Posts: 394
Location: Louisville, Kentucky

PostPosted: Wed 10 Mar 2010, 21:25    Post subject:  

Prehistoric and any others working on the BIOS number, I am so sorry. I left out a hyphen. The number is;

03/28/2001-8363A-686B-6A6LMD4FC-00 not as I said

03/28/2001-8363A-686B6A6LMD4FC-00 so the number you found

02/05/2001-8363A-686B-6A6LMT5BC-00 TRINITY KT-A

is in the same format as the correct number. My number has nothing after the last 2 zeros. I hope I haven't caused too much wasted work.

Sorry
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