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mbrad
19th May 2007, 04:02 PM
Thanks for taking the time to read my question.

I have a Del OptiPlex GX260 that I've put FC6 on. I'm having problems with my boot process where it doesn't recognize my HD and I have to hit F1 everytime I boot my PC.

I thought I might try a BIOS update so I went to Dell and downloaded a BIOS update. It came in a .exe.

Can I use that on Linux or is that just a Windows thing?

If not, is there somewhere I can go to get an update that I can install on Linux?

Thanks,

Brad

wdgiles
19th May 2007, 04:27 PM
Considering the age of most of the 260's, I'd say you need to replace the bios clock battery then adjust the bios settings. If it originally recognized the HDD on boot and it no longer does, I doubt the bios version will fix it. Does the system hold it's date and time correctly?

And to answer your question, I haven't seen much on running a bios executable within linux. I wouldn't risk it. You can always download a bootable disk image, copy the executable to it, reboot from the floppy and run the bios update from there. What is the version of the Bios that you're running now? Appears that A09 is the most recent for the 260 series.
Dell Support Site (http://support.dell.com/support/downloads/driverslist.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&ServiceTag=&SystemID=PLX_PNT_P4_GX260&os=WW1&osl=en&catid=&impid=)

mbrad
19th May 2007, 04:43 PM
Yep, I have A09... oh well, just a thought.

It keeps time well.

Here is what I go through when I start my PC

When I start the PC, it takes a really really long time at the Dell screen (F2=Setup, F12=Boot Menu, BIOS Revision A09 and so on), then I always get


Primary Hard disk drive not found. Strike F1 to continue, F2 to run set up utility.


If I hit F1, the pc boots up fine. If I hit F2 I get



Primary Drive 0 Hard Drive
Primary Drive 1 Unknown
Secondary Drive 0 CD ROM Reader
Secondary Drive 1 Off

Boot Sequence
IDE CD-ROM
Diskette Drive
HDD C:
Integrated NIC


I esc out of the setup and Fedora starts.

Then it shows the light blue pixelated Fedora screen saying Fedora 2.6.18-1.2798.fc6 will boot up in 5...4...3...2..1...0, then it shows me the details of what is loading. Everything has an OK by it.

Then it shows the Fedora "DNA" picture and under it what is loading, then it shows more details (list of text). Then it loads the rest and I have to log in. I'm using GNOME.

I've tried all the combos I can think of with the IDE ribbon (2 drops) and jumper placement. Ex. Last drop on IDE ribbon to HDD, Jumper on Cable Select, or Second last drop on IDE ribbon to HDD, Jumper on Master or Single HDD.

Hope this makes sense.

Thanks again for the help.

wdgiles
19th May 2007, 08:18 PM
There is a built-in bios HDD tester that you could run to see if it's just a slowly dying hard drive. I think it's F12 or F10. Try running that and see if it passes.

Next, check your ram, pull one stick if you have two and restart.

You should also try removing some of your peripherals to see if maybe they're causing it. Maybe start with just the internal HDD as master and remove the cdrom.

Next remove any USB devices until you are able to narrow it down.

mbrad
20th May 2007, 04:11 AM
Cool,

I'll give it a shot. I don't have any peripherals, or USB's in that PC, so that can be ruled out.

I'll try the HD test and let you know.

Thanks for the ideas!!

Brad

mbrad
20th May 2007, 04:44 AM
Alright.

F12 it is...

I did F12, got a list of stuff. Chose Option #7 - IDE Drive Diagnostics

Then it said


Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility

I hit F1 and got


IDE Drive Diagnostics running, please wait...
Primary IDE
Drive 0: ST340014A - Pass
Drive 1: No IDE device
Secondary IDE
Drive 0: Lite-On LTN486S 48x Max - Diagnostics not supported
Drive 1: No IDE device
Test complete, Press <ENTER> to reboot

Looks like the hard drive is ok.

Ok, IDE Ribbon... There are 3 connectors on it. One connects to the Mother Board(label = IDE1), and the other two are to connect IDE Devices(HD2/SIP, HD1.

Order on Ribbon = IDE1 - HD2/SIP - HD1

Which one should I connect to the HD? The jumper settings on my HD can be seen here.

http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/manuals/ata/cuda7200pm.pdf. I also attached a picture from the doc if you don't / can't open the pdf. The pic is a jpg.

Thanks again,

Brad

alpha645
20th May 2007, 10:22 AM
Alright.

F12 it is...

I did F12, got a list of stuff. Chose Option #7 - IDE Drive Diagnostics

Then it said



I hit F1 and got



Looks like the hard drive is ok.

Ok, IDE Ribbon... There are 3 connectors on it. One connects to the Mother Board(label = IDE1), and the other two are to connect IDE Devices(HD2/SIP, HD1.

Order on Ribbon = IDE1 - HD2/SIP - HD1

Which one should I connect to the HD? The jumper settings on my HD can be seen here.

http://www.seagate.com/support/disc/manuals/ata/cuda7200pm.pdf. I also attached a picture from the doc if you don't / can't open the pdf. The pic is a jpg.

Thanks again,

Brad

Did you try to reset the BIOS as wdgiles suggests? I'm still thinking that you have set the jumpers correctly but didn't reconfigure the BIOS...

wdgiles
20th May 2007, 01:51 PM
One other thing I've seen on a lot of the 260's is a capacitor failure. The failure can show itself in many ways. If you open the case and look at the tops of the capacitors, they should be completely flat. Most of the caps that fail are located in a group near the back of the pc. They look like small soda cans with black labels. If they appear rounded at all on the tops, they're "blown" as we call it and the motherboard should be replaced.

Another thing to try would be to set the factory defaults on the bios.

mbrad
21st May 2007, 06:31 PM
Hi All,

I didn't see the "Reset the BIOS" part. I have no idea how to do that...

The "pop cans" :D look good.

Brad

alpha645
21st May 2007, 06:34 PM
Open the motherboard and remove the CMOS battery for a while (10 seconds). That reset's the BIOS...

mbrad
21st May 2007, 07:19 PM
Really? I didn't know that.

I'll give it a shot.

Thanks,
Brad

alpha645
21st May 2007, 07:21 PM
It resets everything, usefull if you forgot things like a password and stuff.