10 May 12 12:39
Been a while since I have been stumped on an install but hopefully someone can throw me something I havent tried.
This isnt the exact model number but it has almost all of the specs as a VAIO VGN-FE15GP. 80GB HDD which tests good. 1GB (2x512) RAM which Memtest says is good on an overnight run. Ran fine except had viruses and too much poo installed. Original plan was to clean up and try to salvage which turned quickly into a reformat situation.
Inserted XP disc and couldn't get it to boot off of the Optical Drive even tho it was first in boot order and when going to the "one time boot menu" still wouldn't read it. The XP disc was on a CD. If I tried a 7 or Vista disc(DVD), it would boot from it but would error out and not install stating its an x86 CPU. To get it to run the RAM test(CD), I had to remove the HDD although Maxtor Powermax(CD) would run and was one of the tests the HDD passed, both the quick and Advanced tests. So I removed the HDD and tested with my desktop and Seatools which also tested fine.
I attempted an install from within Windows XP and it would get to the point where it would ask me which partition/HDD I wanted to install on, then tell me it couldn't format it due to it containing XP system files it needed to complete the install. So I tried booting from the XP disc again, no dice. Took apart the laptop and put in another working CD drive, same issue. If I remove the HDD it will boot everything fine. Tried a second IDE HDD and it did the exact same thing. Tried formatting the original drive and installing, still wont boot the XP CD. Then tried partitioning it, still wont boot the XP CD. Then connected it and a SATA drive via USB and tried to install but XP threw an exception stating that due to the way it the PC is set up, it cannot install this way to either HDD.
The BIOS is horribly tiny with nothing really to change. I reset it to defaults and made sure every time the Optical Drive was first in the Boot Order. There is nothing to change as far as IDE/AHCI/SATA/RAID HDD settings. Basically the only thing you can change is the boot order and making a password for the BIOS. Wont boot from USB. Tried a Power Cycle. Tried running with one stick of RAM at a time. It seems as if the BIOS now doesnt see any HDD installed as the second IDE drive I installed had a full XP install but it threw an OS Not Found boot error on it. Im at a loss of how to install any OS on here now. Im thinking of trying to boot via Ubuntu Live DVD with the IDE HDD installed and the XP CD in an external Optical Drive and make sure the HDD is visible.
Any ideas or would you like me to clarify anything? I know this is a bit of rambling with attempting to be coherent but Im a bit flustered with this one.
Thanks all for looking.
Learning - A never ending quest for knowledge usually attained by being thrown in a situation and told to fix it NOW.