04-04-2012 07:04 AM
I have a ThinkStation E20 with Windows XP that wont boot. There are no beeps when starting the machine. Supposedly the user set it to restart before they left the office yesterday and when they came in this morning there was a black screen with a cursor. All attempts to restart have resulted in the same black screen. I went into the setup and it doesn't see the 2 drives mirrored. I went into the Raid controller and it seems to think both drives are fine and the raid itself is fine. I've downloaded the harddrive diagnostics CD from lenovo and am currently runing it, but I can't help wondering what might be wrong with it. I'm begining to think it may be a MBR error. Would that explain why there are no error beeps after post and it seems to pass the raid controller and setup with no issues?
I tried to set the raid controller to boot from the back up disk but when I tried it said no back up disk available. Thats confusing to me since it obviously sees one and says its fine. Any suggestions? If you need additional info please let me know. I will update with test results when available.
04-04-2012 07:14 AM
04-04-2012 08:37 AM
I'm currently trying a system restore from the rescue and recovery disk that came with the system. It listed the last restore point as 4/2/2012. The rescue and recovery disk asked me to removed the disk and restart the machine to continue the restore process but when I do that, the same black screen comes up. I tried booting from the Windows XP sp3 disk that came with the machine but nothing happens. I tried booting from that same CD on my laptop and it didn't boot so I'm guessing that the disc I have isn't bootable. I don't have another Windows XPsp3 disc to try. I'm running out of Ideas here. Please help.
04-04-2012 11:16 AM
What are you seeing on the screen in advance of the black screen? Can you tell if the system is getting through POST successfully? In other words when you watch it boot up, does it go past the ThinkStation logo screen and get to the Windows "splash" screen before hanging?
Since you're mirrored, I would think if there was any sort of disk or image problem that the system would automatically boot to the backup and then rebuild the image off the backup in the background. Can't remember if that's something that is totally automated or if you have to go in an initiate it in the Intel ROM or not.
04-05-2012 12:14 PM
It would get past post to the point where you should see the windows logo, but it never showed the windows logo, instead it would just show the black screen and cursor.
I tried to run Windows recovery console but every time it got to the loading windows It would BSOD with an error. I looked up the error and microsoft claimed that it was in accessable media error, among other things.
The Raid Controller originally showed both drives as fine and the Raid in tact. I went out and bought a identical hd and replaced the primary per lenovo tech supports suggestion just to see if it would rebuilt. The RAID controller recognized the new hd and in yellow letters it said, will rebuild in OS. But restarting the machine still just took me to the black screen. When I tried to return the orignal hd, The Rain status changed to degraded and the primary hd was listed as faulty.
Unfortunately because of the time restraints I had, I decided to reinstall everything from scratch. I wanted to avoid this at all costs, hence why it was mirrored, but fortunately since I already had the spare hard drive, I was able to use that in the fresh install using the rescue and recovery cd and pull the files off the primary drive with a sata to usb bridge cable. It was a pain in the butt but I didn't loose any data.
I'm still curious what could have caused the OS to hault like that. My original guess was a MBR or something but I couldn't load the Windows recovery console to run any diagnostics on the state of the OS.