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[SOLVED] Gateway Laptop-Operating System Not Found

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Old 12-25-2010, 03:03 PM   #1
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I think I killed my laptop. Last night I spilled half a glass of wine on it (no, I had only drunk a half glass, Iím just a klutz!).
It is a Gateway W3501 / T-6836 running Windows Vista.
When starting I can enter set-up but I donít know what to do there, when I exit out I get the following error messages:

For Realtec RTL8100E/8101E Fast Ethernet Network Adaptor v1.02 (060529)
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-MOF: Exiting PXE ROM.
Operating System not found

I googled the above messages and it seems I may have killed my hard drive.
I have the restore disk I received with the computer from Gateway to re-install the operating system, but that will destroy all the data on the hard drive, I would like to try to save that. Is there a bootable Vista disk I can download and burn to allow the computer to operate so I can try to retrieve the data from the hard drive (that is assuming it is not actually destroyed requiring replacement)?

My first thought is to restore the operating system from the Gateway disk, but I would like to try to save that data (IE favorites, pictures, the latest entries in Quicken, at least I do back-up Quicken so I am not totally devastated).

Worst case scenario, I can buy & install a new hard drive and re-install the operating system from the disk, if I must.

Thank you in advance!

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Old 12-26-2010, 07:00 AM   #2
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Hi and welcome to TSF In the BIOS, look in the boot options and take the "other devices" or "other" out of the boot sequence. Also check to see if boot from LAN is enabled. If it is, disable it. PXE is a protocol that will enable you to boot from a network drive or server. When it says that it failed, it is because it could not find an OS on the network.
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Try F2 on boot to get to the bios

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Old 12-26-2010, 10:47 AM   #3
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Thanks for the advice but I am not sure how to proceed.
If I hit F2 during boot it takes me to setup (Phoenix TrustedCore(™) Setup Utility).
I can arrow over to “Boot” and it shows:

Boot priority order:
1: IDE CD TSScorp CDDVDW TS-L632P-(
2: SATA CDROM:
3: USB CDROM:
4: USB KEY:
5: USB HBB:
6: USB FDC:
7: Boot to LAN : Realtec Boot Agent

Is this where I should change the BIOS? There is no other listed. I tried disabling “7: Boot to LAN : Realtec Boot Agent” then I only got the message “Operating System not found” So I re-enabled it.
Thank you for the advice, I am a relative noob but I have saved a computer or two before, with some help!
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:52 AM   #4
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After the spill did you remove the components and allow to thoroughly dry?

If not then there may have been damage to the motherboard or hard drive.

Your hard drive is not listed in the boot menu.

Remove the hard drive from the laptop and reinsert into the slot.

Until the hard drive is recognized in the BIOS then running the recovery disc won't help.
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Old 12-26-2010, 01:16 PM   #5
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When the spill happened I immediately wiped off as much as I could but I did see some wine drain in thru some switches below the display. I turned the unit on its side to allow as much as possible to drain out (some did). There was never a flash or puff of smoke during all this and as the display was still working I was hopeful there might have been no damage but when I went to try the mouse the computer would not respond. It’s now been 36 hours since the spill so I would think it is pretty dry in there but I have not opened the case, I have never done anything like that and was reluctant to try. A friend suggested flushing it with rubbing alcohol but I was afraid that might damage more stuff so I did not try it. I am at work right now, when I get home I will try to take out the hard drive and dry up any wine that is in that area, then I will re-install the drive and see what happens.
Thanks!
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Old 12-26-2010, 11:27 PM   #6
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Well I got the hard drive out. It looks pristine, there is no evidence the wine ever got there, its location is quite far from where it went in. The hard drive is a Western Digital WD2500BEVS, 250GB. I put it back in. Feeling newly empowered I attempted to remove another access cover from the bottom of the laptop, but when it did not come out after I loosened the one visible screw and pulled I stopped. I found a Manual on-line at Gateway’s site; it had instructions on how to remove the hard drive. I had done it right! It also showed how to remove the other cover, the Memory Bay Cover, so I went back and took it off, no evidence the wine got in there.

At first after I re-installed the hard drive I thought there had been no change, same 1 through 7 items on the Boot priority order. But now on closer examination I see #2 has changed from “2: SATA CDROM:” to “2: SATA HDD:”. Is the hard drive now showing on the Boot priority order? That’s an improvement I hope? Would the restore disk work now?

I also found a site, http://www.diskinternals.com/boot-cd/ and down loaded a free program to create a boot CD. To create the boot cd I need to run the program and have a disk with the Vista set-up files. Would the restore disk I got with the computer from gateway have these files? I am a bit afraid, first of running the program and second of putting that restore disk in this old XP machine. It is slow and cantankerous but at least it is working.

I had two more tech savvy friends stop by work today, I explained my problem, they thought that I had more likely damaged the motherboard and that it was a much bigger job to replace it and still no guarantee that it would fix the problem. The better news that they had was they thought the hard drive was more likely OK and it could be put in an enclosure and the data retrieved with another computer.
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Old 12-27-2010, 05:06 AM   #7
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What happens when trying to boot the system now that the hard drive is showing in

the boot options?
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:10 AM   #8
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Last night it was giving me the same set of error messages:
For Realtec RTL8100E/8101E Fast Ethernet Network Adaptor v1.02 (060529)
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-MOF: Exiting PXE ROM.
Operating System not found

Now after the Gateway screen it only shows a flashing cursor. If I hit any key there is a beep.

Before I had reported the “Boot priority order” from set up, I thought “Boot priority order” was the same as “Boot Menu” but perhaps it is not. If when the Gateway screen is up I hit F10 I get a small gray screen with:

Boot Menu
1: IDE CD TSScorp CDDVDW TS-L632P-(
7: Boot to LAN : Realtec Boot Agent

<Enter Setup>

Please forgive my ignorance, I am typing exactly what I see on the screen, but I might not realize the significance of some rather basic things that a more knowledgeable person would understand with out an explanation. Thanks for your help, I would like to save this computer, it was a good one before I messed it up.
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Old 12-28-2010, 01:02 PM   #9
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Hi the hdd is not showing I imagine it may be damaged or the controller on the motherboard
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Old 12-29-2010, 12:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeten View Post
Hi the hdd is not showing I imagine it may be damaged or the controller on the motherboard
I expect you are right.
I guess we can mark this one "solved", I bought a new laptop, after Christmas sale for $399.
A friend loaned me an enclousure for the hard drive from the old machine, I will try to retreive whatever data I can from it, a new tech adventure for me. After I retreive whatever data I can from the old drive, I will put it back in the old machine and look into replacing the motherboard myself.
Thanks for the help!

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