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  Laptop won't boot from CD or USB 
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M P Aug 05, 2011, 05:29pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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My laptop is an Acer Aspire 5553 and was running on 7. I was installing the Lastfm scrobbler on it and it just completely froze, giving me no option but to turn it off. I did this by pressing the off button, at which point it turned off instantly without having to hold the button in for a few seconds like normal. I went to turn it on again and was given the usual error screen asking me whether I wanted to start Windows normally, or scan for disk errors (recommended). On selecting start Windows normally it tried to load Windows before displaying that message again, and on selecting scan disk it just got to the blue 7 background (NOT blue screen of death) that you'd see as it was loading up the disk scanner and go no further (only allowing you to move the mouse with the loading cursor).

At this point I tried to load 7 up off a USB pen drive and CD but to no avail. The laptop booted as you would expect it to after they were chosen in BIOS (albeit a little slow), giving me the option to install or repair Windows. On repairing Windows, it would get to the same blue 7 background as mentioned previously, and do no more. On selecting install Windows, it would only get to the to the loading screen before freezing again. My Vista CD did the exact same things.

More about my laptop-

AMD Phenom II x4 processor (2GHz each)
single 320GB hard drive
only been using it for roughly 4 months

I'd had some trouble with it previously with crashing and reduced performance, and this must've been the 4th time I'd formatted my laptop and reinstalled Windows 7 recently. This time I'd just finished installing the last of the Windows updates and had installed a few legitimate, safe programs on it (as in Firefox, not something you'd find on a torrent site). I was installing the LastFM music scrobbler and then the laptop suddenly froze giving me no option but to turn it off.

I suspect it's a hard drive problem but I want to make sure. It's been a bit of an essay but I'm pretty gutted about it all. Thanks for reading and if you've got any ideas please post. I'm no expert but I am fairly competent.

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john albrich Aug 05, 2011, 08:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 05, 2011, 08:57pm EDT

>> Re: Laptop won't boot from CD or USB

Could be coincidence.

Regardless, you might try some basic hardware debugging. Search HWA for things like
system won't boot
or "fails" instead of "won't", or
system fails post

There are a number of self-booting diagnostic programs (like UBCD) that don't involve trying to boot Windows that can help isolate whether this is a hardware or driver or corrupted software, etc problem.

You can also try running a Linux live distro like Ubuntu or Knoppix to see if the system has a basic hardware problem. If it still has problems after booting a live distro, it's more likely a hardware issue (not all distros run well on all machines).

M P Aug 06, 2011, 08:49am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Laptop won't boot from CD or USB
Thanks for the reply. I tried UBCD on a USB (using universal USB installer) but all I'm getting is this line of text and from here refuses to budge.

SYSLINUX 3.86 2010-04-01 EBIOS Copyright (C) 1994-2010 H. Peter Anvin et al

Going to retry it and then try Ubuntu now

john albrich Aug 06, 2011, 10:43am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Laptop won't boot from CD or USB

Ummm, why are you trying to "install" UBCD? It's a totally stand-alone disc. You boot from don't install it, and it doesn't install anything on your computer. UBCD is not the same as UBCD4Windows, if that's what you're trying to use.

M P Aug 06, 2011, 01:37pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Aug 06, 2011, 02:32pm EDT

>> Re: Laptop won't boot from CD or USB
Sorry just a bit misinformed there. Wanted to get it on usb because I don't have any CDs lying about and a website told me to do that to the UBCD .iso to get it working that way. Copied the files within the .iso onto the pen drive and it seems to be working now anyway. At the moment I'm just scanning the HDD surface for defects which is going to take a LONG time.
Beforehand I tried Ubuntu and it worked fine from the usb, but when it came to installing onto the HDD it started messing up. Didn't fully investigate it because I was quite tied for time then, but hopefully the HDD surface scan will confirm suspicions.

Thanks again for helping me.

*The scan is telling me it'll take 70 hours (and counting) and there's already a lot of errors. Looking at the number of sectors, roughly 1% have been scanned with 1% of those producing errors. Would I be right to stop the scan and say that it's definitely new hard drive time?*

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