Lenovo M58 won't boot Win10

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  1. Posts : 232
    Windows 10 home
       #1

    Lenovo M58 won't boot Win10


    3 years ago I bought a couple of refurb Lenovo M58 SFF desktop computers (Core2 Duo CPU, 4Gb RAM, Win10 Home for Refurb PCs), one with a 250 GB HDD for me (most of my data is on the NAS & backed up nightly) and the other with a 500GB HDD for our daughter and her husband.

    Mine is still ticking along nicely (I'm typing this on it). Theirs stopped working over a year ago. They live several hours from here and both have tablets they can access the internet with so they asked a friend in their city to look at it but that never happened so when we visited them over the holidays brought it home to see what I can do. I'm far from an expert but I know more than they do (including to ask here) and at least t won't end up sitting for another year.

    The first thing I found was that it gave me a CMOS Time Not Set error so I checked the mobo battery and sure enough it was dead. I put in a new one and it got as far as asking for a user password, which I didn't have. After I got the password I tried again but this time it went to Automatic Repair. I made all the selections and it started (I think) but when I came back the screen was black but the cursor responded so I left it alone for a while. When I returned again it was still not doing anything so I killed it with the power button and tried again.

    I've been trying it a few times per day for the last few days.
    - Sometimes it can't find the boot device and other times it goes into a loop with a line something about trying to connect and a MAC address scrolling up the screen as it tries over & over.
    - Once in a while it tries to repair but after I click US keyboard it sits longer than I want to wait and when I come back the screen is black.
    - Occasionally after I click US keyboard it goes to the screen with Troubleshoot and Turn off your PC and occasionally even to the list of troubleshooting options but whatever I choose it gives a reason that it can't do that.
    No matter what it does in the repair utility it takes several minutes to respond to anything I select.

    Yesterday I tried swapping the hard drives between my computer and theirs and the problem moved with the drive so I think it is fairly safe to assume that the problem is in either the software or the drive itself.

    I'm open to suggestions about what to do next. I thought about doing the Media Creation Tool thing to re-install Windows but I'm not sure if that would destroy their data...
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 4,453
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #2

    Sidecar Bob said:
    (snip)

    I'm open to suggestions about what to do next. I thought about doing the Media Creation Tool thing to re-install Windows but I'm not sure if that would destroy their data...
    That would destroy their data.

    I suggest backing up the drive, if possible. It may be worth a modest investment ($10 CDN at Newegg.ca or elsewhere) to get a USB to SATA adapter so that you can use the drive externally. That avoids the potential issue of conflicts between Windows on the bad drive and the working one.

    Best of luck.
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 232
    Windows 10 home
    Thread Starter
       #3

    I figured it probably would.

    It happens that I have a USB to Sata cable on hand but I'm pretty new to a lot of this stuff. How would I back up the drive? Should I plug it into my computer with the adapter?
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 18,452
    Windows 11 Pro
       #4

    Since this is a desktop computer, I would put a new hard drive in it, clean install Windows 10 to the new hard drive, then install the old hard drive as a second, data drive. Then if the old drive and file system are intact, their data files will still be available.

    In fact, seems like a good excuse to upgrade the primary drive to an SSD.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 232
    Windows 10 home
    Thread Starter
       #5

    Thanks, but there are 2 problems with doing that:
    1) There's no budget for a new drive (but I do have a 750GB HDD I can give them).
    2) There is no room in the SFF case for a 2nd hard drive.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 4,453
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #6

    NavyLCDR said:
    Since this is a desktop computer, I would put a new hard drive in it, clean install Windows 10 to the new hard drive, then install the old hard drive as a second, data drive. Then if the old drive and file system are intact, their data files will still be available.

    In fact, seems like a good excuse to upgrade the primary drive to an SSD.
    Would there be an issue with installing the old drive with a (nominally) active Windows installation on it?
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 4,453
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #7

    Sidecar Bob said:
    I figured it probably would.

    It happens that I have a USB to Sata cable on hand but I'm pretty new to a lot of this stuff. How would I back up the drive? Should I plug it into my computer with the adapter?
    Yes.

    I presume that you may not be able to literally back up the drive. The hope would be to copy the data off of it.

    That assumes that the drive isn't physically corrupt. If it is, data recovery may be a lot harder, or impossible (assuming that it's not worth spending a fortune having professionals do it).
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 18,452
    Windows 11 Pro
       #8

    bobkn said:
    Would there be an issue with installing the old drive with a (nominally) active Windows installation on it?
    If the OP could physically do it, there would be no issue with the old Windows installation on it.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 232
    Windows 10 home
    Thread Starter
       #9

    Could I connect it in place of the DVD drive?

    I'm thinking install the 750GB hard drive, install Win10 on it and once that is working plug in the old drive to see if I can move the data to the "new" one...

    Another possibility is to use the SATA/USB cable to connect this computer's hard drive to my computer and see if I can extract the data that way (or would it be better to connect this computer's hard drive in place of my computer's optical drive for that?)
    If that works I could try to re-install Win10 on it (if it works the problem was software, if not I can install the 750GB one).

    What do you guys think?
      My Computer


  10. Posts : 43,373
    Win 10 Pro (22H2) (2nd PC is 22H2)
       #10

    Far better to keep their drive away from your own working PC- just in case.

    Your second para seems a good approach. It seems there's no backup plan in place- and that's something you need to deal with.

    You should check the state of the suspect drive using e.g.
    HDTune free (Health and Error scan tabs) before attempting any recovery. This will give you a good idea as to what the state of the drive is, and the sort of problems you might expect.

    Hard Disk Sentinel (trial) gives a great instant analysis- the best I know- including expected lifetime.

    How do you make recovery from such situations easy? tecnforums members tirelessly recommend the routine use of disk imaging - e.g. Macrium Reflect (free-paid). Save sets of image files to an external disk and you have a range of dates to which to restore image disks and partitions. Also allows extraction of files from mounted image files.

    If you had that, an hour or two would see a new disk configured, exactly as was. Lesson for the future alas.

    Start using disk imaging as early as you can from a clean install.

    One problem with such situations is remembering all the different places from which you may need to retrieve data. That includes licenses for installed programs, if any.

    -----------------------------------------
    A thought: If 'C:' on the problem disk were intact, you could recover that by:
    - clean install to the new disk
    - image 'C:' on the old disk to a USB disk
    - restore that image of C: in place of 'C:' on the new disk
    - reboot and automatic repair or if necessary Startup Repair should sort things out.
      My Computers


 

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