Author Topic: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7  (Read 5952 times)

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Offline pastywhitegurl

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I"m getting  a screen with this message on rebooting Windows 7 PRO (64 bit)

"media test failed. check cable" On checking for similar reports, I found dire predictions of hard drive failure, bios corruption and other scary stuff.  But the reports usually mention that the boot never completes and they are stuck there.

The thing is, I think I have always gotten this message in the boot up sequence, but it only flashes for barely long enough to read it, and then the machine boots up.
If my boot order  sequence is wrong, I don't even know how to tell, let alone fix it.  I just opened the box and and plugged in the refurbished machine and expected it to work properly. Maybe it never did? 

Honestly, I didn't even realize it was an error message until it occured to me that I'm seeing it all the time, and looked for references on the web.  I guess I just figured it meant I didn't have something inconsequential plugged in, since everything seems to be working.

Please kind computer gurus, help me sort this out?

I don't think I've ever run any kind of diagnostic or scannow or disk check on this machine yet. Should I start there?

Offline satrow

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #1 on: June 14, 2015, 09:12:51 AM »
That's a BIOS setting, unrelated to Windows.

During restart/boot keep tapping the BIOS access key, usually Del but it differs with the PC brand, and access the Boot section, you should be able to set it to look for the hard drive(s) first - currently, it looks like it's set to boot from the network first, or CD/DVD then network. Once you have the Boot priority set to the hard drive first, Save and Exit (usually F10), then the PC should boot without displaying 'errors'.

http://www.howtogeek.com/129815/beginner-geek-how-to-change-the-boot-order-in-your-computers-bios/

Offline Digerati

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #2 on: June 14, 2015, 12:02:32 PM »
Quote
If my boot order  sequence is wrong, I don't even know how to tell, let alone fix it.
It could be a network drive but I think it is set to the wrong HD first. Not the DVD drive. If you have your optical drive as the first, every time you boot, the BIOS will display in the lower left of your screen a prompt to press a key to boot to the DVD. If you press the key, the BIOS will look for a bootable DVD in the DVD drive. If there is a disk in there but it is not bootable, then you might get that error.

If you don't press a key within a few seconds, it (the boot process) will simply time out and move on to the next disk in the boot sequence and you won't see any error - it just moves on.

How many physical hard drives are installed in this system?
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2015, 07:35:18 PM »
Sorry for the delay, I had to ask for help on how to find out. :)

I have one hard drive - Windows (C:)
And one DVD RW (D:)

Offline Digerati

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2015, 07:47:13 PM »
Well then maybe Satrow was right and you need to look in your BIOS Setup Menu and make sure it is pointing to you one HD first. Make sure you don't have a disk in your DVD too.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline MikeW

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2015, 08:03:34 AM »
It is a bios set up problem. The original install of the operating system was from a network drive, and the boot sequence should have been put back to C first. by the installer.
Win 7 Home Premium  IE11 MSE  Mbam Pro

Offline Digerati

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2015, 01:38:11 PM »
Could be. And if the case, you would have received this error since day 1.
Bill (AFE7Ret)
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Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2015, 08:24:11 PM »
Sorry for the long delay on responding, but it took me  while to get up the courage to try resetting the boot order.  (Messing with internals always makes me apprehensive.)

I did find that the boot sequence was set to boot first from USB or CD-ROM drive.  The hard drive was in the #2 position.

So I re-ordered and this is what I have now:

1. Onboard SATA Hard Drive
2. Onboard USB or CD-ROM Drive
3. Onboard Network Controller
Onboard or USE Floppy Drive (not present)
USB Device (not present)

However, on boot, I still see the "media test failed" message.  Booting goes on and I get another screen with boot options, but it isn't up long enough for me to read it.  Booting continues and eventually I get the login screen and all is well.

Is there something more I need to change?

Offline plodr

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2015, 11:05:55 PM »
Disable onboard network controller. It should not make a difference because the computer should see the hard drive with the OS on it and boot from it without shooting up the error.

Offline techie

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2015, 12:21:51 AM »
Since I don't your computer model, the exact bios setting location, most likely advanced settings in the bios.

You will be looking for the hard drive setting, some are set to ide, some are achi, some are legacy.
Most likely if it is there you are set to either ide or achi. If it's ide, change to achi if available. If it is achi, change to ide. If this setting is wrong it creates boot problems. If it doesn't boot, then change it back.
It is Win 7, shouldn't be set to legacy if available, but could be..

If all else fails, you should have an option to reset to default. Almost all bios will have this. It's not always correct.

More on ACHI, if the OS system was installed with it set, it has to be on. If the OS was installed with it off ide setting, it will not work well or at all, if set to achi.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advanced_Host_Controller_Interface

1)  A bios settings shouldn't change unless changes are made by the user.

2) If the backup button battery on the motherboard is dead, and power is lost your bios will lose it's settings. a indication of this is when it's unplugged, and when you bootup, your time and date will be incorrect, in the OS.






Offline techie

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2015, 01:33:56 AM »
Sorry, I meant AHCI, not ACHI :smash:

Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2015, 01:41:17 AM »
My computer is a Dell Optiplex 755.

I guess I need to start with this question:  Do I need to change anything before the Windows 10 update installs tonight at 11pm (Central time)?  My reboot after the bios order change worked pretty much the same as normal.

I am very confused by the instructions.  (Not because they are not good---but because I'm so unfamiliar with the terminology.)  I don't think I have time to figure it out.

I was trying to get all this sorted before the update installs, but I don't want to create a new problem by not doing something right. I've only got about an hour.
There doesn't seem to be a way to stop the update, or is there?

Quote from: plodr
Disable onboard network controller.
Should I really do this? My computer is on a home network with my husband.

Offline techie

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2015, 01:52:01 AM »
If it is booting up or restarting without any errors or problems, leave it alone. You don't need to make anymore changes.

Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2015, 01:54:21 AM »
Thank you.   I will not try to change anything else then.

Online Corrine

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Re: "Media test failed, check cable" message on booting Windows 7
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2015, 11:48:50 AM »
Are you going to be at the computer when Windows 10 installs?  Since you are upgrading from a Windows 7 computer, you'll find it much easier to do things if you log on with a "Microsoft Account" when upgraded.


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