Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Boot device problems or errors

Have you ever started a computer or device, only to get an error saying there are problems with the boot device? Or even worse, no errors at all but it won't load? If you do run into that, the first thing to do is make sure you don't have anything additional in your computer, which means empty the floppy drive (if you still have one), CD/DVD drive, and make sure any USB memory devices are unplugged (USB jumb drives, portable hard drives, etc).

This is one of those things that most people already know, but the reason I'm posting it is because I actually had this problem with a printer. It's a higher-end Xerox production printer with additional software installed for color matching, but when I turned it back on this morning it wouldn't connect to the network. I called Xerox and they set up a service call, but in the meantime I had 20 people who couldn't print to it. The tech called and walked me through a few things, and one of them was that you could reload the software onto the printer with a USB jump drive. I had already seen that one was plugged into the printer, but had assumed it was a licensing dongle. I mentioned that to her and she was confused, but that ended up being the problem. I pulled the USB jump drive out of the printer, restarted it, and everything worked fine after that. Apparently a Xerox tech left it plugged in the last time they were out to fix something, and forgot to take it when they were done. Then after I restarted the machine, it was trying to boot from that USB drive instead of the main printer itself. I ended up with an 8GB USB jump drive out of the deal though, so I guess it wasn't all bad...

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