Boot and WLAN issues since a power failure


all ball, no chain
Feb 13, 2009
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My mom's home PC is acting up in a couple of different ways since a recent power failure occurred during or right after system boot. She is running Windows 7.

The primary issue is that BIOS will randomly default HDD interface to RAID mode and fail to boot Windows, claiming there is no RAID array defined and, subsequently, "no boot device." If I go into BIOS and change it to IDE mode (options are IDE, RAID, and AHCI) it will boot just fine for a few times again.

The second issue is that the WLAN connection is extremely slow and unreliable. Sitting in the same room, my phone connected to her wireless router speedtested for 8 Mbps, which is her service speed, but the PC hovered around a little under 1 Mbps. The little icon that shows connection strength also fluctuated quite a bit.

My initial thinking re: the WLAN was that the adapter (the drivers for which I updated) might be malfunctioning, and I thought she should buy a USB WLAN receiver to replace her PCI one. However, the on-going issue with the intermittent boot failures makes me wonder if there is an underlying hardware issue that goes beyond it.

I have run Malwarebytes and MSE on the system and it is clean. It is fully patched through WU. SMART check on the HDD shows a healthy drive. It's a WD drive partitioned in half, so there's no RAID array here.

Since I don't have constant access to the PC - I have to drive over there - I can't easily check on things, so I am trying to gather suggestions for things to look into for when I do. So any advice is welcome.

The machine is an Acer Aspire M3203.


Oct 17, 2008
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I wonder if the motherboard was damaged during the power failure?

As you've got two problems, one of which happens before boot, it does sound like a hardware problem unfortunately :(. The only other thing I can think of to rule things out is to run a drive diagnostic test (either or perhaps one of the DOS based ones on the Ultimate Boot CD) which may show more information than just the SMART results and test the WLAN PCI card in another PC.

Fingers crossed that it's something fixable! :)

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