Laptop gets no further than start screen when hdd installed. no beep. Take it out, and I can reach the bios ok. hard drive itself seems fine when I put it in my desktop; all files present and correct. Don't have another 2.5in to test the laptop with.
Question. Is this likely a laptop mainboard fault, or likely a weird quirk with this hdd - the original?
Laptop is MSI gt640, so really don't want it to be a fault with the mainboard! Bit reluctant to lash out on new hdd if the whole thing is u/s.
Its hard to say. Your best bet is to try a different 2.5" HDD, cheap ones are like $10. Either that or erase everything on the hard drive on your desktop then plug it back into the laptop. This way if a program is trying to load causing issues it is removed.
I understand what you said, but the only two logical explanations i can think of are either either the part of the motherboard that handles the hard drive connection is fried and having any hard drive connected will lead to the system to fail to boot, or during a certain part of the boost sequence the hard drive is read and a program located on the hard drive is causing the failure.
The hard drive works with the desktop so you know it isn't bad. I know it seems odd a program can prevent BIOS access, but on my laptop I had the same issue before. Failed to get anything, not even a splash screen. I pulled the HDD, formatted it, put it back in and it picked up fine. I had to reinstall everything but my computer is still running.