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A: no disc or format not known

Posted on 1997-08-12
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Last Modified: 2013-12-16
Hi...
I know someone who has. p166, 32 RAM 2gig HD. Since installing something called "bootminder" which tells you youv'e left a non boot disc in the floppy drive on shutdown, he can no longer access discs in the a drive. The message you get is the same one you get when you put an unformatted disc in the drive, even though it can be read by 3 other PC's that have no probs with thier a drives. If we boot in DOS mode we can read discs ok. We have removed (with difficulty) all references to this "bootminder" prog, or has he done something to his system he has not told me about.
Solving this will get you an "A" grade. I wish I could award more points.
Thanks in advance.....
Ricky :-)
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Question by:rickyr
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by:cymbolic
ID: 1750040
Did you check your system BIOS settings?  Break in at boot up and see if they are correct for your floppy drive type.  This is a really old message, down at the BIOS call return to DOS level.
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by:cymbolic
ID: 1750041
Also, there is an old WIN 95 bug that causes lost a:drive.  Chetmck out MS Knowledge base article at http://www.microsoft.com/kb/articles/q166/0/13.h

From Brett Glass's Help Desk COlumn, a quick way to resolve this problem is:

1) make sure there is a disk in a:
2) Open a DOS Box under 95
3) make A: the current drive
4) hit Ctrl-C

supposed to reset the floopy disk file system, and old convention left over from CPM,  After this you should be able to write to the diskette from both windows and DOS.
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by:rickyr
ID: 1750042
hiya cymbolic...

I will try what you said at the weekend and if it works I will max your grade. I thought I'd let you know though that the object was not found when I went to...

http://www.microsoft.com/kb/articles/q166/0/13.h
regards
rickyr :-)
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by:rickyr
ID: 1750043
Hi...
Sorry I have taken so long to get back to you cymbolic. This is not a rejection, I had no other way of telling you to wait a little longer. So just propose an answer again "as above" will do. The reason is, The problem is not with my puter, but with an aquaintance, he's still out of the country (alright for some). Even if he has solved the problem without our help I will still grade you even if it is only slightly like your solution.

regards
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dew_associates earned 100 total points
ID: 1750044
Ricky: The Knowledge Base Article Q166013 has no applicability here in light of your indentifying the fact that Bootminder was or had been on the system. Bootminder modifies the settings in the Windows 95 IO.SYS and Registry files, and at times causes them to identify both 1.44 and 1.2 drives as DMF or large capacity drives such as those used by Microsoft for their install disks. It will take some work (unless your fortunate enough to get a hold of an uninstall for bootminder) to modify the IO.SYS and Registry files. When you friend returns, I'll gladly take you through the procedure.

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by:rickyr
ID: 1750045
Hiya dew...

My riend has returned from Rome and it sounds like your right, as we've tried everything to get his drive to read a floppy.
Thanks for volunteering to guide me through this task.
I look forward to seeing your step by step guide.

(As an aside) My friend likes to put, ANY and ALL types of software from Freeware to Shareware onto his puter. I keep telling him that this is not a good thing. Some advice from an expert on this subject may help him avoid getting into messes like this.

regards
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by:dew_associates
ID: 1750046
Okay Ricky, first things first though. I would like you to do these things in the order given, and if you cannot complete a step, please let me know what is happening that prevents you from doing so.

1: Run the latest version of either McAfee or Norton's antivirus on the machine. This will insure that we haven't inadvertantly mistaken the Michaelangelo virus for an IO.SYS problem, even though the final remedy is the same. If you can confirm, without doubt, that the system is virus free, then go on.

2: Create a windows 95 setup disk if you do not already have one from when windows was installed. If you have one than use that, or create one from your system to be used on your friends machine. Verify that the following files are on the setup disk, if not then make sure you transfer them to it:

Himem.sys
Emm386.exe
*********.SYS  (his cd rom device driver)
Mscdex.exe
Autoexec.bat
Config.sys

3. Once you have the setup disk done, click the write protect tab on the diskette so nothing will write to it. Then reboot the system using the diskette and verify that the system boots to DOS mode and that the CD Rom drive is accessible.

4. Reboot the system again and go into the CMOS setup and verify that the settings for the floppy drive have been done correctly. If so, then let the system boot through using the setup disk.

5. At the DOS prompt, assuming that it is  C:\

   type attrib -s -h -r io.sys    <enter>

   ren io.sys io.old   <enter>

   a:  <enter>

   sys c:   <enter>

   c:  <enter>

6. Insert your windows cd rom into the cd rom drive. Assuming that your CD Rom drive is drive "D", type the following: (If your cd rom drive is something other than "D", than substitute your actual drive letter)

        D:\SETUP /df   <enter>

Follow the prompts, this will update your win.ini, system.ini, registry and cause windows to update io.sys.


Post your results please, especially and errors that occur.

Best regards,
Dennis
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by:rickyr
ID: 1750047
Hiya dew_associates...

Thanks for that detailed answer. I did not get a chance to try this out as another friend of mine put a new startup disc into this guys machine, and, low and behold, the same problem ocurred. It looks as if this clown has been messing with the jumpers on his sound card (god knows why)and knocked out his "a:" drive. I'm  quite anoyed with this guy because he is wasting everybody's time.

However, having said that, I will keep a printout of your explanation and will use it, should the need arise, in the future.

I'll keep you posted.

Thanks again Dennis.

Ricky :-)
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Expert Comment

by:dew_associates
ID: 1750048
Anytime time Ricky!
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by:rickyr
ID: 1750049
Hiya Dennis...
Ain't spoke to you for a while, how are you?
Do you remember me saying that my friend WILL insist on installing anything and everything (Even copies of different shareware that do the same jobs).
Well now that we cleared up his initial problems, What can I do to convince this guy that he can't carry on doing this.
He's got 50 desktop icons, PC takes 15 minutes to boot into Safe Mode, and won't boot into Win95 atall.
He's convinced that it's his hardware thats falling apart.
Is his only option to reformat and start again? or is there a way he can recover from this? bearing in mind which way is going to be the most cost effective.
Thanks
Ricky--London--UK

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by:dew_associates
ID: 1750050
Ricky, I'd like to be able to say there's a fix for this, but there isn't. Each desktop icon requires an entry in the startup file, therefore time to load the necessary software. He might be able to speed the process some by taking the icons off the desktop and putting them into the programs area under categories that he rocignizes, that way the program is only opened when he clicks on it. This will help some, but not to the degree that he would hope for!
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