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Disk I/O Errors

Posted on 1998-06-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Having a SIS 486 PCI/ISA mini sized system boardwith AMD P75 cpu, I keep getting disk i/o error when booting up. This error appears on 2 identical mobo's where the hardware was swapped from one to the other. Have tried 2 Seagate HDDs ( 1.7 gig & 407 meg ) both with clean installations of Win95, 3 different working FDDs and 3 sets of ribbon cabling. Both mobo's worked in recently upgraded PCs. Have tried all combos of hardware. Drives are detected by BIOS. Disconnecting either HDD or FDD results in same error. As same error with FDD, I am unable to boot from floppy.
Probably something being overlooked ... but I am unsure. Due to nature of urgency ... 150 points for fix.
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Question by:clarkej
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by:bchew
ID: 1018639
Is BIOS CORRECTLY identifying drives?  If not, have you tried to manually configure the drives?  Have you tried a different disk Controller card?  What kind and how many drives are installed?  If you have more than one HDD have you verified the slave/master selections are correct on both?
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1018640
Try this:
1) Double-check jumper settings on motherboard for correct CPU and clock frequency.

2) Enter CMOS setup and select the default settings and disable any hard drives at this time.

3) Boot computer from a known-good floppy system disk.

Let me know of your progress.
Regards,
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:clarkej
ID: 1018641
I have re-installed both HDDs, one at a time as I only want one HDD in this PC; the BIOS has automatically detected each HDD correctly i.e. number of cylinders, sectors, bytes, etc. I have also tried manually setting up the HDDs.
There is no controller card for the devices, controller is onboard. Appologies, the larger HDD is a 1.7 gig Fujitsu IDE MPA3017AT, and the smaller a 407 meg Seagate ST3491A IDE. Both HDDs work fine on other machines.
Jumpers settings have been checked with mobo manual ... all fine. HDD jumpers have been checked too. Only set to master as no slave is required. Have also tried setting up HDDs as Secondary Masters on IDE2. Same error message.

Have reset the CMOS to default, saved setting, rebooted with/out HDD installed and tried to boot from known good boot disk, same error message.
Seems to me like mobo is at fault. Unusually, have tried two identical boards with same h/ware and get same result.  
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bchew earned 600 total points
ID: 1018642
If only using one drive, it should not be set as either master or slave.  Some drives have a third choice for a single drive.  For instance, your Seagate ST3491A drive lists the following:

JP1/Jumper 3    JP1/Jumper4
    open                 open             Single drive only
    closed               open             Master drive in a 2 drive system
    open                 closed           slave drive in a 2 drive system


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Author Comment

by:clarkej
ID: 1018643
Silly mistake on my part not to have noticed it, thanks for your help.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1018644
For the time being, I would forget about the hard drives until you get the computer to boot properly from a floppy.
If using a known-to-be-good floppy disk still gives errors, I would try this:
1) Remove everything from motherboard except video card and memory.
2) Connect only motherboard and floppy drive to power supply.
3) Check motherboard documentation for how to clear BIOS and do so.
4) Select only floppy and video types in BIOS. (Defaults for everything else)
5) Insure that floppy drive power and data cables are installed correctly.
6) If it won't boot, substitue drive and/or cable to determine cause.
If it still won't boot, find another motherboard.
Regards,
Ralph


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by:rmarotta
ID: 1018645
?????
How can an uninstalled hard drive cause the floppy to be unable to boot?
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:clarkej
ID: 1018646
very good point Ralph!

bchew, you have an answer to that? Uninstalled meaning "uninstalled from cmos and physically".

Is it essential for some mobos to have a HDD present to prevent the disk i/o error showing up when booting from floppy?
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1018647
What was the error when trying to boot from floppy?
When selecting BIOS defaults without a hard drive present, what is the boot order?
Ralph

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Author Comment

by:clarkej
ID: 1018648
the boot order was a: c: ... the error was the same as with the HDD, 'disk i/o error'
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