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boot up

i get the error "Missing Operating System" when trying to boot up.
i get the 2 screens described below.

then when i try to from a floppy it skips right over it.
that is, it reads from the floppy drive, but apparently
cannot find what it is looking for and goes to the hard drive. i have tried more than one floppy disk.
this floppy drive appears to be functional since it tries to read from this disk.

some help i found on the net says to
"Check EXTERNAL CACHE setting in CMOS setup (i.e Writeback/Writethru)".
i have access only to the AMIBIOS setup when booting up,
and i don't see any external cache settings there.

what can i do next, short of trying another floppy drive,
which i don't have.

the contents of the floppy, which was made from another PC, are:

Volume in drive A has no label
 Volume Serial Number is 24C7-7E61
 Directory of A:\

DRVSPACE BIN        71,287  07-11-95  9:50a DRVSPACE.BIN
COMMAND  COM        92,870  12-31-95  9:50a COMMAND.COM
FORMAT   COM        40,135  12-31-95  9:50a FORMAT.COM
SYS      COM        13,239  07-11-95  9:50a SYS.COM
FDISK    EXE        59,128  12-31-95  9:50a FDISK.EXE
ATTRIB   EXE        15,252  07-11-95  9:50a ATTRIB.EXE
EDIT     COM        69,886  07-11-95  9:50a EDIT.COM
REGEDIT  EXE       120,320  07-11-95  9:50a REGEDIT.EXE
SCANDISK EXE       134,738  12-31-95  9:50a SCANDISK.EXE
SCANDISK INI         7,270  07-11-95  9:50a SCANDISK.INI
DEBUG    EXE        20,522  07-11-95  9:50a DEBUG.EXE
CHKDSK   EXE        27,248  07-11-95  9:50a CHKDSK.EXE
UNINSTAL EXE        76,496  07-11-95  9:50a UNINSTAL.EXE
        13 file(s)        748,391 bytes
         0 dir(s)         444,928 bytes free



1st screen ------------------------------------------------------------
American    AMBIOS (c)1994 American Megatrends Inc.
Megatrends

12/01/1995
7808KB OK
Primary Master Hard Drive C: 2.34 Western Digital Comp Model No WDAC280

(c) American Megatrends Inc.
40-P301-001437-0010111-072594-DGREEN-H

2nd screen ------------------------------------------------------------

  AMBIOS System Configuration (c) 1985-1994, American Megatrends Inc.,

Main Processor     : AM486DX4-Plusx   Base Memory Size  : 640 kb
Numeric Processor  : Built-in         Ext Memory Size   : 7168 kb
Floppy Drive A:    : 1.44 MB 3 1/2"   Display Type      : VGA/EGA
Floppy Drive B:    : 1.2 MB 5 1/4"    Serial Ports(s)   : 3F8,2F8
AMBIOS date        : 07/25/94         Parallel Port(s)  : 378

Hard disk(s)         Cyl   Hd  Sec Size  LBA   32 Bit  Block
                                         Mode  Mode    Mode
Primary Master  :C   980   10  17  81MB  Off   Off     Off

256KB CACHE MEMORY
100Mhz CPU Clock
Missing Operating System




------------
20. Cannot BOOT from floppy disk

#1. Remove case cover.
#2. Check floppy drive data cable connection
#3. Use END connection on floppy cable
#4. Check power connector to floppy
#5. Try different floppy
#6. Check EXTERNAL CACHE setting in CMOS setup (i.e Writeback/Writethru)
#7. Use different Bootdisk.
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jdaues
Asked:
jdaues
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1 Solution
 
jdauesAuthor Commented:
No, the disk had not been "sys'd"

I just tried, from the C: prompt in MS-DOS, the command:
sys a:

and i get the message:
Cannot obtain exclusive access to drive A:


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ek_enigmaCommented:
try to sys the disk by typing first typing "lock a:"
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jdauesAuthor Commented:
ok, i did the lock, and apparently that worked because
the sys command results in the message:
System transferred.

However, the broken computer still attempts to read the disk,
and skip to the hard drive as always.

(also, can you explain what the lock and sys command did, or
point to documentation that tells me what they do)


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texas050398Commented:
In you bios, Try setting the swap a/b option to enabled. If this does not work, verify that your boot sequence says a then c or a,c. If this does not work, I believe you may have a bad floppy drive/cable/ or conflict. Have you added any new cards lately? Do they have a floppy controller built in? If so, try to remove the new card/s and then reboot. Does it work now? I just had this problem...3 floppy controllers, they all wanted to be in charge, and I couldn't disable them. I wound up buying a new card. The "Missing Operating System " error tells me that you hard drive has been damage/erased/formatted. You will most likely need to rebuild the machine(unless you can work magic). Please let me know if this helps.

Tex
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ek_enigmaCommented:
well the LOCK command isn't too easy to explain but the simplest way to say it is that it gives the operating system full control over the drive.  for example, when you are installing windows 95, the setup program initiates a LOCK onto drive C so that it has complete control over what it installs there!
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jdauesAuthor Commented:
the problem is not the boot sequence as i have already checked that.  it is definitely trying to read the a: drive first.

i'll look for this sway a,b, thing in the bios.

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jdauesAuthor Commented:
i didn't find "swap" but i found sequence, which must be a different way of saying the same thing.
i changed the sequence from c: a: to a: c:
and now it boots up.
thank you.

so now to the "real" problem of what is wrong with my hard drive
(the error message Missing Operating System)

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ek_enigmaCommented:
this means that you have nothing on your drive (you used a program such as FDISK to delete everything)
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texas050398Commented:
The error missing operating system could simply mean that the boot partition is corrupt. you can do a "dir c:\" to find out if you have any files left on the drive. If you do:

In MSDOS 6.22 (if this is your operating system) boot from floppy then
"copy c:\dos\sys.com a:"
reboot with the same floppy and run
a:\sys c:

In Win95 boot from floppy then
"copy c:\windows\command\sys.com a:"
reboot with the same floppy and run
a:\sys c:

If nothing shows up with a "dir c:\" you will have to reload your system because the drive has been deleted.

If you need more assistance, please ask.

Tex
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