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Invalid System Disk

Posted on 1998-12-08
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
Invalid System Disk Error. Can boot to floopy but can't connect to c:. What do I do?
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Question by:mnawrath
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9 Comments
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:cheekycj
ID: 1013463
try booting up with your bootable (system) floppy and when you are at the dos prompt
a:\

type

sys c:

That should work.

CJ
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Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1013464
Can you boot to the floppy, and read the C: drive (DIR C:)?

Does your system BIOS recognize the hard disk?
If not, enter your CMOS setup, (F1, Delete, or another key indicated at startup) and check your hard disk settings.  If available in your CMOS, Auto Detect the drive.  If it recognizes the drive correctly, Save, and exit.

Explain the circumstances leading to the error, and we will try to help more if needed.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:rbr
ID: 1013465
Is your HD seen in the BIOS settings.
NO: check all your connection and power supply
YES: Can you access your HD by booting from disk
NO: YOu have to fdisk and format your HD
YES: No system on it use sys c: or install a system like Windows 95, Linux, ...

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Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1013466
rbr:  Gee, thats what I just said!  Thanks for repeating it for me with an "Answer".
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LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:cheekycj
ID: 1013467
rbr:  all you did was put Jason_s and my comments together and post it as an answer.

Be orginal why don't you.

CJ
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Author Comment

by:mnawrath
ID: 1013468
Adjusted points to 200
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Expert Comment

by:j_powers
ID: 1013469
mnwrath:

You need to answer the questions above before we can go any farther. The main question that does need to be answered, is if you go into your BIOS, to the drive setup area, is there a hard drive there? Can you autodetect the drive if it isn't?

Also: What happened before you lost your disk? Did you just turn on the computer, or did you reboot? Did you have a power failure? Were you installing hardware or software?

Let me know.


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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
adrianwatkins earned 200 total points
ID: 1013470
possible reasons are:

1. bios does not have disk info. Go into the bios and detect the hard drive. If it wont detect it open up the pc and check the connections. If the disk does not spin up and you aint changed any plugs chances are it's screwed. Also drive make make some funny clicking , partial wiring noises. If the disk is OK then :

2. It may be that the disk has lost it's master boot record. This could be caused by a virus, accident or by that part of the drive media been screwed. if the drive media is ok get a bootable dos/win 95 disk. to do this format a disk with the system file option on a working machine (format a: /s) then copy the following files to the disk - fdisk.exe and sys. Now boot from the floppy in your duff machine and run fdisk /MBR this will recreate the master boot record. then run sys c:

3. If this doesn't work then my money is on the fact that your disk has gone the way of the fairyies. This would be backed up if all of a sudden the m/c does not work. this normally points to the bios or a bust disk.

Hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:jepe
ID: 1013471
I have encountered almost the same problem. I tryed to install a second HD but it failed. When I placed everything back to normal I couldn't gain access to my original drive.
I always got the same invalid System Disk Error.
The first thing that came into my mind was that the BIOS didn't recogniced my HD. I checked the BIOS, but the BIOS was properly stating my HD.
Next I tried booting from a floppy disk. Booting from floppy was no problem. Than I tried to look at my c: drive but the system reported Not ready reading drive C
         Abort,Retry,Fail
Meening there is no drive!!!
Next I ran fdisk (from floppy) to check the partion information. To my surprice there was no partition information. I tried create partition / primary DOS partition to check if the system was able to detect the drive. But when you invoke the option create primary DOS partition, the partition is immediatly created and not after finishing fdisk, meaning you loose everything on the disk. What appears to be my problem.

With this I want to inform that it's possible that you cannot access your HD even if your BIOS is reporting it and its not only your MBR that's lost.

Hope you get your problem solved.
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