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won't take system disk

Posted on 1998-12-26
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
My sister has an old 66mhz that she wiped clean, because she wants to give it away all cleaned up. I had to go into the setup to get it to recognize the A: drive.  So that's working now, but it keeps telling me that the system disk I have in it to boot it up and reinstall EVERYTHING is not a system disk (so I can't even get to the A: prompt yet). I don't know why it won't recognize it, I can use it to boot up my computer just fine!
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Question by:gtu
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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 1131830
Check the BIOS-setup.
It may be set to boot _ONLY_ from 'C:', i.e. not to look at 'A:'.
Or, check the BIOS-setup for the A: drive
(5.25 320K versus 5.25 1.2M versus 3.5 720K versus 3.5 1.44M).

Try booting the diskette in some other computer.
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Expert Comment

by:istal112898
ID: 1131831
can you explain better what you mean she wiped it?
she just needed to format. what did she do?
ok, go to Auto Detect IDe and get the Hardrive parameters correct. make sure in the CMOS the Primary Master get the parameters. OK, then make sure to boot with a WIN98 Boot diskette.
explain a lot more what you have done?
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Author Comment

by:gtu
ID: 1131832
the hard drive has been wiped clean, so there are no system files for it to boot off of, and it won't boot off a system disk because it keeps saying the disk is not a system disk when it is.
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Expert Comment

by:wayneb
ID: 1131833
Do you have another boot disk you can try, I have seen problems like this if made on a worn floppy drive.
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Expert Comment

by:istal112898
ID: 1131834
Did you boot to A: drive perform FORMAT C:/S.
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Expert Comment

by:istal112898
ID: 1131835
do this FDISK, and choose Partition INFO tell me what it mentions.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1131836
istal,
Please read the prior posts.
The computer will NOT boot!

gtu,
Go over Otta's comment again.
It sounds like the drive is either not being accessed at bootup, or it is configured in BIOS for the wrong type of floppy drive.
Let us know if you need help with the CMOS (BIOS) setup.
Regards,
Ralph
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Expert Comment

by:MATTCEI
ID: 1131837
Check the aforementioned BIOS settings first.If still NG:

Your floppy drive may be out of alignment,which means it will only read floppies written by IT.See if you can find a floppy that was formatted on this drive,then SYS it (DON'T 'format/s' it) on your system.You might get away with being able to boot from this diskette.
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Expert Comment

by:istal112898
ID: 1131838
I will agree with MattCei Comment maybe you do not need to format, the only thing you need is to SYS
like this A:\SYS C:\
just a comment. :) got to make it clear it better.
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Author Comment

by:gtu
ID: 1131839
I know how to get into the setup utility but have never done a BIOS/CMOS setup. I'd be happy to slot my points to anyone that can direct me.
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Expert Comment

by:Laphroaig
ID: 1131840
This sounds like an IBM PS1/PS2 or an early Compaq where Bios info is kept on a small partition on the Hard Drive.

If the HDD is wiped clean then so is the Bios info. Please give details of the model so I can supply a solution.
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1131841
If your setup utility is accessed by a key or a key-combination at power-on, go there and select the correct floppy disk drive type for Drive A:
Be sure the capacity matches that of the actual drive.
Next, if there is an option to set the boot order (the order in which the computer looks for an operating system to boot from), set it to drive A first, followed by the hard drive.
Save your settings and exit the utility.
Re-boot, and the drive light should come on as the floppy drive is accessed to load Dos.
If you still have trouble, go back and set the hard drive type to "none" or "not installed".  This will force the computer to use the floppy.
Once you get it to boot successfully, we can go back and configure the hard drive.
Let me know how it goes.
Ralph

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Expert Comment

by:istal112898
ID: 1131842
>>>Check the BIOS-setup.

I think Otta should expand more in his first comment.
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Expert Comment

by:Otta
ID: 1131843
> the only thing you need is to SYS like this A:\SYS C:\

But, if you cannot "boot" from 'A:', you cannot enter this command.  Catch 22!
________________________

When you turn the computer on, does it display something like:

Press DEL to enter SETUP mode

??

If so, then do it.

If nothing is displayed, turn the computer off,
press and hold any keyboard key, and turn the computer on.
The computer may display "keyboard error",
and may automatically enter SETUP mode.

As RMAROTTA has suggested (above),
if you do enter SETUP mode, navigate (with the cursor-movement keys),
looking for something like "boot sequence" or "boot device".
Use the cursor-keys to move the "highlighting" to this entry.
Try the PAGE-UP and/or PAGE-DOWN keys to cycle through the possible values.



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Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1131844
I suspect the floppy drive is bad.  You could temporarily connect another drive to the system, and try booting to it.
Let us know what you find.
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Expert Comment

by:dpuckett
ID: 1131845
Just a though..

I've run into some older 1.44 drives that could not successfully be used to boot from a 1.44 formatted system diskette.

The only way to boot way to get a 720k diskette, format as 720k with the sys (/S) arg..


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Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1131846
Good thought!  If you don't have a 720, just put tape over the whole oposit of the write protect tab, and format the disk.
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Expert Comment

by:wayneb
ID: 1131847
Jason, you have a post in the Nt general section awaiting an answer.

http://www.experts-exchange.com/topics/comp/os-ms-windows/general/nt/Q.10111809
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Expert Comment

by:Jason_S
ID: 1131848
Thanks wayneb.
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Author Comment

by:gtu
ID: 1131849
Yep! Guess the A: Drive went baaaaaad, thanks for steering me in the right direction!!!!!!!!!!!
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Expert Comment

by:rmarotta
ID: 1131850
Had it gone unused for a period of time, until after you did the format on the hard drive?
It might only need the dust blown out.......
Ralph
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Accepted Solution

by:
Jason_S earned 200 total points
ID: 1131851
I seem to run across this more lately.  The drive simply wont work at all, or will partialy work giving read errors of some type.  Sometimes blowing the dust out will help.  If it does, reject this answer, and ask Ralph to submit his answer.
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