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Simple (?) boot question

Posted on 1999-07-26
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Last Modified: 2010-04-27
I have a CTX Cyrix 686. When I power it, it finds the CDROM, lists system configuration, then gives the message "Disk Boot failure, insert system disk and press enter" Boot sequence is A,C and there is no disk in A. Dies this mean my hard drive is toast, not recognized??
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Question by:jcopp
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10 Comments
 

Author Comment

by:jcopp
ID: 1872692
Edited text of question.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:jsa
ID: 1872693
If you have a boot disk with the same version of Windows that is on the hard drive, try booting from the floppy and typing sys C: from the A: prompt
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:pwoolford
ID: 1872694
What this means is that there is no boot sector on C:
SYS C:  transfers the boot record from a: to c:
Did you do anything to your PC before you got this message
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LVL 1

Accepted Solution

by:
mazelon earned 300 total points
ID: 1872695
ok... what you need to do is, check and see if your Hard drive is still working...  use a boot disk, when at the a: promt after it boots up type c: and press return. if C:> doesn't show up you may need to fdisk your drive (explained below) or your hard drive may not be working. If it works see if it can still read your directory structure by typing dir.  if that works then it may be as simple as doing what jsa said (type sys c: from the A: prompt)  or a re-install of windows.  Just remember, a re-install of windows won't hurt anythinng that you already have, it should just overwrite the files that it knows it can and prompt you on the ones it's not so sure of, or the ones that are newer than the ones on the disk.  Also, remember to have your cd-rom boot disk handy because that is what you will need to get your cd-rom running in dos.

If your hard drive doesn't get the directory list when you type dir.. you may have a problem.  if it says "invalid media type" you may need to format your drive or use Fdisk (a program for setting up the space allocation on your hard drive). It sould be on your start up disk if you made one... otherwise you are going to have to get it from a different system and put it on your boot disk. if you are not familiar with this program here are a little reminders.  when you first run the program it will ask you if you want to run Large Disk Support.  pressing yes in this menu will set your drive to run in fat32 mode, an enhanced mode made to run best with windows 98.  after yoy have selected your setting it is not too hard from there.  you will need to delete your exsisting partitions and create new ones...   if you have any more questions about it i will help you to the best of my ability over e-mail or whatever.

Email: mazelon@hotmial.com
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Author Comment

by:jcopp
ID: 1872696
I had opened the PC and was going to add a new modem. I poked around in there, but I'm pretty sure I didn't knock loose any wires. Anyway, I didn't put the modem in, but when I went to boot, I got the error. I missed one thing, before the error message, it says "Updating ESCD .. Success"

I don't use the computer very often, it's an extra in my office. The kids use it sometimes. They have shut it down improperly before, but when they have, it starts by scanning for errors.

Also, I bought this cheapo from surplus direct. I don't think I got or created (mea culpa) a startup disk.
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LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:pwoolford
ID: 1872697
Before you do any of the suggestions above open your PC and check all the power and data cables are firmly attached to their sockets.
Once you have done this try to reboot and see if this has fixed the problem.
If it still does not work, reboot and go to the BIOS setup (press <del>, F8, or F10 depending on your PC while the memory count is going) look down and see if the hard disk is listed it the settings and that it is the correct one.
If there is nothing showing then the hard disk is probably shot (personally I don't think this is the problem).
DON'T run fdisk or format until you have tried every thing else listed in this thread as it will lose all your disk contents for what is probably a simple error.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:mazelon
ID: 1872698
sorry... guess I jumped the gun a little.. hehe

check your connection to your hard drive and make sure it warms up when you turn on your system... (it's an easily recognized sound)
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Author Comment

by:jcopp
ID: 1872699
The hard drive is connected. It whirrs, clicks, and a little light comes on when I turn on the computer.

The system configuration information is displayed when I boot. It says: Primary msater disk: none; Primary slave disk:none.

I entered setup. The standard CMOS setup listed the hardrive and details - Type,size,cyls,head,precomp,landz,sector,mode.
For primary and secondary disk and slave all were "none, 0, 0, 0, ...." I can change the settings on the Type to auto (tried that and rebooted, same problem) or user and type in any of 45 options for each. Haven't tried this.

I live in a rural community with a history of power problems. Even with a surge suppressor (a cheap one I think) I had a hard drive fail on a different computer a year ago. I always blamed it on the power.
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LVL 1

Expert Comment

by:mazelon
ID: 1872700
ok... is your cable on backwards??  make sure that the red line on the cabe is in the side of the connector with pin 1 (usually found on the main board of the hard drive).  If it is connected properly make sure that your jumper on the hard drive is set to master...  And it all else fails try to chande the cable and put it on secondary just to see if it will be recognized... if it is then is could be your cable... if not it could be a dead drive..
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Author Comment

by:jcopp
ID: 1872701
YES!! It was a cable problem. I am up and running. Thanks tons. One slight problem. Somewhere along the way, the floppy stopped working. During power-up I get the message "Floppy disk(s) fail (40)" I went into device (or hardware) configuration and the floppy has the problem: "Drive A using MS-DOS compatability mode for file system" I tried to reinstall the floppy and driver both automatically and manually, but can find no new driver.
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