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Can't boot into BIOS after formatting HD

Posted on 2003-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-06-27
On an old Compaq Armada 1592 laptop, I reformatted my hard drive, planning to reinstall win95 and start fresh.

After the formatting completed, the startup goes directly from the first screen (memory check) to "Invalid system disk - Please reinsert disk and press any key."  

I have tried booting from a Win98 and MSDOS bootdisk, but the A drive will now read neither disk.

I have also tried accessing the boot menu and boot from the Win95 CD by pressing F8 at startup (this used to work) and it still continues to attempt to boot to the A drive (I cannot access the boot menu).

I tried pressing delete during startup to access BIOS (this also used to work), but it also has no effect.

Hopefully someone will be able to help me with this one.  Thanks in advance for your assistance.
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Question by:donnnm
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7 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Jorpho
ID: 8091697
So pressing delete has no effect?  Perhaps you should try attaching an external keyboard (if the laptop supports it).
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Expert Comment

by:gt900
ID: 8091713

Remove all battery packs from the battery bay and DualBay, if applicable.
Disconnect the AC power.
Remove the real time clock battery.
Wait five minutes.
Reconnect the AC power.
Restart the computer. During the Power-On Self Test (POST), a "162 System Options not Set" message appears.
Shut down the computer, then turn off the power again.
Replace the real time clock battery.
Install the battery pack(s).

this should let you boot from floppy but you will not be able to get to setup yet

there is a suport pack on the compaq web site Computer Setup for Portables that will setup the system partion (bios setup disk partion) on the hard disk for you so that you can get back to the setup on the laptop
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Accepted Solution

by:
gt900 earned 500 total points
ID: 8091802
I forgot to add that you may need to boot from the 95 boot floppy with cdrom drivers..a win98 startup disk has them allready setup.

reinstall and fdisk on the compaq laptops is a pain here is the procidure that i have used.

1.boot the win95 boot disk run fdisk delete all partions
 reboot.

2. install the computer setup for portables in the floppy drive boot this will ask you about what it needs to do.

3. you should also need to download the diags disk it will ask you for this disk during the system partion setup.

4. I think I rember that after the system partion was all done I then had to run fdisk and create a primary partion and (Dont forget to make it active) in fdisk.

5. then format c and install win95 (you will also need to download all the drivers (told you it was a pain)

If you dont use the system partion you will not be able to get to the setup at all on the compaq laptop it boots this partion to get to the cmos setup!
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Expert Comment

by:bjorndahlen
ID: 8091956
I think gt900 has already provided you with a cookbook
solution to get you out of your problem so I'll
just add an explanation why this happend.
Most PC's have their BIOS setup program stored in ROM.
 
Compaqs are a noteable exception in that the BIOS setup
program and some diagostic facilities are stored in a
(hidden) primary partition on your hard disk.

So, if you delete all partitions, or install a new HDD,
it's goodnight for the setup program.
 
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Author Comment

by:donnnm
ID: 8091998
gt900:  I did as you instructed, but I still cannot boot from the floppy.

Any other suggestions?
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Author Comment

by:donnnm
ID: 8092000
Please disregard the previous comment by me.  I did not refresh to see the next two follow ups.  Thanks - I will go try it with a 95 bootdisk now.
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Expert Comment

by:aboali
ID: 8093602
Did you mark the active partition?
unless this setp is done will not work.

After that, try to acces BIOS SETUP throgh the CMOS.
Check where is the first boot.

Try to make it first floppy a: then HDD c:

with regards,
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