re: Disk error at bootup

Hi Everyone:

       I am trying to help a friend of mine with a peculiar problem.  The other night, he tried to install a game.  But, according to my understanding, the game crashed and now when the pc starts, we get the following error message:  Disk error...
Press any key to restart.  When any key is pressed, we get Disk Boot Failure..
Insert System Disk and Press Enter.  Of practical interest, BIOS does detect the HDD and identifies it as Maxtor 53073H4.  

      It is further noteworthy to mention that I upon visual inspection, I noticed the IDE cable was connected to the HDD as a slave instead of master.  Therefore, I took the liberty of connecting the HDD to the IDE cable as a master because I do not believe a HDD can ever boot as a slave.  Unfortunately, the same error message appears.

       I am totally stumped on this one.  Any thoughts or suggestions will certainly be appreciated.  The OS on this system is XP Professional.  I look forward to reading everyone's input on this post.

      Thank you.

      George
GMartinAsked:
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philby11Commented:
Hi there ,
ok several options here.
1. have you checked that there is no floppy in the drive.......lol.
2. In the bios if you have changed the boot drive from slave to master you should use IDE auto detect to reset the bios info or set the primary to auto detect, either way.
3. boot off the XP CD to the recovery consol & either
3a. run fixboot , fixmbr
3b. repair the windows installation
good luck
philby11Commented:
also you could run chkdsk /r to check for HDD errors
philby11Commented:
also check your boot sequence
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WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
Also if you know what brand drive it is....you may want to run some hard drive diagnostic tools....Could be a failed drive....
www.maxtor.com
www.wdc.com
www.hitachi.com
www.ibm.com
www.fujitsu.com
www.samsung.com
www.seagate.com


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alexgreenCommented:
sounds like a shafted drive to me, seen that message too many times!

If you are not bothered about the data, reccommend Fdisk and Dos Format to try to clear it.  May respond after that (use a boot disk from www.bootdisk.com or winXP CD
CallandorCommented:
You may just need to fix the boot sector.  An easy way to fix this is to boot the machine with a DOS disk and execute the command fdisk /mbr.  This will re-write the boot sector and hopefully fix your problem, without erasing what you have on the drive.
tiranathonCommented:
I've had a similar problem, and mine turned out to be a bios setting, for some reason Hard Drives that are set to auto detect may occasionally set themselves to the wrong type. there being three, NORMAL, LBA and LARGE. my advise, before nething else, is to enter bios, and try all three and see if that makes it boot. The auto detection process will give you 3 options, just select each one in turn till it works.
WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
He's running Windows XP.  He doesnt want to FDISK the drive.  And you wouldn't want to format w/ a Dos disk and put XP on there.  Also you wouldn't want to execute fdisk /mbr.  Again He's running XP.  And already stated by philby11, he should use fixboot, fixmbr and Chkdsk /r using the windows XP CD and the recovery console.
CallandorCommented:
Oops - I forgot that he's running XP.  Need more coffee this morning...
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

       Just out of curiousity, what would happen if a bootable harddrive was set as master, but, yet, connect to the IDE cable as a slave?  And, secondly, can a bootable HDD ever be set as slave?

      Thanks

      George
CallandorCommented:
George,

The connector a drive uses is relevant only if the cable select jumper is set - you have yours set to master.  I believe a slave drive can be bootable, as long as there is an active primary partition with an OS on it.
ridCommented:
If the HD is set to master by its jumpers, the connection to the IDE cable is irrelevant to Master/Slave config. If, however,
you have a system that uses Cable Select, you should jumper the drive for "CS" and in those cases the master is at
the end connector of the IDE cable and the drive connected to the middle connector will be slave.

It is considered bad practice to connect a single drive to the middle connector on an IDE cable, because it *can* cause
signal deterioration (by reflection in the unterminated end connector).

In this case you need to run a diagnostic (as has been suggested) and if you get an OK there, you'll have to reinstall or
restore your O/S, most probably. Do check BIOS settings for the HD after doing an autodetect.

/RID
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi,

       Can a bootable HDD ever be set as "slave"? Or, must the bootable HDD always be "master" as defined by the jumper configuration?

       Thanks

       George
WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
it can be set as slave.  as long as your master is not a bootable drive.  Or you dont have a master it will boot off the slave drive.  Been there done that....also if you have two drives in the system windows xp can format and install on the slave drive if you set it to do so.  
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

       Thanks so much for the prompt, courteous, and insightful feedback.  I will give these suggestions a try tomorrow night and post the results accordingly.  

       Thanks again.  As always, I learned a lot.

       George
WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
No prob!  Let us know how it goes....
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

       Well, I figured out tonight what the problem was with the HDD, and, unfortunately, it is not good.  I ran Maxtor PowerDiag 2.1 to perform a series of HDD test.  The HDD failed the SMART Process Check.  Fortunately, I was able to go to the maxtor site and obtain an online RMA for the HDD.  So, a replacement will be coming after the Maxtor Corporation receives the defective drive.

       Thanks again for all of the input.  I did give every suggestion a hard try, but, the drive was just bad.

       George
WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
hmmmm....I thought I mentioned a possible bad drive?  not to mention giving you maxtor's website to check the drive first?


"Also if you know what brand drive it is....you may want to run some hard drive diagnostic tools....Could be a failed drive....
www.maxtor.com
www.wdc.com
www.hitachi.com
www.ibm.com
www.fujitsu.com
www.samsung.com
www.seagate.com"
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi,

      Upon closer inspection of the threads, I noticed you are right.  Please let me know what I can do to fix this situation.

      I do apologize for the oversight.  It has been a long night and my eyes do cross sometimes..lol

      George
WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
maybe open a question in Community support and asking them to change it?
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Community_Support/
philby11Commented:
Hi ,
"also you could run chkdsk /r to check for HDD errors"
 
alexgreenCommented:
Wakeup, if you like, i will post a points Q for you for the relevant amount of points (although if you really want a B grade!!!)  I think that it perhaps should have been a points split - both posts were relevant and useful!

tell me what you think

A
WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
Well really if it was a bad drive...I already addressed it before you alex.....but not a huge deal....
And the rest of it fdisk and format is fine and dandy if the drive isn't bad...but aparently it is bad acording to the maxtorsdiagnostic software, it probably wont matter how many times he fdisks and formats the drive.  And agreed, a B is probably not a good grade.  Specially since being right about the drive having gone bad.  An answer you dont necessarily want to hear....doesn't mean it is a bad answer or a wrong one....But oh well....I dunno dont care really...if Gmartin wants to fix the grade or split the points whatever way is fine....just needs to address it in community support....

So sokay...dont bother with opening a question...thanks anyway.
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

         Before I begin, I want to apologize to alexgreen and wakeup for the oversights.  You guys will be pleased to know I requested an equal split of points and a change of grade from a B to an A.  I feel this is only fair because both post did apply to the situation at hand.  Unfortunately, I often get into the mode of awarding points to one individual when I should be splitting up points.  

        With respect to grading, I look how how well each expert's comment addressed and resolved the problem situation.  If the suggestions lead to complete resolution of a computer concern, then, I always award an A.  Grading is perhaps one of the more difficult task when evaluating answers because I find people's feedback to be generally thorough and well thought out.  
Given the situation, I guess it can be argued that everyone's comments can theoretically be the answer to a computer problem.  In reality, we know that is not true because of the uniqueness of people's computer hardware and software.  

         In closing, I apologize once again for the oversight.  
I realize I should had paid closer attention to the comments and how well they fitted this situation.  It is my hope there is not any ill feelings and distress associated with what has happened.  

        George
WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
No ill feelings.  I was only really just curious.  Cuz when you do some legwork and footwork for someone and someone else gets rewarded it just feels weird. hehe.  Anyway thanks!  
alexgreenCommented:
No worries, i was surprised to get the Q it happens sometimes - getting awarded points one may not entirely deserve!

don't let it keep you awake - it's not worth it!

Good luck

Alex
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi,

        I read the administrative comment and curious with respect to followup.  I noticed the request was unaccepted.
Am I  correct in assuming the points will not be split and a change of grade carried out?  

        Any help on this matter will be greatly appreciated because carrying out this request is the "right" thing to do under the circumstances.

        George

   
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi,

       Thank you

       George
GMartinAuthor Commented:
Hi Everyone:

       The necessary adjustments have been made with regards to the splitting of points and grade change.  Thanks again for bringing this situation to my attention.  

        You guys are the best!!!

        George
WakeupSpecialist 1Commented:
Thank you too!  If you have any other questions....let us know!
alexgreenCommented:
thanks GM
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