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Disk boot failure

Posted on 2004-08-23
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Last Modified: 2013-12-28
here is the scenario:

i'm running windows98 se . my c drive is partitioned as c, d and e. my cdrom drive is f. i have a win98 boot disk and the win98 installation cd[if i could only use it!].
since 2 days, the system comes up with a 'disk boot failure' each time i start up.
i tried the boot disk from a drive, chose the cdrom option. still not able to read from the cdrom drive.
i made modifications to autoexec.bat file on boot disk to add the following lines...

MSCDEX.EXE /D:MSCD001 /L:F
SMARTDRV.EXE

my config.sys file has the line..
DEVICE=oakcdrom.sys /D:MSCD001

still not able to reach the cdrom drive.
i type c: , it shows c>
i type d: , it shows 'invalid drive specification'
i type e: , it shows 'invalid drive specification'
i type f: , it shows 'invalid drive specification' [cd drive]

any help would be appreciated!

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Question by:royjacob
6 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 11870649
Have you tried detecting your hard drive in your BIOS?  It sounds like your C drive is now your CDROM.
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Expert Comment

by:gonzal13
ID: 11872666
First: take the floppy boot disk and try it on another machine. Yours may be corrupted.
If it allows you to choose cd rom access it should work.

Next go to Control Panel, System,Device manager
It should not appear or it is there with a ? or ! in yellow
having selected it, click on remove
Next reboot the machine and let the machine find it.
Most likely it will ask for your cd rom disk. Insert it and default it to win98
Click OK

gonzal13(Joe)
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:caza13
ID: 11874091
Don't forget that when you use the win98 boot disk it creates a RAM Drive and pushes the CD Drive down one letter so that it would now appear as drive G.  It sounds like your hard drive may have failed.  In that case the RAM Drive would appear as drive C and the CD drive as drive D.
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

by:Joseph O'Loughlin
ID: 11875342
Hi royjacob,

Is the time and date wrong?

It may also be that the CMOS battery on the motherboard is flat, typical after 3 years.  Check what type of battery it is.  It's normally a CR2028 or 2032 battery that can be picked up from a jewlers for less than a fiver.  Did the problem begin after a hardware change such as a video card?  

Once the battery has been replaced, set the time and if your bios has the feature, (most now do) autodetect the hard disk(s).
usual disclaimers apply
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Author Comment

by:royjacob
ID: 11875573
hi caza13,

ok. so i may have jumped the gun. in my hurry to get to the cdrom drive, i may have chosen the wrong options.

pls tell me exactly how i must proceed after having inserted the boot disk!

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Accepted Solution

by:
caza13 earned 250 total points
ID: 11878632
The autoexec.bat file on the Startup Disk should look like the following:

@ECHO OFF
set EXPAND=YES
SET DIRCMD=/O:N
set LglDrv=27 * 26 Z 25 Y 24 X 23 W 22 V 21 U 20 T 19 S 18 R 17 Q 16 P 15
set LglDrv=%LglDrv% O 14 N 13 M 12 L 11 K 10 J 9 I 8 H 7 G 6 F 5 E 4 D 3 C
cls
call setramd.bat %LglDrv%
set temp=c:\
set tmp=c:\
path=%RAMD%:\;a:\;%CDROM%:\
copy command.com %RAMD%:\ > NUL
set comspec=%RAMD%:\command.com
copy extract.exe %RAMD%:\ > NUL
copy readme.txt %RAMD%:\ > NUL

:ERROR
IF EXIST ebd.cab GOTO EXT
echo Please insert Windows 98 Startup Disk 2
echo.
pause
GOTO ERROR

:EXT
%RAMD%:\extract /y /e /l %RAMD%: ebd.cab > NUL
echo The diagnostic tools were successfully loaded to drive %RAMD%.
echo.

IF "%config%"=="NOCD" GOTO QUIT
IF "%config%"=="HELP" GOTO HELP
LH %ramd%:\MSCDEX.EXE /D:mscd001 /L:%CDROM%
echo.
GOTO QUIT

:HELP
cls
call help.bat
echo Your computer will now restart and the startup menu will appear.
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.
echo.
restart.com
GOTO QUIT

:QUIT
echo To get help, type HELP and press ENTER.
echo.
rem clean up environment variables
set CDROM=
set LglDrv=

And the config.sys file should look like the following:

[menu]
menuitem=CD, Start computer with CD-ROM support.
menuitem=NOCD, Start computer without CD-ROM support.
menuitem=HELP, View the Help file.
menudefault=CD,30
menucolor=7,0

[CD]
device=himem.sys /testmem:off
device=oakcdrom.sys /D:mscd001
device=btdosm.sys
device=flashpt.sys
device=btcdrom.sys /D:mscd001
device=aspi2dos.sys
device=aspi8dos.sys
device=aspi4dos.sys
device=aspi8u2.sys
device=aspicd.sys /D:mscd001

[NOCD]
device=himem.sys /testmem:off

[HELP]
device=himem.sys /testmem:off

[COMMON]
files=10
buffers=10
dos=high,umb
stacks=9,256
devicehigh=ramdrive.sys /E 2048
lastdrive=z

After you boot the computer with the startup disk select the "Start computer with CD-ROM support" option.  When you get the A:\> prompt try to list the directory of each drive with the command:

A:\>dir C: /w
A:\>dir D: /w
A:\>dir E: /w

Drive F should be the RAM drive so with a CD in the drive use the command:

A:\>dir G: /w

You could also try to access the hard drive with the command:

A:\>fdisk

If fdisk starts use option 4 to view the status.  You could also try to run scandisk with the command:

A:\>scandisk C:

If scandisk runs it may be able to fix errors on the disk.  If you can't access the hard drive you may have to check the BIOS setup by pressing the delete key durring the POST.  Or the hard drive may have failed.
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