HELP THIS IDIOT PLEASE!!

Please help me (using words of one syllable or less if possible!!)
My daughter's W98se PC won't boot up. When I power it up it says:

boot failure
insert boot disk in a
press any key. ( I inserted a  boot disk which I had the foresight to create)
I press number 2 (start without cd rom support).
The next message is:
W98 has detected that drive c does not contain a valid FAT or FAT 32 partition.  there are several possible causes:
1. The drive may need to be partitioned, to create apartition on the drive run fdisk from the ms-dos command prompt
2. You may be using third party disk partitioning software. If you are using this type of software, remove the boot disk and etc etc etc
3. Some viruses may also cause your drive c to not register. You can use virus scanning program to check your computer for viruses
The diagnostic tools were successfully loaded on drive c
to get help press type help and press enter.

NOW THIS IS WHERE I AM LOST AS I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO GO FROM HERE - please HELP!!!
I thought it may be a hard drive problem so I replaced it with a temporary hard drive (borrowed from a unused w98se PC at work) but I still have the same problem
saviourAsked:
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GoofytouyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Caza13:

          Some equipments are not prepared to recognize HDs that go to market AFTER the bios was put into its motherboard.
          Because of this, some disks are not recognized, and "user" setttings must be used, typing in the correct amount for cylinders, heads and sectors, stating if shoud be treated as a LARGE, LBA or NORMAL hard disk (it may be set to an AUTO position in some cases), etc.
          If this is the case, some disk support several modes (you can read the label at your disk, and see for instance, that in some modes it could increase its size twice.
          But of course, if you type in the wrong parameters, you could presume "oh, the data is lost... well i will format my driva and star over..." and then you sure will loose your data, just because you passed in different parameters of those that were in use.
          Sometimes, and if the user has not knowledge at all, is cheaper to call a technician. Perhaps not in money, but in time and data.

Regards
GoofytoUy
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Pete LongConnect With a Mentor Technical ConsultantCommented:
boot with the floppy and at command line

FDISK /MBR {enter}
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saviourAuthor Commented:
I assume you advise to change from a:\> to c:\>  prompt???
I did this but got the message: no fixed disks present

Anything else as still nothing???
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Pete LongConnect With a Mentor Technical ConsultantCommented:
when the PC boots enter the BIOS (watch the screen for a press <key> to enter setup) - is the hard drive being discovered?
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saviourAuthor Commented:
um.....pc isn't booting....it beeps once and goes straight into
boot failure
insert boot disk in a
press any key.

There is NO mention of press <key> to enter setup.
As I said, I have swopped hard drives to one I know works.
Shall I switch back to the original HD??
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Pete LongConnect With a Mentor Technical ConsultantCommented:
The PC dont need to boot to enter the BIOS - the fact its beeping once suggests that ita passing its POST (power on self test) usually pressing F1, F2, Del, Esc or F10 will get you into the BIOS :)
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saviourAuthor Commented:
Ok that's cool.
i have got into the bios.
I don't think I can see a hard drive although I'm not sure what I am looking for.
I can see an A drive though but can't see a C drive.
What next???
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caza13Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Standard CMOS Setup

http://burks.brighton.ac.uk/burks/pcinfo/hardware/bios_sg/standard.htm


If you can boot to the floppy disk, enter A:\>fdisk at the prompt and use option 4 to view the status of the hard drive.
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saviourAuthor Commented:
People, people please listen to me.....
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saviourAuthor Commented:
I am a complete (THAT'S COMPLETE) novice here.
In the bios I have NO standard CMOS Setup - i have advanced only.
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saviourAuthor Commented:
Also The gumpf on this link caza sent me is COMPLETE gobbledygook.
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saviourAuthor Commented:
I KNOW NOTHING
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saviourAuthor Commented:
Here - i offer all the points I'm allowed (i think)
I revert back too my original post - IN WORDS OF LESS THAN ONE SYLLABLE, PLEASE HELP ME!!
I AM GOING MAD HERE
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caza13Connect With a Mentor Commented:
If the computer was working ok and suddenly you have a boot failure although nothing has been changed, the most likely possibility is that the hard drive has failed.  Of course there are other possibilities, so we must try to eliminate the hard drive.  Replacing it with another one is a good step, but do you know for sure that it was working in the other computer, and are the jumper and cables connected correctly?  Probably the easiest thing to do would be to boot to the floppy disk like you did before and run fdisk.  Either fdisk will find the hard drive or it won't.  If it finds the drive you can use fdisk to partition the drive, then exit fdisk and use the format C: command.  That will prepare the drive for the installation of Windows.  If the hard drive has been eliminated and fdisk can't find it, then there could be a more serious problem.  If the cables and connections can also be eliminated we will have to consider that maybe something on the motherboard has failed.
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spiderfixConnect With a Mentor Commented:
>>My daughter's W98se PC<<

Chances are the battery is dead on the motherboard. $5.00 will get a new battery
and taking out the old one isn't difficult for anyone.

Make sure you take the old one with you when shopping so it can be matched.

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_Connect With a Mentor Commented:
>> As I said, I have swapped hard drives <<  Sounds like the BIOS needs to detect the new HD. SOMEWHERE in the BIOS it should have a detect hd option. Or maybe IDE Primary IDE Channel. Anyway, it needs to be set to AUTO or have it DETECT Harddrive. I am going to assume that the HD you put in was the running the system it came out of, so the jumpers should be OK.

Do you know what kind of motherboard this is?
Can you get the numbers/letters from the bottom left of the screen when it first boots up?
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blue_zeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:

Is it also possible you're running GoBack?

Zee
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Obi_Wan_84Connect With a Mentor Commented:
from the boot floppy type fdisk then select option 4 (view partitions) if you get "no fixed disks" it cannot find the hard drive
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bright12Connect With a Mentor Commented:
When you got into the bios what options do you have?

With these options I am maybe help you to check if the computer is able to detect the HDD.

Btw do you heard some clicking noise caming from the hard disk?

Bright12
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GoofytouyConnect With a Mentor Commented:

savior:

Without wanting to be offensive, I would suggest you to search for a qualified technician.
It's a battery problem, almost for sure, but after installing a fresh one, you should review all the CMOS setup, and is something "messy" for a not-trained individual.
Otherwise, you could find yourself loosing data. Seems to me your motherboard does not recognize the HD, so initial parameters should be typed in. Someone will have to type then in again, and if he is a qualified tech' he will know where to
search for them.
I expect your problem get solved quickly.
Regards

GoofytoUy
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caza13Connect With a Mentor Commented:
If the battery fails the BIOS will be reset to the default settings after the computer is shut down.  The date and time will have to be set and possibly some other settings, but I'm not sure that it would cause the hard drive to not be recognized.
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_Commented:
Thank you much.    : )
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
ThanQ
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GoofytouyCommented:

Thxz.


Regards
GoofytoUy
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bright12Commented:
Thank you

Bright12
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