computer doesn't boot from any devices

Posted on 2004-12-01
Last Modified: 2010-04-26
   My computer suddenly doesn't boot from any devices, I tried CDROM, floppy, Hard disk,
they all give error message "BOOT DISK FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK ...." , what could be the reason?
Question by:Eric_Bo
    LVL 7

    Expert Comment

    Eric Bo,
    Did you recently add a hard drive to your system? If so, double check your jumper settings on the hard drive(s). This may also be due to a bad IDE cable or malfunctioning IDE port on the motherboard itself. Also may be due to a dying hard drive or corrupt boot sector. Is this a newly built machine or an older system?

    Author Comment

    I am not adding a hard drive to the system, it is a rather old machine - 6 years old, some day the machine just failed with some disk error message, I thought it was due to harddrive failure,  but when I boot from all the possible devices -- CDROM- floppy, they all give the same error message as above ..
        if the CMOS battery runs out, would that give the same error message  ?

    LVL 28

    Accepted Solution

    Sounds like the hard drive has a problem, or perhaps a bad connection, but it also sounds like it is only trying to boot from the hard drive. You will need to enter the bios and change the boot order to put floppy and CD ahead of hard drive. Generally you will also need to press a key (when prompted) to get it to boot from CD.

    Chris B
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    Did you check the BIOS to make sure that your cdrom and floppy drives are selected boot devices?

    Author Comment

    yes, I have done that many times before ...
    LVL 28

    Expert Comment

    OK. Are you certain the the floppy and CD you are using are bootable. Would need to be say a Win98 boot floppy, XP CD etc.

    Chris B
    LVL 1

    Assisted Solution

    What type of computer is it?  Sounds like the Bios has some issues, and yes, I've seen odd things happen when the CMOS battery goes dead, so try that first.  If that's not working then your kinda screwed since my next suggestion would be to flash the BIOS, but that's not really possible.  One other thing you could try is unplugging the harddrive completely (power and IDE) and see if it's faulty electronics on the hard-disk causing some issues.
    LVL 87

    Expert Comment


    No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned..
    I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
    Split: burrcm, quickflash

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