Very odd: Computer won't load up properly..

Posted on 2005-04-11
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Hey everyone.

A friend of mine has an old Windows 98; at startup, you get the usual, black screen, and all that loading output etc.. Now, what is happening, is it gets to a stage, where it says something like this:

Searching for boot record on floppy..Cannot locate   <-- "Cannot locate": I think it's something different, but similar meaning.
Searching for boot record on IDE-0..OK

Then, it stops there... it doens't go any further!!

I put the 3.5 inch recovery disk into the drive, and tried restoring the HDD.. it seems to do it okay, but then when I reboot again, the exact same thing it happening... I've gone through the BIOS a bit, but it all looks okay to me (lol - but what would I know? :P).

Any ideas anyone?

Kind Regards;
Question by:InteractiveMind
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LVL 59

Accepted Solution

LeeTutor earned 400 total points
ID: 13754198
Boot with a boot disk and try the following command at the A:> prompt:

sys c:

If you don't have a boot disk (floppy), you can download the makings for one from www.bootdisk.com
LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 13754610
Hello Lee,

what does the sys command do?

LVL 59

Expert Comment

ID: 13754923
This page fully explains it:

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Assisted Solution

MrAruba earned 400 total points
ID: 13755913
LVL 39

Assisted Solution

BillDL earned 800 total points
ID: 13762695
Does your friend perhaps have an inquisitive streak that might have caused him/her to investigate the CMOS Setup (BIOS settings)?

Did you specifically check the settings that relate to the "Boot Order", ie. the order in which the boot process will look at hardware devices to see if they are "bootable"?

From what you have said, however, about the "Searching for boot record on IDE-0..OK" message, it DOES sound like your hard drive contains a valid Master boot Record, but that the DOS Operating system isn't being found as LeeTutor's suggestion would address.

It's worth checking the CMOS setup again before doing anything else, just in case you perhaps caught that message wrongly.

Take a careful look at the settings.  Most have the option to boot from Floppy (may use the expression removable drive), CD-Rom (may use the expression ATAPI device), Hard Drive (may use the expression IDE and might specify IDE0 and IDE1 if 2 hard drives are fitted), Other (which could be a network card or whatever), and probably also "None".

Where there are 2 hard drives fitted, then it may also give the option to look for bootability of either hard drive.  Something like IDE0 and IDE1, which is why I was wondering if you caught that message fully.

The normal sequence is Floppy, CD, and then Hard Drive, but consider the outcome if your friend has changed it to Other, CD-Rom, Floppy, and has missed out the hard drive, or even CD-Rom, Floppy, and then NONE (if that setting exists).

If it was set to look at say IDE1, then it most probably wouldn't be a bootable drive, so that's something to look for also.

When you have a boot floppy inserted, it finds it OK, but you won't know what devices it has checked first to get there unless you watch the screen VERY carefully.  If the hard drive is missed out, then it will stop at the floppy if the order is like the example above.

Assisted Solution

honnie earned 400 total points
ID: 13770486
If above posts doesnt do any trick, u can try to check how is ure HDD connected to the board. does it share the same IDE cable with the cdrom drv? if yes, try to remove the CD rom IDE connected. A faulty cdrom drv will cause detection problem. You may oso wanna change a new IDE cable.
LVL 25

Author Comment

ID: 13908792
My friends parents gave in, and bought a new PC. :-) lol.

Thanks everyone.
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Expert Comment

ID: 13909193
Thank you, InteractiveMind

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