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

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;
LVL 25
InteractiveMindAsked:
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LeeTutorConnect With a Mentor retiredCommented:
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
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InteractiveMindAuthor Commented:
Hello Lee,

what does the sys command do?

Regards;
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LeeTutorretiredCommented:
This page fully explains it:

http://www.computerhope.com/syshlp.htm
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BillDLConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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.
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honnieConnect With a Mentor Commented:
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.
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InteractiveMindAuthor Commented:
My friends parents gave in, and bought a new PC. :-) lol.

Thanks everyone.
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BillDLCommented:
Thank you, InteractiveMind
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