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Won't boot from Hard Drive. What else can I try?

Posted on 2006-07-12
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
I have an Optronix OP-K9A200G-MLF motherboard which was working OK.

It now says:DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER.

I have swapped the drive with another IDE drive from another system, with the same result. Both will boot in the other system.

I can boot from the floppy and CD-ROM.

I have disconnected the SATA drives, CD-ROMs and floppy, and removed one memory stick at a time. No change.

I have tried using the other IDE port and changed the IDE cable.

Lastly I have bought a new (identical) motherboard. Still the same.
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Question by:GrahamSkan
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17094195
Are there any other devices that may be showing up as drive C?  Unplug USB flash drives and external drives and ZIP drives and network cables.
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Author Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 17094491
Drive C? If I use the Windows 2000 startup diskette, it can't find a Windows installation to repair, so I guess not.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17094592
Check in the BIOS if the hard drive is detected correctly.  If it isn't, make sure the IDE ports are enabled, the jumpers on the drive are set correctly, and try it as the only drive on the cable.  If this doesn't work, the motherboard IDE controller may be faulty and you will need a new motherboard.
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Author Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 17094681
Thanks Callandor.
All the IDE porst are enabled. The drive is correctly discovered and reported in the BIOS. It is set to Master. Those last two points apply to both the usual and the test drive. It is the only drive on the IDE cable, and I am now on the new motherboard.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17097620
can you try to install windows 98 on another disk for testing?
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17098576
How did you ever get an OS installed on this hard drive, if it can't be detected when you boot from a Win2K CD?

Is the BIOS boot preference set for the hard drive?
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by:GrahamSkan
ID: 17100296
Thanks for those suggestions.

nobus,

I borrowed another hard disk from another system and it failed at the same point. The drive belonging to the failing system got past the failure point in another system, showing the Win 2000 'progress' blocks at the bottom of the screen. I suppose that there were too many mismatches (like drive configuration) to actually boot Windows all the way up. Unfortuantely that is the only other IDE drive that I have, so I don't really want to install Win 98 on it.

Callandor,
It was working OK until something failed.

I have tried swapping boot preferences around. It wll not boot from the Hard Drive whenever it reaches that point in the cycle.

 
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by:Callandor
ID: 17100388
If borrowing a Win2K hard disk from another system gets you to the same point (after the Windows banner shows and the progress bar starts up), a repair install should fix the problem: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;EN-US;292175.  However, I am puzzled that you could not detect the drive when you tried this earlier.  Make sure you are following the instructions in the article.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 17100578
when they boot in another system, is that with the same mobo, or another. if it is the last, Callandor's  suggestion should help. If it was the same mobo, i can't understand.
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by:GrahamSkan
ID: 17101326
Both drives fails at the same early point in the failing system - 'DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER' - while they both more-or-less work in another system.

The test system has a different motherboard (ASUS a7v266), and starts to load the OS with each drive, completing the task in the case of its own drive.
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17102281
I'm mystified - you changed hard drives and motherboard, and that's all that should matter, as far as getting the system to start booting.  The message you are seeing is the inability of the computer to find a boot drive, or a missing boot sector on the hard drive.  What's even stranger is that you are unable to see the drive during a repair install.  Is the CMOS battery fresh, at 3v?  A new motherboard might have a weak battery.
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Accepted Solution

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GrahamSkan earned 0 total points
ID: 17102961
Thanks.
I just tried a different molex power plug for the drive and it now boots up fully into Win 2000. I'm still puzzled because the electronics worked well enough for the drive to be recognised. The drive was spinning up OK - I could feel the gyroscopic force when I tried to twist it. Is there a special voltage to do the reading (or seeking, I wonder)?
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Expert Comment

by:Callandor
ID: 17103024
Ah, drives do require a minimal amount of current to start up, and it sounds like you had a bad power connector.  It is during bootup that the drives draw the maximum amount of power - I guess your problem is solved.
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by:GrahamSkan
ID: 17104100
That's a useful power. Yes please.

Thank you and Nobus for your suggestions.
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