Old School - Win 3.11 Not Booting

      We have a machine tool that had a hard drive failure. It is an older machine and it was running Windows 3.11. Before the drive failed totally I had xcopied the entire drive to a folder on my pc. I found the same drive on ebay so I copied all those files onto the new drive but the drive will not boot. I ran fdisk /mbr and still no go. Any help with this would be appreciated.

Thank you
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Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
A system of that age requires you to enter the disk parameters in the BIOS before it will work properly.  Did you format the disk for FAT16?  I don't think it uses the 'mbr' that is found in Windows 95 and newer.  DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 only support hard drive size of 2 GB.   It also has to boot into DOS before you can run Windows 3.11.
Matthew BorrussoCommented:
Lets start with the basics.

1. does the machine recognize the hard drive in the bios? it could be something like a jumper on the drive to determine its position in the IDE chain. SCSI is a different story, but similar. Assuming it is set properly, does the machine recognize the drive?

2. if the machine recognizes it, is it a straight swap (drive size, speed, type (more concerned about the size, as older machines had strict limitations to the drive capacity allowed.

3. assuming all is in order, do you have or can you get a hold of all the old MSdos 7 floppys. you may want to just get your DOS up and running, IE format the drive, mark it as active, etc. if you did a format and just a copy, you need to make sure the partition is marked as active.

4. if you get does booted, then by rights you should be able to transfer the files over. in 3.x, dos calls windows in the autoexec.bat. Then windows usually calls the driver files for video (if applicable).

Your method should work, I am really leaning toward that the drive is not being seen by the machine correctly, or the partition may not be marked active.

Last but not least, you may want to consider a different Bare metal restore process, or hardware.. That hardware will not last forever. I don't know if virtualization is an option for this setup, or converting the app to a Linux, or running it in emulation/ NTVDM on a newer machines.

Let me know how you make out.
daskas27Author Commented:
Yes, I formatted it FAT at 1.9GB. The bios sees it and I can access files on it from the machine by booting to a DOS floppy. I can call up the C: drive and get Windows to start by going to c:\windows\win. The thing will not boot.
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daskas27Author Commented:
Matt, The bios sees it and I can access files. It is not as simple as just formatting and reloading. That would be great but this drive has programs loaded specific to this machine tool with parameters and such to consider.
Dave BaldwinFixer of ProblemsCommented:
Here's the Microsoft page on the subject: http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/255867
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
>>  The thing will not boot.

When you xcopied it did you copy the hidden files?  To boot you need IO.SYS and MSDOS.SYS at the beginning of the disk.  Both of these are hidden files and normally xcopy won't see them.

Have another look at the disk and see if those two files are there.  If they aren't, then that is the reason the disk isn't booting.
daskas27Author Commented:
Yes, the files are there. here are the switches I used when copying:

xcopy e:\ /s /c /d /e /h /i /r /y c:\ed
Install the OS (probably DOS 6.22) on that disk using the floppies you have. Then you can copy the rest back. Just copying the files doesn't make the system bootable, the OS must either be installed, or the disk cloned.
Matthew BorrussoCommented:
I agree with the expert, backup the drive and install DOS over the top. I am surprised that it will not boot. if all the files are there, and the partition is marked as active, it should boot by rights.
dbruntonQuid, Me Anxius Sum?  Illegitimi non carborundum.Commented:
OK.  Boot to floppy and then try

dir c:\ /ah

and report back the first two files it finds.

Also try fdisk and let's see if the first partition is set active.  That was suggested earlier and I don't think you reported back on that.

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Daniel Van Der WerkenIndependent ConsultantCommented:
Can we see  your CONFIG.SYS and AUTOEXEC.BAT file contents?
Ofcourse (recalling my DOS commands), if after you boot from a floppy, you could always just use sys a: c:...  ;)

That is if it is just a simple matter of the hard disk not allowing you to boot.

daskas27Author Commented:
dir c:\ /ah returned the first two files;

how do use fdisk to check if the partition is active?
Daniel Van Der WerkenIndependent ConsultantCommented:
Here is some information about performing a clean boot that might help. I can't find anything specific to MS-DOS, this is for Windows 95.


I don't think it will solve your issue directly, but it will help.
daskas27Author Commented:
Thanks again
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