Disk boot failure [Archive] - Glock Talk

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David N.
07-05-2005, 22:03
I'm trying to find out what is wrong with a relative's computer. It's a Win 98 system that will not boot. When I boot from the restoration cd, is says that "the first hard drive does not contain a fat 16 or fat32 windows partition," and will not continue. From what she said about it, I already thought it was a hard drive problem. Thinking it might have lost some system files of some kind, and that I might be able to at least recover some of the other files on the computer, I put it in another computer as a second drive. When I did that, the other computer will not boot. Instead it says "DISK BOOT FAILURE - INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER," regardless of how the second drive is connected if it is connected. I also connected the good drive to both connections on the cable and both power connectors to verify that neither of those were bad. When I disconnect the bad drive, the computer boots fine. Is her hard drive completely done for? Is there anyway to save any of the information on it? Why won't the computer boot if it is connected? I thought that it would boot from the master drive even if the slave was bad.

David, demonstrating why he does not and will never repair computers for a living.

jack19512
07-06-2005, 07:25
Posted by David N

"David, demonstrating why he does not and will never repair computers for a living."



+1



David

My grandson's computer went down this weekend and he had the same problem. Ended up being his harddrive. Not saying that is your problem though.

pyblood
07-06-2005, 12:53
This is what you need to do. Set your jumpers on your hard drives. Make sure that the good one is the master and the bad one is the slave. Hook up the bad HD as a slave in a good PC (your computer). Go into your motherboard setup (bios). Go to the boot screen, and see if there is a menu there for hard drive priority. Make sure that your master (good hard drive) is listed as #1 (or the HD that your PC should boot from). Some motherboards will change the hard drive priority if a new hard drive is installed. After doing that, save your setting and exit the bios. Your PC should boot into windows from the master HD (your good one) and you may be able to get some data off the old HD. Go after the most important date first. If the HD decides to die (if it is not already dead), you will have the most mission critical stuff already backed up.

David N.
07-06-2005, 22:53
Hmm, jumpers. Oops. ;J Thanks for the help. Fixing the jumpers did get it to show up in the bios, but I still can't access it. It shows up under the Disk drives in Device Manager (on an old win 95 machine) but no drive letter is assigned to it. Remind me what the largest size drive win 95 can see is, and what happens if a drive is larger?

pyblood
07-06-2005, 23:00
I think that 2GB is that max that Win 95 is able to recognize. Do you have a 2000 or XP machine that you can use.

David N.
07-07-2005, 00:03
95 can go at least 4.3, that's what's in the old one I'm checking it it. My main comp is an XP, and I'd already decided I would try it tomorrow. I was avoiding it because its on top of the desk hutch wedged between the rest of the junk up there and its nearly impossible to get to the cables to plug/unplug them to get it down. Well, that and I'm not sure if I have the hard drive rails needed to mount it in the chassis.

novium
07-08-2005, 08:45
Windows 95 doesn't support fat 32 partitions last I checked. You probably need to get some computers made in the century to start with. Before you boot into windowz setup boot into msdos mode from the cd. Run scandisk and fdisk. If scandisk turns up bad sectors you're going to have to get a new drive. If no bad sectors run fdisk and make sure you have some partitions on the drive, if there are none then it's possible you got a virus or someone was playing with it and didn't know what they where doing. Either way, recreate a fat 32 partition, reboot and try to run windowz setup.

If you take the easy way and slave it on a windows xp machine. Just unplug the cd rom drive rather than jacking with the jumpers. If it doesn't detect make sure it's on master or slave. If it's a western digital drive you might have luck taking the jumper off.

David N.
07-08-2005, 09:10
You might want to check again. The Win 95 computer I was trying it in is FAT32. I explained in my last post why I wanted to try it in the 95 machine instead of the XP machine.


It shows up in XP, but appears to have no partitions and is not assigned a drive letter. Does this mean that no easily recoverable data is left on the disk? She has already said she is planning to get a new computer, but was hoping to save some files and at least one program from this one. It is supposedly a program that won't run on NT/2000/XP.

pyblood
07-08-2005, 10:04
Originally posted by David N.
You might want to check again. The Win 95 computer I was trying it in is FAT32. I explained in my last post why I wanted to try it in the 95 machine instead of the XP machine.


It shows up in XP, but appears to have no partitions and is not assigned a drive letter. Does this mean that no easily recoverable data is left on the disk? She has already said she is planning to get a new computer, but was hoping to save some files and at least one program from this one. It is supposedly a program that won't run on NT/2000/XP.

That must me a pretty old program. I have found that the program compatibility wizard in XP is pretty good at allowing old programs on work correctly on XP. My mother-in-law had an ancient program that according to the manufacturer would not run on XP. I used the program capability wizard, and the program runs just like it did before.

I know that you installed the bad HD on a 95 machine after we got the jumpers right, but I didnít know that you tried it in a computer running XP.

Let me get this right. You set the jumpers correctly on both the old (bad) hard drive and your good one. You installed it in a computer running Windows XP. It shows up in the device manager and the bios, but XP wonít allow you to access it or assign it a drive letter. If this is the case try this.

Right click on my computer and select manage. Select Disk management from the storage menu on the rights side of the screen. See if the HD is visible there. If it is, you may be able to assign it a drive letter from there.

David N.
07-08-2005, 14:43
I'm not sure how old it is. I think she said they had tried it on newer machines at the school she worked at and it wouldn't work. The only ones I have seen that won't run on XP were some designed to run on DOS. I don't think she has the disks to reinstall it anymore anyway.

Disk management is where I'm seeing it. It shows it as being online but unallocated. The only option I have in disk management is to create a new partition. If anything is left on it, wouldn't that destroy it?

fastvfr
07-08-2005, 15:56
David, demonstrating why he does not and will never repair computers for a living.

Disk management is where I'm seeing it. It shows it as being online but unallocated. The only option I have in disk management is to create a new partition. If anything is left on it, wouldn't that destroy it?

It sure would; remember to do that LAST!

First you need to fiddle with the jumpers on both hard drives. This is indeed one of the more irritating parts of a tech's day--"Which settings to boot from the old disk? Which settings are needed for booting from the new drive? 'Now it'll boot but it won't see the old drive!" Some fun.

Try booting it using all possible settings (about 16 times) and write down the settings that have been used as they are tried.

Something ought to work, and you'll only find it if you look!!