View Full Version : Boot Sector on HDD

11-06-2002, 11:17 AM
I am having trouble with a couple of Hard Drives that I am trying to use as master drives. I have set the computer to boot first from floppy, and then the Hard drive, but it continues to boot of the hard drive. I have done a full format of the drive from within windows, with it set as a slave. I then removed the drive and stuck it another machine set as master. There seems to be a bit in the boot sector that won't let it boot off the floppy and it tres to boot off the blank HDD. It comes up with Lilo boot... as it used to have a copy of Linux installed on it. Would FDISKing the boot sector fix this problem? and what is the MS-DOS command for doing this to the boot sector. I also have anotehr hard drive with something called EZY-BIOS that does the same sort of thing and is absoloutly useless unless used as a slave.

Brendon (porsche@vectorstar.net)

11-06-2002, 12:00 PM
I did a search of past postings on this site and found a post saying that this indeed will fix my problem and that the command is fdisk \mbr and I am hoping that it will also fix the other disk that I have with that EZY-BIOS on it.


11-06-2002, 03:43 PM
Nearly right, Brendan. 'FDISK /MBR' (forward slash, not reverse slash) should indeed replace the LILO boot manager with the normal MS boot.

However, LILO is not stopping the computer booting from the floppy. When you changed the BIOS boot order setting, did you save the settings? That is necessary, and most setup routines make you type 'Y' to conform that you actually want to save the new settings.

The 'EZY/BIOS' is a new one to me. It may be something like the Compaq maintenance partition, and best fixed by an FDISK session to make the MS partition bootable. You might be able to remove the partition if it is a MS type.
Again, it is not what is on the disk which stops the floppy booting, that is the BIOS setting.

11-06-2002, 11:38 PM
Hi Brendon, If you have an HDD set up with EZ- Bios it can prevent you from booting from floppy. EZ-Bios was designed to get round the old Hdd size restriction and consisted of a special piece of machine code in LBA zero, the master boot record which overwrote the ROM bios in memory so that big disks could be accessed if the ROM bios could not handle the size. In doing so it had to prevent floppy disc booting or the system might be loaded with parts of the HDD unavailable to it. This had the potential to cause corruption so a special procedure had to be adopted in order to boot from floppy.

Go to this site and read all about it http://www.storagesoft.com/products/drive_utils/ez_bios.asp


12-06-2002, 03:39 PM
I fdisked the mbr on the disk with LILO and my boot up with floppy problems have gone. I did check the boot up sequence. I now have the problem of the last cluster on the hard drive being unreadable by scandisk (dos version) and thus not allowing me to use it as a slave drive. Any ideas on how to fix it?


16-06-2002, 01:50 PM
This is an odd one. Someone else was having the same problem. What I suggested to her was to note the (presumably auto-detected) values for the drive in the BIOS tables, and make a 'User Defined' entry to suit, using the same values, then reducing the 'Cylinders' value by one. Let us know if it works. (remember to turn off the autodetect option!