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Bobble
18-02-2004, 08:13 PM
Help...I've never come across this before!

I have a 2nd hand pentium II mmx here, supposedly all it needed was a new power pack. I've replaced the power and now I'm getting this error message on boot up: Invalid system disk, replace & press any key.

Common error, easy answer, pop out the floppy, right?

BUT there's NO floppy drive in this computer! What could cause this error message?

I've already checked cmos bits & made it load from C drive first (could a HDD give this error?), I tried plugging in a floppy drive and loading from boot disk but had no luck - I think the floppy is to blame though, it's old & unreliable and has spent the last year or so sitting around in my spare room collecting dust :P

Any ideas?

Megaman
18-02-2004, 08:20 PM
chances are its not the floppy

what i'd do is check the hard drive plugs are firmly in, if that doesnt work try it in another computer, than post on pressf1 to get this answer ;).

godfather
18-02-2004, 08:20 PM
Its probably a dead (or unrecognised) C: drive.

Look in BIOS to see if its being picked up. The CMOS battery may have diesd and the settings lost.

If its older, you may need to set the type 47 disk parameters manually (cylinders, heads etc) to get correct HDD recognition. Could be fun finding them if they are not on the HDD label..

Bobble
18-02-2004, 08:51 PM
......or a completely formatted HDD?

Bios recognises it. Plugs are fine, cmos battery is fine... it is an old hdd - quantum bigfoot, huge old thing. I so hope I don't have to hunt down & type in parameters!!!

mark.p
18-02-2004, 09:14 PM
Jumpers on the drive may be set incorrectly.

Rod J
18-02-2004, 11:42 PM
> ......or a completely formatted HDD?
>
I think that might be the case. The drive may have been formatted and there is no system on it yet. You could confirm that the drive is functioning correctly by booting from a floppy and seeing if the C: drive is available.

Merlin
19-02-2004, 12:27 AM
Three options

Try guessing what the solution is,

Try a search engine, or

Try MS (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;128730)




"It is dangerous to be sincere unless you are also stupid."
George Bernard Shaw

Odin
19-02-2004, 12:46 AM
Make sure the IDE cables are in the right way round, freind of mine got the same error once before turn out the cable was round the wrong way. Most new cables have a notch to prevent this but older P1 and P2's didn't all have those cables

enigma99n
19-02-2004, 10:31 AM
Could be jumpers. Sounds to me like it can't find any system files on the C:
Is the drive Partitioned & Formatted?
If so, just install Windows - that'll put system files on the hard disk.

mark.p
19-02-2004, 11:06 AM
> Could be jumpers. Sounds to me like it can't find any
> system files on the C:
> Is the drive Partitioned & Formatted?
> If so, just install Windows - that'll put system
> files on the hard disk.

Using a dos/win95/98 boot floppy from bootdisk.com will do this also.
using "fdisk" to create partitions and set them as active (ie bootable-could be the problem).
using "format" to format the drive
using "sys c:" to copy system files

bk T
19-02-2004, 11:22 AM
> ... You
> could confirm that the drive is functioning correctly
> by booting from a floppy and seeing if the C: drive
> is available.
>

This is the first step I'll do.

Murray P
19-02-2004, 12:03 PM
Umm, guys, there is no FDD in this computer. Try a CD instead and set the Bios to boot to CD.

Cheers Murray P

Graham L
19-02-2004, 12:13 PM
Anyway, that error message means that the BIOS has tried to load the boot sector from any disks it can find. There isn't a boot sector for any OS there.

mark.p
19-02-2004, 12:21 PM
> Umm, guys, there is no FDD in this computer. Try a CD
> instead and set the Bios to boot to CD.
>
> Cheers Murray P

With an OS that has good cli tools I might add ;)

Bobble
19-02-2004, 12:54 PM
CLI tools = ?

That's right, there's no floppy drive. I'm about to try using the fdd from my computer in it... crossed fingers.

I now know the HD was formatted with the /s command. It's a command I never use so it stumped me for a while. I *think* that once I get a floppy going in it I might be able to load windows... again, crossed fingers!

I don't think there'd be any problems with the jumpers as this computer was working fine before it was formatted so I'd expect them to work the same now.

Thanks for all your help so far everyone - keep your ideas coming, I may need them!

bobble :D

Merlin
19-02-2004, 10:50 PM
Wrong Graham

That error message is in the Master Boot Record indicating that POST has detected a MBR on a hard drive. The HDD may not be partitioned and/or initialised.

The error message indicates (usually) a software problem though hardware damage may also cause the error.




Men are four:
He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool -- shun him;
He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple -- teach him;
He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep -- wake him;
He who knows and knows he knows, he is wise -- follow him!
- Lady Burton (wife of Sir Richard Francis Burton), given as an Arabian proverb

Bobble
20-02-2004, 11:27 AM
:D YEEHAAA! WAAAHOOOO! :D

I now have windows loading on that &%$@# of a computer.

In the end I had to track down a bootable win98 cd and load straight from there. Sounds simple enough - but it wasn't! I was hoping to avoid that because I really wanted the floppy set up *sigh*.

Every time I plugged my good floppy drive into the PII it ate the disk. I didn't realise until this morning when I tried using two of my boot disks in the good computer - both were dead, both had 'disk error track ## head # floppy error'. I thought it had eaten my floppy drive so I'm quite relieved it's only the disks - even though it's a pain in the wotsit to have lost 2 floppies. Does anyone know how or why this computer could be killing floppies?

I know the floppy drive is ok, it runs fine with no issues on my good computer. I know it's not the disks, they're fine too until they've been in the pII. I know it's not the cable have tried 2 cables with the same problem. My only suspect is the actual 'port' (is that what you'd call it?) on the motherboard. But I wouldn't expect any problems with that to be able to eat up a floppy disk. *shrug*

I hope I can sort out the floppy issue as I'm fixing up this computer for my sister to use, she uses floppies a lot - and ya do kinda need them if you don't have a cdwriter. However at the moment I'm just so exstatic that the bloomin thing is finally loading windows I couldn't really give a stuff if it never accepts a floppy :P I know that attitude will change tho when my sister calls me every few days to ask if she can email me endless files to put on floppies!

I'm probably far too excited about windows loading... not finished yet huh, plenty of room for more things to go wrong :P But I'm smilin' anyways :D Thanks so much for all your help everyone!

Bobble

bmason
20-02-2004, 12:40 PM
The message is from the dos loader rather than the BIOS. If the partition/floppy was formatted by OS/2 you get a differently worded version. And a linux floppy says nothing.

A fairly common cause of the message is when IO.SYS (the dos kernel) is deleted.


For anyone curious and has linux handy, try running:
# strings /dev/hda1 | head

mark.p
20-02-2004, 01:51 PM
Booble if the mobo fdd controller is Kaput and you need a fdd you can get a card
with a fdd controller on it and fits into a spare pci or isa slot if needed.

Bobble
24-02-2004, 12:38 PM
Thanks Mark

I didn't know there was such a thing until you mentioned it, I've managed to find a card and will try that out - for now I'm just going to wait a while because I spent days working on the beast and need a break. Also because I'm scared of doing anything that will stuff it up now that it's running so perfectly ;)

And thanks again to all of you for your ideas :)

Bobble