can't start OS anymore

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

Hi everyone,

I'm using Win 98 on a Pentium III, and I just started having this problem.
The other day, when I clicked on the Start menu, the system froze, and when I
tried pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del, the blue error screen(Blue Screen of Death!)
came up. So I restarted the computer, but instead of the OS starting up, I
got this message:

DISK BOOT FAILURE. INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER:

I tried turning off the computer and restarting it, but the message still
came up. This isn't normal, since the OS usually loads automatically. I tried
changing the boot sequence in the BIOS setup to load the C: drive before the
floppy and CD-ROM drives, but that didn't help anything. So this would seem
to indicate there is a problem with the hard disk itself.

I don't know if getting a startup floppy disk or CD will solve the problem.
It wouldn't be too difficult for me to get one, but I think it'd just be a
temporary fix, since the real problem is with the hard drive.

I don't know if it has anything to do with the problem, but my C: drive was
almost full before this happened.

I'd greatly appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks, in advance, for
any help.


Satish Sivaprakasapillai
Toronto, Canada
2 answers Last reply
More about start anymore
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    Eject any floppy or CD left in a drive. Does it still happen? Then...

    I guess do go into BIOS first, to see settings weren't mussed that may
    upset the "geometry" of it. I don't know what you might look for, but I
    have two guesses...

    (1) I guess "Reset to defaults & exit" is a viable choice.
    (2) I suppose that means it will Auto-Detect the hard drives.

    Here is what I know of the MBR and partition boot sectors.

    "Fdisk /mbr" will restore Microsoft "boot code" to the Master Boot
    Record of the boot HDD, usually the Primary Master. (This perhaps should
    not be done, if you have a drive overlay in the MBR or if you suspect a
    boot sector virus. The drive overlay would have to be restored in the
    first case.) Boot code in the MBR, as I understand, searches the
    partition table, also in the MBR, for the one that is Active. The boot
    sector of the Active partition is hard-coded with the name of the
    OPERATING SYSTEM that the boot code must load. For Win98, that OS is
    IO.sys (DOS), which eventually leads to Windows. The other portion of
    the MBR, the partition table, normally is not disturbed by "Fdisk /MBR".
    The partition table contains the dimensions of the partitions and is
    updated only when the partitions are created or resized. However, /MBR
    may combine multiple partitions into a single one. It will do so, if it
    discovers a missing End-Of-Sector marker (55AA) in the MBR sector. This
    may result in a "mess of goo", says Blanton, if you had multiple
    partitions, per
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=149877
    Boot Record Signature AA55 Not Found

    (1)
    (a) Hold Ctrl as you boot for the Startup Menu, if it hasn't already
    been activated at "START, Run, MSConfig, Advanced button". Select to
    boot to the "Command Prompt Only" (DOS).

    .......Start...Quote from Windows 98 Secrets (Livingston/Straub).....
    Ctrl or F8: Starts the Windows 98 Startup Menu. You need to hold down
    the Ctrl key before the DOS bootup process begins. If you have quick
    fingers you can press the F8 key in between the end of the power-on self
    test & the beginning of the DOS bootup phase.
    .......End........

    (b) Alternatively, get a Startup Diskette from
    http://www.bootdisk.com/ , if you don't already have one from "Control
    Panel, Add/Remove Programs, Startup Disk tab". Put the diskette in &
    turn on the computer.

    (2) Enter "DIR C:". Did you get a listing or an error message?

    If a listing, then... things to consider....

    (1) Perhaps enter "SYS C:".

    This will copy certain system files (IO.sys, Command.com & perhaps
    MSDOS.sys) from the Startup Diskette to C:\. (It also sets the BPB drive
    number to HD0, so that it is now in the bootstrap. It does so, no matter
    whether it is HD0. To boot it, one must still move it to be HD0,
    however.) You may now be able to boot to Windows, if all folders are
    intact. If not, some further adjustment need be done to "MSDOS.sys",
    that was copied to C:\. The floppy has just a shell of it. Well, remove
    the floppy & boot.

    Oh gosh! Here are some warnings from Jeff Richards, MS MVP W95/W98,
    about "SYS C:". DON'T DO IT, he says, if:

    (a) "Major errors were reported in Scandisk."
    (b) "A drive is moved from one machine to another", because of the next
    two, maybe.
    (c) "The BIOS setting for a drive is changed (eg, LBA to LARGE)."
    (d) "A drive that uses overlay software is operated without the overlay
    loaded."

    (2) Enter "FDISK /MBR"
    This will rewrite the code portion of the Master Boot Record,
    leaving the Partition Table untouched, except it may muss the partition
    table, if there is a missing End-Of-Sector marker (55AA), per
    http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=149877
    Boot Record Signature AA55 Not Found

    Here are the warnings against it...

    (a) If you have a boot sector virus, you may lose access to all
    partitions. Then
    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/utilities.html MBRWork "might" help to
    recover them.

    (b) If you have "overlay" code in the MBR, e.g., EZ-BIOS, Maxblast, a
    boot manager, then that will need to be reestablished afterwards.
    http://www.aefdisk.com/ FDISK & Boot Manager
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/q245162/
    Cannot Access Hard Disk After Booting from Floppy Disk

    (c) FDISK may be buggy. So? Use MBRWork to do it, or
    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q263044
    Latest FDISK, hoping this one doesn't have any bugs. (But it doesn't
    solve the 55AA thing.)

    (d) If for some reason the "geometry" setting in BIOS does not match the
    hard drive, then any write to the drive may be destructive. So, go into
    BIOS and have it "automatically detect" the proper setting. (If you can
    DIR the drive in DOS, then you have proven the geometry is probably all
    right, though Blanton has said it may not be so under a certain rare
    circumstance.)

    (3)
    (a) Boot to DOS. (Hold CTRL as you boot for the Startup Menu, & select
    "Command Prompt Only".)

    (b) Scandisk /Checkonly
    Might be wise to know beforehand what it intends to fix. Will
    display on screen & get written to "C:\Scandisk.log".
    NOTE: Steps (b) & (c) may take QUITE a while to complete.

    (c) Scandisk
    Let it fix, if it didn't sound horrible. Otherwise, post what it
    said.

    In Dos, you may see "C:\Scandisk.log" this way...

    EDIT C:\Scandisk.log
    Alt-F-X (pressed separately) to exit EDIT. (TAB to traverse buttons.)

    ........Quote.......
    You should run the diagnostics for the brand of hard drive that is in
    the computer.

    If you don't know what brand the drive is, you can download the
    limited-use free edition of OnTrack Data Advisor from this location:
    http://www.ontrack.com/freesoftware/#dataadvisor

    When you click the download link on that page for Data Advisor 5.0 Free
    edition, you will be taken to a page to register with the OnTrack site,
    then you will be able to download the diskette creator file.

    The downloads are diskette creators. They are to be run once from a
    working Windows system and will guide you through the process of
    extracting the Data Advisor onto a 3.5" floppy disk.

    Download and Use Instructions:
    http://www.ontrack.com/dataadvisor/downloadinfo.asp

    Hard Drive Diagnostic Programs by Vendor:

    OnTrack Data Advisor:
    http://www.ontrack.com/freesoftware/#dataadvisor
    IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test:
    http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm
    Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools:
    http://support.wdc.com/download/
    Quantum/Maxtor PowerMax:
    http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/downloads/powermax.htm
    Seagate SeaTools:
    http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html
    Download:
    http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/B7a.html
    http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/seatoold_reg.html
    --
    Glen Ventura, MS MVP W95/98 Systems
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm
    ......End.of... URLs of Glee...


    --
    Thanks or Good Luck,
    There may be humor in this post, and,
    Naturally, you will not sue,
    should things get worse after this,
    PCR
    pcrrcp@netzero.net
    "Satish Sivaprakasapillai" <Satish
    Sivaprakasapillai@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
    news:9A3ADC79-1F45-4A68-A646-8060D2173477@microsoft.com...
    | Hi everyone,
    |
    | I'm using Win 98 on a Pentium III, and I just started having this
    problem.
    | The other day, when I clicked on the Start menu, the system froze, and
    when I
    | tried pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del, the blue error screen(Blue Screen of
    Death!)
    | came up. So I restarted the computer, but instead of the OS starting
    up, I
    | got this message:
    |
    | DISK BOOT FAILURE. INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER:
    |
    | I tried turning off the computer and restarting it, but the message
    still
    | came up. This isn't normal, since the OS usually loads automatically.
    I tried
    | changing the boot sequence in the BIOS setup to load the C: drive
    before the
    | floppy and CD-ROM drives, but that didn't help anything. So this would
    seem
    | to indicate there is a problem with the hard disk itself.
    |
    | I don't know if getting a startup floppy disk or CD will solve the
    problem.
    | It wouldn't be too difficult for me to get one, but I think it'd just
    be a
    | temporary fix, since the real problem is with the hard drive.
    |
    | I don't know if it has anything to do with the problem, but my C:
    drive was
    | almost full before this happened.
    |
    | I'd greatly appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks, in advance,
    for
    | any help.
    |
    |
    | Satish Sivaprakasapillai
    | Toronto, Canada
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.win98.gen_discussion (More info?)

    The info on this web page, and the linked pages, might help you:
    http://www.pcguide.com/ts/x/comp/hdd/fail_Failure.htm

    The error could be caused by hard disk failure, or by the boot partition somehow
    having lost the 'Active' setting:
    http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/kb/article.php?id=199

    I suggest you download the hard drive diagnostic bootdisk-maker for your brand of
    hard drive.
    If you don't know what brand the drive is, you can download the limited-use free
    edition of OnTrack Data Advisor from this location:
    http://www.ontrack.com/freesoftware/#dataadvisor

    When you click the download link on that page for Data Advisor 5.0 Free edition, you
    will be taken to a page to register with the OnTrack site, then you will be able to
    download the diskette creator file.

    The downloads are diskette creators. They are to be run once from a working Windows
    system and will guide you through the process of extracting the Data Advisor onto a
    3.5" floppy disk.

    Download and Use Instructions:
    http://www.ontrack.com/dataadvisor/downloadinfo.asp

    As far as I know, Maxtor's diagnostics will also work with any brand of drive.

    Hard Drive Diagnostic Programs by Vendor:

    OnTrack Data Advisor:
    http://www.ontrack.com/freesoftware/#dataadvisor
    IBM/Hitachi Drive Fitness Test:
    http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm
    Western Digital Data Lifeguard Tools:
    http://support.wdc.com/download/
    Quantum/Maxtor PowerMax:
    http://www.maxtor.com/en/support/downloads/powermax.htm
    Seagate SeaTools:
    http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/index.html
    Download:
    http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/B7a.html
    http://www.seagate.com/support/seatools/seatoold_reg.html
    --
    Glen Ventura, MS MVP Shell/User, A+
    ~ In memory of our friend, MVP Alex Nichol ~
    http://aumha.org/alex.htm
    http://dts-l.org/goodpost.htm


    "Satish Sivaprakasapillai" <Satish Sivaprakasapillai@discussions.microsoft.com>
    wrote in message news:9A3ADC79-1F45-4A68-A646-8060D2173477@microsoft.com...
    > Hi everyone,
    >
    > I'm using Win 98 on a Pentium III, and I just started having this problem.
    > The other day, when I clicked on the Start menu, the system froze, and when I
    > tried pressing Ctrl-Alt-Del, the blue error screen(Blue Screen of Death!)
    > came up. So I restarted the computer, but instead of the OS starting up, I
    > got this message:
    >
    > DISK BOOT FAILURE. INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER:
    >
    > I tried turning off the computer and restarting it, but the message still
    > came up. This isn't normal, since the OS usually loads automatically. I tried
    > changing the boot sequence in the BIOS setup to load the C: drive before the
    > floppy and CD-ROM drives, but that didn't help anything. So this would seem
    > to indicate there is a problem with the hard disk itself.
    >
    > I don't know if getting a startup floppy disk or CD will solve the problem.
    > It wouldn't be too difficult for me to get one, but I think it'd just be a
    > temporary fix, since the real problem is with the hard drive.
    >
    > I don't know if it has anything to do with the problem, but my C: drive was
    > almost full before this happened.
    >
    > I'd greatly appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks, in advance, for
    > any help.
    >
    >
    > Satish Sivaprakasapillai
    > Toronto, Canada
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