"Disk boot failure, insert system disk..." but no solution found yet

I'm not sure what to try anymore. I know it's been all over this forum, but no solution has worked for me. I'm working on a friend's computer, so all I know is one day the computer is running fine, and then allegedly nothing was changed and it stopped booting.

I get the message "Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter" when I power on now. It's an HP computer that has it's boot disks on the hard drive as well, so the only thing I've tried is putting in my old windows XP disk and booting from it, but it still recognizes nothing on the drive.

However, the frustrating part to this is when I drop the drive in an external enclosure, it starts up no problems. I can get in and see files and everything. However, as soon as I put it back into his computer, the same message appears.

I have checked through all his BIOS settings and tried about every way of booting it up, but I don't think the BIOS is recognizing the drive.

It is a SATA hard drive, so there shouldn't be any IDE slave/master issues either.

Anyone have any suggestions?
15 answers Last reply
More about disk boot failure insert system disk solution found
  1. I trust there are no disks in the cd/dvd drives.
  2. Nope. Like I said, the only times there have been any disks is when I've tried to boot it up with my windows cd, but every other failed attempt there are no disks in the drive.
  3. What is the HP model number? When you first power on the PC you should be able to hit the DEL, F1, F8 or F10 key to get into the HP recovery mode. It will flash up on your screen for about 2 seconds letting you know what key to press before you see your error message.
  4. anonymous1 said:
    What is the HP model number? When you first power on the PC you should be able to hit the DEL, F1, F8 or F10 key to get into the HP recovery mode. It will flash up on your screen for about 2 seconds letting you know what key to press before you see your error message.

    No, when I press F10, absolutely nothing happens (on screen says f10 for recovery). I can get into the BIOS but the drive isn't detected as far as I can tell. The drive still works as an external though. Although during a "check disk for errors" it always gets hung up on step 2 of that and is never able to finish.

    It's a Pavilion a1250n.
  5. I have a wild guess. Can you swap the power supply unit with a different one?
  6. There are many reasons that can bring to this problem.

    1. BAD boot sector which canot recognize your main boot sector.
    2. bad partition table.
    3. virus attack.

    If you need data back from the crashed os, try some recovery tool like this one worked me before. http://www.icare-recovery.com/
  7. Good thinking Money. Medicus you can do a virus scan and check disk with the drive in your enclosure hooked up to a different system.
  8. Sorry that it took me a bit to get back to this. I am currently in the process of optimizing a brand new build for me while I'm still in the process of working on this other guy's computer. It's been a crazy few days.

    I'll try as much as I can from the recent suggestions and post any progress of lack thereof here in the next few hours. Thanks for stinking in there and continuing to try to help me out.

    I will say that the scan disk gets hung up during xp's "phase 2" part of the scan (when I hook it up to another system). I'll try just running a virus scan and see if it can complete it or not.
  9. If you cant pass a scan disk it's time to back up everything you need and get a new hard drive.
  10. might have gotten it figured out... not 100% sure yet.
  11. Nevermind.

    Dropped in a brand new hard drive, still couldn't get it to register anything. I've tried a few of my own drives, and nothing. I did get his system to spin his HD, but still absolutely nothing. The MOBO still works, it reads the IDE cd-rom he has on it, and the graphics card still functions, but nothing in his SATA ports work. I've tried every MOBO setting I can think of, and still nothing. It was when I had it check the port where the HD was plugged in that caused it to spin, but it still failed to recognize the disk.

    Could this be a MOBO issue? I'm wondering if the MOBO's sata area went out and took the hard drive with it, or if the hard drive went out and took the sata ports on the mobo with it. I'm not sure that's even possible to still have a fully functioning mobo like that, but I cannot find any other solution. I've told him, unless I can figure something out, he'll likely have to buy a new mobo, and since it's an older system, we're looking at a few new parts for the new mobo too. I'm not really sure what to do otherwise.
  12. Were you able to fix this issue of yours, medicus587?

    I have this same exact problem with my nephew's HP Pavillion a1250n desktop which I'm trying to fix now.

    I'm suspecting the SATA controller on the motherboard is fried altogether, so, I purchased a PCI to SATA controller (Vantec 6-Port SATA II 150 PCI Host Card with RAID) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PX9BX2/ref=oss_product) to see if it'll resolve the issue.

    I have I hopes that it would resolve the problem, but, if it dosen't, then, I just spent away $30.00 for nothing.

    I'll keep you posted.
  13. Don't forget to change out the SATA data cable with a NEW one for completeness.
  14. John,

    Yep. That's a good point.

    You'll never know...

    A new SATA cable might solve everything.

    Can't wait to try out the new PCI to SATA card to see if it works, but, unfortunately, I'll have to wait until Wednesday.
  15. Just want to update everyone that installing the PCI to SATA controller card (Vantec 6-Port SATA II 150 PCI Host Card with RAID) (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002PX9BX2/ref=oss_product) worked! :bounce:

    The system restore option in the BIOS even detects the HP_RECOVERY partition which is good, but, the system recovery was giving me a BSOD probably because it's using a SATA controller driver that's not compatible with the PCI to SATA controller card I just installed.

    Anyhow, with the hard drive being detected and completely running without issues, I just performed a clean install of Windows Vista (while still keeping the HP_RECOVERY partition intact just in case).

    Hope this helps.

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