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Formatted Hard Drive; "Invalid System Disk" on Boot

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August 3, 2011 2:06:23 AM

hello everyone :lol:  ,

I have a laptop, Laptop #1. I had XP installed on it. I formated the drive, but didn't use the format /s option in the dos prompt like I should of. Instead, I selected a right click on the drive and selected format in the menu. Why do they allow this option in the right click menu when it doesn't do format /s automatically for you. That seems like the only sensible and user friendly option. :o 

Now when I turn in on, I get an "Invalid System Disk" error message. Press any key to retry. This happens everytime that I turn it on. :ouch: 

I took out the CD and made sure that was no CD in the drive.

I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

I went to the Bios and made sure that the hard drive was detected.

In the Bios, I reset the Bios to "Default Settings"

And, just to make sure that the Bios was set to the Default settings, I even took out the CMOS battery. Then put the battery back in.

I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error :pfff: 

So I went to the Bios and set the Boot Sequence to Boot from the CD first, then boot from the Hard Drive second.

I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error :ouch: 

I don't have an A Drive for 3.5" Diskettes, so I can't make an ERD start up emergency repair boot disk, but I put the system files from the Windows System folder on the Drive, copy *.* c:

I took out the CD drive. I turned it on. When I received the error for the CD drive missing, I pressed ESC. I turned off the computer and put the CD drive back in.

I put the XP disk into the drive.

I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error :??: 

So I thought that if I used two laptops and two hard drives, that I would be able to resolve this issue. Laptop #1 = Dell Latitude D610 Pentium M.
Hard Drive #1 = Problem Drive. Laptop #2 = XP Running Computer, No Issues, Dell Latitude Pentium 3. Hard Drive #2 = XP is Installed on it, No Problems.

I put Hard Drive #2 in Laptop #1. I turned it on. It started to boot and the windows splash screen showed up. Then it went to a blue screen with the error message of "Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer" and froze :( 

So put Hard Drive #1 (the original one) back in Laptop #1 and this time connected Hard Drive #2 (the one with XP installed on it) as a USB External Drive, and turned it on. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error :heink: 

I turned it off. I turned it on and went to the Bios. Hard Drive #2 is not detected in the Bios, nor is there an empty listing for its slot, such as Secondary Drive: <None>, although the Primary Drive listing does show up for Hard Drive #1.

I put Hard Drive #1 (the formatted problem drive) into Laptop #1 as the internal Primary Drive. I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error :fou: 

I turned it off. This time I connected Drive #2 (XP installed) as the USB External Drive.

I turned it on. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error.

So this time I put Hard Drive #2 back into the Primary Drive slot of Laptop #2 and connected Hard Drive #1 as the External Drive this time.

I turned it on. XP loaded normally with no problems. An extra drive letter popped up, Drive D. Laptop #2 has detected Drive #1 inside the Windows OS. At this point I can transfer files to Drive #2 and they show up with no problems. I can run programs from Drive #2 here.

I turned it off. I went to the Bios and did not see Drive #1 (IDE slot 2 as the USB External Drive), but Drive #2 showed up as the Primary Drive.

I turned it on and started the windows setup program to try to install windows on Drive #1. The windows installation began and everything was fine. Then when windows had to reboot to finish the installation process, it did not detect the second drive, the External Drive as Drive #1, and so the setup process could go no further, and an error message showed up on the screen: "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and path and disk hardware".

I turned it off. I turned it on. Now there is two listings to choose from of XP before the splash screen. I chose the second XP in the listing. Laptop #2 booted normally.

I turned it off. I turned it on. This time I chose the first in the listings of XP. Then I got the "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and path and disk hardware" error message again.

This time I put Drive #2 in Laptop #1 as the internal drive, and connected Drive #1 as the External Drive. I turned it on. There are two listings of XP to choose from. I selected the second one and again received the blue screen with the "Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer" error message and froze :cry: 

I turned it on. There are two listings of XP. I selected the first one. Windows tries to boot and makes it to the splash screen -- then the blue screen with the "Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer" error message and freezes.

I disconnected the External Drive #1. I turned it on. I selected the first listing of XP. Now I receive the "Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected boot disk. Check boot path and path and disk hardware" error message again :sleep: 

Man, this is tough. What a pain. And I thought that I knew about computers. I could solve this problem if I had a desktop computer, or could get to a Dos Prompt from a fresh boot, but I'm starting to find out that laptops suck and need to be thrown in the trash or used as a paper weight. And talk about user friendly. Don't these computer manufactures know what the idea was for computers was originally? Its called being "Computer Friendly". Yet these computer manufactures can't even make a laptop to be built with a boot to Dos Prompt command at the start up.

Not to mention the difficulties that Windows gives you by no being able to uninstall windows if it is the only operating system on your computer. I gave you a direct order computer. Do what I say!!! There needs to be a system overide switch for this artifical intelligence thing. I can see how it could be potentially dangerous, harmful, or disasterous. Now build a space station mothership guided by AI -- no manual over ride: the whole colony dies.

If you have any ideas, that's be great, because I thought that I was smart, but they keep ungrading and changing the software and hardware so often that its difficult to keep up with how fast that technology is moving. I know there's someone smarter than me out there...

:ange:  Help the space station :sol:  ,

:whistle:  Sincerely :pt1cable:  ,

:kaola:  James T Kirk USS Enterprise :hello: 
a b D Laptop
a c 371 G Storage
August 3, 2011 12:13:58 PM

James T Kirk USS Enterprise said:
hello everyone :lol:  ,

I have a laptop, Laptop #1. I had XP installed on it. I formated the drive, but didn't use the format /s option in the dos prompt like I should of. Instead, I selected a right click on the drive and selected format in the menu. Why do they allow this option in the right click menu when it doesn't do format /s automatically for you. That seems like the only sensible and user friendly option. :o 


I'll admit I didn't read the whole post, but this was enough to stop me. Are you using some old DOS disk or something. XP's and highers format command does not have a /s option. In old dos days, the /s used to copy system files to make the disk bootable. This isn't true in windows.

http://www.microsoft.com/resources/documentation/window...
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a b D Laptop
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August 3, 2011 1:17:59 PM

I read most of the post, and I think that I understand the issue. Everything that you describe is expected and, unfortunately, you are going to need either the manufacturer's restore DVD for your Dell Latitude D610 Pentium M or a distribution disc for XP.

1)

Quote:
I formated the drive, but didn't use the format /s option in the dos prompt like I should of. Instead, I selected a right click on the drive and selected format in the menu. Why do they allow this option in the right click menu when it doesn't do format /s automatically for you. That seems like the only sensible and user friendly option.


When you formatted the system disk, you wiped out your OS and your boot loader, so the drive is no longer valid to boot from. Had you done the equivalent of "format /s", the drive would have been able to boot to DOS, not to any version of Windows.

2)

Quote:
I took out the CD drive. I turned it on. When I received the error for the CD drive missing, I pressed ESC. I turned off the computer and put the CD drive back in. I put the XP disk into the drive. I turned on the computer. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error


I don't know why you can't boot from your XP CD and do a clean re-install. I would think that that is how you must recover. Did the boot sequence, perhaps, display "Press any key to boot from CD" and you not notice and not press the Any key? My PC requires a confirming key press to boot from optical media.

3)

Quote:
I put Hard Drive #2 in Laptop #1. I turned it on. It started to boot and the windows splash screen showed up. Then it went to a blue screen with the error message of "Windows has been shut down to prevent damage to your computer" and froze.


Expected. The Windows installation from the Dell Latitude Pentium 3 has different chipset and other low-level drivers, so it will not start in the Latitude D610 Pentium M. It gets to a certain point using generic code and dies once it tries to load the system-specific drivers.


4

You are almost certainly not going to be able to install XP on disk 1 on machine 2 and then put the disk back in machine 1; you will see the same failure as above. I think that your only choice is to figure out how to boot from the CD drive in machine 1 and re-install XP onto drive 1 on machine 1.

Unless the drive is damaged and needs to be replaced?

Live long and prosper.
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August 4, 2011 4:50:16 AM

Hey Hawkeye22, good to hear from you! :bounce:  That's ok if you didn't read the whole post because its better to dissect something one small section at a time.

No, I'm was running XP Pro. I was unable to install the operating system by normal means: :pfff:  "you cannot delete the drive -- it contains the operating system". Yea, well manual override artificial intelligence robot, I gave you a direct order... No, I'm the AI :kaola: 

There is no uninstall windows shortcut and it doesn't show up in the add/remove programs list like the supposed "help" from system information says that it is. :fou: 

So what happened is that I was using Laptop #2 with the problem hard drive (hard drive #1) from Laptop #1 (the problem laptop) as an external drive. And what I'm saying is that, while in the Dos Prompt, it would have been nice if I could of used the Format /s command like you used to be able to do. Instead, what I did was right click on the hard drive (the problem hard drive, hard drive #1) and a menu popped up. It was here that I selected the format option :sleep:  ....

I am using a laptop and do not have an A: drive. I am not using a 3.5" diskette.

-- Captain Kirk out :hello: 


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August 4, 2011 5:24:40 AM

Hello Wyoming Knott, how are you doing :)  ? I'm glad I got your reply! Thanks for the help.

A) What is a "Distribution Disc"? Do you mean the Windows CD? :whistle: 

1) But that's just the problem, I can't even "boot" to a Dos Prompt. If I could boot to a Dos Prompt, I could fix this problem. If only there was the option to be able to get to a Dos Prompt from a fresh boot.... But it seems like these laptop manufacturer's are computer unfriendly because they don't include this option, and I really don't know why. They have them in "Desktops". And not the boot to the Dos Prompt "inside" of Windows.

2) I have turned it on. Got the error. I Turned it off. I Turned it on -- and no "Press any key to boot from the CD": I wish, that would solve the problem right quick indeed!!! Instead, I got the "Invalid System Disk" error. I turned it off. I turned it on, looking at the screen the whole time. Still the error. I repeated this process several times more. :cry: 

I went to the Bios and the CD drive is detected. I has used this CD drive to install windows before.

I turned off the laptop. I took out the CD drive. I turned it on. When I got the missing drive error message, I pressed ESC. I turned off the computer. I put the CD drive back in. I turned it on. Still the "Invalid System Disk" error message :sleep:  ...

-- Captain Kirk out
"Spock, Spock... is that you" :hello: 
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Best solution

a b D Laptop
a c 371 G Storage
August 4, 2011 11:41:58 AM

Most laptops have a recovery partition you can boot from in order to restore the system to factory. If you didn't delete this partition, it should still be on the drive. During bios startup, look for something like "F12-Recover" or something similar and use that option. If you did delete the recovery partition, you need to contact the laptop manufacturer and have them send replacement CD's.
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a b D Laptop
a c 289 G Storage
August 5, 2011 12:23:17 AM

A) Yes.

1) I was kind of putting my tongue in my cheek. Booting to a DOS prompt wouldn't do you any good. You need to boot from the Windows CD to do an install. And I don't know why you can't.

2) Whoops, I typed it above. I can't see why you can't boot from your CD drive, and you can't re-install Windows without it. (well, some clever people can build USB sticks that work as Windows installation sources, but I don't know how.)

At this point, I don't know what I can do for you. "It's dead, Jim."
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August 5, 2011 1:49:20 AM

thanks a lot haweye, you have been a big help!

I figured it out:

I don't have an a: drive, grrrr :pt1cable:  so I downloaded the 98 startup disk. And I also put another Windows XP Home into the CD drive :fou:  -- I need two windows cd's to run my one computer!!!! That's ridiculous. Guess it didn't like the other CD :pfff: 

Now it works -- thanks a lot

-- Captain Kirk
USS Enterprise
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August 5, 2011 1:56:42 AM

thanks for your help WyomingKnott, you have helped me to try and pinpoint the problem.

I solved the problem: it was a bad cd. but just in case i also downloaded the 98 startup disk for the system files. I need two windows cd's to run one computer :fou:  !!! that's ridiculous :pt1cable: 

thanks a lot bro, you have really helped me!

"Spock, I have found life on another world. So I'll be going. Live long and prosper... Beam me up Scotty"

-- Captain Kirk
USS Enterprise
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