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Invalid system disk error after clean install of XP

  • Hard Drives
  • Windows XP
  • Clean Install
  • Boot
  • Disk Error
  • Storage
Last response: in Storage
a b G Storage
October 29, 2001 2:23:52 AM

Hi all,

I just recently did a clean install of Win XP and now I'm getting an invalid system disk error on boot-up. When I hit a key after this message, it continues on and boots up XP. When I did the clean install, I had to change the boot sequence of my system since setup cannot be run from DOS and I needed to boot the system from the CD to install XP. Well, since I changed the boot sequence, the CD would loop into the Win XP setup and never let the hard drive continue the installation. So, in the middle of the installation, I accidentally opened the CD-ROM drive during boot up and got the invalid system disk error. So, I continued by hitting a key and continued the installation. After that, I changed the boot sequence in BIOS back to floppy, hard drive, then CD. Now every time I boot up, I get the error message. For kicks, I started the installation over again to see if I could correct the error by deleting the C: partion, recreating it, and *not* formatting it so it would skip to the CD and not require me to mess with the boot sequence in BIOS. Well, I completed the installation and the same error occurs. What gives? Thanks for any help!

More about : invalid system disk error clean install

October 29, 2001 5:09:38 PM

did you check whether your xp installation cd is bootable from dos or not? if it is not bootable then you have nothing to do.
by the way, when you install the xp for the first time (bootable version and clean install), and when the system makes it first restart and then asks to hit a key when ready, do not hit any key ever as hitting will begin the installation from the beginning, just leave the things going without hitting
a b G Storage
October 29, 2001 6:59:10 PM

I used the full version of XP. I heard that the upgrade version is bootable as well. Hmmm... Which is the best way to install XP cleanly? Use the CD to boot, use bootable floppies, or run winnt.exe in the i386 folder?

Also, would you recommend keeping the boot order floppy, hard drive, then CD or switch the hard drive and CD for the installation? Thanks.
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October 29, 2001 8:15:51 PM

You took the floppy disk out of your drive, right?

<font color=orange>Quarter <font color=blue>Pounder</font color=blue> <font color=orange>Inside</font color=orange>
a b G Storage
October 30, 2001 2:42:52 AM

The thing is, I never used a floppy after reformatting the hard drive. And to make things even more perplexing is that the floppy drive light doesn't even come on at that point. I get the initial drive light at POST but not at that point of the boot up.

Is there something wrong with BIOS or the MBR of the hard drive or what?
October 30, 2001 11:03:27 AM

are you using a full version or a upgrade version? also are you useing beta or boughten ?
also change the boot back to defult run setup from a: with win98 boot disk
a b G Storage
October 30, 2001 12:53:56 PM

I have the full version which I bought. I've already tried changing the boot sequence to boot directly to the hard drive, but still same problem. I've booted to a floppy with Win 98 which boots up fine without the error message, but as soon as I try to boot to the hard drive, I get the error message again.
October 30, 2001 1:23:08 PM

There could be something on the MBR (MasterBootRecord) of the drive that is causing the problem. Try and do a Fdisk/mbr with a windows startup disk and then try the partition and format with the OS install.

<font color=red>BIOS updates do wonders ....</font color=red>
October 30, 2001 2:06:55 PM

the best thing you do is the following: -

- format your hard drive C: (primary and not logical drive, and do not forget the mark this drive as active)

- go to your bios setting and make the (CD-rom) the first bootable device and the harddis the second one

- turn the computer on and insert the bootable XP cd in your CD and and

- sit away from the computer and do not do anything unless the setup asks that

- Very Important, when the setup restarts you maybe asked to press any key to continue, be careful and do not do anything, just leave the things going as it is and you will have a perfect system.

after you finish the setup completely, go to bios setting again and make the harddisk 0 your first bootable device and the floppy or cd the second one, and remove any cd or floppy disk from your drives...alway keep in mind that the drive C: must be primary and active

after doing all above and you still facing problem, then you need to make sure that your hard drive has no bad sector, and it would be better then that you visit a proffesional computer dealer to solve the problem