Error: Boot Disk Failure, insert system disk

Been struggling with this for over a week. Whenever I try to boot I get this message: Boot Disk Error, Please Insert system disk and press enter. I've tried all things I know are possible and I'm a trained tech so this is a complicated problem. Any ideas?

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  1. You need to post a lot more details! What are you booting? Floopy, IDE, SCSI, CDROM??? How many drives have you connected to your system. What have you attempted yourself?
    There are a lot of possible reasons why you can't boot. But theres no need to suggest all what you allready have attempted.

    <i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
    <A HREF="" target="_new">My systems</A>
  2. I've tried all drives for booting. The system has IDE hard drive, floppy and two cdroms. I've tried to use all three as the primary boot system and I've also disconnected the others and tried each one seperately. The system was running Windows ME but I tried to reformat and install windows 98. That was the last time I was able to get a dos-prompt. The system was unstable before that. Any other info needed? I've tried two motherboards...the first one carried a PII- 350 and the second an AMD K2-420. System has 256 meg of ram. I've taken out the graphics, audio and modem cards. Motherboards are ASUS P5A-B and Abit AB-BX6. I've also taken the hard drives out and placed them in my primary comp which is a Dell P4 1.6 with 512 ram. My system would not recognize them. Then I took out my hard drive from the dell and tried it in the old system and it would not recognize it. Very wierd problem and I'm running out of ideas. Can you help?

  3. Huh? Thats the weirdest thing I've ever heard. If I understand you correctly. You are unable to boot from any device. That'll be floppy, CDROM or harddrive, and you also attempted on another motherboard.
    The Dell you are referring to. Is that computer working normally? You write, that the DELL is not able to recognize the drives. If the DELL is otherwise working correctly and the DELL bios is not able to see the drives, the only thing that pops into my mind is a collective drive failure or defective PSU. Do the drives spin up at all?

    If all drives are defective, I would also expect that the two other boards are unable to see the drives in the bios, is that true?
    To troubleshoot further, you'll need to isolate and test parts individually. If the DELL is working correctly, use that PC to test the drives, memory etc., one piece at a time.

    <i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
    <A HREF="" target="_new">My systems</A>
  4. Sounds like your system files are mucked up, or there are disk errors. If everything worked until the upgade that would be a best guess.
    You may need to fdisk or format and do a clean install.
    If you have only one partition with the OS and your files on it I hope you have a backup of the stuff you want to keep.
  5. Just thinking - I don't recall what message comes up when the motherboard battery goes dead and you loose your BIOS settings.
    Boot the machine and go right into the BIOS. See if all your setting are good. Check the time on the clock, see if your drives show up on the IDE devices, etc.
    It's just a thought.
  6. Yes, that is correct. When I tried to boot from floppy I received the stated error message. The cdroms were not recognized and the harddrives were either not recognized or I received that error message.
    The Dell is working fine. I tried the hard disks in the dell and they were not recognized. Yes, the two motherboards do not see the drives in the bios. I tried all three drives in the Dell...they were not recognized by the bios. I did get a floppy boot disk to was a Norton emergency boot disk for Windows 95 but in the end I received a I/O error and had to shut down.
    One further bit of info...the larger of the hard drives is a Maxtor 8.4 gig and it has MaxBlast installed. Could this be causing these conflicts?

  7. Regardless of what is installed on the drives, that does not affect the BIOSs ability to detect them. If the DELL can't detect the drives, it appears that they are dead.
    The only possible way I can see for several drives to die simultaneously is due to a PSU failure. If the +12V exceeds spec, that may kill all your drives but your mobo may survive, since many mobos doesn't use +12V. However, it is very uncommon for a PSU to fail in that way.
    Are you absolutely sure that the drive jumpers are set correctly and the cable is working?

    <i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
    <A HREF="" target="_new">My systems</A>
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