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Invalid system disk... with a catch

Last response: in Windows 7
September 17, 2009 4:54:35 AM

Upon boot I'm getting an invalid system disk or disk error message. sounds simple enough. but if i pop in a bootable cd, and NOT boot off of it (When it says press any key to boot off of cd), it then proceeds to do the normal boot process.

any ideas?
a c 209 $ Windows 7
September 17, 2009 5:24:16 AM

Is your BIOS configured to boot ONLY off the CD/DVD drive?
September 17, 2009 6:33:47 AM

nope. it goes cd, then hard drive.

even if i switch the order to HD first, it's the same thing. I get invalid system disk errors... which makes no sense because it'll boot off the hard drive after i stick a bootable cd in there and NOT boot off of it :( :( 

and obviously im running win 7.
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September 17, 2009 7:13:37 AM

Hmmm, maybe fdisk /mbr ???
September 17, 2009 8:09:32 AM

dokk2 said:
Hmmm, maybe fdisk /mbr ???

tried that. the utility says it finds errors and corrects them, but next reboot the same thing happens. It's quite odd lol. i mean it really only adds like 10 seconds to my boot up time, but it's still annoying :( 
September 17, 2009 8:19:41 AM

Has it always behaved that way at boot, or is it only since you installed Windows 7?

Is the CD drive on a PATA connection and the HDD on a SATA connection? If so, does disconnecting the CD drive enable the PC to boot from the HDD? In which case, check to see if a BIOS update is available for your motherboard.
a b $ Windows 7
September 17, 2009 10:22:20 AM

There are few commands which you could use in Windows Recovery that may fix the error message (like fixboot, fixmbr, Bootrec.exe]

For windows Vista/Windows 7 click here

To check the integrity of your hard drive, use a too like Seagate SeaTools (for windows or dos). “Its a diagnostic tool that helps you quickly determine the condition of the disc drive. It includes several tests that will examine the physical media on your Seagate or Maxtor disc drive and any other non-Seagate disc drive”. Download from here

You are advised to back up all your important data, before attempting any fix.

if you are using IDE interfaces, make sure that you connected your cables & Master/Slave jumpers correctly, )
a b $ Windows 7
September 17, 2009 12:22:55 PM

Do you have more than 1 physical HDD? If so, check in your BIOS setup to see if the Windows disk is the first in the sequence.