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Boot problem

716 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Tumbleweed36
Hi, y'all. A friend of mine with XP just called with a problem and I we need some help.
When she turns on the computer she gets a screen that says "Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter.". She had tried rebooting several times without success. After shutting down and then restarting some time later, it finally worked.
I don't know if it will happen again, but it seems that if there is a fix for this problem, it will be easier now than when we can't get in at all.
I've seen some info that suggest the problem may be fixed in the Bios...This is Greek to me.
If anyone has advice, please treat me like a complete rookie. Be very specific and detailed...If you leave room for error, I'll find it. Thanks!
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Disk Boot Failure is caused when your comptuer can't find a valid boot disk (ie. a hard drive with windows installed).

It's possible there could be any number of different causes for this. Since you said it only did this for a while then just started working again, my best guess was a loose cable. If it happens again, check to see if the hard drive cables are seated properly in the back of the hard drive and mother board along with the hard drive's power cable.

Other causes could be a failing hard drive, corrupt windows installation, bad master boot record, disabled device in the BIOS. These could be explored in more detail if you find the above solution doesn't work.

It might be worth your while to boot using the XP install disk and run chkdsk in the recovery console to see if she has a bad hard drive.
Hi,

User gr00m seems to have you going in the correct direction with the suggestions. Might also want to enter the BIOS setup menu and make sure the boot order is set to:

CDRom - 1st
Floppy - 2nd
Hard Drive - 3rd (this will be the drive you want to boot from)

Be sure to save before you exit if you change anything.

Post back with questions/concerns.
Thanks to both of y'all for your advice. I'll see her this weekend and try those suggestions that I know how to do. Curious about one thing...When checking the "boot order" in the Bios, why wouldn't you want the hard drive to be 1st, instead of last? Seems like that would make it boot just that much quicker. Thanks again.
Thanks to both of y'all for your advice. I'll see her this weekend and try those suggestions that I know how to do. Curious about one thing...When checking the "boot order" in the Bios, why wouldn't you want the hard drive to be 1st, instead of last? Seems like that would make it boot just that much quicker. Thanks again.
Hi again,

While in theory you are correct about the boot speed, when troubleshooting, what we listed is the best. Some times, if it can't boot (can't find OS), then it is impossible (unless you change the boot order) to do a system repair, a boot from floppy, etc. Therefore, there is nothing wrong with what you have proposed, but I recommend for this phase in troubleshooting that you should place it like we stated. Just for your info, the vast majority of techs leave them that way most of the time, and that includes me.
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