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By nu4ever ·
I have a computer that I am currently working on and I can't get it to bootup. It has windows 95 on it and when I put in the boot disk and try to fdisk it says bad perimeter. It won't let me even format either. Is this is due to a bad hard drive?

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by jschein In reply to Bootup

bad parameter?

So, it boots to the boot disk... starts at the a> prompt. You type FDISK and it comes up with bad parameter?

If so, boot into the system bios and look at the hard drive configuration there... Is the hard drive present? If not, change settings and try to auto-detect it. If it does not find it, more than likely, the hard drive is bad - that is if you haven't removed other components or switched the dip pin around on it.

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by csmith In reply to Bootup

Below are some individual items, however, this is not how I would troubleshoot this problem.

I recommend downloading the Hard Drive Utility from the manufacturer of the hard drive's website, and run the tests.
This is the quickest and easiest way to get a lot of information about the problem.

Then decide what to do, as the next step.

That said:

This symptom can have several causes, both software and hardware.
The first software possibility is obvious, virus in the floppy MBR. (Scan floppy.)

The second software possibility is, unrecognizable characters in the volume name of the hard drive.
This can also be a virus, but it can also be caused by security software, hacking, etc. (Zero Fill hard drive.)

The third software possibility is, unfortunately, corrupt BIOS. (Reflash BIOS) (Very very rare cause.)
(I assume you have already carefully checked all of the BIOS settings.)

Now, hardware.
Since this is an older PC, (Win95) first possibility, if in a humid environment, IDE cable corrosion. (Swap cable)
Otherwise, loose IDE cable. (Check)

Second, security card installed. (Check, and remove if installed)

Third, Hard Drive electronics failure. (Not common.)(Swap hard drive to test.)

Regards, Chris

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