General discussion


Can't boot without Win XP Disk

By Tom_in_NJ ·
Getting "Disk Boot Failure, Insert System Disk" attempting to boot up a new computer. The hardware is a P4 2.26 with a Foxconn motherboard. The only way the computer will boot is with the Windows XP disk in the CD drive, even though I'm not booting from the CD. Here's what I've done so far:

Installed the HDD from a previous computer (500Mhz Celeron) and imaged a copy of that drive onto the new HDD.

Installed the old computer's HDD into the new computer (to rule out an imaging error).

Performed a fresh install of Windows XP using the new computer and the new HDD.

Performed a repair install of Windows XP using the new computer and the new HDD. Ran "fixboot" and "fixmbr" commands.

Could I be up against a hardware issue here? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -

by dmiles In reply to Can't boot without Win XP ...

Start diagnostics by checking the IDE cables on the drive

Boot computer,at startup screen press the designated key to enter bios,set the boot order
floppy--- hard drive--- cd rom

Check the system board to make sure it is not touching the case metal to metal

Check the motherbaord manufacturer to see if the bios supports large disk,after this you have a difficult problem to diagnose

Collapse -

by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to Can't boot without Win XP ...

I would also in addition to the above FLASH the BIOS to the latest available and check that none of the power leads have become trapped between a HD or any drive and the chassis where the insulation has been cut through.

But it honestly sounds as if the BIOS is not set to boot from a HDD only a Floppy and CD ROM.


Collapse -

by ghimpe-- In reply to Can't boot without Win XP ...

Make sure you don't have a disk in the floppy drive

Collapse -

by willcomp In reply to Can't boot without Win XP ...

If I understand correctly, you were able to install XP on new PC using new hard disk. Did you remove all partitions prior to installing XP? If so and XP installed without errors, you most likely have boot sequence incorrectly set in BIOS. May have to set which hard disk is boot disk as well as setting hard disk in boot order.


Collapse -

by Tom_in_NJ In reply to Can't boot without Win XP ...

There's one thing I didn't make clear. The computer will boot from the HDD (not the CD) if the Windows XP cd is in the cd drawer. If it were booting directly from the cd that would be one thing, but it is booting from the HDD with the cd in the drawer. Based on this, the answers below don't seem viable. Any other ideas?

Collapse -

by parvus1202 In reply to Can't boot without Win XP ...

Two things to check, IDE cable and old HDD. If IDE cable is new, try to install newer HDD or try to barrow one to check before buying.

Collapse -

by Jessie In reply to Can't boot without Win XP ...

What's the boot order set to in the bios? Disable the "boot to CD option" and see if that helps.

Collapse -

by edihardjono In reply to Can't boot without Win XP ...

First, it is weird that you need the CD to boot the HDD. But, please try the following:
1. Check if your HDD cable is compatible with your new HDD (it may need a new ATA cable).
2. If you installed the old HDD to new computer, does it boot correctly?
3. How big are the new HDD and the old?

Collapse -

by sgt_shultz In reply to Can't boot without Win XP ...

being able to boot from hd only when xp install disk is placed in cdrom drive is classic symptom of missing files usually ntldr might also be
if your drive is highly fragmented, you may experience this problem.
if you have been diddling with or suspect corruption of these files you can manually replace them they are hidden system read only in the root level of system partition.
i will look for a good link in mskb for you but meanwhile here is snippet from what is think is relavant article
To resolve this behavior, replace the Windows XP Ntldr and files. Follow these steps: 1. Start the Recovery Console, type fixboot at the prompt, and then press ENTER.
2. If the Recovery Console does not appear, follow these steps:a. Use one of the following methods to start the computer so that you can access the file system of the boot partition Specify another operating system on the Boot menu.
? Start from the Windows XP CD-ROM, and then at the Windows Setup screen, press "R" to use the Recovery Console to repair the Windows installation.
? Use a Windows NT 4.0 boot disk that also contains the Windows XP boot files.
? If your boot partition is a basic disk that is formatted with the FAT file system, use an MS-DOS boot disk.

b. Copy the Ntldr and files from the I386 folder on the Windows XP CD-ROM to the root folder of your boot drive. The boot drive is typically drive C.

If you are using MS-DOS to perform this file replacement, you may have to remove the System attribute, the Read-only attribute, and the Hidden attribute from the files by using the attrib command. To do this, type the following lines at the MS-DOS command prompt, and then press ENTER after each line:
attrib -r -s -h
attrib ntldr -r -s -h

Collapse -

by sgt_shultz In reply to

if this is happening after foolign around with reinstalling or multiple os boot or somethign, consider trying to repair missing file and boot.ini using bootfix tool in recovery console...

Related Discussions

Related Forums