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Corrupt after Reformat

By kyork ·
I am trying to recycle an old laptop running Windows 98. I reformatted, started her up with the boot disc, and got an error telling me I need to type the name of the Command Interpreter with the example c:\windows\ Any suggestions?

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by Dennis.Rhine In reply to Corrupt after ...

Sounds like the computer didn't boot from the disk you used. If it is a CD-ROM go into the BIOS and make certain the computer is setup to boot from the device. If it is a floppy disk, check the diskette and, if necessary, download a new boot disk image from

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by PaulP In reply to Corrupt after ... lives at the root of c: on a window98 PC - C
Boot to your Windows98 startup diskette. At the C: prompt type SYS C: then press enter. This should take only a couple seconds. Remove the floppy and reboot the PC. If you accurately decribed your problem, it will now be cured.

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by kyork In reply to

The boot disc never takes me to a C: prompt. The system identifies the CD, initializes the mouse, then reads the disc in the A drive which generates the error message. I tried going into setup and resetting the boot sequence so it would go to C then A and also tried C only, but never got a C prompt. I always just got the "invalid system disc" error. When I allow it to boot from A and the floppy is read, I get the problem.

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by kyork In reply to Corrupt after ...

I downloaded the boot disc from and got an "invalid system disc" error. I tried booting from a backup cd and received the same error message. I was getting a little further with the floppy, but still was stopped with the error.

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by Oz_Media In reply to Corrupt after ...

YOu either have a dead file or it is missing from the floppy disk.

Try making a new boot disk on a working computer (Just cliks Add/Remove Programs and there is a tab for creating a startup disk.

Another solution:

Good luck

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by Blackcurrant In reply to Corrupt after ...


Have you tried creating a boot disk from another Windows98 machine? Do that, then boot from the new floppy which should take you to an A> prompt.

Good luck

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by cglrcng In reply to Corrupt after ...

Did you wipe out all former partitions using FDISK or just Format C:\? Have seen on many HP's and Compaq's that have a \ System_Save partition, where some just wipe out the DOS partition (Partition 1), and left the extended and logical drive partition, System_Save drops from \ to C and cannot be accessed since it is not a DOS partition. Re-FDISK, and partition (look at all partitions using option #4), go backwards through #3, then #2, then #1. restarting in between operations. Then restart, set up a DOS Partition and make it active. Restart, Format C:\, restart. Then follow below.

Are you absolutely sure the machine is a Win98 machine or could it be Win98SE? Go to another computer armed w/ a couple of floppy disks. Go to and download onto the machine the following. Windows 98 OEM, and Windows 98SE OEM. Double click on each file to unpack the disk creators. Put a floppy in the A Drive and double click on the disk creator and label each floppy. Now go to the laptop in question. W/ NO CD in the drive, Insert Win 98SE Boot Disk and attempt to boot to the A> Prompt. Repeat w/ Win98 OEM disk if not.

If you don't get to the A> Prompt w/ 1 of them I'd be looking @ hardware or BIOS settings.

If you do get to the A> Prompt just type SYS C: (Enter), then allow files to copy to C.
Now Type E (Enter) and it should switch to E Drive. (If you booted choosing Start Computer w/CD option the CD drive(s) message pointing out what drives are CD Drives). Replace E above w/ your actual lowest loaded CD Drive letter.

Now put the Windows 98 or 98SE Setup Cd in the CD drive. (I then always check by typing DIR (Enter) to make sure the list of files seen on the drive match my Setup CD and not say the virtual RAM Drive). Type cd Win98 (Enter), then type SETUP (Enter). It will run a Scandisk and then Setup.

Are you positive after Partitioning using FDISK, that you actually restarted & Formatted the drive? (Format C: from the A> Prompt) A

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by cglrcng In reply to

BTW, a floppy formatted on an XP machine will not start Setup from the Win98 CD when used on a Win98 or 98SE machine...It is missing among other files, it will however boot to an A> Prompt to allow a BIOS Flash.

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