Crazy boot disk error, please help

By wordmaster1 ·
I have a computer that is giving, no boot disk found errors... but only sometimes.

Sometimes it boots perfectly (98SE) and other times it gives the error. When it is in the error giving mode, CMOS shows the HD, but when I try "find IDE drives" in setup, it does not find a drive.

I have changed drive cables with no difference.

The last time it fired up, I ran scandisk, then ran a defragger and surface checker. Everything checked out just fine, no errors, no problemss.

The next time I tried to boot, got boot error. It will boot fine from floppies or CD's. When booting from 98 boot floppy, you can go to C, and dir will show the stuff on the disk, but if you try to sys c: you get no hd found same with fdisk /mbr.

Nothing seems to add up. Any help appreciated.


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All Answers

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what size is the drive? and how old?

by --Loki-- In reply to Crazy boot disk error, pl ...

Does the drive use any sort of bootloader software to make the size compatible with the bios? such as EZ Bios or DiskManager?

Is it a single drive or are there two drives on the cable? If it is the only drive on the cable, is it set at Master or Single? That can make a difference.

The last idea I have, is that while the disk itself may check out ok, the controller may be going bad, leading it to not always spin up or send the right info to the bios... Or... You may have a boot sector virus.... I would make an antivirus boot disk off a known clean machine, and after write-protecting it, use it to boot the machine and check the disk...

Also, you may want to use a partition checking program to see if the partition table and mbr are ok, or if they're damaged...

Have you checked the disk in another machine? put it in as a secondary disk in another machine (don't boot from it) and run full scans that way... As well as doing a full backup at that time.... Because if the controller is dying, you'll lose access to the drive's data, even if the disk platters themselves check out ok....

Along those same lines... Use a known good hard drive in the machine that you're having trouble with, and see if you get similar issues.... if so, the controller on the motherboard itself may be the culprit...

Those are all the things I would try, in that order, to figure out the problem by ruling out one thing at a time...

Hope this helps!

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drive size

by wordmaster1 In reply to what size is the drive? a ...

It is a 10 gig WD about 2-3 years old.

Running with an AMD K6/2 450

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And does your BIOS see the size of the drive?

by --Loki-- In reply to drive size

The full size? or does it show only an 8GB drive?

Trying to figure out why you can see the drive info in certain situations but not others.... Did you look into the other ideas I posted? such as drive overlay software?

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Test your Hard Drive

by ctmoore1998 In reply to Crazy boot disk error, pl ...

First - go to the web site of the HDD manufacturer and download their diagnostics software. This involves creating a boot floppy from the download, boot system from this diagnostic disk and run the extended tests. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and run only 'non' destructive tests on your HHD if you have data you want to save. If HDD passes, for testing disconnect the CD from secondary IDE and connect HDD to the secondary channel. If problem persists, replace HDD and run from Primary channel. If problem still persists it almost certainly has to be the IDE controller on the MB.

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