Boot Disc I/O error

By Psychobiker
Apr 26, 2005
  1. Hi,

    Was given an old computer which I bought a new Intel motherboard & processor (833Mhz) and 256MB RAM, and a 40GB Seagate HDD.
    The HDD would boot to Win95, but wouldn't recognise the CD drive or Floppy drive, so I reformatted. I tried to boot from Floppy after this, but it just whirrs around for a few seconds, before declaring 'Disc I/O error'.
    At least the BIOS is recognising they exist!
    Tried this HDD in my other PC, which says it's 'protected' by KRNL or something.
    Anyone help me here? Downloaded WinXP, and have that burnt to a CD.

    May the floppy and CD ROM be just too old? (Samsung SCR3231)


  2. Psychobiker

    Psychobiker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    TTT To the top
  3. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Could be that the floppy is bad. Or could be your disks in the floppy. Is the floppy cable plugged in right? Sometimes they are keyed but mostly they can get backwards if you're not carefull.
    One way to tell if the cable is backwards is: does the floppy light stay on all the time? If so, the cable is likely backwards.

    Secondly, in the BIOS, make sure the floppy drive is set to the right mode. Such as 1.44 or 1.2 or whatever the options are.

    Also, if you're on Windows 95, I believe you might need to load your drivers from Config.sys and Autoexec.bat for it to work. But I might be wrong. Sometimes Windows 95 needs a "jump start" of your hardware by having the driver in Config.sys first.

    I think your issues may just be cabling and BIOS. Watch your jumpers and pay attention to what the BIOS calls your stuff and where it's located. If that is all good and you're sure. Then we'll deal with 95 driver issues next.

    As for the floppy, try some more disks, otherwise, replace it.
  4. Psychobiker

    Psychobiker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    Could you tell me how to go about installing through Autoexec.bat?
    I can't even boot to 95 now - I low-level formatted
  5. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Dear me.

    What did you "low-level' format with? Some utility?

    Start by booting off a 95 boot disk. If you plan on still using 95, use a 95 disk because you don't want to format FAT32 unless you have 95sr2 to load with. The original 95 didn't support FAT32.

    Next you'll have to use FDISK to partition the drive again.
    Then restart after partitioning
    Then format using "FORMAT C:". You might use "FORMAT C: /S" at this point instead, this will make the hard drive bootable.

    Then, if your boot disk loads your CD-ROM, put in the 95 disk and start setup. If your boot disk doesn't have CD-ROM drivers, you can use a later model boot disk that does.

    Then just see if 95 will load and do it right. Otherwise, we'll move on.
  6. Psychobiker

    Psychobiker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    I always thought format c: was low-level. I plan on using XP.
  7. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Oh and I forgot to mention one big thing. You've got a 40gb drive, you can't format with FAT16 any bigger than 2GB. If you want all that space you'll have to go with FAT32, which I don't know that 95 can even see unless it's the latest release.

    The other option would be to use overlay software to get it to work and give you that space. You'd have to go over your drive manufacturers web site and see if they have such a beast you can use.

    I'd say save yourself the trouble and try to load someone's 98 if you can. Otherwise you'll limit yourself to have 20 2gb partitions!
  8. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Low level format is completely different then a normal format. A low level format is usually ONLY done at the factory to map bad sectors and build the physical structure. I was under the impression that with todays drives, you can't even DO a low-level format. Unless you've got some serious tools.

    If you're loading XP, just pop in your CD and boot off it (make sure BIOS is set to boot off CD). And away you go.
  9. Psychobiker

    Psychobiker TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 38

    Tried - I have a burnt XP Boot CD (downloaded) which runs perfectly under Windows oin this computer (ie. it starts - gives me menu of what to do) but is an 'invalid system disk' in DOS Bootup?!
  10. dgower2

    dgower2 TS Maniac Posts: 238

    Old PCs had a utility in the BIOS to do low level formats.

    Just an FYI
  11. Vigilante

    Vigilante TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,666

    Ya, I've seen low-level format tools. But that was ages ago. For a good 10 years now, low-level formatting has NOT been necessary on today's drives. I've read in various tech books of mine, that it can actually be dangerous to do if you don't know how the structure of the drive is laid out. But anyways.

    As for your disk Psychobiker, looks like it has messed up boot code. Just because it autoruns in Windows doesn't mean it can boot. Only that it has an autorun file on the CD. If you can't get another disk, or make a copy of a real disk, then you may be able to use the instructions in another thread of mine and get XP to load without being bootable. Check here:
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