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Disk boot failure and disk controller failure

By mcloud
Jan 6, 2006
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  1. Hi Chaps,

    Have been looking at a pc for a pal of mine (Packard Bell Pentium 400mhz with 20gb hard drive running Win98SE), that receives the "Disk Boot failure insert system disk and hit enter" message. I checked all the connections and pulled them out and put them back in, but still the same. I checked in the bios and there is nothing recorded, all zeroes. I have tried everything to detect the drive, but no diagnostic disks, Win98se startup disk, or any commands like fdisk /mbr, sys c, scandisk /all etc.. can find anything. I would hazard a guess and say it's done for, but wondered if there was anything else I could do to wake it up. What gives me small doubt that the disk is dead, is that I got hold of a very old Dell 133mhz pc with a 1gb working drive and installed that in the Packard Bell, but got the same disk boot failure message. I tried the dodgy (Fujitsu) 20gb drive in the Dell and got error message "disk controller 1 failure hit F1 to continue, F2 to enter setup". I went into setup and the instructions indicated that IDE drives should be set for "auto" detect. I set all four of them to auto at one point, but still got same message. Just as a last thing, I swapped the cables from the bad machine (Packard Bell) to the good one (Dell) and it booted up okay, with it's original 1gb drive, of course. Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,582

    can you hold the drive in your hand while the system is on
    if so does it feel like its spinning
    if not it is dead
    try giving it a sharp twist from right to left and or light taps on the side
    I'd say it cooked and if there nothing real important invest in a new drive and windows 2000 pro OS
    should run on that machine
  3. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 209

    If you get the IDE cable reversed (on back wards) you will get the "disk controller 1 failure" message. It does sound like the drive is dead but maybe you got the cable reversed at some point in your trouble shooting. Might want to try it in the Dell again. It could also be that the IDE controller on the Packard Bell is broken. Did you try the drive on the second channel?
  4. mcloud

    mcloud TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply. I first tried swapping the drives around without unplugging the motherboard end of the ide cable, so would not have reversed them. I also swapped the cdrom connection with the hard disk one (i.e. plugged the cdrom into the ide port that normally connected to the hard disk) and that worked fine, so the ports and cables all look okay. Thanks for the suggestion anyway - have accepted that the disk is deceased, although strange that it didn't, according to my friend, give any indication that it was dying. I have been offered a couple of hard disks from a guy I met in the pub who is getting rid of some stuff from his business, so that he can make room for some better spec pcs. He is not sure of the spec of the old stuff and they may be very low capacity, but would do for testing, I guess. Cheers.
  5. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 209

    Ok, looks like you have it all under control. Sometimes a simple mistake can realy mess up your thought process when your trying to sort out a problem. Been there done that. :D
  6. mcloud

    mcloud TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Boot disk failure and disk controller failure

    Hi again,
    Took some of the advice here and twisted and then gave the dodgy drive (not the circuit board side, of course) a few sharp taps with the handle of a screwdriver and it sparked into life, but making all kinds of strange noises. Unfornately the problem is still the same with the boot disk failure coming up and it won't autodetect in the BIOS. Have got hold of a 20gb IBM Deskstar IDE ATA hard disk which appears to be working fine i.e. spins up and makes a nice humming sound. It is a refurbished drive and the two jumpers were already set and are in the right place i.e. for Device 0 Master according to the illustrated instructions on the drive. I also checked on the website and the jumpers are definitely correct for a single drive installed as the master. The problem is, that when I turn on the machine and go into the BIOS and then select auto detect IDE function, it just goes through the Primary Master setup and seems to detect the drive in the Secondary Master setup and displays the disk info there. Also when I go into the Standard CMOS setup there is nothing displayed in the Master and Slave columns and then if I come out and let the machine boot up, I get the dreaded boot failure message again, aaaagh! I really thought this would be simple once I had got hold of another drive and stuff I have read indicates that I have done everything right, but can anyone tell me if there is something I am not doing. Is there some software that has to be run first or do I put the BIOS settings back to default or something? Feel like I'm drowning now, sitting here with my little antistatic wrist band draining my life away.
    :confused:
  7. dmill89

    dmill89 TS Guru Posts: 737

    Don't forget to partition and format the HDD. The HDD must have an OS on it if one is not installed boot from the OS disk and install it on the new drive.
    If you have already done this read below.

    sounds like an ide controller problem aswell frist try updateing the bios if you can't or still have problems get a pci ide controler card to replace the malfunctioning integrated one.
  8. alphnumeric

    alphnumeric TS Rookie Posts: 209

    When you put in the Deskstar did you remove the dead drive? If you didn't that may be why the Deskstar showed up as the pri slave. Like dmill89 said if the Deskstar is blank you will get the boot failure message because the BIOS cannot find any boot files to load. It's been my experience that a lot of drives arrive jumpered for CS, cable select. If it is jumpered for cable select and you connect it to the middle connector on the ribbon cable it will show up as slave. Be car full comparing the sticker to the actual drive select jumpers. I've had some drives that you had to turn upside down for the jumpers to match the sticker. It's hard to explain but the sticker showed :::. and if I looked at the drive with the circuit card on the bottom the jumpers looked like this '::: the single pin was on the wrong side. This reversed master and cable select.
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