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windows 98 total crash

By computer care
Sep 23, 2006
  1. I am helping a man who escaped Katrina with 3 changes of clothes.And now I fear I have made matters worse.
    Someone gave him a Gateway with OS Win 98. It would only boot up in safe mode and had very limited access to programs and of course no access to most hardware. He had no software with the system. I have a windows 98 disk and Microsoft gave me a new product key. So everything went fine. ....
    UNTILL I tried to get him on AOL. (his choice). The OS had aol 4.0 installed and connected right away. everything fine so far. He has dial up. I connected to upgrade AOL...Extremely slow, and here is where I think I made my fatal mistake. I stopped the upgrade, thinking I would get a new AOL disk. WELL everything crashed. Unable to start windows 98 at all.
    I get AMIBIOS System configuration. Gives information on system and then adivises " Invalid sysem disk Replace the disk, then press any key. "Have I ruined this poor man's system?

    I do have a hard drive from a different Gateway that has Windows XP, could I change out the hard drives and be ok?.... I am totally in the dart on this one and I really want to help the gentleman out.

    Any assistance will be greatly appreicated.
    Computer Care
     
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    If it makes you feel better, that error has absolutely nothing to do with AOL. This is a problem with your system that was possibly inevitable.

    This tells us that your computer cannot find a bootable drive. This is either a problem with the drive's MBR (Boot record & typically the partition table) or the drive has physically failed.

    Drive failure is the certainly the most likely cause.

    You should run a drive diagnostic. A list of manufacturer diagnostics can be found here: http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7602.html
    Don't rely on scandisk or chkdsk as they don't really do the same thing.

    If you can verify the drive is good or even can be detected, there's a chance you can get your data back. This would mean your MBR is damaged. Unfortunately, the MBR contains your partition layout and this usually means your partitions are gone. This in turn results in (possibly recoverable) data loss. If the cause is not hardware, we may be able to get your data back.

    Run the diagnostic(s) and let us know what you find. We'll go from there.
     
  3. computer care

    computer care TS Rookie Topic Starter

    How do I run the diagnostics when OS does not recognize cd roms and will not boot even in safe mode. Dos does not recognize the cdroms either. and I have no way of downloading these to floppy. I have tried usb flash memory device and it is not even on the radar of the problem system.
    You are so generous to help. Thanks.
    Do you think it would be helpful to take the cpu to a tech shop? It will cost me but I really want to help this guy, he just sits in small apt all day and says" I think I would like to try to learn that online poker" LOL . it would really help him pass the time.
     
  4. computer care

    computer care TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Rick, I think I did something to this post because the only way I can get to it is through my e-mail.
    (HDD 80h) is highlighted
    HDD 80h
    Logical C:

    "Active Partition Recovry v 3.0"
    Physcial drive geometry (from Bios):
    Number of heads : LBA
    Number of cylinders: LBA
    Number of sectors: 63

    Total number of sectors: 19807200
    Size: 9.44 Gb



    Ctrl +[Enter] - Perform Extended Disk Scan

    Extended Disk Scan may detect partitions being deleted even if you have created new ones instead, formatted and used them!


    * Control + [Enter] *

    Scan
    From 0 Gb To 9 Gb (pre determined)

    Chose OK

    Results:
    Scanning complete
    Detected logical drive
    Drive's first sector: 63
    Size 9.43 Gb
    File system: NTFS

    Do you want to add Detected logical drive to the drives list? [Y/N]

    Chose Y


    Ctrl +[Enter] - perform Extended Disk Scan

    Extended Disk Scan may detect partitions being deledted even if you have created new ones instead, formatted and used them!

    Scan
    From 0 Gb To 9 Gb

    OK

    Detected logical drive
    Drive's first sector: 63
    Size: 9:43 Gb
    File system: NTFS

    Do you want to add detected logical drive to the drives list? [Y/N]
    Y


    Drivers
    HDD 80h
    Logical ?:
    Unallocated


    Logical?:
    ERROR reading sector #0 or BOOT sctor is invalid.


    Unallocated
    Drive's first sector: 19792080
    Total number of sectors: 15120
    Size: 7.38 Mb

    Enter - Scan for deleted partitionUnallocated area
    Drive's first sector: 19792080
    Total number of sectors: 15120
    Size: 7.38

    This is totally over my head. But I would Love to learn as much as I can.
    If you could please advise me on if I should buy the recovery system I would really appreicate it. I ran the "Active Partition Recovery Demo Version"

    Thanks so much.
    CC

    And that is a great list you have put together. Nice work.
     
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