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BOOT DISK FAILURE- I searched but no luck

By PyrollisAhFiros ยท 10 replies
Sep 17, 2007
  1. Before you can say I should have searched for this, I have and did what several forums and users suggested me to do. I still can't find out how to get this danged hard drive to allow Windows XP Home edition (with service pack 1a) installed.

    My friend's computer crashed with a system error saying that BOOT DISK FAILURE: enter a system disk and press enter. I tried restarting to see if it was just a glitch but it wasn't. I installed a basic boot disk; boot.ini, NTLDR and ntdetect.com. It won't read the path name and kept saying that the boot path is wrong.

    Then what I did was that I downloaded the boot disk files from www.bootdisk.com specifically for Windows XP Home Edition with service pack 1 (although I'm not sure if it is not working because the CD I have is with service pack 1a not just 1). I put them on 6 floppy disks and booted into Windows installation setup.

    It got through fine and then I went ahead to repair the hard drive, by using chkdsk C: and it said that "Drive C: contains one or more corrupted files" or something like that. I tried doing it again and it still say the same error message. I did Fixmbr and fixboot and it said the MBR is corrupted and it has successfully created a new MBR. I thought that was it and rebooted but the problem still persists. Not only did the problem persists, it screwed something up because I wasn't able to have the CD-ROM recognize the CD.

    I went through the 6 disks boot process and got into the final stage where Windows asks you three choices; install, repair and exit. I tried to go back into repair and typed chkdsk C:, it kept asking me for the CD with the autochk.exe file and I checked to make sure the Windows XP is still in the CD-ROM drive. It is but it won't read the CD at all. It worked fine before I did fixmbr and fixboot. Now it won't so I'm not sure what to do. I tried many things and nothing was able to fix the problem. My friend said he doesn't have much on the hard drive and I can go ahead and format it.

    The weird thing is it is able to read the CD when I'm formatting the hard drive. I tried to format it several times on his box, but it won't finalize the installation process. It successfully formatted the hard drive, copied the system files over to the hard drive then rebooted. When it rebooted, it said "Missing or corrupted file: C:\Windows\System32\HAL.sys. Please insert CD in CD-ROM drive or install the file and try again" (I'm not sure of the path and the file name for the HAL but it complained about the HAL file) but I never took the CD out.

    I took his hard drive out and put it in my wife's computer and tried to see if it will work on her box. It formatted, put system files on the hard drive and rebooted. Same message occured and there's nothing else I can think of trying to do.

    Right now, his hard drive is formatted clean, needs an OS back on it so what do you suggest I do? I have this suspecting feeling that his hard drive is screwed up or there's something wrong with the set up inside his box, but the problem is, before that disk boot error occurred, my friend has never touched anything inside the box and it worked fine. He said he set an away message on AIM and turned the monitor off for the night. The next morning, he woke up and turned the monitor back on and saw that disk boot failure message. Something must have happened during the night.

    I hope I can get this fixed! Thanks in advance for any help!

  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Please tell us brand and model of computer, or motherboard.
    Also tell us the source of the Windows disc... whether a recovery or restore set, or OEM or Academic disc.
  3. PyrollisAhFiros

    PyrollisAhFiros TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi Raybay,

    Sorry it took me a while to reply back to you. My DSL modem has been giving me problems, preventing me from getting online till just now. So now I'm back on, I got the information you needed.

    It's a computer built by a computer store so I was only able to get the motherboard brand. It's a MSI KM4M (VIA KM400 chipset based) series motherboard and I am guessing the CPU is a Duron, based on its performance. The heat sink and the CPU fan are on top of the CPU so I do not want to risk taking that off to check what the CPU is so that's all I can give you now.

    As for the CD that came with the computer, its a Microsoft Windows XP with service pack 1a CD. I'm not sure if it's an OEM CD but it's the original CD from Microsoft, not from a company that put their brand over it and sells it to customers.

    Thanks and sorry for the delay.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    Thanks for the info. I'll be back soon.
    I suggest you go online to www.microsoft.com to order the Service Pack 2 disk. It is $3.95 and takes about 3 days to arrive.
    That disc will be like a new install to replace the 1a disk, and make a big difference in performance.
    You do not need to check the cpu. If needed, you can do that with the free Belarc Advisor or the free Everest Home.
    The MSI board is fine, as is the Via chipset.
    So now we can take a look at other aspects.
  5. PyrollisAhFiros

    PyrollisAhFiros TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Now I remember what I wanted to add to my original post,

    I tried using my roommate's Windows XP CD with Service Pack 2 and the same problem persisted.

    I was planning on installing it (with service pack 2) then when I finally get it to work, then I would put in my friend's CD to replace XP w/ service pack 2, and spend like a hour or two updating his computer, of course with service pack 2.

    Nothing can get past the HAL complaint screen so I do not know what to do next.
  6. bundelaneeraj

    bundelaneeraj TS Rookie

    I have HP dv2124TU laptop , It had a Windows Media Center , but there was some problem in notbook so I start the resote option by pressing f11 , but when it is not booting after restoration , it is give error hal.dll missing .

    Please help ...........

  7. Firedawg1971

    Firedawg1971 TS Rookie Posts: 39

    When you mention Duron I figure the HD is about 4-5 years old. Correct?

    If so a good chance is that the drive is faulty. What brand Harddrive is it?

    You can go to their website and download their check tool and test the hardddrive from a bootable floppy or cd.

    As for using a cd with sp 1a 1 or 2 that is not the problem unless the cd is scratched which can cause errors. As long as the Key is oem and cd is oem: key is retail and cd is retail:

    Are you deleting the old partition and reformating during xp reload?

    And are you using the quick format? Does it hang at 20% format for a while

    this is a sign of a bad harddrive.
  8. PyrollisAhFiros

    PyrollisAhFiros TS Rookie Topic Starter


    That's what I thought at first, the hard drive being the problem.

    Yes, it's 5 years old and it's a Seagate 40GB hard drive.

    With the CD, I was able to have the partition deleted then when I tried to format it, it successfully formatted everything and I didn't opt for the short, quick format, I went for the long, throughly format. When it finally finished formatting the hard drive, it asked to be rebooted and it rebooted on its own. I left the CD in the drive as it rebooted. When it passed the POST, there was this 1 minute wait till it complained that it's missing the HAL file or the HAL file is corrupted. I restarted the computer and waited to see maybe if it will try to copy everything over from the CD again but it didn't. It seems to have reset back to complaining about the boot path. I went through the whole process again, this time on my wife's computer because the set up is different so maybe it will work fine on her computer. It didn't as the same problem persisted on her computer so that's why I'm eyeing the hard drive as the culprit.

    Any other suggestions before I tell my friend to use it as a paperweight? lol

  9. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,026

    If it is that old and being difficult to set up, I would not trust it anyway and would not spend any more time on it. Treat yourself to a new drive.
    Paperweight, doorstop - any form of recycling would be a better idea.
  10. Firedawg1971

    Firedawg1971 TS Rookie Posts: 39

    I do suggest taking it apart and using the magnets. you can hang a kid up on your fridge with one of those. also they magntize your screw drivers very nicely. ( taking it apart also secures all your old data on the hardrive even if you formated it once.)
  11. PyrollisAhFiros

    PyrollisAhFiros TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright guys,

    Thanks for your help, and yeah I guess it's FUBAR... I will tell my friend to go ahead and buy a new hard drive and pop that thing in the box. Again thanks and you guys are great!

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