Computer wont startup

By J_Bone ยท 9 replies
Aug 16, 2003
  1. This is second hand info.... I'm trying to fix a nephews PC.

    Windows 98..

    PC will go through BIOS and start to startup,
    just before Windows loads it blanks out.

    Any suggestions?
  2. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Maniac Posts: 2,244

    Will it star in safe mode? press F8 at POST screen when it says "Starting Windows 98" You'll get a menu to choose how to start.
  3. J_Bone

    J_Bone TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    the computer reads

    "Invaild system disc"

    "Replace disc, press any key"

    " Boot from ATAI CD Rom"

    There was no Floppy or CD in.

    I tried talking him through to see if the Ribbon cables or power cable was plugged in and he said "YES".

    Could this be a bad hard drive?

  4. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    It could be a bad hard drive or it may just be a screwed up hard drive/partition/filesystem.

    You should boot from a floppy or the Windows 98 CD into DOS mode and look in what condition the hard drive is.
  5. J_Bone

    J_Bone TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    I got it to boot to DOS from the CD, but it showed the CD as the A: drive. WTF?
    In DOS what do I look for and how?

  6. Abraxas

    Abraxas TS Rookie Posts: 157

    Perhaps there is a RAM drive installed on that machine. A virtual hard drive created out of additional RAM memory. It can be fixed, but I don't know much about that.
    A friend of mine once had the same problem. I should fix it for him, although I didn't know very much about computers myself. I stumbled upon this RAM drive and didn't know what to do. Finally, I formatted the drive and reinstalled the OS. :D
  7. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    First thing to check is whether BIOS recognises the hard drive. If it isn't then there is a problem with HD installation or BIOS settings. Or HD itself.

    In DOS, first look for C: drive (just do "c:" <enter>)
    If you can get to C: then all is not lost. Under C: do dir and see if you have anything in there.

    If your windows installation is in place, then you just have to reinstall the boot files.

    If the C: is empty, then most likely you have successfully formatted it :p

    If you can't get to C: then it is no longer formatted or the partition is not there. This is even worse news.

    If you run fdisk and it says that you don't have a hard drive installed.. Bad, bad, bad.
  8. J_Bone

    J_Bone TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    Just as its suppose to show the drives, it gave the error. So I couldn't tell if it reconised the C: drive.

    I think the BIOS did see the hard drive.
    But it showed files in the A: drive when there was no floppy? I booted from the CD and maybe it showed the CD ROM as the Floppy? Maybe it needs a bios update?
  9. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    The Windows CDROM being shown as a floppy is not an error. Windows installation CD creates a RAM drive containing essential utilities and stuff and names is as A:
  10. J_Bone

    J_Bone TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 23

    ah.... gotcha.
    I tried changing drives but I was typing "cd c". ooups I guess its the wrong OS command. lol. I forgot I wasn't in UNIX.

    Thanks :)
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...