Dell boot disk cannot access HD

By btclark
Sep 15, 2006
  1. Hello All!
    Does Dells boot sector not allow access to a harddrive when booting from a floppy boot disk?
    I have tried it on 3 Dells now and the same result. I cannot go to the c drive after booting with a floppy, even if I create it using the same computer using the format util in WinXp or Win2K.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    Hi Brian

    I hate to sound as though i'm pointing out the obvious, but if its XP or 2K then the file system is NTFS, this isnt readable using a DOS floppy, its a security thing designed to prevent information theft by booting from a floppy, you can however download a floppy from here that will allow you to read the NTFS file system and copy files to floppy or another HD if one is present.

  3. btclark

    btclark TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Good point

    I thought of that to, (and should have mentioned it in my first post), so I tried...
    In Win2K I formated a 10g hd to Fat32 then I set it as Master and rebboted with a floppy boot disk and still could not get to the drive. The floppy disk has DOS 6.22 on it.

    Should this have worked? Do I need to format it as Fat (using DOS Format) and not Fat32 (using Win2K GUI Format utility)?
  4. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    Hi BT,

    That should work OK and I dont understand why you cant access it, FAT or FAT32 should be accessible via a DOS floppy, what error do you get, try running the FDISK command from a DOS boot floppy and see if the drive shows up in that.

    Try downloading a 98 boot floppy from and format it using the command format /s, then set it as master and ensure it boots to a DOS prompt, then try accessing it via the floppy.

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