1. TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users. Ask a question and give support. Join the community here.
    TechSpot is dedicated to computer enthusiasts and power users.
    Ask a question and give support.
    Join the community here, it only takes a minute.
    Dismiss Notice

Disk boot failure, Insert system disk and press enter

By runinflac0 ยท 30 replies
Dec 28, 2005
  1. Ok well i hope somebody can help. My brother's HP pavillion's hard drive was accidentally formatted. The computer was started with a windows xp cd and the format was completed. The computer is then restarted without the windows xp in the drive and the computer then says Disk boot failure, Insert system disk and press enter. What can be the probelm? thank you
    will it make a difference if the prior xp version was home edition and the new cd is professional edition? Please help you thank you
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    No it wont make a difference that the previous version was home and the new is Pro. what you need to do now is boot from the XP CD delete the existing partion create aa new one and format and install XP on it.
  3. runinflac0

    runinflac0 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i did this but wen i restart the computer without having the xp in, this is after the install, it states that i need to insert system disk and press enter. But if i follow those directions i put the xp cd in and start, and then it brings me right back to the install screen which is not wha i want right? I want it to go to windows after i install it?? i dont understand what is going on.
  4. beerabuser30

    beerabuser30 TS Enthusiast Posts: 198

    I agree with iss you just need to reinstall and format. Any info that was on it is gone so just format and install.
  5. runinflac0

    runinflac0 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes i do that and it stil does not work. I get the whole install segment with the huge blue screen. And then when the cpmputer restarts on its own, it does the "clicky sound on the floppy" and then goes straight to a black scren with that damn comment, about system boot error. its just becoming annoying now. what can be done? Should i format it through another computer? I believe the OS is on the hard drive but it wont start up, does this have something to do with the bio and bootin or something? If so how would i be able to access it if i can't even start the computer? thank you
  6. beerabuser30

    beerabuser30 TS Enthusiast Posts: 198

    So you can't get to the XP installation screen, but you can get to your bios? If that is the case make sure that your cd-rom is the first in the boot sequence.
  7. runinflac0

    runinflac0 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    no, i can get to the instllation screen, but once the formatting and installation is done and the computer must restart, it does this but then doesn't go very far. no i do not see nor can get to my bios. The computer just starts and says, insert disk. The jumper settings seem to be fine on the hard drive. so what could it be?
  8. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,419   +77

    adjust boot order

    It does really sound as if the HDD boot sector is bad and/or boot order has been disturbed. You get into the bios to adjust this by clattering away on a specific key the instant you switch on. You should briefly see the bios every time you start, and that is usually too late. The magic key is often delete, but can be F2, escape or something.

    Set boot order to CD then HDD. Boot with the CD in and using FDISK completely erase the existing HD partition.

    Restart again, and this time Windows should do it's thing with a completely blank HDD disk, i.e. partition, format and install windows.
  9. runinflac0

    runinflac0 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    alright im going to explain this one more time. Maybe im not explaining it correctly. The computer boots properly when the windows cd is in the D drive. The installation and formatting goes well. At the end of this, the setup states that it will restart the computer. If i am not mistaken, this means that i need to remove the cd from the cd drive. When i do this and start the computer again...the computer can't seem to boot from the hard drive. I am about to give up...:(
  10. gooderguy

    gooderguy TS Enthusiast Posts: 68


    First go into BIOS and make sure the hard drive is even on the boot list. To get into BIOS on an HP system, tap on the F1 key as you first start the computer. Then look for boot devices, I forget what the BIOS looks like on those. You still want to boot from CDROM device first then IDE hard drive second.

    A little something to check is that you don't have a disc in the floppy drive.

    Sounds like you will have to run the Windows XP installation again anyways. Usually when you boot with the XP CD, you get the "press a key to boot from CD", if you don't get that then it means you either don't have a boot sector on your hard drive or the hard drive is not in the boot list in the BIOS.

    In any case, when Windows XP installs and reboots for the first time, leave the CD in the drive and do not press a key to boot from CD, it should then boot to hard drive and continue installation

    Good luck.
  11. runinflac0

    runinflac0 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yea sounds like wha i been doing. The hard drive is on the boot list. And yet, once the installation goes. it doesn;t boot from it. I officially give up. gooderguy i am followin the quote u have "
    If it works, fix it! If it don't work, kick it!" that works just fine right now
  12. DragonFury

    DragonFury TS Rookie Posts: 61

    are u using a restore disc from Hp ? also try installing win xp from floppy or see if it boots from floppy drive ( yes it possible to do so ) if so GO Here and download the floppy boot disc's for win xp and try an install that way . some Hp,compaqs,emachines,dell,and gateway require that u use there set up disc . but can easily be bypassed with a floppy boot disc ...
  13. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 921   +11

    donot take the disk out until u have booted into windows, but do not hit the enter again after it first starts to format and reinstall windows the first time...
  14. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 921   +11

    stay with the CD.
  15. runinflac0

    runinflac0 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    so i let it install...then let it restart...then it goes back to the install screen, do i let it install again? That is exactly what is happenin. i appreciate all the help but just dont get why its happening this way. it seems to have to installed on the hard drive but then wont boot into windows after that... and dragon...no im not using the recovey cd. it says it cannot read the hard drive if i do that. oh man this is frustrating.
  16. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,419   +77

    Use a new HDD

    I suspect your hard drive is not allowing the boot track to be written. It could be a faulty track or a boot virus locking the track for write. That is why I originally suggested using FDISK to delete everything on the HDD and start from like a factory-fresh HDD.

    Indeed, why not actually USE a factory-fresh HDD ? You can never have too many drives, think of the backup capability!

    I know it's frustrating, but to be honest, most experienced people dont waste a really large amount of time trying to get something working, they just junk the offending item (HDD, CD, video card etc) and replace it.
  17. runinflac0

    runinflac0 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yea thats basically wha i did. I just took everything off that computer..ram hard drive and everything else that could work and put it on this one and my parents got a new pc for 200 bucks...not a bad deal. so it works...:)
  18. puppetgrimm1

    puppetgrimm1 TS Rookie Posts: 50

    Ive read about half of the responses to this thread and from what I have read all you need to do is install normally where you get the blue screen format setup your partions etc... Then let it copy the files needed to install then it will tell you its about to restart let it do so but leave the cd in and windows will restart and when it restarts you will get a message boot from cd like before "Do Not Press Any Key" let it continue and windows should continue to install normally.

    hope this helps
  19. Vasoline

    Vasoline TS Rookie

    Thing is Puppet, we'd like it fixed!

    Is it a SATA drive by any chance? I have had the EXACT same problem as you. I believe this occured when I tried to format my SATA the first time, but windows couldn't because the drive needs initialising, before ANYTHING can be done with it.

    I proceeded to install windows onto my old IDE and using the disk manager FROM THE IDE, I formatted the SATA with a QUICK FORMAT, dividing it into two partitions. Strangely I was left with a lonely 2Gb partition, which I swear I hadn't created. Bemused by this partition appearing, I formatted the sucker.
    It did not rejoin the rest of the deleted partitions when I deleted them all, to make them into one again.

    Anyway, I then installed windows to the smaller partition on the SATA(system only), and installed windows. GREAT! It worked. Or did it? After the installation of some basic drivers for the chipset & motherboard, I installed the video card drivers for my XFX6800. During the last part of that installation (i.e. the bit where it says "you need to reboot") it spontaneously rebooted (crashed tbh).

    After this, I have THE problem. I reckon I haven't done the right way to set the drive up and screwed the MBR of the disk by deleting its partition.

    Someone mentioned FDISK, I can believe it, but dude how do I get the FDISK up? I cant remember.
  20. fishbone528

    fishbone528 TS Rookie

    Same error, but different problem... i think

    Hey guys,

    I'm getting this same error message "DISK BOOT FAILURE, INSERT SYSTEM DISK AND PRESS ENTER" when I try to boot without a bootable CD. I'm posting this again because none of the other responses seemed to solve my issue.

    First let me say that I just switched over from a pentium 4 to and AMD 4000+, and, of course, a new mobo, ASUS A8N5X. So I had to reformat and reinstall windows and that went just fine. The problem arises when I try to boot without either the Windows or ASUS CD. I have tried everything I possibly can with the boot order, even going as far as making the only bootable device the hard disk.

    When I do have a bootable CD in, it gives the standard message to press any key to boot, which i ignore. Then it goes right into booting from the hard disk like normal. My 2 CD/DVD drives are working perfectly and connected properly, as are my 3 hard disks (BIOS detects them all).

    Any help in this matter is greatly appreciated.
  21. fishbone528

    fishbone528 TS Rookie

    it's amazing how once you give up and just ask the question how the solution just presents itself... :knock:

    I figured it out, the problem was the priority of the hard drives, the BIOS had set my data drive to the highest priority. Problem solved, thanks for reading though
  22. J35U5

    J35U5 TS Rookie

    I had same problems

    hi all,
    I had the same problems, one way to fix it is to go into BIOS and load up Fail safe options. (Same as what i had done). Sometimes Problems can happen such as (Disk BOOT Failure, Insert System DISK and PRESS ENTER) from a stuffed BIOS. Anything you have changed in BIOS such as overclocking settings will return to factory settings.
  23. lvl70druid

    lvl70druid TS Rookie

    Im having same error message, but i cant get the HD to be reconized so i cant even install my OS. ...Under BIOS under BOOT, it will not note my HD just says "Add-In Bootable Cards" ...i have 4pin power connector insert with a sata cable from sata1 slot inserted...i have my own thread but trying to get the word out....last piece and my pc is finihsed! =(
  24. J35U5

    J35U5 TS Rookie

    have you tryed restore your BIOS back to load fail safe because that will configure everything back to normal. if that doesn't work try to also find a PLUG AND PLAY SETTING IN THE BIOS... other wise load fail safe options
  25. Bjcombs

    Bjcombs TS Rookie

    I have loaded many copys of windows xp professional.

    The process goes..

    Boot from Disc.
    System copys files
    System auto restarts (leave the CD in the drive)
    System now installs windows
    You are required to input the serial number and other information at this time.
    Install typically takes about a hour.

    The system will do all the restarting automatically.

    Things to check before installing...HP machines enter BIOS with F1 usually.
    Boot order.


    Disk priority

    Make sure the HDD you are installing on is the #1 priority, all others must be below it on the BIOS list.

    If this does not work then it is possible you have a BIOS virus. VERY rare but not non-existant. Consult a professional past this point.. Idk really.
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...