Hard Disk Boot Failure Insert System Disk Press Enter

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when starting my computer, and no boot disk is inserted, i get the error message:"HARD DISK BOOT FAILURE INSERT SYSTEM DISK PRESS ENTER" when a boot disk is inserted, windows xp starts up if no button is pressed after a boot disk is inserted. I cant work out how to boot from hard disk immediately, and it is set as primary boot device. ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!!


Posts: 100   +0
Just go into the Bios and (For my motherbaord) in Advanced BIOS Features, set primary, seconday etc boot devices as you like.


Posts: 2,094   +3
could be the HDD is failing or your MBR is screwed up.
access Recover Console from your Windows XP cd
run chkdisk /f and have a search on how to use fixmbr..
you may also want to use a disk diagnostic utility from the manufacturer of your hdd to check the health of your HDD


Posts: 21,238   +17
Hello and welcome to Techspot.

rezaazanzali said:
hi guys please help me
I`m afraid you`ll have to give details of your problem. This is because we`re not clairvoyant lol.

Regards Howard :wave: :wave:


Posts: 4,512   +66
howard_hopkinso said:
I`m afraid you`ll have to give details of your problem. This is because we`re not clairvoyant lol.
I knew you'd say that!

simon_eds and rezaazanzali, this problem has been discussed a trillion times (and not a billion less!) ;) Some situations are different, but it would help yourself a lot if you do just a little research on your own and we can fill in the details for you. :)



Posts: 4,512   +66
Oh, to get your started in the right direciton, I would run a manufacturer's drive diagnostic. You can find them here. https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7602.html

A typical cause is a bad drive and this is the first thing you should check before you begin.

FIXBOOT writes the "boot sector" to the specified partition.
FIXMBR repairs or replaces the master boot record of the disk.

You will also want to ensure that your partition is active, because Ghost will not make a partition active unless you do a sector-by-sector backup and complete restore.

Here's what to do...

Boot from the XP / 2000 CDROM and allow the setup to begin. Once the beginning files are copied, you will be asked to Install Windows or use the Recovery Console. Please choose "r" here, to run the recovery console.

You will now type in the following commands when the prompt appears:

chkdsk /f
* This will repair any obvious file system damage, which could complicate things.

* This will run the XP disk partition utility. We will be checking to see if your partition looks OK. If you see your partition, and the information diskpart provides appears correct, then that's a good thing. :)

Press [ESC] to exit Diskpart, when everything looks peachy.

* We'll write a new boot sector, so the computer knows how to boot the computer

* We'll write a new boot record, so the computer knows how to boot Windows

You should be taken care of. If it still does not work, you may need to delete your partition(s) using diskpart, then recreate the partition(s) (using diskpart, again).
Forget about the MBR for a moment.

You should run a manufacturer drive diagnostic. https://www.techspot.com/vb/topic7602.html

Assuming this is an MBR problem (Although this message usually comes in the form of "BOOT FAILURE", "NO OS FOUND" or "INVALID SYSTEM DISK"), it would be useful to find out WHY this happened. A failed hard drive is a good possibility and it may be covered under warranty.

Metaphorically, you may be wasting your time curing an illness on a patient who's already dead. :)
Disk Boot Failure Insert System Disk & Press Enter

Like many others who have written in, I am now getting the above message. I have had to replace too many hard drives over the years to the point that intuiatively when I got the above message, I felt it was either a virus or a software conflict with Panda Platinum that I am running. I am running Windows XP Professional and the first time this happened several days ago, when I ran the hard drive diagnostics, I was told that I had "no partitions" showing and asked if I wanted to FORMAT my hard drive? Hell no, I don't. Three partitions should have shown up ie. a C drive, a D drive, and an E drive for the one hard drive that I have. [I also have a separate A floppy drive and an F DVD writer/reader drive and a G CD writer/reader drive.]

My gut feeling that the hard drive diagnostic info was incorrect turned out to be correct after I ran the original copy of the Windows XP Pro disk with some manipulations (repair did not work and I did not want a fresh new windows format over existing drives and data I felt was still accessible). Some how I got back in and left the computer running for several days. The only change was running a complete scan of all drives with Panda. Panda reported no errors and the only obvious thing was that for the first time in several months, Yahoo was allowing me to do member searches from the Yahoo member directory when online and also from Yahoo messenger which I had been unable to access for several months -- thinking there was some problem with Yahoo or one or more of my paid Yahoo accounts. So, when a thunderstorm came up, I shut everything down again.

The next time I tried to power up, I got the same "Disk Boot Failure..." "Insert System Disk & Press Enter" message. Again, the repair on the original Windows XP Pro disk (which does not have SP1 and SP2 on it) did not work and after several tries and reboots, I was finally able to get back in with all three partitions and data intact like I had left it. This time I thought the problem might be a conflict with a public domain software called BHO Demon which I unistalled (but not completely as one has to do a manual install and sometimes I have been known to botch that part up). Feeling that the problem would re-occur, I tried to educated myself on how to create a Windows XP Boot Disk... I've messed around with that for a couple of days now which really pisses my wife off for all the time I'm having to spend on the computer. So, tonight when we went out for Thanksgiving supper, I powered down the computer the the "new" boot disk left in the CD drive.

Obviously I am no wizzard or even close to being a geek because when we got back home, the Boot disk does not work (I've done something wrong), and I still get the boot failure error and still feel the hard drive is good.... ie., the little light is not on that it is running when it shouldn't be, and there are no strange noises, etc.

My next strategy is to remove a program called Webroot Spy Sweeper in case there is a conflict with Panda or some other program. In the interim I have been to this forum and I have read several messages.

I don't live on a computer and have no desire to do so or to reformat a hard drive. I'd rather through the ***** out the window and buy a new one before doing that. But, before I go to that extreme, I will try a couple of pieces of information that I've picked up on this forum:

The next time I run REPAIR from the Windows XP disk and get the prompt, I will try the DOS command CHKDSK /F and see what happens. I will also try the commands DISKPART and the FIXBOOT and FIXMEMBER commands -- am not familar with those last two, but what the heck. Since the moderator of this forum have made some comments about the writer being "specific enough" with his or her complaint, I think I have been or else should get an award for being "long winded" as we say here in the South. If I've missed anything else that any of you might want to suggest as tried and try, just hop on, my gut tells me this is not going to be an easy problem to solve and I agree with you, I'd like to know what caused it in the first place. It seems that I'm not the "Lone Ranger" here and people have been getting this message for several years now.

Thanking you for you help in this important matter. ZZZZZzzz
jb444 said:
Just go into the Bios and (For my motherbaord) in Advanced BIOS Features, set primary, seconday etc boot devices as you like.
I understand that, but what should i set as primary? the HD or other devices, or it just doesnt matter?
hard disk boot failure insert system disk...

I actually got this error messge after i had replaced the power supply of my PC, i reconnected all the wires the exact same way they were before , but since then , i ve never been able to boot my PC again.I keep having the error listed above.
OK, I think I finally have a handle on this.
It seems that with a shaky power supply, or after a power surge of some sort, like a lightning storm, that the master boot record can get corrupted and cause the hard drive controller to stop working correctly. The solution seems to be a BIOS Flash. I have yet to do this and might not be able to since I am running a cheap PC-Chips board with an obscure Phoenix Bios 686.
My reasoning for this is that no matter what hard drive I try to put into this machine, and no matter what OS I'm trying to install/boot/run I always get a BSOD that is either a hdd sector not being found, or something similar.

What I'm afraid of is trying to put the original HDD into a different machine to retrieve some pics etc. Will it just spread the infection, or is it specific to an action I took or a site I visited?
I can't run a virus scan since it's never stable long enough to do so.

Any help or opinion would be much appreciated.


Posts: 2,094   +3
bakedbeens.. so your problem is that you have a hdd that has gotten corrupted somehow and you think its because of a electrical surge? then why is your conclusion leading you to a virus infection on your hdd?

If its a sure electrical surge, you would have a lot more on your plate than just a corrupted hdd, and you're lucky if only that..

Virus infections only take effect and spread provided that it is executed in the first place onto the OS's memory. If you're just slaving it onto another pc, then as long as you have a decent AV software then it would pick up even an autorun.inf type virus. If you're still doubtful, the go put it on a linux or mac box.

If you still don't want to put your hdd into another machine the other alternative would be to download a bootable OS (much like Knoppix, Ubuntu etc) that allows you to boot and run directly from a CD/DVD/Flash drive without accessing your HDD to boot up. Of course you would need to change your boot order to access it if not done so. That will show you 2 things. If you can boot into the CD, you can perform tests on the pc as well as tell you if the hdd is damaged or not (to some extent).

Use a disk diagnostic program from the manufacturer of your hdd to test if there is further damage on your hdd. However, i do think its more of a problem than a quick "bios flash fixit" solution.. you can try nonetheless..

and side note, you didn't put up any other usefull info that would help, such as what you are running (OS and specs). Help us help you :)
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L

when starting my computer, and no boot disk is inserted, i get the error message:"HARD DISK BOOT FAILURE INSERT SYSTEM DISK PRESS ENTER" when a boot disk is inserted, windows xp starts up if no button is pressed after a boot disk is inserted. I cant work out how to boot from hard disk immediately, and it is set as primary boot device. ANY help would be greatly appreciated!!!
I am having a similar problem!
Here we go, now don't get upset with me about continuing a question in which you think is already answered, because this one is not I assure you!

I have a
400W PSU
Gigabyte GA-P35-DS3L
IP4-HT 3.6Ghz
2 - IDE 40GB; 60GB HDD

The 40GB is a Western Digital HP HDD, with a pre-installed Win XP Home SP3, works PERFECT on the HP, however, it will NOT boot on new MOBO...
All devices are recognized, and the processor is singing Jazz! Shows a perfect operating temperature for CPU and is working flawlessly on all ends!

What I have done...
Flashed/updated BIOS newest update from Gigabyte 7/10/2008
Checked ALL jumpers... PERFECT
Checked/Changed IDE cables... PERFECT
Changed the boot devices around in every angle to make sure that I have covered all ends, nothing changes!
boot from DVD-Rom with XP Pro.. FAILED ("Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter")
Boot from 40GB HDD with XP Home, works PERFECT on HP Desktop, but on new MOBO... FAILED repeat message... ("Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter")

Give me a phone call if you can help me, at 2 8 1- 9 1 9- 5 8 0 8
I am in Houston, TX
I have driven myself mad over this, and have built like 20 PC's with no problem's even CLOSE to this!

I will add that I can boot from XP Pro SP2 boot disk floppies, and it boots to XP install, and after that, will NOT recognize ANY Discs I use, I have AUTHENTIC DISCS and NONE WORK! AGH!!
I am going to ask a dumb question, have u set the first boot device in the BIOS to CD/DVD?
Well... it isn't entirely dumb, because some do not understand this point, I however find it a bit insulting, because I know what I am doing. (Don't take this as my being rude, just informing you)

I DID find the solution, something NO ONE has EVER given as an answer that I have seen!

Here's what I did, I unmounted the MOBO and set it on a cardboard box, BINGO! Booted fine, installed windows, everything is PEACHY!

So future questioners...
Check to see if unmounting will also work for you!

Thanks for your help all!
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