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Insert system disk press enter

By Saberfang321 ยท 7 replies
Feb 9, 2009
  1. I was wondering if anyone could help with this matter. I have Windows Xp Home Edition, and a 40gb harddrive, and I keep getting an error. Before last Christmas, I had Windows XP Pro edition, and I had been using my computer alot. Then one day, I get home from school, turn on my computer, and instead of booting, it says "Disk boot failure. Insert system disk and press enter." I do not remember anything I did that could've caused this error. I then booted from a CD called Bart Ghost" and apparently my partition had been erased.Unfortunately, the windows installation copy that my dad had had a scratch on it, so after a couple of weeks, I installed Windows XP Media Edition. I was doing good for a while, then one day, I get the same error. We had returned the media edition software to a friend, but my dad found the Windows XP Home Edition disk, so I installed that. I thought that was the end of that error, but about 31 days later, I get the same exact damn error. My dad and I cannot figure out what it is. Do I have to use a program called KillDisk, and completely wipe my harddrive, like my dad suggested?

    One quick additional note: I have been downloading anime episodes in .flv format at school, and taking them home on my jumpdrive, and storing them on my computer. Each one is about 100MB large. Maybe one of those files may have corrupted my harddrive?
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    No you don't need to run "KillDisk"

    When installing XP (next time) just remove the Partition instead of formatting
    By the way, don't remove the Restore partition, if it has one, which I think it doesn't

    It is possible, that having your USB device plugged in at the time of system startup can cause this error, so make sure it's unplugged before turning your computer on

    Also you may want to run BIOS Setup defaults. This is done by first entering system setup screen by pressing the key that's stated when the computer first starts (usually DEL or F2 or F10 or whatever it displays at POST - power on self test)

    Presently, I believe the best or initial test you need to run is: Drive Diagnostics on your HardDrive. It is possible that your HardDrive is basically faulty, and requires replacing (or the data cable to it is faulty) A further option would be your Power Supply, but before ever replacing, make sure to remove all internal dust, ideally using a high pressure air can
  3. Saberfang321

    Saberfang321 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, the partition was already removed when I ran the Windows Setup disk. At least, I think it was. If it wasn't, I'm pretty sure I removed it first, then put on a new partition. And both my jumpdrives were already disconnected and in my backpack. My harddrive showed up on the system bios, it's just that my C:/ was gone, completely. No trace of it whatsoever. But anyway, I'll try to run a diagnostic on it.
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Another option is GParted live BootCD :grinthumb
  5. Saberfang321

    Saberfang321 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Apparently, the problem has gotten worse. Now my computer won't boot even if a bootable CD is in the drive. The first two times were the same, but I could boot from the Windows Installation disk, but I left out some detail on the third time: I turned on my computer, got the error, but when I looked at the BIOS up above, the harddrive was not showing up. So I turned it off, unplugged the BUS cable and plugged in a different one into my harddrive. When I booted and went to the setup screen (by pressing DEL), my harddrive was showing up as a slave, and my DVD-ROM was not appearing, but my DVD-RW was. So I plugged a different BUS cable into the harddrive, and secured the cable to my DVD-ROM, and now everything is appearing as it should, but now my DVD-ROM won't read any CD, nor will my DVD-RW. I think my whole entire system may be shot.
  6. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    You just need one DVD R\W Drive, and if it's not a SATA the jumper on the back should be set to CS
  7. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    Lets take things slowly.
    1. Your PC was showing faults (you dont say what), and suddenly had no drive.
    Possible reasons - Failure of hard drive, Corrupt bios, failed drive cable, failing power supply (in that order)

    2. You install media edition, apparently successfully. Then the problems (same ?) recurred.
    Possible reasons - same as above, but bios and drive cable much less likely as you installed correctly.

    3. You cannot boot from either hard drive or CD.

    4. You played around with the cabling, and probably got the drive order mixed up HDD now a slave, DVD (on another channel now?) not found.

    It is not completely clear, but it says to me the cables are now mixed up, and do not correspond to the drive master/slave jumper settings. Learn about master/slave jumpering, and carefully and consistently check the drive jumper settings, make sure you understand which channel on the motherboard is channel 0 and that the bios order is as it should be.

    Some PC's can confuse by having two things to set in the bios, first the primary drive channel selection, and then the order of drives on the primary channel for the boot order setting.

    Once you can see and read the hard drive, your next job would be a complete and thorough drive check, using chkdsk /f and the hard drive manufacturers hardware checking package. It will take hours.....but that is still the most likely problem, after that, I would suspect power supply (which itself can corrupt a hard drive partition table and so forth).
  8. Saberfang321

    Saberfang321 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Alright, I think I've figured everything out. I've fixed the problem with both of my DVD drives (the culprit was a faulty cable-select cable...I don't know the real name for it, it's the cable that has a slave plug and a master plug, and it stopped working). Anyway, the third time this has happened, (Displayed the ...insert system disk and press enter), I fixed the drives and booted from the Windows XP Home Edition Reinstallation disk, and discovered that my original partition had split into eight empty partitions. I then used KillDisk to wipe them permantley, then proceeded to install XP Home. However, right after I finished setting up Windows, I then discovered that it now only loads Windows if the installation disk is left in the DVD-Rom, and if I try to boot without it, it displays the "...insert system disk..." error. Furthermore, when I analyze my harddrive using the defragmenter, there are large open spaces in between contigous files, as in no data can be stored in these spaces.

    I have come to a conclusion: my harddrive has been failing ever since Winter Break, and it can't keep a partition for over a month, and it is now getting more serious. I'm going to need a new harddrive soon. Anyway, thanks for all of the advice.
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