Boot Failure

  User-42BE0B3A-FC75-4118-BB8E1390237F847E 20:51 26 Mar 2005
Locked

My son's PC runs Win98SE - hardware: AMD athlon 700MHz, 20GB HDD, FDD, CD writer, DVD reader and usual sound card etc. Although he is adamant he has done nothing and downloaded nothing, when he switches it on it fails to start and the following appears "Boot Failure. Insert BOOT diskette in A: Strike any key when ready"
I don't have a start up disc for this PC (broken) but I have a Start up disc for an old, discarded PC and have inserted it but it then gives me 3 start up choices - +/- CD support and Help but none of these do anything. Pressing F5 for safe mode does not do anything either.
I am prepared to try reinstalling 98SE-But first I would like to copy some of the existing files before formatting.
Is there any way I can either get the pc working or, if that is impossible, can I copy some of the files on it then reinstall? Is there anything I can do to save the content (his work at University)?

  stalion 20:54 26 Mar 2005

if you still have access to the internet on another pc you can download a boot disk from here
click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 22:43 26 Mar 2005

USe your old disk and boot select with CD support and wait until you get A:
Type copy sys c: and press enter

try to rebbot without the old disk.

If no good the boot again with old disk untill you get to A:\ this time type fixmbr press enter

try and reboot without the floppy again.

Good advice from fruitbat.

If all else fails, you could put in a new hard drive as master, install 98 on that, and with the old drive set as slave copy the files across.

  Storik 09:52 27 Mar 2005

Fruit Bat /\0/\ advice is sound, but if you can't access your hard drive, I don't think it will work.

Before buying a new hard drive, you could check to see if the BIOS is recognising the old one.

It may be possible to reset the BIOS - default settings or clearing it via the jumpers. If that doesn't work, tommo2000's suggestion is about the best bet to get your files back (if you can access the old drive.)

Storik

  Diemmess 10:02 27 Mar 2005

You have a disk which offers with or without CD support -Yes?

Choose without for the present and when you see A:> on screen type C: and Enter

When the cursor shows C:> type dir and Enter

If a list of files and folders appears then at least the HD is running readably, you will be seeing the root of C:

Then you could try typing

cd\windows (Enter)

type Win (Enter)

Somewhere along this route it may return "Bad Command" or "File not found" but I hope you can establish that the HD is not dead.

tommo2000's advice about fitting a new HD and installing a fresh copy of 98SE, then finally saving the course work from the old HD as a slave seems safest.

Thanks for all suggestions.
I've made a boot disc.With it and the old one , I can get to A:\then C:\ but,although C:\dir works, cd\windows fails as does copy sys c: and fixmbr. Trying to go further I see Invalid Directory Abort, Retry, Fail?
At other times, after leaving it off for a while, it boots into windows then Scandisk tells me of problems with drive C: then hangs. I assume this means faults in the hard disk so I will stop trying in case it gets worse and take it to a repair shop after weekend, try to recover data and then decide what to do next.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 15:14 27 Mar 2005

Are you trying to scan disk from within windows or from the boot floppy?

try from the boot floppy.

  woodchip 15:33 27 Mar 2005

Start comp with the boot disc, leave it to go to A:\> then type SCANREG /RESTORE press enter and choose a old date to restore with keyboard arrowes and enter

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