Invalid system disk

  watteneer 20:29 10 Aug 2012

I jave just bought an old computer without any hard drive i installed a sata hard drive 21gb and formatted it using fdisk all went well until i tried to install windows on it no matter what i tried win 95,xp,vista i get the same message:- replace the disk and press any key, the next message reads invalid system disk the disks i have tried are not pirate any help please Thanks to all

  Terry Brown 20:52 10 Aug 2012

I don't think SATA was around for win 95, so I do not believe it will work on that. I believe there is a maximum size for a FAT 32 formatted disk which is 4GB, which could be your problem

Window XP: Have you tried going into the BIOS and setting to run from CD first (Normally just set the defaults)

The CD should start loading the software, when you get to the blue screen (terms and conditions), press F8 then ESC to get into advanced mode.

From there you can partition and format the drive,and XP should do this and then continue loading the system.

There is also the possibility that the cables are not connected firmly enough or the motherboard has a fault.


  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:11 10 Aug 2012

sounds like its trying to boot from the empty sata disk first instead of the CD.

Make sure CD drive is the first boot device in BIOS.

Installing XP on SATA drive Once you have the drive(s) connected you are ready to start installing XP. Master and Slave Remember since it's serial you can only have one device per SATA port/cable so SATA drives don't have jumpers. On the Motherboard SATA1 Port is for the primary device, SATA2 port is for the secondary device etc.

SATA controller driver Your Motherboard or SATA controller card requires a driver to work properly. Drivers may be written into BIOS, Try and see if windows CD can see the drive, if not then the SATA drivers can be located on the installation CD that came with your Motherboard or preferably, download the latest SATA controller drivers from the manufacturers site. Once you have located the drivers copy them to a formatted floppy disk. Make sure they are in the root directory i.e. not contained within any folders. If you did not get a Floppy Disk with the SATA driver included with your Motherboard you may have to make one.

BIOS settings When you turn on the PC hit the Delete key when prompted and you will enter the BIOS (Basic Input Output System). Here you set the first boot device to be the CDROM drive, the option is usually found under the Advanced Options section but this depends on your BIOS and you may have to look around for it. Once you have done this save and exit.

Installing the SATA controller driver Once you have set the PC to boot from the CD make sure the XP CD is in the CD drive and start the installation as per usual. Within the first minute or so of the installation Windows will prompt you to press F6 to install RAID or SCSI drivers, do this. Windows will continue to install then ask you to locate the driver. now with the floppy disk created earlier in drive A: select the driver and hit Enter. With the SATA drivers installed you can now continue the Windows installation as usual.

BIOS settings revisited Once Windows has finished installing you will need to make sure the PC is set to boot from the SATA drive. To do this make the first boot device SATA if the option is available. If not you have two options: HD0 - If there are no IDE HDs present, or SCSI if you do plan on running an IDE HD as a secondary device.

Terry FAT32 limit is a 4G file size not partition size, partition might be limited by the BIOS.

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