Is my hard drive dead?

  JIG 09:42 22 Dec 2005

I am a dab hand at home DIY but my PC skills are limited. When I start my pc I get the message 'invalid system disc' and the cd ROM light flashes. Having tried to reset, it goes into BIOS where I have fumbled around with setting the HDD as the primary source. Having saved these settings, and trying to boot up again I get a message that this source is not available. Any advice out there?

  SANAP 09:48 22 Dec 2005

say how old, make, operating system, have u cleared floppy drive?


  JIG 10:02 22 Dec 2005

SANAP - my pc is a Mesh Matrix (can't remember model number) and is about 6 years old. The problem started after my wife tried to boot bthe pc up and dusted the keybaord at the same time - would accidentally pressing one of the function keys on start up cause a problem?

  Diemmess 10:19 22 Dec 2005

Have you tried using a startup floppy for Win98 or ME?
If you have set the BIOS to 1st Boot device = Floppy, then the PC should at least boot as far a an A:> prompt?

If you can get that far then type dir C:
If you get a list of folders, at least the HD is recognised, but if not then either the HD has become disconnected or you must consider it may be dud.

If the HD is recognised and BIOS says 2nd Boot device = HD (0) then you should be able to boot into Safe Mode.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:01 22 Dec 2005

When I start my pc I get the message 'invalid system disc' and the cd ROM light flashes.

1. is there a CD or floppy in the drives? remove it and reboot.

2. If still same Enter BIOS, set first boot device to HDD save and exit rebbot and recheck.

  JIG 11:06 22 Dec 2005

Fruit Bat - there isn't anything in the cd or floppy drives and when I go into BIOS I try to set the frist boot drive to HDD but when I try this is says that it can not be found (probably not exact terminology but something along those lines).

  anthonym 11:28 22 Dec 2005


The best way to check if your HD is completely fried is to boot your PC and go into the BIOS.

Somewhere in there should a be a screen that list your IDE devices (HD's and CD Drives). There are normally 4 available IDE channels and there should be an entry against one of them for your HD and one for your CD drive.

If there is not then i'm afraid your HD is probably faulty I'm afraid although you could take your PC apart and push in cables etc.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 11:33 22 Dec 2005

HDD not detected in BIOS.

Time to open the box

1. switch off unplug gound yourself on a metal radiator o prevet static.

2. check the ribbon cable (IDE)is fully inserted at ther rear of the rive and in the socket on the motherboard

3. check the power cable (4 pin D shaped) is fully inserted at rear of HDD.

4. Remove fingers plug in and attempt a reboot

5. watch the screen on the first scrren it should sould a list of devices including your hard drive
and CD drives.

6. If still not recognised. switc off unplug etc., swap IDE cable to CD with the cable to HDD and retry.

  JIG 12:14 22 Dec 2005

Thanks everyone, I'll give all these options a go tonight and see what happens!

  JIG 07:32 23 Dec 2005

Thanks for all the advice but I think the HDD is a goner. Nothing in any of the other drives i.e. floppies, cds or dvds. I've tried various menu options in BIOS but when I select IDE Hard Drive the only options I get are 'Disabled' or 'None' and if I select either of these I just get a message saying 'Primary master drive fails'. Can't seem to get an A; prompt either so can't check dir C:. I've also opened the pc up and checked for lose cables - none. Also swapped IDE cable to CD with cable to HDD with no luck. Anything else I can try? (Thought about taking a hammer to it!). Merry Christmas by the way!

  Jazzy James 10:25 23 Dec 2005

Get a new hard drive!
Actually, as well as trying a new cable, you could also try plugging the ide cable into the other ide controller on the motherboard.
I still reckon you need a new drive though,:(

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