"Invalid system disk" question

  madwab 09:26 07 Jun 2004

The 40GB HD failed on my brother-in-Law's 3 yr old Gateway PC. I pulled a working 60GB IBM drive from mine, set it to 'master', put it into his. I used a bootable CD with Partition Magic to create a 15GB primary partition - FAT32 - and make it active. When I try to boot from a WinXP CD, I get 'Invalid System Disk', as if there was no bootable CD in the drive. The Gateway is booting from CD, because it boots the Partition Magic CD; the XP CD is bootable, because it boots in another system. The drive is fine - I moved it back to my PC and it has no problems. I also tried clearing the MBR and starting again. I also tried creating a 4GB primary at the start of the disk, in case there were any bios limitations on disk size - no joy. Norton Disk Doctor says the disk is fine (tho I didn't run surface check). Updating the bios seems a long shot - any other ideas?

m w

  Raywood 10:34 07 Jun 2004

Have you looked in the BIOS settings??

The usual default setting for the boot order is A, C, SCSI. If you have this setting. You will need to change it to CDROM, C, A. Or something similar (CDROM first).

The computer is detecting the hard disk and cannot find any loading instructions. It is the same result as if you left a floppy disk in drive A:\.

  madwab 11:09 07 Jun 2004

...cdrom is already first in the boot sequence, which is why I was able to boot from CD to run Partition Magic to create the partition. That's the issue: since CD booting is working, I wouldn't expect to get 'Invalid system disk' under any circumstances with a bootable XP disk in the drive - even if there was no HD or a damaged one. It's acting as if the XP CD isn't bootable - but it's a genuine MS copy that boots just fine elsewhere.

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