PC Won't boot into windows - disk boot failure

  Never again 10:11 02 Sep 2011


My friend has asked me to look at her HP Pavilion slimlime desktop pc which won't boot into windows.

It has a windows vista sticker on the front, and when you turn it on it displays an error message which says "Disk boot failure, insert system disk and press enter"

She has not provided me with any disks.

Your help would be most appreciated.

Thank you

  onthelimit1 10:28 02 Sep 2011

Make sure there's no CD in the drive. If not, then looks like a hard drive failure. If that's the case, only answer would be to buy and install a new HDD and buy an operating system ( as it has a Vista sticker, you could buy a Vista CD off ebay and install using the existing COA off the case).

  Never again 10:33 02 Sep 2011

Thanks for your reply.

I was hoping that it may just be a windows boot.ini corruption which can be repaired somehow.

I have a vista cd from a previous repair for a friend and could use this and the ceo sticker to reinstall, but was hoping to repair the installation on this hard drive rather than buy another and then struggle to find all the hp drivers.

Is any of the above likely before I give them the bad news?

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 10:44 02 Sep 2011

Unplug all USB devices

Check no disks in drives

Check power and data cable connections to all drives.

Try swapping cables for the hard drive. (possible cable or drive failure)

Also posible PSU failure to supply power to hard drive.

  Never again 10:54 02 Sep 2011


I have previously had the case open and swapped the sata drive cables from the sata0 to the sata1 slot and also swapped the cables and unplugged the sata dvd drive cable to see if there was some kind of fault with the cables or boot order, but that does not seem to have worked either.

originally when it was given to me there was a cd in the drive but this has been removed.

There are no usb devices attached, and the power supply is spinning fans and appears to be normal.

Sorry for not putting this in my earlier post as I was given this pc a couple of weeks ago and have only just had a chance to look at it. your post reminded me of what I'd done already.

  Never again 10:28 06 Sep 2011

Hi all

I now have 3 dvds labelled "revovery 1,2 and 3" which were found at the bottom of a box, as unfortunately she moved home recently.

They are not manufacturers disks but allegedy came from the pc world repair man following a previous repair?

I have managed to access a hp flash screen on startup which when pressing f9 does a diagnostic of the hardware. The boot path testing on the hard drive has given me an error code of BIOHD-3.

Is this confirmation of a dead drive?

...and is there a fix solution or a replace solution?

  Never again 10:33 06 Sep 2011

sorry all...

just a bit more information.

the f11 option of system recovery gives the same disk boot failure insert system disk error message.

Can I try to take all the information from the original hard drive and write it all to a new hard drive, and just substitute it for the dodgy drive?

  robin_x 12:42 06 Sep 2011

Your error is described here and is most likely a dead HDD.

But you can confirm whether the HDD is dead and nothing is visible on it. I have had an occasion when my disc partitions merely became 'unallocated' and the disc was fine.

Burn a Partition Wizard Home Bootable CD (link near bottom)

If you can see the disc and unallocated, then select 'Partition Recovery'.

If you can see something but not fully recover, then you can use 'Copy' to a new disc.

You can double check by removing the disc and installing it as a 2nd drive in your desktop or buying a USB HDD enclosure/cable and testing on a laptop (or desktop. Don't forget Desktops have 3.5" drives usually and laptops 2.5". If you buy an enclosure get the right one.

I suspect you won't see anything and will need to put a new disc in and recover from the DVDs. The machine will be returned to Factory settings and all data lost.

  Never again 12:44 06 Sep 2011


I've taken the drive out of the pc and put it into a caddy and plugged it into my laptop, but although I can hear the drive spinning it won't show in explorer.

I've also checked the warranty information on the seagate website as the drive is a seagate baracuda 7200.11 but it is not covered by a warranty.

I cant have a go with the seatools repair as the drive is not detected.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

  Never again 12:46 06 Sep 2011

sorry robinofloxley.. just missed your last post.

I suspect you are right - it looks dead(ish)

  rdave13 15:56 06 Sep 2011

Had similar problems with two laptops given to me. Both running Vista and both hdds dead. The Toshiba one I replaced the hdd and used the recovery discs and it verified OK. The Acer recovery discs also worked but had to use the key on the sticker to verify. Was unable to get any info off the hard drives and both laptops under two years old.

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