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Invalid System Disk On Win Me


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#1 whatev00

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 05:44 AM

Hello.

Here's the problem and some information:

The computer is an eMachine and it's running Windows ME. The problem is that it says Invalid System Disk when you try to boot up--but there's NO disk in either the CD nor the diskette drive. When it says there's an invalid system disk, and you press any key (as it says to) it checks the A drive and says, again, Invalid System Disk.

When you put an actual disk into the drive it it reads it, determines it, too is not a system disk and gives you a menu. One of the options is to do a "Minimal boot" which ends up not booting up at all but rather gives you the A: dos prompt (which you can't do anything with because it can't find Command.com).

My mother (it's her computer) says she was able to get into a working DOS prompt but I haven't really gotten into it that much, so I was wondering if any of you have any idea what might cause this/how to fix it, or if there's more information I can give you so that we can eventually solve the problem.

Thank you.

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 08:00 AM

When you first turn it on, and you get the start up screen where it checks for memory and devices, does it detect the hard drive? Sounds like it's not being detected or it went bad
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why won't my laptop work?

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#3 whatev00

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 05:10 PM

It actually doesn't get there, it just shows the eMachines screen and then it goes right to Invalid System Disk.

Before I get down to what I've done today with the computer, I'll say this:

ScanDisk was run after the computer stopped booting up (I didn't run it, but I'm assuming it was done via the Windows CD) and it came back saying it found no problems in: Directory Structure, File allocation table, File system, or Surface scan (these are the only things it says).

Okay, so today, I put a Windows ME Startup diskette in the A drive again and it gave me the menu I spoke about in my first post--the options are as follows (this menu is called the Microsoft Windows Millenium Emergency Boot Menu):
1. Help
2. Start computer with CD-Rom Support
3. Start computer without CD-Rom Support
4. Minimal Boot.

Below I've outlined what happens when I follow each path. (I hope this helps determine what the problem is or how to fix it)

1. Help - I press 1 and this option and it starts recognizing the drives, and recognizes the D: drive (which is an extra space thing, not a CD drive) and it loads the A: drive--I don't see that it says anything about the C: drive, though. It then says "Preparing to start your computer" and brings up D:\Readme.txt (in DOS) which is called the Microsoft Windows Millenium Edition Help for Emergency Startup Disk. This gives information on trying to start Windows ME in safe mode (which I tried and it didn't work), and what to do if Windows ME ONLY starts in Safe Mode. Basically I found this option to be of no assistance. After I exit that I'm able to get into a DOS prompt for the C: drive.

I reboot and do not choose the next option because I have no CD-Rom support...

2. Start computer with CD-Rom Support

I reboot and choose option:

3. Start computer without CD-Rom Support - This option goes over drive D saying that it is valid, then says Preparing to start your computer... it then says The Diagnostic Tools Were Successfully Loaded to Drive D.... Then it takes me to the A:\ prompt. Typing Help (as it suggests) brings up the Readme.txt I spoke about earlier.

I reboot and choose option:

4. Minimal Boot - This option simply brings up the A:\ DOS Prompt.

I am able to switch the C:\ prompt (by typing c:\) and I can view the files via dir, and edit them via edit, but obviously this doesn't help Windows startup.

I did look and see that Config.sys (in C:\) is empty...

I hope some of this information helps. It'd be nice to get this computer back up and running.

Thanks.

#4 garmanma

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Posted 22 September 2007 - 07:02 PM

I never used ME, so I don't know what options you'll have when you load the ME CD. Is this an original ME CD or a disk that came with the computer?
Here's a guide to FDISK and reformatting to do a fresh install with a Windows ME disk. It will tell you the DOS commands to get where you want
http://fdisk.radified.com/
Also found this that might be of some help
http://www.windowsreinstall.com
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why won't my laptop work?

Having grandkids is God's way of giving you a 2nd chance because you were too busy working your butt off the 1st time around
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